Teagarden Surname Meaning, History & Origin

Select Teagarden Meaning
Teegarden and Teagarden are the principal American forms
of the Tegarden name that
came to America in 1736 with Abraham Tegarden of Solingen in North Rhine-Westphalia.  The name appeared in
Solingen as Thegarden as early as 1374 and was recorded as Tegarden in 1488.  Theegarten is a district in
Solingen today.  The root is the Low
German te garden meaning “at the garden.

Teagarden Resources on

Teagarden Ancestry

Christian Tegarden, born in 1650, was the first recorded of
the line of Tegardens at Solingen.
Family history has suggested that these Tegardens were members
of a cutlery guild there.  Solingen was in
fact called the city of blades for the swords that were produced there.  At the time that his son Abraham departed for
America in 1736, Solingen had a population of about 2,000.

AmericaAbraham Tegarden was the family pioneer in America, arriving in 1736
with his family and settling on the western frontier in Maryland.

Abraham and his wife Anna brought four sons
to America, the eldest of whom was Abraham.
He moved with his family to what became Greene county in western Pennsylvania, also at that time a pioneer area for settlement.  Tradition tells of the many thrilling
adventures he and his family had with the Indians.
The old Teagarden homestead was at Richhill
township in Greene county

One line from William Teagarden, a Revolutionary War veteran from Greene county, Pennsylvania
led to Oswin Teagarden, a Confederate smuggler during the Civil War, and to Jack Teagarden, the great jazz trombonist of the 1930’s and 1940’s.

The family lineage has been covered in three books:

  • Joseph Oswin Teagarden’s 1949
    book A Genealogy of the Teagarden
  • Helen E. Vogt’s 1967 book Genealogy and
    Biographical Sketches of
    Descendants of Abraham Tegarden
  • and Jeanette Teegarden Jones’ 1972 book Ten
    Generations of Teegardens

Teagarden may be the most known spelling of
the name in America, but it is not the most common.
There are more than twice as many Teegardens
as Teagardens around today.  The largest
number of Teegardens was and is in Kentucky.
They were also be be found in Ohio, Indiana, and Missouri.

Tegarden generally became Teegarden in
Kentucky.  Jeremiah and Katherine
Teegarden arrived in Bracken county from Greene county, Pennsylvania sometime in the early 1800’s.

“Jeremiah was
always spoken of as a very strong man who never feared man or beast, but was
always a gentleman.  One time before he
left Pennsylvania he whipped nine men at a logrolling contest for disputing his
word in a fist fight when he was about 18 years old.
In family references to Jeremiah ever afterward, his name was followed with ‘he knocked down nine men.'” 

Jeremiah was the father of a very large
family and was a very extensive landowner on the waters of Big Bracken Creek.  They remained Teegardens (even
though the 1850 census registered them as Teagardens).
Meanwhile Jeremiah’s cousin the Rev. William
, a backwoods preacher, came to Columbiana county
in SW Ohio around the year 1808.  His son Abraham, a
doctor, migrated to La Porte, Indiana and built the Hotel Teegarden
there in 1852.

A Tegarden who also made the
westward march from Pennsylvania to Kentucky and Indiana was Basil Tegarden.  He married Anna Tegarden
nee Ford
, the aunt of Abraham Lincoln’s wife, in Kentucky in
1797 and moved to Indiana in 1814.  Some of his descendants
ended up in Missouri.


Teagarden Miscellany

Abrahan Tegarden the Pioneer.  In 1736, at the age of 48, Abraham Tegarden departed his home in Solingen in North Rhine/Westphalia with his wife Anna Margarethe
and many of their children for America.
They boarded the Harle in the Palatine apparently under his
wife’s name of Deckart.  However, Tegarden was the
name that the family gave on arrival in Philadelphia.

The Tegardens traveled south from
Pennsylvania along the Monocasy Trail and in 1739 purchased land to farm in the
Conococheague valley on the western frontier in Maryland.
Later they moved to the town of Hagerstown where
both Abraham and his wife Anna died in 1753.

Teagardens of Richhill Township in Greene County.  Teagardens have been in Greene county, Pennsylvania since the
1750’s and are still there today.  The
Teagarden cemetery is located in Richhill township.
It survives although the cemetery itself is
in poor condition and quite overgrown.

Among the Teagarden gravestones to be found are:

  • Teagarden, William, 1746-1813. Private in the Pennsylvania militia during the Revolutionary War.  There is a Revolutionary War flag marker.
  • Teagarden,  Abraham, 1775-1853.  Private in the 2nd
    Pennsylvania Brigade, War of 1812, Veteran flag marker.
  • Teagarden, Abraham C, died in 1863.  16th Pennsylvania
    Cavalry.  Fell in the Battle of Shepherdstown during the
    Civil War.  GAR flag marker.

There was an old Teagarden homestead in
Richhill township, inhabited first by Isaac Teagarden, a mill-wright, and then by his son John P. Teagarden, a lawyer.
His daughter Dr. Jenny Teagarden grew up in Greene county after the Civil War.  She attended medical school
at Waynesburg and became the first female physician in the county.  Later she helped establish the Children’s Aid
Society and served as its president for many years.

The Rev. William and Susannah Teegarden.  The
Rev. William and Susannah Teegarden were a
remarkable couple who were wed for more than fifty years.
They had fifteen children of whom many were
over six feet tall.  Four of the sons
were medical doctors and two of these became state Senators.

There have been letters left by Eliza Perry
Teegarden in Kentucky.  She had made an
early trip to Columbiana county, Ohio to visit her uncles, William, George and Thomas.

Captain George Teegarden
recalled as a boy he hearing conversation among his elders talking with Aunt
Eliza about her trip to Ohio from Bracken county, Kentucky.  It seems she felt they were treated in a
rather superior manner by Susannah who was quite a lady or at least so considered herself.

The visit was never
repeated.  Captain George who had seen
the fine clothes Eliza had worn to Ohio thought maybe that Susannah was merely
trying to keep from being overwhelmed by relatives from the south in finery.  Somehow a backwoods preacher
hardly seems one who would have been affluent.

William was really a backwoods preacher.
He often obliged to transport salt and provisions for his family
across the mountains on horseback.  He was a man
of generous heart and kind disposition and a friend of the Indians in the
forest.  The Indians often built their
campfires near the door of his cabin.  A
Bible Christian Minister, he often rode 25 miles through the pathless forests on an old white horse to deliver his message of cheer to the few scattered
settlers who would gather in some pioneer home.

Anna Tegarden nee Todd.  Anna Todd grew up in Kentucky.  She was the aunt of Mary Todd Lincoln, the
wife of Abraham Lincoln.  She herself
married Basil Tegarden in Shelby county, Kentucky in 1797.
They moved to Orleans in Orange county,
Indiana in 1814 where they raised eleven children.

Anna outlived her husband by twenty years and
died in 1863 at the splendid age of eighty four.  She
was buried next to her husband in the
Liberty cemetery east of Orleans.
Several other Tegardens are buried in the same plot, including
some of her children.

Jack Teagarden – Did He Have Indian Blood?  Apparently
Jack Teagarden was widely seen in the jazz
community as being at least part Native American. The
theory of Indian blood stemmed from his
dark looks plus the fact that he frequently toured with black musicians during
a time of segregation.

But there was no evidence that this was the case.  His
father Charles was listed as white on his World War One draft card.  Charles was the chief engineer for the Vernon
Cotton Oil Company in Vernon along the Texas-Oklahoma border.  He was also an amateur brass band trumpeter
and encouraged both Jack and his three siblings to be jazz musicians.

Jack in fact had a long German heritage which has
been traced back to William Teagarden, a Revolutionary War veteran from Greene
county, Pennsylvania.  The line from him
went to Oswin Teagarden in Louisiana, a smuggler for the Confederate Army during the Civil War.  Afterwards these
Teagardens moved to the Red River area of Texas.

The Jack Teagarden exhibit at the Red River
Valley Museum in Vernon, Texas features his personal effects that were donated
by his family after his death in 1964.


Teagarden Names

  • Abraham Tegarden who arrived in
    Philadelphia in 1736 was the forebear of the Teegardens and Teagardens in America.   
  • Jack Teagarden was at his peak as a jazz trombonist in the 1930’s and 1940’s.  He is regarded as the father of the jazz

Select Teagarden Numbers Today

  • 1,000 in America (most numerous in Kentucky)


Select Teagarden and Like Surnames 

The first wave of German immigration into America came in the early 1700’s from the Rhine Palatine and Switzerland.  They were fleeing religious persecution at home.  Most ended up in Pennsylvania, bringing their Mennonite church with them.  Some went to the Mohawk Valley in upstate New York.  Their Germanic names often changed under English rule to English-style names.  Thus Fischer became Fisher, Schneider Snyder, Hubner Hoover and so forth.

The reasons for immigration were different in the 19th century – in search of a better life, sometimes to avoid the draft.  They came from all German states and went not just to Pennsylvania but all over as the middle and west of the country was opening up.  And they brought German skills with them, notably beer-making.

Here are some of the notable German surnames in America that you can check out.




Click here for return to front page

Leave a Reply