German Immigrant Ancestors
in Syracuse and Onondaga County, New York

Known descendants of
who immigrated with six of their children to Syracuse, New York,
arriving at Ellis Island 15 May 1906
(on the S.S. Zeeland which sailed from Antwerp on 5 May 1906),
from their last residence: “Gr. Lichtenow,” (East Prussia?), Germany

Anna and Fred Rexin

Mrs. Anna (Kraft) Rexin and Fred Rexin, Sr.
Photo taken in Syracuse, New York shortly before he died.

1. FRIEDRICH / FREDERICK (“FRED”) W. REXIN, born 17 February 1875 in Germany or Prussia (not yet determined where), worked as a “laborer” in Germany. After the family's arrival in Syracuse (where his wife's sister lived), Frederic first went to work at the New York Central Railroad as a laborer. Then he worked as a laborer for the Union Solar Coarse Salt Company on Clinton Street for a number of years, during which time the family lived in Company housing. He was “considered one of the best and most trustworthy men employed by the concern.” In 1907 he was arrested for burglary along with several other men on 30 November 1907 but maintained his innocence (and seemed to have been caught up in a dragnet and later acquitted). He later worked for the New York Central Railroad again for years as a freighthandler and “trucker” in the Syracuse freightyards. At one time he also worked as a gravedigger at Assumption Cemetery. Fred became chronically ill around 1920; he and his wife lost their life savings ($4,000) in January, 1928 to a “gypsy fortune-teller” who swindled them by promising her “magic” would help Fred regain his health. Fred seemed to retire around 1931. He died on 26 February 1957, at his home, age 82, survived by his wife, six daughters, three sons, 15 grandchildren, and 20 great-grandchildren. He was Catholic, a member of Assumption Church, and was buried in Assumption Cemetery, Syracuse. He and his wife lived on Syracuse’s German North Side (which was by then filling with Italians, too): at 948 N. Clinton Street (1910); 214 Sunset Avenue (bought their home 1913-1920); 213 John Street (1921; or was this a typo in the city directory?); 211 John Street (purchased May 1921; lived there until his death in 1957). Fred and Anna were married circa October 1897 in “Germany” and once in the U.S., never applied for American citizenship.

Anna Kraft Rexin

Mrs. Anna (Kraft) Rexin

Spouse: ANNA KRAFT (also known as Augusta?), was born 14 September 1878 in Germany (not yet determined where); wife of Friedrich Rexin, per Ellis Island immigration records. Daughter of Herman/Valentine/John [?] Kraft (the surname may have also been spelled Kreft or Krefft in Germany) and Anna Weis[?]. She was the younger sister of Elisabeth Kraft Lipke. Middle initial B (for Bertha?) or M (for Mary?). Catholic, member of Assumption Church, who sent her children to Assumption Catholic school (most of them only through the fourth grade). Anna was known for her sweet disposition. She gave birth to at least 12 children, including two sets of twins. It is believed that two of her daughters (both named Margaret?) died young; Anna also suffered a miscarriage in 1918. At one point she nursed five of her children through scarlet fever, with the house under quarantine for a month. In Syracuse Anna did laundry and worked as a “washerwoman” to help earn income. She lived in Syracuse for 52 years, including living with her daughter, Agnes Rexin Gary, at 111 Landon Avenue after Anna became a widow. Anna died, age 80, on 10 October 1958 at Memorial Hospital after a short illness. She was survived by two more great-grandchildren born since her husband died the previous year. She was buried next to Fred at Assumption Cemetery, Syracuse, NY. (See Fred and Anna's gravemarker.)

Fred and Anna’s children:

2. HELENE / HELEN MARY (“LENA”) REXIN, born 30 May 1897 in [Meringasburg?] “Germany;” immigrated at the age of 9 through Ellis Island with her parents and five siblings en route to Syracuse. Called “Lena” by her family as a child. A lot of the care of her siblings was placed on her shoulders. Helen had to drop out of Assumption's school at a young age in Syracuse and go to work for families doing housework, caring for their children, and also doing some cooking; she soon became a marvelous cook. She was married 27 June 1917 at Assumption Church in Syracuse, Rev. Hillary Hemmer officiating (witnesses were John Lipke--her uncle or her cousin? and Anna Rexin--her sister or her mother?). Early in her marriage she worked for Hilltop Laundry as a marker. In 1918 when Helen was pregnant with her first son, her mother, Anna, was also pregnant at the same time (but Anna had a miscarriage). Helen and her husband raised their family on Syracuse’s North Side at 1122 Butternut Street, where she remained until her death at the age of 90 at St. Joseph’s Hospital on 25 August 1987, following a short illness. Catholic, she was a communicant of Assumption Church and was an honorary member of the Ladies Auxiliary of the Syracuse Turners (Turn Verein). She was buried in Assumption Cemetery, and was survived by one of her three sons, 11 grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren who knew her as “Nonnie.”

spouse: MAURICE HENRY WEIGAND was born 1 April 1894 in Syracuse. He enlisted in the Army in 1916 and served in the 4th - l05th Ambulance Company in McAllen, Texas for nine months during the First World War, with the rank of Private First Class. He had to leave his new bride for several months to serve this tour of duty. He worked all of his life as a tool and dye maker and was employed by Greiner-Seamon Tool Company in Syracuse. He served as President of the Syracuse Turners and at the time of his death was an honorary member. Raised as a Methodist, he converted to Catholicism and was a communicant of Assumption Church. He died 13 May 1968, age 74 years, at St. Joseph’s Hospital after a short illness. His services were held at the John E. Casey Funeral Home with a mass at Assumption Church. He and his wife are buried together at Assumption Cemetery in Syracuse.

Wedding of Helen Rexin and Maurice Weigand, 1917

Wedding party of Helen Rexin and Maurice Weigand, 1917

Helen and Maurice’s three sons:

3. ROBERT LOUIS (“BOB”) WEIGAND, born 23 July 1918 in Syracuse, New York. He graduated as an honor student from Blodgett Vocational High School in June 1936. For the first year after graduation he worked for the Remington Typewriter Factory on Gifford Street in Syracuse, earning funds to attend college. He entered Syracuse University in 1941. While attending SU he was sometimes employed as “tong man” for the Halcomb Steel Company on State Fair Boulevard. Robert was employed as a mechanical engineer for nearly 20 years by General Electric Company in Liverpool, New York. Then he was transferred by GE to Lynchburg, Virginia in l958, along with his wife and their three sons. Robert suffered a heart attack and died at his home in Lynchburg on 4 August 1968. He was buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in that city.

spouse: MARY THERESA PITONIAK was born 14 July 1919 in Syracuse. She met Robert Weigand at Blodgett Vocational High School and their first date was at Loew's Theater on South Salina Street. They were married 15 June 1940 at St. Stephen's Church, Syracuse. Mary's first job after graduating from Blodgett at the age of 16 was at the Wiltshire Garment Company on West Genesee Street in Syracuse, where she was employed for three years. When that company went out of business Mary worked for several places including the Wayne Pump Company, the Superior Manufacturing Company, and the Singer Publishing Company. She was employed by Rudolph Jewelry Company on South Salina Street for a number of years. Following the death of her husband she remarried in Lynchburg, Virginia. Mary died 31 July 2004 in Lynchburg, Virginia at the age of 85.
Bob and Mary’s children:

ROBERT L. WEIGAND II, born 15 January 1943 in Syracuse; died 8 July 1978.

[two other sons still living]

3. MAURICE HENRY (“MOE”) WEIGAND, JR., born 27 March 1920 (in Syracuse?); grew up on the North Side; married 22 February 1941 in Assumption Church, Syracuse. Employed by Continental Can Company, he retired after 25 years, then worked for 12 years (1976-1988) in the maintenance department of St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center. He was a member of the Park Inn Social Club and the Knights of St. John’s, as well as a life member of the Syracuse Turners, where he was a past business manager and member of the board of directors. Catholic, he was a member of, and served as an usher at, Holy Trinity Church, Syracuse. He died, age 77, at his home at 121 Sweeting Street on 26 November 1997, survived by three sons, four daughters, nine grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. Buried at Assumption Cemetery.

spouse: ROSEMARY C. SCHAD, born 4 February 1920 in Syracuse; worked for 18 years at Continental Can Company; worked (1967-1982 or 1983) at City Hall as a finance clerk in the taxation department of the City of Syracuse; life member of the Ladies Auxiliary of the Syracuse Turners; Catholic; communicant of Holy Trinity Church. She died, age 79, at Crouse Hospital, Syracuse, on 25 October 1999. Burial was in Assumption Cemetery. She was survived by one additional great-grandchild.
Moe and Rosemary’s children:

[three sons and four daughters still living]

3. EDWARD JOHN WEIGAND was born 16 May 1921 in Syracuse. He was Plant Engineer for Continental Can Company for many years. They transferred him from Syracuse to Florida, Texas, Georgia, and Louisiana. Ed was instrumental in the development of the ring pull-tab on beer cans, the one made famous for fitting perfectly into parking meters. Shortly after his final transfer back to Tampa, Florida, Edward suffered a fatal heart attack on 3 March 1974. He died doing what he loved: fishing in Tampa Bay. He was buried at Myrtle Hill Memorial Cemetery in Tampa.

spouse: VIRGINIA MARY SHERMAN, born 8 July 1922 in East Syracuse, New York; married 27 June 1942 at St. Patrick's Church, Syracuse; died 8 June 1983 in Lutz, Florida.
Ed and Ginny’s children:

[one son and one daughter still living]

2. ANNA BERTHA REXIN was born 25 December 1898 in “Germany” and immigrated at the age of 7 through Ellis Island with her parents and five siblings en route to Syracuse. Possibly worked as a cook for the Scott family on Bellevue Avenue in Syracuse before she was married circa 1920 (if so, she was listed in the 1920 census twice, once as a cook and once at home with her family). After being married, she lived at 248 Hier Avenue (1930) and later at 544 Park Avenue, Syracuse, NY. Catholic. Died 6 March 1980, age 81. Burial at St. Mary’s Cemetery, DeWitt. Survived by 13 grandchildren; six great-grandchildren.

spouse: JOSEPH E. MURRAY, born circa 1898 in New York; died before his wife’s death. World War I veteran; chauffeur for a taxi company (1930 census).
Anna and Joseph’s children:

[three daughters and a son; still living?]

2. PAUL FREDERICK REXIN, born 24 March 1900 in “Germany;” immigrated at the age of 6 through Ellis Island with his parents and five siblings en route to Syracuse. Attended school in Syracuse, then worked as a laborer while boarding with his parents at 214 Sunset Avenue (1918-1920). Attended West Point Military Academy (Orange County, New York) as a private in the U.S. Army (1920 census). Claimed U.S. citizenship (1930 census), possibly gained while in the military. After that he lived with his parents at 211 John Street and worked as a “driver” and “freight handler” (possibly at the New York Central Railroad yards along with his father) (1922-1923). Married Monday afternoon, 15 January 1923, in Assumption Church, Syracuse and after a brief honeymoon, lived at 248 Hier Avenue (the corner of Kraus Street & Hier Avenue, 1923-1924). Other addresses in Syracuse included living with his in-laws at 300 Carbon Street (c. 1925-1926); 130 Grumbach Avenue (c. 1929-1934); 1600 Lodi Street (c. 1944-1948); and 360 South Midler Avenue (c.1957-1962). He worked at a variety of jobs after being married: “die maker” (1924); “molder” (1925-26); “grinder” in a typewriter factory (1930-1934), and his obituary states he was a maintenance worker at Merchants National Bank in Syracuse. Catholic; he was a communicant of Blessed Sacrament Church (James Street, Syracuse). Died 23 May 1962 in St. Joseph’s Hospital, Syracuse, age 62, survived by three grandchildren, and was buried in Assumption Cemetery.

spouse: ANGELINE (“ANGIE”) CARNO, daughter of Joseph and Louise C. Carno, born 27 April 1904 in Syracuse; worked as an assembler in a typewriter factory (1930 census) and then for Lemp Jewelers in Syracuse for more than 40 years. Died at age 90 on 25 July 1994 at Loretto Nursing Home, Syracuse, New York, survived by three grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. Buried in Assumption Cemetery, Syracuse.
Paul and Angie’s children:

3. JANE ELIZABETH REXIN, born 27 October 1923 in Syracuse, New York. Attended Assumption Academy in Syracuse. Worked at Onondaga Pottery Company (1944), Wells & Coverly, and the Addis Company. Catholic; communicant of St. Daniel’s Church, Court Street, Syracuse. Died 19 December 1986 at Community-General Hospital, Syracuse, age 63, survived by three grandchildren; buried at Woodlawn Cemetery, Syracuse. Married 5 July 1948 at Assumption Church, Syracuse.

spouse: [still living?; children: one son and two daughters, still living?]

3. PAUL F. REXIN [Jr.?], died as an infant, buried in Assumption Cemetery, Section K, Lot 10, grave 5A (was this Paul and Angie’s baby?)

2. FRIEDRICH / FREDERICK WILLIAM (“FRED”) REXIN, JR., born 2 March 1902 in [Meringasburg?], Prussia / “Germany;” immigrated at the age of 4 through Ellis Island with his parents and five siblings en route to Syracuse. Attended Assumption school in Syracuse, then worked as a “freight handler,” probably for the New York Central Railroad along with his father (1922-1926) while living at his parents’ home (211 John Street). Subsequent residences included 723 Pond (c. 1926), 803 Park (1927-1933), and 120 DeLong Avenue (1934-1954). Other occupations included “ironworker” (1925-1926); “laborer” (1927, 1929); shipping clerk for a (meat?) packing house (1930); and “meat smoker” (1932-1934), and his obituary described him as “a retired employe of the New York Central Railroad.” Claimed on the 1930 census to have applied for U.S. citizenship (he petitioned for citizenship on 15 November 1925, Intention No. 14146 and became a citizen of the U.S. on 7 April 193l, Certificate No. 3403979). He was a communicant of Assumption Church and a member of its Saint Boniface Society. He was also a member of Woodmen of the World. He died 12 May 1954 at Onondaga General Hospital in Syracuse, age 52, and was buried in Assumption Cemetery. He was married 19 August 1924 at Assumption Church at the age of 22 and he and his wife had no children.

spouse: MARY E. ARIA, daughter of Alphonse and Elizabeth Aria, was born November 1902 in Syracuse, New York. Active in church events, she was a communicant of the Church of the Assumption, a member of the Ladies Catholic Benevolent Association, and a member of the Auxiliary of the Knights of St. John. She was also a past member of the North Side’s O.G.W.T. Girls Club (1922) and The Busy Six Club (1926). At the time of the 1930 census she was employed as a wrapper in a cheese factory. Following Fred Rexin’s death she married again, to Calvin E. PARKER and lived in Mattydale. She died, age 72, on 2 January 1975 in Loretto Nursing Home, Syracuse, and was buried in Assumption Cemetery next to Fred. (See Fred and Mary's gravemarker.)

2. JOHANN / JOHN AUGUST (or JOHN JOSEPH?) REXIN, born 4 June 1904 in “Germany;” immigrated at the age of 2 years through Ellis Island with his parents and five siblings en route to Syracuse. Attended Assumption school in Syracuse, then lived at his parent’s home (211 John Street, 1922-1934) working variously as a “meat packer” (with brother Fred? 1924-1930), a laborer in a typewriter factory (with sister Gussie and brother Tony? 1930 census), and a “shoeworker” (1931-1932). In March 1957 he was living with his brother Tony and his sister Peggy and her family all at 245 Cortland Avenue, Syracuse. He died, age 56, on 27 August 1960 in St. Joseph’s hospital after a short illness. His obituaries gave his last address as 109 Delong Avenue and described him as an employee of the Killian Manufacturing Company. Catholic, he was a communicant of Assumption Church and was buried 30 August 1960 in Assumption Cemetery. No children? He married 12 June 1928 but was described as single on the 1930 census and never after that seemed to live with a wife.

spouse: FLORENCE ELIZABETH SIMPSON, daughter of Robert J. and Mary Simpson, was born circa 1908 in (Syracuse?) New York; was a close friend of the younger Rexin sisters by 1926; was issued a marriage license in Syracuse with John Rexin in June 1928 and though she was described in the 1929 and 1930 Syracuse city directories as “Mrs. Florence Rexin” (and was listed as living with her parents at their home address of 109 Lucia Street), she gave her maiden name to a newspaper reporter in January 1929. She was shown listed on the 1930 census as living with her parents (and without John), described as “Florence Rexin,” age 22 and married (and having married at the age of 20), and a laborer in an auto parts factory. But when her father died later that year, she was named as “Miss Florence Simpson” in his obituary. Divorced in 1930? Died when/where?

2. MARGARET REXIN. Family stories say she was a twin to John, born 4 June 1904, who died in Germany in 1905 before the family left for America.

2. ELIZABETH / AGUSTA / AUGUSTA VICTORIA (“GUSSIE”) REXIN, born 27 February 1906 in “Germany;” immigrated when only a couple of months old through Ellis Island with her parents and five siblings en route to Syracuse. On the 1930 census she was single, living at home with her parents, and working as an assembler at a typewriter factory (with her brothers John and Tony?). After that she married and by 1954 had moved to the New York City area, where she spent the rest of her life. In March 1957 she lived at 123 East 30th Street, New York, NY. She died August 1977 at the age of 71 in Queens, New York. Children?

spouse 1: HARRY HERBERT COSNER, born 1903, married Augusta Victoria Rexin on 5 March 1927, at Assumption Church in Syracuse. The priest was Rev. Dominic Kimmell and witnesses were John Rexin and Theresa Rexin, Gussie's brother and sister. Herbert died (before 1958?) (of tuberculosis?)

spouse 2: JOHN GALLERY, born ? married between 1957 and 1958? died? divorced?

2. ANTHONY BERNARD (“TONY”) REXIN, aka “KID DYKE” was, along with his twin sister THERESA, the first of the REXIN children born in America, on 22 July 1907 in Syracuse, and family stories say, one of the second set of twins born to Fred and Anna Rexin. He and his twin sister received their first public exposure in a sympathetic article in the Syracuse Herald the following December describing them as part of the tribe of innocent children surrounding their pathetic mother as she struggled with their father’s being unjustly accused of second-degree burglary. Not so sympathetic was the Herald’s blurb some years later describing 12-year-old Tony Rexin being detained by a police detective for stealing a gold watch from the unattended coat pocket of a New York Central Railroad engineer (August 15, 1919, page 6). The 1920 census seven months later listed him as an inmate at the boys’ reformatory known as the State Agricultural and Industrial School at Industry, near Rochester, Monroe County, New York. He was arrested again at the age of 16 in 1924, and would eventually be arrested 14 more times by May 1939, according to the Syracuse Herald, for charges including driving without a license (June 1931), intoxication (September 1934), and assault (May 1939). His notoriety as a subject for the police accompanied his rise and fall as a local celebrity (1929-1934) in the form of an amateur heavyweight boxer (170-175 pounds) featured in the fights staged at the Syracuse Alhambra (the “James Street hall of swat”) and the Arena (on South Salina Street), and known to fans as “Kid Dyke.” When he began fighting in supporting-bill four-rounders he was “Kid Dyke of Oswego,” but by early 1930 he was “Kid Dyke,” popular North Sider German “K.O. artist” (and was living at home with his parents at 211 John Street, with a day job as an assembler in a typewriter factory). At the peak of his boxing career (1930-1933), he was one of the top amateur heavyweight boxers in Central New York, and a favored big draw for local fight fans who filled the halls by the thousands. But by 1935 his career was effectively over, and then followed several unhappy years. In May 1939 he was living at 415 Howard Street. He enlisted as a private in the Army during World War II and served in North Africa; a Syracuse sports columnist, Jack Durkin, wrote a nice piece about his exhibition boxing fights there (“Remember Kid Dyke?” Herald-Journal, June 4, 1943, page 27). In 1957 he was back in Syracuse, living at 245 Cortland Street with his brother John and his sister Peggy and her family. He died at age 62, the last remaining Rexin son, on 15 December 1969 (living at 111 Landon Avenue—with his sister Peggy’s family?), and following Catholic services at Holy Trinity Church, was buried in Assumption Cemetery, Syracuse.

2. THERESA V. REXIN was born 22 July 1907 in Syracuse, New York, the twin sister of TONY REXIN. She and twin Tony attended Assumption school. She married at the age of 21 on 22 August 1928 and according to the 1930 census was living with her husband at 100 Pond Lane and working in the office of the typewriter factory that seemed to also employ her brothers Tony and John and her sister Gussie. By 1933 the couple had moved back to Theresa’s parents’ home at 211 John Street and were living there when their sons were born. By 1957 they had moved to 302 Newcastle Road, Geddes. She died in the James Square Nursing Home, Syracuse, age 86, on 15 January 1994, survived by 8 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. Catholic, she was a communicant of St. Charles Borromeo Church, Geddes and was buried in St. Mary’s Cemetery, DeWitt, New York (all in the Syracuse area, Onondaga County).

spouse: JOHN L. BUTLER, born 15 May 1900 in Syracuse. Worked as an automobile mechanic in a garage (1930 census), as a taxi driver (c. 1937) and delivered packages for Bossong Commercial Delivery (c. 1958). Catholic, he was a communicant of Holy Family Church. He died 17 January 1958, age 57, in Syracuse, New York and was buried in St. Mary’s Cemetery, DeWitt.
Theresa and John’s children: [two sons, still living?]

2. MARGARET R. REXIN, born December 1909 in (Syracuse?), New York; she appeared only on the April, 1910 census with the family (when she was the youngest child, age 5 months), and then does not appear on any subsequent census with the family, nor is mentioned in any obituaries, etc. of her siblings or parents. Died as a child, before 1920? Or even died before her younger sister Agnes Margaret was born in 1912?

2. ROSE GERTRUDE REXIN, born on Christmas Day, 25 December 1910, in Syracuse, lived with her parents until the age of 21, and in the years 1930-1931 worked as a “packer” (perhaps a meat packer where her brother, Frederick, worked). She was married 26 December 1931 in Syracuse and moved to Toledo, Ohio with her husband. She was back in Syracuse (1206 Butternut Street) in March, 1940, and in January 1952 was living at 245 Cortland Avenue in Syracuse (were any of her siblings living at that address then too, as they would five years later?). By March 1957 she had returned to living in Chicago (3645 South Paulina Street). She died, age 65, at Christ Hospital, Chicago, Illinois on 7 April 1976, survived by 12 grandchildren and one great-grandchild, and was buried in Resurrection Cemetery (Lot 2, Section 3) in Chicago.

spouse: ERNEST ALTON (“ERNIE”) WOOD, JR., son of Mr. and Mrs. Ernest A. Wood, Sr., natives of Tupper Lake, New York, was born 8 October 1906 in Glen Falls, New York and was living at 321 North Clinton Street, Syracuse, New York when he took out a marriage license with Rose. He died after Rose.
Rose and Ernie’s three children:

[one daughter, two sons; still living?]

2. AGNES MARGARET (“PEGGY,” “PEG”) REXIN, was born 16 July 1912 in Syracuse, New York (per obituary, SSDI, 1920 and 1930 censuses). She lived at home with her parents (1932-1934) and worked as a laundress before she was married on 3 July 1937 in Syracuse. Was living (“Mrs. John Gary”) at 245 Cortland Avenue, Syracuse, with her brothers, John and Tony, in March 1957. Then she and her husband lived at 111 Landon Avenue, Syracuse between the years 1974-1995 (the same address where her brother Tony was living when he died in 1969). From 1995 to 1998 she lived with her daughter in Milford, Massachusetts following the death of her husband. Peggy Rexin Gary died, age 86, at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center in Worcester, Massachusetts on 3 December 1998 and was buried in Assumption Cemetery, Syracuse. She left three grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Catholic, she was a former communicant of St. Anthony of Padua Church, Syracuse, and a communicant of St. Mary of the Assumption Church, Milford, Massachusetts, at the time of her death.

spouse: JOHN E. GARY, born 30 April 1908 in Syracuse, New York. Catholic, he was a member of St. Anthony of Padua Church on Midland Avenue, Syracuse, and worked at the Keebler Biscuit Company. He died 30 April 1995, on his 87th birthday, at St. Joseph’s Hospital, Syracuse.
Peggy and John’s children:

[one daughter, one son; still living?]

Updated by M. Stone 24 July 2009.

Reference Notes

Rexin introductory page