My motivation for research into the Titus family stemmed initially from the fact that my mother, Vera (nee Titus), was part of the lineage. However, once I became more involved in the research, and the various historical, political and social elements began to unfold over the 350-plus years of living history covered in my search, I became more fascinated, more involved, with the numerous and varied cast of characters.
These people, particularly the descendants of Robert Titus, are my relatives and my ancestors. They are, and were, simple, hard-working and God-fearing folk. They are mainly farmers and labourers, with a sprinkling of shopkeepers, school teachers and clergymen. They have remained in that humble social status for much of the 350 years that they have contributed to and woven the fabric of North America. Only in the past 70 or 80 years do we find significant representation in the sciences, the arts or the senior ranks of the military. In religion, they are mostly Protestants, with the Baptist, Quaker and Methodist Churches being their preferred houses of worship.
Genealogical research is really detective work; a fascinating exercise in solving mystery after mystery, each answered question raising several more, producing moods in the researcher alternating between elation and frustration. As the data is collected, sorted and analysed, and as pieces of the framework fall into place, a mosaic of historical and social evolution gradually emerges and imposes itself over the entire work. In my case, not only did I gain an appreciation of the ebb and flow of history over that immense time-frame, but I began to realize that I might be the only means by which many of those people might achieve some measure of future recognition. With that realization comes a certain sense of awe and responsibility.
The written word can be a powerful and lasting force, whereas gravestones tend to be transitory, and surrender to the elements, and to the ravages of time and acid rain, only slightly more slowly than the bones that lie beneath them. Thus, once the living memory fades and passes on, so do the names, deeds and accomplishments of all those wonderful people. That is, unless someone takes the trouble to research, coordinate and record their stories.
Genealogical research is also a game that anyone is welcome to join. After all, most anyone has information about his or her immediate family that can become instrumental in untangling parts of one puzzle or another. Readers are therefore invited to join the search to uncover as much as possible of the story of the Titus families in North America, or, for that matter, the picture of whatever other particular family to which they may belong. Many have done just that, and have thus contributed greatly to the telling of the story.
As mentioned above, the Tituses, generally speaking, were not particularly widely known outside the relatively narrow range of their contemporary societies and environments; in other words, they were not the headline-makers of their day, not generally to be found on the society pages or on the police blotters of their neighbourhoods. Their hopes for immortality, or even for remembrance, generally rested in the fervent Christian belief in resurrection after death. I am therefore listing the names of those whom I have been able to identify in the hope that in some small way this chronicle will help their names to endure in this world. For, after all, by following their religious beliefs they have done all they could possibly do to ensure their eternal recognition in the next. Certainly, they will not die while we remember them.
The nominal lists contained in this web site include names of Titus and collateral families of four main lines: (1) the descendants of Robert Titus who arrived in the New World in 1635 with his wife, Hannah and two children; (2) the descendants of Titus Syrach de Vries, a Dutch immigrant who settled on Long Island, NY in the mid 1600s and who changed his family’s surname to Titus; (3) the descendants Daniel Titus, a German family that arrived in the United States in the mid 1700s; and (4) the descendants of John Titus, a New Brunswick, Canada family that has not as yet been connected to any of the main Titus lines.