Four generations of Tombaugh’s, from left to right: Brad, Melissa, Eric, Wayne, and Richard. (1995)

I used to have a Tombaugh Family Tree, published on-line on my web site, but it became too hard to keep current with the one published as a public tree at For the latest genealogy updates and online family tree, please visit my family tree on

Perhaps the most famous member of the family is Clyde W. Tombaugh, who discovered the planet Pluto in 1930. Clyde Tombaugh’s personal papers have been archived at the New Mexico State University Library.

We’re fortunate that our family had a historian, Reno G. Tombaugh, who was able to trace our family history, and roots, back to our earliest known immigrant ancestor, who left Germany for Holland, then the new world in 1728. The findings were published into a book in the 1930’s. The contents of the book have later been published electronically by Wendell C. Tombaugh and his wife Jean Cragun Tombaugh, who have published a number of genealogy works. I have been working to update the contents with additional information, correcting some errors, and adding references.

The Tombaugh History (PDF) and other works have been made available through the Fulton County, Indiana, Library. Wendell has also written his autobiography, Every Day an Adventure (PDF) with a tremendous amount of detail of some of the history of the day, and several accounts of my grandfather, who was Wendell’s cousin, as well as my great-grandfather and his father.

I’ve converted the written history into a family tree, and have been adding updated and corrected information where ever possible. I converted the text of the Tombaugh History into an outline, using a word processor, to make it easier to work through. I worked both backwards from me, finding a reference to my grandfather in the book, as well as working from the beginning of the book down through the descendants. I finally figured out where they link in the middle, after sorting out several generations in a row with Georges! I’ve completed transcribing all of the twelve chapters, and the appendix. I’m also adding the markup to recreate the index.

The Tombaugh’s were originally a “Pennsylvania Dutch” family that originally settled in Washington County, Pennsylvania. Other links to information on these people and places include the Family Hart website and Chartiers website, which has transcribed Boyd Crumrine’s book History of Washington County, Pennsylvania with Biographical Sketches of Many of Its Pioneers and Prominent Men from 1882, as well as the Commemorative Biographical Record of Washington County, Pennsylvania by J. H. Beers & Company in 1893.

Here is a sample of Pennsylvania German Fraktur by Adam Dambach from Lancaster County, PA in 1779 that is owned by the Winterthur Museum in Delaware. Adam Dambach is an early member of the Tombaugh family, still using the more German, un-Anglicized variant of what later became the surname Tombaugh.

In the 1800’s some of the family migrated westward through Stark County, Ohio and into the area around Miami County, Indiana and Wabash County, Indiana. By the end of the 1800’s, branches of the family had scattered throughout the country.

Some of the other families that are represented in the Tombaugh History as well as my own branch of the family include: Beihold, Cook, Deardorff, Dorr, East, Henline, Hurst, Kuhn, Letherman, Myers, Spohn, Swihart, Swagler, Thomas, Weir, Wise, Witherspoon, Wolcott and Wolf.

Scroll to Top