(First of all, I would like to say that I am not fool-proof.The info that I am presenting is from my research & the books that were written at the turn of the century, as well as journals, wills, & other documentation. )
My name is William "Hawk" Bennett.I am Casper Debelbesin's 5thG-grandson.I have researched this surname & obtained a few books on it.All the following are derivatives of the original name, which is not really known: Teufelbesin (listed on some of the original records in MD) Drebelbesin Debelbessin (listed on some of the original records in MD) Devilbiss ( One of the usual "normalized" spelling) Divilbiss (Another of the usual "normalized" spelling)( Descendents of Hans Michael Jr., 2nd gen in America) Develbiss (Still another version) Divelbiss & DeVilbiss (this version was originated by John Wesley DeVilbiss (b.28 Aug 1818) & used by others in the family)
As to the original location of the family, all the children are listed as being born in either Alsace-Lorraine or Baden-Baden in Germany.
As to the meaning of the name, here are the theories: 1) they were medicinal plant merchants (there was a plant called the Devils Bit that grew in Germany) 2) they were from Switzland 3) thier name was mis-written on the records/logs of the time.
As far as I know, there has never been another person in this family with this name born in another country outside of USA since they arrived in 1731.I sure would be happy to see a record that lists this name else where in the world.
I would like to know if someone can get a hold of a copy of the original pasenger listing or the logs of the "Britannia".This would greatly help in determining some more info. Everyone that I have met with a derivative of the spelling has been descendant from one of 5 children that settled in Maryland. I have a website that I have setup for the "gathering" of these families so we can share genealogical info. If you are interested in sharing info or if you are interested in joining the website, drop me a line.All are welcome that have ancestors with these names. There are some members from several of the branches of the family.I have made contacts with someone from each of the original 5 children. Johan Michael, Magdalena, Johan Georg (not a mis-type), Margarita Elizabeth Barbara, Casper.(Hans Johan is not know whether was a real person.) My email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org. William "Hawk" Bennett