Archive for the ‘Immigration’ Category

German Immigrant Ancestors in Syracuse and Onondaga County

The above title is the name of an excellent website that we will discuss in this post.

You have read here before about the tremendous amount of information on Michelle Stone’s Onondaga County German Immigrants website.

After asking Michelle recently if she would like to have me write a Blog post about her website, she responded with the following email. Gee I wish everyone would do this, cuts down on my writing time. \grin/

Here is the Michelle Stone response:

Hi Dick,

Thanks so much for choosing my website, “German Immigrant Ancestors in Syracuse & Onondaga County, NY”

as a subject for your excellent blog.

This labor of love of mine has been online as a Rootsweb (now Freepages site for over seven years (ever since my son, then 10 years old, would sit on my lap and show me how to design webpages in HTML code!). I have been pouring information into it ever since, so that it has become my major ongoing act of genealogical kindness. I have intended it to be a beginning point and central depot for anyone doing research into their German roots in Onondaga County, and with the kind and generous help of so many contributers, I believe it has become that. But I know that many folks who are new to doing Onondaga County genealogy might not yet be aware of it. Thank-you for letting them know it is available.

Perhaps the most useful item on the website is my partial transcript of the 1897 book, /Geschichte der Deutschen in Syracuse und Onondaga County, Nebst Kurzen Biographien von Beamten und Hervorragenden Buergern./ Translated into English, this means “The History of the German People in Syracuse and Onondaga County, With Short Biographies of Officials and Prominent Citizens.” Anyone who had German-speaking ancestors living in Onondaga County prior to 1897–or anyone interested in the once-strong German heritage and influence in the history of Syracuse and Onondaga County–will find the stories, biographies, and photos collected there quite fascinating, and may even find an ancestor, family, or surname of interest mentioned. The book is chock-full of individual names, photos, and anecdotes, and can be viewed in the original German text at my own website, and now, happily, it is also available online in facsimile at this website:

But as far as I know, there is no other English translation that exists of this book besides the one I offer at my own website, along with an index to the book which I created:

I have uploaded only a partial transcript and translation as yet, but if anyone needs additional portions of the book transcribed or translated, I am glad to respond to requests as time permits.

Another useful tool at my website is the Timeline of Syracuse History 1654-1945:

This detailed timeline is helpful to any researcher, and includes not only events and dates specific to the German community, but also general information and events for Syracuse, Onondaga County, New York State, the U.S. and the world as well. It too has grown organically as a labor of love, originally begun as a way for me to flesh out the context of my own German immigrants’ lives in Onondaga County.

Another general (not just German-related) research tool there is my database of Syracusans arriving at Ellis Island, NY between the years 1892-1924. I collected this data by exploring the Ellis Island immigration online database with the help of Stephen P. Morse’s helpful search engines, to ferret out any arriving passengers referencing a destination or home address of Syracuse, New York. It is interesting to see who had the money and the inclination for overseas travel in those years.

I have many more nuggets of info and history hidden away at my site, so a use of the Search Engine is a must. A visitor will find postcards, research sources and research advice, surname queries, and various German-connected datasets including churches, cemeteries, naturalizations, social clubs, membership lists, newspaper clippings, and an extensive collection of helpful website links. In addition there are such items as these:

The Syracuse Turn Verein:

The Philip Eckel Monument:

The Syracuse Harugari (what was it?):

The story of St. Joseph’s German Cemetery (now the location of a Wegman’s store in Syracuse):

Anton V. Altmann: A Syracuse Bottler:

John Jacob Kreischer and Katherine Gilcher: an immigrant story (still under construction):

The Story of Michael Andersag, master painter and Civil War veteran:

By the way, a descendant of Michael Andersag’s family is still hoping some master paintings by Michael will turn up in some Onondaga County barns, basements or attics, so if you would ask your blog readers to check and see if they might have one of these treasures, his family and I would be very grateful!

Finally, from the top of my homepage, visitors can click on “My Other Genealogy” and find additional works beyond the scope of Germans in Onondaga County, including some employee lists of the Crouse-Hinds Company of Syracuse,

and various other genealogical projects. The story of my great-great-grandfather, Lewis Humphrey Roberts, was especially interesting for me to recover. I started out not knowing who he was, finding only an obituary in an old family Bible. Now sixteen years later, having done research on his trail in Watertown, New York, Boston, Massachusetts, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and in northern Wales, I have reclaimed the details of what turned out to be a surprisingly long and amazing life of the “Old Soldier” who ended up in Jefferson County, NY:

Because I live so far from New York State now, I am not able to do much personal research into the Syracuse Germans there at all regularly, except via the computer. I welcome data contributed by Onondaga county researchers and will gratefully accept and add anything of interest to my website that would be pertinent in helping others. I remain truly grateful for the help and contributions so many have already offered (including you) to help make the website as useful as it can be. It is definitely a collaborative project, still growing organically.

Michelle Stone

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