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German Immigrant Ancestors
in Syracuse and Onondaga County, New York

Gilcher/Gilger, etc.

(Soundex code: G426)
The Gilcher Block, Syracuse
The Gilcher Block, corner of Butternut & Lodi Streets, Syracuse circa 1890, built by Jacob Gilcher [], a native of Hachenbach

GILCHER: The name derives from the city or county of Jülich (near Cologne) on the Rhine River. A person who came from there was called a Jülicher when he settled somewhere else, at the time when surnames came into use. As "J" and "G" were used interchangeably, the town's name was also written as "Gülich" and so was the family name: Gülich, Gülch, Gülicher, Gülcher, Gilcher, Gilger, and many other variants.

For more on the history and dispersion of the surname and the early families in the Pfalz/Palatinate area of what is today Germany, see Friedrich F. Hüttenberger's article, "Die Westpfaelzer Gilcher (Gülcher)-Familien im 17. und 18.Jh." in Pfaelzisch-Rheinische Familienkunde, vol. 14, issue 8, p. 381-385, Ludwigshafen a.Rhein, 2000, featured on his website at http://www.huettenberger.homepage.t-online.de/ (in both German and English versions).

At various points in history Gilchers have emigrated from their German homelands to Russia, Austria, Hungary, France, Brazil, Canada, and to the United States, where they settled in Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania, and Kentucky. The various ways the surname is spelled and pronounced in the U.S. today reflect the length and breadth of the journey.

Jacob Gilcher, Barber advertisement
Circa 1904 advertisement for Jacob Gilcher [], Syracuse barber, a native of Rathsweiler
Most American Gilcher families descend from Western Palatinate immigrants, all of whom can trace descent from one family begun by Nickel Gülcher in the village of Horschbach in the year 1644. (One of his grandsons married into a family in Oberalben on the other side of the Glan River and that is where the Rathsweiler Gilchers, my ancestors, came from.)

Many, many thanks to Friedrich Hüttenberger, source of the above information. His vast and careful research into the German and American Gilchers, his multilinguistic skill, and his generous guidance were invaluable and essential as we attempted to figure out the Gilchers of Syracuse together. It is only with his assistance, and that of numerous other researchers and family members, that I am able to offer the information on the Syracuse Gilchers below.

This genealogy is a work-in-progress and this webpage is under construction with updates happening all the time, so please check back. Comments, corrections, and contributions are welcomed! Email me.

Katharina Gilcher Kreischer
Katharina Gilcher Kreischer
Syracuse, New York circa 1885

Offered in collaboration with information supplied by F. Hüttenberger:

Online Sources:

And if your Gilchers might have relocated elsewhere:

Contacts for other GILCHER / GILGER researchers and their areas of study:

[Email me if you would like your email address and/or webpage listed here]

  • Rodrigo Guilger Favaretto - descendant of Gilcher ancestors from the Pfalz who emigrated to Brazil in the early 1800's.
    Email: rgfav@uol.com.br

  • William Gilcher - descendant of Michael Gilcher, Bandmaster, of the Essweiler, Pfalz Gilchers who lived in Massachusetts and New York, USA
    Email: william.gilcher@verizon.net

  • Paul Gilger - personally researching Gilgers, etc. from Essweiler to Ohio, USA; also working on a comprehensive Gilger.com Family website containing info on all Gilgers/Gilchers, etc.
    Email: gilger@sonic.net

  • Roberto Guilger - descendant of Johannes Gilcher from Essweiler who emigrated to Brazil in November 1827
    Email: roberto@guilger.com.br

  • Friedrich Huettenberger - researching Gilcher/Gilger/Guelcher/Guilger especially in the Pfalz (Palatine) area in Germany (with extensions into America, Brazil, and the Alsace region of France).
    Email: 320037891209-0001@t-online.de
    Website: http://www.huettenberger.homepage.t-online.de/

  • Nancy Gilger Hyden - descendant of GILGER branch in Northumberland and Mercer Counties, Pennsylvania, originally from Johann Adam Gilger, Sr. born 1752 in Bershweiler, Germany
    Email: neyoung@juno.com

  • Gayle Speight - descendant of Gilcher and Wirth ancestors from Jettenbach and Bosenbach in the Pfalz, whose descendants settled in Australia.
    Email: gmsp8f@yahoo.com.au

  • Michelle Stone - Gilchers and Gilgers in Syracuse, New York (my own branch was from Rathsweiler, Pfalz circa 1880's).
    Email: mstone@fisherstone.com
    Website: Here