Westfall & Related Families: Cattaraugus County, New York

This page highlights family tree information on my children's ancestry of Westfall and related families as part of the Wisteria genealogy blog. Surnames include Lempke, Pfeffer, Ploetz & Westfall in the areas of Western New York and Germany. Contact me at daylight398 (at) gmail (dot) com for references.


WESTFALLS OF CATTARAUGUS COUNTY, NEW YORK
The earliest known ancestor of this Westfall family was Lewis Westfall.  Lewis was born about 1843 in Mecklenberg, Germany. 
A card index to the naturalization records of Erie County in the city of Buffalo listed only one “Louis Westpfahl.” This and a copy of the declaration indicated that Louis, late of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, declared his intention to become a citizen of the U.S. on 21 June 1871 and renounced allegiance to the Emperor of Germany. Charles Dahlheim and Christian Schroeder made oath that Louis had resided in the U.S. for five years [indicating that he had been in the country since at least 1866] and resided within the state where the court was held for one year or more. Louis swore to support the constitution on 3 October 1874. The dates correspond to what is known of our ancestor, Lewis Westfall, as he was known to be in New York as early as 1866 when he lived in West Seneca, Erie County, New York.  That year he bought property in the town of Ashford in Cattaraugus County, New York.  Family tradition says the family lived on Dutch Hill Road between Ashford Hollow and Springville.
John & Louisa Lemke
Lewis married Sophia Lemke sometime before 1865 probably in Erie County.  Sophia, daughter of John and Louisa Lemke, was also born in Mecklenberg, Germany about 1848-50.  Her father lived in Ashford, too, as well as Sophia's sister Mary with her husband William Cobo.  William Cobo had a brother Christen who moved to the area also. This known relationship helps to establishe that the John Lemkek listed in the card index to the naturalization records of Erie County was the same person as Sophia’s father, John Lemke. The naturalization records indicate that John made his declaration on 16 October 1856 and was issued a certificate of naturalization on 25 February 1860. John Lemck was a witness to William Kobo/Cobo’s declaration of intent dated 26 March 1855. John Lemkek was also a witness to the naturalization certificate of Frederick Heidel, who made his declaration on 29 October 1856. This certificate was listed right after John’s and dated the same day.  They renounced allegiance to the Grand Duke of Mecklenburg. Frederick Heidel was the son of Johan Wilhelm Jacob Heidel and his wife Magdalena Helena Lemke. Lena Lemke Heidel was likely a sister of John Lemke. The Heidels also resided in the town of Ashford.
An 1869 map of the town of Ashford shows the home of L. Weistfall.  About one mile up the road was his father-in-law, John Lempke, shown on the map as J. Lamek.  Neighbors of John included William and Christen Cobo.  The Lutheran church was also close by.  Ashford was called "Dutch Hollow" because of the German settlers.
It was there that Lewis and his family was enumerated during the taking of the federal census the next year in 1870.  Lewis was listed as a twenty-five year old farmer with real estate valued at one thousand dollars and personal property valued at just over six hundred dollars.  His wife Sophia was twenty-two and they had two children, Frank age four and Elen age one.  Both children were born in New York.
Five years later when the 1875 state census was taken, the family had moved and was farming in the town of East Otto.  They were living in a brick home valued at eight hundred dollars.  In addition to Frank and Lena (then listed as age seven and six), there was two other daughters, Louisa, age four and Gusta age two.  A son John was born that year, but died shortly after birth. Another son was born the following year.  Then they lost two children in the fall of 1877. 
During the 1880 federal census, the family was listed in the town of Otto.  They had four children:  Louise age eight, Augusta six, Allen five and Herman one year old.

Sophia Lemke Westfall

Three more sons were born by 1885 and in the spring of 1887 another son was born.  By October of that year the infant died.  The next month Lewis himself died on the twenty-fifth of November. He was buried in the East Hill Cemetery in the town of Otto.  Family tradition mentions typhoid fever as the cause of his death.  A grandson, Martin Westfall, stated that he was told that Lewis had a farm near “Double Bridges“ in Otto and had to cross the creek back and forth with the horses and that’s how he died.

It appears that Sophia moved back to Ashford closer to her parents and continued to raise the children on her own.  The oldest two daughters soon married and started families of their own.  In 1895, eight years after Lewis' death, Sophia became sick and died on May 20th of that year.  The youngest two, Martin and Albert, were appointed a guardian by the County Surrogate Court.  According to the guardianship papers, they stayed with their sister Augusta in Ellicottville.  Martin's son stated that they stayed with their maternal grandparents in Ashford as well; although the grandparents both died in 1899.
Issue:

        i.      Gorling Westfall, born 20 October 1863; died 25 October 1877, buried East Hill Cemetery, Otto, Cattaraugus County, New York.  Although this child is listed as such on the family tombstone in Otto, s/he was not listed in the 1870 federal or 1875 state census records with the family.  Was this in fact their daughter Lena?

        ii.     Frank Westfall, born 6 April 1865 Cattaraugus County, New York; died 20 November 1877, buried East Hill Cemetery, Otto, Cattaraugus County, New York.
        iii.    Lena (Elena) Westfall, born about 1869 Cattaraugus County, New York; died before 1880?
        iv.   Louisa C. Westfall, born about 1871/1872 Otto, Cattaraugus County, New York; married Henry F. Heitman 24 December 1888; died 29 December 1939, Dunkirk, Chautauqua County, New York.

        v.    Augusta Maria Sophia Westfall, born 8 July 1873 Otto, Cattaraugus County, New York; married Carl Ploetz 1 January 1889 Ashford, Cattaraugus County, New York; died 11 November 1947 Salamanca, Cattaraugus County, New York; buried in Maplewood Cemetery, Springville, Erie County, New York.
        vi.   John Westfall, born 1 April 1875 Cattaraugus County, New York; died 6 April 1875, buried East Hill Cemetery, Otto, Cattaraugus County, New York.

        vii.  Allen Carl Westfall, born 8 May 1876 in New York; married Fredericka C. Schultz 19 December 1896; died 10 October 1949 Springville, Erie County, New York; buried in Maplewood Cemetery, Springville, Erie County, New York.
        viii. Herman J. Westfall, born 1 October 1877 in Waverly, Cattaraugus County, New York; married Margaret Pfeffer; died 27 May 1927 Concord Twp., Erie County, New York; buried in Maplewood Cemetery, Springville, Erie County, New York.

        ix.   Lewis J. Westfall, born 20 Jan 1881; married Catherine E. ---; died 4 July 1941, buried Maplewood Cemetery, Springville, Erie County, New York.

        x.    Martin John Westfall, born 1 June 1883; married first Elizabeth Draves, second Freada Glow 8 November 1923 Springville, Erie County, New York; died 9 April 1961 East Otto, Cattaraugus County, New York; buried in East Otto Cemetery, East Otto, Cattaraugus County, New York.

        xi.   Albert J. Westfall, born 13 August 1885 Otto, Cattaraugus County, New York; died 4 October 1906, buried Maplewood Cemetery, Springville, Erie County, New York.
                xii.          Theodore Westfall, born 27 April 1887; died 1 October 1887, buried East Hill Cemetery, Otto, Cattaraugus County, New York.

(Original Images and Text, Copyright (c) 2011 Dawn Westfall)