German Immigrant Ancestors
in Syracuse and Onondaga County, New York

(Soundex code: K613)


Elisabeth Kraft
Partial List of References and Sources:

1. Correspondence and many personal conversations over the years with various family members.

2. Certificate of Marriage "Between the worker Johann Lipke living at Czattkau, district Dirschau and Elisabeth Kreft living at Czattkau marriage has been made in the presence of the signed registrar. Güttland, May 20th, 1893 (signed) The Registrar" (stamped) Stüblau, Dirchau.

3. Church of Latter-Day Saints / Family History Center, Microfilm 585800, Register of Marriages (Catholic) from the Parish of Dirschau-Kreisstadt, Altstadt, Westpreussen, covering 1838-1902; marriage no. 23, 21st May 1893 between Joannes Lipke and Elisabeth Krefft.

4. State of New York, County of Onondaga Affidavit for License to Marry, No. 381 signed August 27, 1926 by John M. Denka and Elizabeth Lipke; New York State Department of Health Division of Vital Statistics, County of Onondaga, Town of Cicero, No. 381, for John M. Denka of Syracuse and Elizabeth M. Lipke of N. Syracuse (Cicero), signed September 27, 1927 by Mary J. Buckley, Deputy Town Clerk; Marriage Certificate signed by Rev. Frederick Schraff on September 28, 1926; all on Microfilm Roll no. 1014357, "Onondaga County Courthouse: License to Marry, Vols. 1-624 / 1926," Church of Latter-Day Saints Family History Center

5. Certificate of Marriage, Church of the Assumption, between John N. Denke and Elisabeth M. Lipke on Aug. 28, 1926 (dated Sept. 13, 1994).

6. "List or Manifest of Alien Passengers for the U.S. Immigration Officer At Port of Arrival," for the S.S. Chemnitz, arriving NY Dec. 2, 1904, Vol. 1043, from Passenger and Crew Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, 1897-1942, National Archives microfilm, T-715, Roll 518.

7. Death Certificate of Elizabeth M. Denka - New York State Dept. of Health Office of Vital Statistics Certificate of Death, Dist. No. 3301, Registered No. 1168, filed and issued May 27, 1954 by the Dept. of Health, City of Syracuse.

8. Death Certificate of Johann Carl Lipke. "Registry office, Stüblau: The Feb. 8, 1897 death of Johann Carl Lipke, son of the worker Johann Lipke and the frau Elisabeth, born Kreft living at Czattkau has been entered today under no. 3 into the death register. Güttland the 8th of February 1897. (signed) The Registrar." Feb. 8, 1897, Registry office Stublau [In German]

9. "Declaration of Intention," No. 2250 (Ref. 1431), of Johan Lipke to become a U.S. citizen, dated June 2, 1914, filed in the Supreme Court of Onondaga Co., State of New York, found in Volume 7 of Naturalization Service Petition and Record, NATURALIZED CITIZENS, at the Onondaga County Courthouse, Syracuse, NY, June, 1994.

10. "United States of America Petition for Naturalization" No. 1431, of Johan Lipke, filed January 12, 1916 (witnesses: William Gang, "Merchant & undertaker, residing at 856 No. Salina St., Syracuse, NY" and Eugene Bausinger, "butcher, residing at 206 Isabella St., Syracuse, NY." Found in Volume 7 of Naturalization Service Petition and Record, NATURALIZED CITIZENS, at the Onondaga County Courthouse, Syracuse, NY, June, 1994.

11. United States of America Certificate of Naturalization No. 653368 dated Apr. 22, 1916, Petition Vol. 7, No. 1431, Johann Lipke, Petitioner, issued by the State of New York, Onondaga County (found among Anthony Lipke's papers, 1993).

12. Letter dated July 3rd, 1917 to Mrs. John Lipke In the Matter of the Petition of Frank Mickels Lipke To be Admitted a Citizen of the United States of America from the Onondaga County Clerk's Office. Found among Tony Lipke's papers.

13. Letter dated Aug. 29, 1926 to Elizabeth Lipke from the Davis Memorial Company regarding monument and inscription for John Lipke and Elizabeth M., his wife.

14. Certificate of Ownership by Mrs. John Lipke of the north half of Lot. No. 59 in Section I of Assumption Cemetery (not to exceed three graves) dated July 16, 1926 ( with notation on back by Brother Walter [Illegible]: "Returned 3 graves to Assumption Cemetery @ $25.00 total $75.00").

15. Last Will and Testament of Elizabeth M. Denka dated April 7, 1943 and attached codicil (undated).

16. Letter to Mrs. Elizabeth M. Denka from George L. Down, Attorney-at-Law, North Syracuse, dated Aug. 31st, 1944.

17. Unidentified obituary notice: "DENKA—In this city, May 25, 1954, ELIZABETH LIPKE DENKA..."

18. 1910 U.S. Census, T624, Roll 1054, New York. Onondaga Co., E.D. 43, Sheet 3B-4A.

19. 1920 U.S. Census, T625, Roll 1246, New York. Onondaga Co. E.D. 43, Sheet 2A, Line 4 (Elisabeth Lipke).

20. 1930 U.S. Census, T626, Roll 1625, New York. Onondaga Co. E.D. 34-2, Sheet 19A, Line 16 (Elizabeth M. Dinka).

21. Miscellaneous handwritten memos and notes, photo notations, etc. from family files.

Elisabeth Kraft's birthdate and place of 9 February 1875 at Sankt Albrecht, Prussia, comes from naturalization documents filed by her husband in the U.S.; this information has not yet been confirmed in German documents by me.

Some background on Germans in Poland:

When Poland was partitioned in 1772, Prussia acquired the land between Brandenburg/Pomerania and (East) Prussia. Frederick the Great began to develop the land by draining swamps, dredging rivers, and building canals as part of the rebuilding program for the kingdom after the conclusion of the Seven Years War with Austria. Many German laborers who had been induced to relocate there to work on the projects stayed in the area rather than returning to Brandenburg or Berlin. Additionally, Prussian subjects who had lost their homes during the war were encouraged to settle in West Prussia.

About four generations later (in Bismark's time), friction began building between the Catholic Church, which represented the Polish masses, and the Prussian State. The Poles also resented that the German language had to be taught in Polish schools. There was disagreement on almost everything. (See Prussian Poland in the German Empire (1871-1900) by Richard Blanke.)

In this hostile environment, many Germans decided there was no future there and they moved back to the west. Some decided to emigrate to the United States.

After World War I, Poland became an independent country again (after almost 150 years of partition) and was given the corridor to the Baltic. After World War II, Poland's border with Germany was moved further west. There was some slaughter of ethnic German civilians by both the Poles and the Russians. There was also a massive forced movement of Volksdeutche (ethnic German) inhabitants out of this area. (See A Terrible Revenge: The Ethnic Cleansing of the East European Germans, 1944-1950 by Alfred-Maurice de Zayas.) Today there are relatively few Germans east of the Oder river, and the former German names of the towns have been changed to Polish ones.

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