The Dressels are a relatively obscure family that has somehow survived for approximately one thousand years. This study makes no claim to academic scholarship. This is not a definitive work; this is a first draft of a work in progress. This first draft is an attempt to bring together the documents, articles, legends, and stories regarding the Dressels, found in their archive, into some basic form.

Since the materials come from various sources, periods, and languages, its form is irregular and has inconsistencies. It is being edited every day. Consecutive drafts will contain an additional 400 pages of biographical material and illustrations. The next draft, scheduled for August 30th, 2005 will contain approximately an additional 500 pages of uploaded material for the genealogy of Zizi, Yozie, and Jani Dressel for eleven generations. It is the sincere desire of the editor that this compilation will eventually be used as a basis and guide for future family historians to implement the material presented as more data is discovered, analyzed, and made available on the internet from European and American archives. Please send all questions, corrections, additions and suggestions to the editor, Joseph Dressel, by visiting the contact page on this site. You may also use your own email client to send a message to josdressel(at) (where the (at) is the @ symbol.)

The portraits used to illustrate the direct ancestry of Joseph Dressel the IVth are actual representations of these individuals throughout the generations. After that, the portraits are strictly illustrations of how these ancestors may have been dressed in their respective time periods.

A difficult aspect of researching this project was the identification of the social origin and class of the Polish families that married into the Dressel family. Identifying whether individuals were noble, burger, or peasant was particularly challenging since most of the lower noble families did not have titles. At times these lower nobility were even poorer than peasants, leaving little attention to recording information that would be of value to this project. In addition, a usually reliable source, church records, did not always identify individuals by social class.

The procedures used to identify the social origin of the families were as follows:

  1. Attempt to find out from the descendants of this family what their family tradition was regarding the origin of the family.
  2. Attempt to find and interview people who were closely associated with the family and ask what information they had regarding the origin of the family.
  3. Research the earliest existing church records
  4. Research land records in local and main State Archives
  5. Research the published Heraldic literature for the verification of the existence of such a name as noble, and their residence in the area in question.
  6. Research published and unpublished genealogies of families with such names for references to the family in question
The above items were achieved through letters, telephone calls, personal interviews, and interviews conducted by professionals hired toward the specific purpose of obtaining the information. The final decision regarding the social origin of the family was then based on the results of the above described research.

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