Johann Jacob Geiser and Elisabeth Ryf arrived in New York City from Switzerland in the late 1860’s after the US Civil War. We know this because the family is first recorded in the 1870 US Census for the Town of Hempstead, Queens, New York. The family included a son and three daughters as shown below. The Census incorrectly spelled the family name as “Keiser” and their origin as “Prussia”. The family consisted of Jacob (47) a farm laborer, wife Elisabeth (44), their son Jacob (22) also a laborer and three daughters named Elizabeth (19), Mary (17) and Alice (9). Also living with the family was Herman Stringer (23) a farm laborer, his wife Martha (19) and their son William (1). Elisabeth Ryf is one of three branches of the family of Johann Jakob Ryf and Anna Maria Simon of Bannwil, Oberaargau, Bern, Switzerland that immigrated to the Fosters Meadow area in the late 19th Century. In addition to Elisabeth, her sister Anna Maria Ryf’s son Johann (John) Ryf and her brother Caspar Ryf with wife Maria Pfister and their children also settled in the Fosters Meadow area. Caspar Ryf and family arrived in New York City in 1889 about 20 years after his sister Elisabeth and nephew Johann. A fourth sibling, a sister named Maria Elisabeth Ryf who was born in 1848, also immigrated to the US but the details of her immigration and whereabouts are not presently known. Johann Jacob Geiser’s parents were Samuel Geiser and Elisabeth Lehmann.
Johann Jacob GEISER was a farm laborer when he first arrived on Long Island and later a farmer in Fosters Meadow. In 1872 he was
a communicant at St. Paul’s Church, today known as the Presbyterian Church of Elmont. He became a US citizen in 1876 in the County Court in Queens, New York witnessed by Christian Weymar of
Jamaica. In Sep 1868, before leaving Switzerland, he was a witness at the baptism of his nephew Gottfried “Fred” Ryf, son of Caspar Ryf and Maria Pfister. He died of pneumonia in 1891 at the age
of 67 and was buried 16 Apr 1891 in Plot 9 in the St. Paul’s Church Cemetery.
b: 22 Oct 1823, Walliswil bei Niederbipp, Oberaargau, Bern, Switzerland
d: 14 Apr 1891, Elmont, Queens, New York, United States
Elisabeth RYF was baptized 29 Oct 1826 in the Evangelisch-Reformierte Kirche Aarwangen, Switzerland. She was a witness at the baptism of her nephew Johann Ryf in 1853 in Aarwangen. Johann Ryf likely immigrated to New York City with the family of Johann Jacob Geiser and Elisabeth Ryf in the late 1860’s. In 1872 Elisabeth was a communicant at St. Paul’s Church. In 1876 she was a witness at the marriage of her nephew Johann Ryf and Johanna Henrietta Wilhelmina Raberding at St. Paul’s Church. In 1877 Elisabeth was a witness at the marriage of her daughter Mary Ann and Richard Frederick William Zeller at St. Paul’s Church. Elisabeth died in 1904 at the age of 77 and was buried 11 Feb 1904 in Plot 9 with her husband in St. Paul’s Cemetery.
b: 20 Oct 1826, Bannwil, Oberaargau, Bern, Switzerland
m: 27 Aug 1847, Niederbipp, Oberaargau, Bern, Switzerland
d: 8 Feb 1904, Town of Hempstead, Nassau, New York
1. Charles Jacob GEISER was baptized 5 Oct 1873 in St. Paul’s
Church. Witnesses were Charles Hofmann
and Mina Raberding. In 1876 Mina Raberding became the wife of Johann Ryf who was first cousin of Charles’
father Johann Jacob Geiser. Charles Jacob Geiser was buried in Mount Hope Cemetery in Sargent, Nebraska.
b: 15 May 1873, Fosters Meadow, Queens, New York
d: 17 Apr 1951, Sargent, Custer, Nebraska
m: 15 May 1901, Taylor, Loup, Nebraska
2. John George GEISER died of cholera infantum (also called summer complaint) and was buried 11 Aug 1875
in St. Paul’s Church Cemetery.
b: 31 Oct 1874, Fosters Meadow, Queens, New York
d: 9 Aug 1875, Fosters Meadow, Queens, New York
3. Charlotte Agnes GEISER
b: 17 Jul 1876, N. Creston, Ringgold, Iowa
d: 24 Mar 1947, Emmett, Gem, Idaho
4. George Andrew GEISER
b: 12 Jan 1878, N. Creston, Ringgold, Iowa
d: 16 Jun 1955, Norfolk, Madison, Nebraska
5. Mary Elizabeth GEISER
b: 28 Mar 1879, N. Creston, Ringgold, Iowa
d: 11 Dec 1899, Custer, Nebraska
6. Ella B. GEISER
b: 14 Aug 1880, N. Creston, Ringgold, Iowa
d: 2 Jan 1966, Cheyenne, Nebraska
7. Wilbur GEISER
b: 21 Mar 1882, Sargent, Custer, Nebraska
d: 20 Aug 1955, Custer, Nebraska
8. Raymond GEISER
b: 28 Aug 1884, N. Creston, Ringgold, Iowa
d: 3 Nov 1953, Broken Bow, Custer, Nebraska
9. Alma Alberta May GEISER
b: 7 Aug 1888, Sargent, Custer, Nebraska
d: 11 Mar 1974, Lafayette, Contra Costa, California
10. Jessie GEISER
b: 10 Sep 1890, Sargent, Custer, Nebraska
d: 16 Mar 1968, Orange, Orange, California
2. Elisabeth "Lizzie" GEISER was the second born child of Jacob and Elisabeth. In 1872 she was a communicant at St. Paul’s
Church. She was married twice and was buried 23 May 1937 in Plot 9 in St. Paul’s Cemetery in Elmont with both first and second husbands.
b: 19 Jul 1851, Bern, Switzerland
d: 20 May 1937, 201-20 118th Ave., St. Albans, Queens, New York
1st Marriage: Moritz "Murie" GRAF was the first husband of Elisabeth “Lizzie” Geiser. They had two children. Moritz was buried 23 Aug 1881 in Plot 9 in St. Paul’s Cemetery with his infant daughter Eliza Marie.
b: 25 Mar 1846, New York City, New York, New York
m: 22 Mar 1877, St. Paul's Church
d: 21 Aug 1881, Elmont, Queens, New York
1st Marriage children:
John William Friedrich VOGEL was baptized 20 Oct 1872 in St. Paul’s Church. Witnesses at his baptism were John W.H. and Katherina Wicks. His parents were Daniel Vogel from Kurhessen, Germany and Margaretha Lindner from Bavaria, Germany living in Munson, Long Island at the time of his birth. Witnesses at marriage were Charles E. Mirschel and Anna Johanna Karkheck. The tiny village of Munson was previously called Washington Square and was centered around the corner of the Hempstead-Jamaica Plank Road (Hempstead Turnpike) and John St. (Nassau Blvd). Munson was named for Harry Munson, a successful businessman and Civil War hero. Munson was later absorbed by the village of Franklin Square. The Munson name is still remembered today by the Franklin Square and Munson Fire Department.
b: 8 Sep 1872, Munson, Long Island, New York
m: 22 Jan 1905, St. Paul’s Church
d: 1932, Nassau, New York
2nd Marriage: Carl Rudolf Albert HOHENSTERN was a German immigrant and the second husband of Elisabeth Geiser. He was born in Pomerania, Prussia in 1860 the son of August Hohenstern, a free agricultural worker in Kalkofen, and Luisa Kakow. He was baptized in the parish of Lebbin 18 Jun 1860 and was confirmed there in 1874. He arrived in New York City 30 Oct 1883 from Stengow, Pomerania, Prussia via Hamburg, Germany aboard the ship “Australia” that sailed from Hamburg, Germany on 11 Oct 1883. He was a farmer in Queens, New York. In 1887 he was a communicant in St. Paul’s Church. He was a witness and namesake at the 7 Aug 1892 baptism of Leonard Albert Ryf. The baptism was at St. Paul’s Church. Carl Rudolf Albert Hohenstern was buried Jun 1933 in Plot 9 in St. Paul’s Cemetery. A beautiful stained glass window was installed in the St. Paul’s Church in memory of the “Hohenstein” family.
b: 3 Jun 1860, Lebbin, Pommern (Pomerania), Preussen (Prussia).
m: 3 Jul 1887, St. Paul's Church
d: 12 Jun 1933, 201-20 118th Ave., St. Albans, Queens, New York
2nd Marriage children:
b: 5 Oct 1895, Kings, New York
m: 14 Dec 1924, Queens, New York
d: 9 Nov 1980, Saint Petersburg, Pinellas, Florida
d: 1980, Walden, Orange, New York
Gustave Ludwig PFALZER was baptized 12 Feb 1888 in St. Paul’s Church. His parents were Gustav Pfalzer and Emma Mark of Hollis, Queens. In 1920 he was an automobile mechanic in Brooklyn.
b: 31 Dec 1887, Hollis, Queens, New York
m: 9 Jun 1912, Queens, New York
d: 30 Jul 1963, Allard Corners, Orange, New York
d: 31 Mar 1958, East Rockaway, Nassau, New York
Marie Hazel SELIGMAN was buried in Saint John of Jerusalem Cemetery in Wantagh, New York. Her
parents were Benjamin and Katie Seligman of the Town of Hempstead.
b: 13 Oct 1906, Town of Hempstead, Nassau, New York
m: 3 Feb 1924, St. Paul’s Church
d: 21 Oct 1985, Massapequa, Nassau, New York
3. Mary Ann GEISER was the third born child of Johann Jacob and Elisabeth Geiser. In 1872 she was a communicant at St. Paul’s Church. Mary Ann was married twice. Witnesses at her and Richard Zeller’s wedding were George Zeller of New York City and Elisabeth Geiser, her mother.
b: May 1854, Bern, Switzerland
d: 15 Nov 1926, New York
Marriage: Richard Frederick William ZELLER arrived in New York City 1 Apr 1872 from Germany aboard the ship “Baltic” via Liverpool, England and
Queenstown, Ireland. In 1877 he was married in St. Paul’s Church. Witnesses at the wedding were George Zeller of New York City and Elisabeth Geiser of Fosters Meadow, the bride’s mother. His
parents were George and Caroline Zeller. On 14 Oct 1882 he was naturalized in the Superior Court of New York witnessed by J. Wm. Burckard of Jersey City. In 1882 he was a porter in New York City
and in 1900 he was a sexton. In 1892 he was a witness at the naturalization of John Ryf, his wife’s cousin and son of Caspar Ryf, his wife’s uncle. Richard died of bronco-pneumonia from influenza
(likely the “Spanish Flu”) and was buried 3 Feb 1919 in Mount Olivet Cemetery in Maspeth, Queens, New York.
b: 12 May 1854, Oldenburg, Prussia
m: 22 Mar 1877, St. Paul’s Church
d: 31 Jan 1919, Brooklyn, Kings, New York
1st Marriage children:
1. George F. ZELLER was buried in 1897 in St. Paul’s Cemetery.
b: abt May 1896, New York
d: 1 May 1897, New York
2nd Marriage: John SIDLER
b: abt 1860, Bern, Switzerland
4. Louisa Alice GEISER was the fourth born child of Jacob and Elisabeth Geiser. She was admitted to St. Paul’s
Church on 26 Mar 1875 and was confirmed on 28 Mar 1875. On 25 Dec 1881 she was a witness at the baptism of George Ryf, son of her cousin Johann (John) Ryf and his wife Johanna Henrietta
Wilhelmina Raberding at St. Paul’s Church. The baby died in infancy, date unknown.
b: 12 Jan 1862, Bern, Switzerland
d: 6 Apr 1921, Greenville, Orange, New York
George KAS (CASE) Sr. was a communicant in St. Paul’s Church in 1879. On 25 Dec 1881 he was a witness at the baptism of George Ryf, son of his wife’s cousin Johann (John) Ryf and his wife Johanna Henrietta Wilhelmina Raberding. He was a barber in the Town of Hempstead in 1900. In Jun 1941 he was buried in Greenfield Cemetery, Uniondale, Nassau, New York.
b: 25 Feb 1857, New York
m: 26 May 1884, Manhattan, New York, New York
d: 23 Jun 1941, Kings, New York
b: 9 Aug 1887, Queens, New York
m: 20 Mar 1907, St. Paul’s Church
d: 26 Jan 1966, Massapequa, Nassau, New York
b: 10 May 1887, Fosters Meadow, Queens, New York
d: 28 Dec 1952. Queens, New York
Margaret RUECKHER was the daughter of John and Lena Rueckher, German immigrants. John was a truck driver in Brooklyn in 1910. Margaret was buried with her husband in Long Island National Cemetery in East Farmingdale, Suffolk, New York.
b: 11 Aug 1897, Kings, New York
m: 21 Jun 1917, Kings, New York
d: 6 Mar 1998, San Antonio, Bexar, Texas
Grace E. CORNELL was the daughter of George Lewis Cornell and Sarah Elizabeth Golder of Queens, New York and sister of Lillian May Cornell. She was buried with her husband in Greenfield Cemetery in Uniondale, Nassau, New York.
b: 2 Oct 1893, Queens, New York
m: 17 Nov 1919, Queens, New York
d: 1989, Queens, New York
Prepared by Gerd Hemminger for Judith Jack Hemminger