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Rev. William Henry Roll



Hello, I'm William Henry Roll, 72 years old, a retired public school teacher, and living in a small isolated desert town in the southeastern California desert. I have been researching the Roll and allied families since before 1995. I have portions of my genealogy on the internet in various locations listed below.

We are the sum of our ancestors. Y-chromosome DNA testing shows that I belong to the "Nordic" Haplogroup I1a (M253), therefore, my earliest ancestors came out of Africa about 70,000 years ago, crossed to the Middle East, moved up through Anatolia, across the Bosporus into the Balkans and across southern Europe. They sojourned for a while in Spain during the Ice Age, and when the thaw came they moved north. I was with them!

I have ancestors in the historic past for the most part from Ireland, Scotland, England, The Netherlands, Germany, and France. My living relatives hail from four of the seven continents.

A letter from the administrator


Casa Del Ermitaño
Blythe, California

15 XII 2012

Dear Visitor,

A good portion of the Netherlands, the birthplace of Jan Mangels Rol, the progenitor of the Roll family in America, is below sea level. Because the fresh water in most places was shallow and the land beneath rich, dikes and windmills were built to pump out the water.

Our windmill logo is a sample from the well-illustrated book about all kinds of Dutch windmills: The Dutch Windmill, by Frederick Stokhuyzen. We chose the windmolen as the logo for The Genealogy of the Roll Family because it was most often a poldermolen, pumping water to uncover rich fields for farming. Similarly, rich genealogical sources are being revealed for research. A surprising collection of ancestors have been discovered.

Please remember, though, that everything here is the product of amateur genealogists: the worst kind. Genealogy, like history, is an art and not a science. Some genealogies are better than others; almost all contain fairy tales. You must not believe anything you read in such works unless you are able to prove the information yourself. Although I believe there are unchangeable systems of truth, genealogy is just not one of them.

I hope you enjoy your visit to the Windmill as much as I have enjoyed the many thousands of hours constructing it.



William Henry Roll+

My research appears in several locations online

  • Database of Record
    • Online database -my main research tool and database of record, linked to local Family Tree Maker desktop application, interactive with an invitation, and a permanent repository
  • Family History Stories
    • The Roll Family Windmill -the original Roll Family Windmill, viewable by the public, and a permanent repository
  • Wiki
    • MediaWiki WindmillWiki -a wiki about Roll family history, public, interactive with an invitation), but not a permanent repository

You can participate

If you want to contribute as an editor, and are either familiar with writing for wikis or would like to learn, we can set up a free account for you here at WindmillWiki. Email us at with an explanation of your family connection to the Roll or allied families.

You may also send us your material (text and/or images) for posting, and we will place it in the wiki. All content is subject to correction and editing by site member editors and to the license below.


You are free to use my research, but please be sure to read the terms of the copyright at the bottom of the pages.

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