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German Immigrant Ancestors
in Syracuse and Onondaga County, New York

Surnames - O

Sender: Ethel Stanton
Email: stanton@gte.net
Date: 4 June 2005

I located the businesses of two of my direct ancestors in Syracuse in your pages from the directories of the New Atlas of Onondaga County, NY (1874) produced by Mr. Sweet:

First: Ostrander, Loomis & Co., 28 and 30 James St. ...Welton Benz (Bens) Ostrander was my great-grandfather. His daughter was Lucy Loomis Ostrander. I had many stories but only knew that the company dealt with tea, coffee and spices.

Welton's father died at age 30 and his mother remarried, Chauncy Chester Loomis. I heard that there was some insurance money which allowed them to start a country store on the Erie Canal. Welton was only about 5 years old at the time, but learned the business as he grew up and eventually became a partner. They began the coffee, tea and spice business when he was old enough to help run the business. They built it up to include horses and wagons for deliveries, teasels for the carding of wool, peach and apple orchards, willow trees to use for making baskets for the fruit, as well as a large warehouse for their products. He also had an interest in the Quaker Yeast Co. They had a coffee roasting plant as well.

They did very well and were considered moderately rich. However, in the 1880's when Welton Bens Ostrander was in his 40's, he thought he had either tuberculosis or tea poisoning from his business, so he changed his plans. He sold the business to Col. O. V. Tracy and began a project for a ranch in Texas....

One time, an order was received from Syracuse, NY for 20 horses. Somehow the order was read as twenty carloads of horses. About 200 horses arrived in Syracuse and had to be herded through the streets to a corral. Apparently they were not trained horses and went quite wild after riding the train and arriving in a strange and noisy city....

Second: M. J. Myers, Cashier, State Bank of Syracuse, No.3 basement, Onondaga County Savings Bank building. My grandmother, Lucy Loomis Ostrander, married Matthew Jervis Myers, the son of this M.J. Myers. This M.J. Myers was Matthew Joseph Myers. (One story is that he and his wife took the train to the South early in the Civil War. The Bank had a branch down there and they withdrew their capital of GOLD and brought it back to Syracuse in little pockets attached to her hoop skirt. If this is true it must have been a great adventure.) This Matthew Joseph Myers was also connected to the first telephone company in Syracuse. His son, Matthew Jervis Myers, invented a patented "Break Finder" for the telephone lines. Welton Benz Ostrander hired him to come to Texas to his huge ranch project in order to find the breaks in their wire fences. Lucy Loomis Ostrander met him there (the story goes) and they were later married in Syracuse.

I would like to share information with anyone else researching or connected to these families.

Sender: Daniel Smothergill
Email: dsmothe1@twcny.rr.com
Date: 24 August 2002

The family of Friedrich HUMBERT and Eva Maria LUX came to Syracuse around 1850. Both were from Hatten, Bas Rhin, Alsace. Friedrich himself does not appear to have come to America. He died in Alsace in 1841. But his wife Eva did come. A family Bible says she died in Syracuse in 1851, shortly after arriving.

We know that five of the Humberts' children lived in Syracuse. Friedrich Humbert, the eldest, was born in 1824 in Hatten and died on 9 Jul 1895 at 707 University Avenue, Syracuse. Syracuse City Directories from 1862 - 1868 list him as a cabinet maker with a shop at 64 N. Salina St. His home was at 108 Butternut. According to a newspaper clipping at the Onondaga Historical Association, Frederick Humbert and his wife Mary bought the house in 1853. Buying the house was connected in some way to the German Community of Emmigrants Friends Society. Friedrich first belonged to St. John's Lutheran Church and later joined Park Central downtown. His wife, Maria Elizabeth Bormann, was born in 1832 in Hanover (Prussia) and died 13 Jul 1909 in Syracuse. They were married 22 January 1852 at St. John's Lutheran Church in Syracuse. Between 1852 and 1873 they had 9 children, some of whom resided in Syracuse all their lives.

A second child of Friedrich and Eva Maria Humbert in Syracuse was Salome Humbert. She married Phillip OSSWALD at St. John's Lutheran on 25 Jan 1852. He was from Hessen, Darmstadt. Salome died in Syracuse on 27 Feb 1868.

A third child, Dorothea Humbert, married Phillip SCHILLY at St. John's Lutheran on 8 Jan 1854. She died 3 Oct 1899.

A fourth child, Magdalena Humbert, married Wilhelm Friedrich SCHWILK on 29 Apr 1856 in Syracuse. She was born in Hatten in 1835 and died in Schenctady, NY on 23 Feb 1907. Schwilk was Pastor of the 3rd Evangelical Protestant Dutch Church in Schenectady at the time they married and later formed his own church known as the Temple Gemeinde. He died in Schenectady on 30 Dec 1906.

A fifth child, Maria Eva Humbert, also in Syracuse married a man named GEMMER.

A footnote to this story has to do with my wife Nancy Laubengayer Smothergill. Nancy is the great granddaughter of Magdelena Humbert and Reverend Wilhelm Schwilk. Although Nancy was born and raised in Ithaca, NY, not far from Syracuse, and we actually have lived in Syracuse since 1967, she knew nothing about the Humberts of Syracuse until just a few years ago.

Sender: Eric Schultz
Email: eric.schultz@iname.com
Date: 21 August 2001
Surname: OBRIST

Descendants of Gottfried Sammuel Obrist

Generation No. 1

1. GOTTFRIED SAMMUEL2 OBRIST (UNKNOWN1) was born 06 July 1841 in Baden,
Aargau, Switzerland, and died 08 November 1911 in Syracuse, Onondaga CO, NY.
He married ANNA MARIA KRAHENBIEL January 1871 in Bern, Switzerland, daughter
of CHRISTIAN KRAHENBUHL and ANNA FIECHTER. She was born 16 October 1854 in
Bern, Switzerland, and died 20 November 1911 in Syracuse, Onondaga CO, NY.

2. i. EMMA3 OBRIST, b. 16 April 1873, Bern, Switzerland; d. Aft. 01 June
ii. GOTTFRIED SAMUEL OBRIST, b. 1875, Switzerland; d. About 1875,
3. iii. GOTTFRIED SAMUEL OBRIST, b. 17 March 1876, Bern, Switzerland; d. 19
June 1956, Syracuse, Onondaga CO, NY.
4. iv. BERTHA MAY OBRIST, b. 06 May 1878, Bern, Switzerland; d. 14 July
1941, Syracuse, Onondaga CO, NY.
v. MARY OBRIST, b. June 1880, Switzerland; d. 23 June 1881, Syracuse,
Onondaga CO, NY.
vi. MARY ANNA OBRIST, b. 16 March 1882, Syracuse, Onondaga CO, NY; d. 01
July 1951; m. EDWIN BEERS HUNGERFORD, 30 January 1906, Syracuse, Onondaga
CO, NY; d. 18 July 1942, Pleasant Lake.
vii. HERMAN OBRIST, b. 1883, Syracuse, Onondaga CO, NY; d. 16 November
1883, Syracuse, Onondaga CO, NY.
viii. HERMAN OBRIST, b. About 1884, Syracuse, Onondaga CO, NY; d. 30
January 1885, Syracuse, Ondondaga CO, NY.
5. ix. CHARLES OBRIST, b. 06 January 1886, Syracuse, Onondaga CO, NY; d. 28
January 1937, Syracuse, Onondaga CO, NY.
6. x. HERMAN OBRIST, b. 29 May 1888, Syracuse, Onondaga CO, NY; d. 15 June
xi. CLARA OBRIST, b. October 1889, Syracuse, Onondaga CO, NY; d. 07 April
1890, Syracuse, Onondaga CO, NY.
7. xii. CLARA OBRIST, b. 14 May 1891, Syracuse, Onondaga CO, NY; d.
September 1975.
xiii. EDWARD OBRIST, b. 19 August 1895, Syracuse, Onondaga CO, NY; d. 28
October 1903, Syracuse, Onondaga CO, NY.