Content of Archives

The collection consists of Van Leer papers, family records, stories, accounts, certificates, wedding documents, deeds, recordings, imagery and journals. All materials or events are verified by historical societies and national archives. Copies of these sources can be found on the document page. These archives cover the Van Leer family and it’s 3 main surname variants Valär, von Lähr, von Löhr. Special thanks to three amazing archivists over the years. Mrs. Ella Wall Van Leer who is responsible for the foundation of the research. Wayne Van Leer Jones who also contributed additional research which he donated to various national archives. Peggy Burge who digitized a lot of research and maintained the original site for over 20 years.

Meet The Van Leers

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Van Leer Origins Canton of Grisons
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Captain Samuel Van Leer
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Women's Rights Activist Ella Lillian Wall Van Leer
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Van Leer Mansion
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Trailblazer Maryly Van Leer Peck
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U.S. Treasury Chief Carlos Van Leer
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Upgraded crest from the Queen of England
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Masonic Orphanage
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Museum In Switzerland
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Van Leer Building In Atlanta
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President Van Leer
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Van Leer's Original Surname Valär
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In Law Charles Ferdinand, Duke of Berry

These archives include records, imagery, stories and content from the European branch. Some Van Leers stayed in Europe while others immigrated to American. Today there are Van Leer’s who immigrated back to Europe. The Van Leer’s trace their roots back to the Canton of the Grisons, Switzerland and are well documented under their former surnames Valär and von Lähr.

Follow the Van Leer timeline from Swiss roots to our American Immigrant Johann Georg von Löhr and beyond. The timeline is constantly evolving with new events and revisions.

All American Van Leers are descendants of Johann Georg von Löhr sometimes Von Leer who anglicized his name to “John George Van Leer.” In the American collection, there are records for over 1000 Bernardhus Van Leer ancestors.


American Revolution

Van Leer involvement in the Revolutionary War was extensive and included many stories

Van Leer Cabins

There are two cabins still standing today, which served as a underground railroad stations

Battle of Grandson

March 2, 1476, is a red-letter day in both Swiss and Van Leer history