Mark S. Painter
The Benders of Kirchardt, Steinsfurt, Ittlingen, Duhren and Eschelbach, in what was in the 16-1700's in the Margraviate of Baden, may be related.
After tracing my line to Kirchardt I rented the films for the above villages looking for clues since they are all located in a 10-15 mile area. I also copied all of the records for the Benders to about 1800 for future use and posted the early records on ancestry where I have close to 20 Bender trees under the user name benderpainter.
This area was destroyed during the 30-Years War so the church books begin about 1650. Eschelbach's book records 6 early Bender families that lived there before the war and the rest begin documenting a single Bender family from approximately 1650.
Since about 75% the population of this area was destroyed during the war, the government invited settlers from Switzerland and different parts of Germany to resettle the area along with the survivors of the original families.
The question is, are the Benders related and original residents of that area?
I recently completed the Ancestry familyfinder autosomal dna test then also entered my data in GED.match. I found multiple matches with various Bender lines from Duhren, Eschelbach and Ittlingen. These matches were not strong enough to prove a connection but hint that a relationship exist.
The early families settled all over Pennsylvania, in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, and Rutherford, NC, but I am not aware of any members completing Y-DNA testing, which would answer that question.
There are archival records for that area, but they are held at this time in a private archives. The search continues. Mark