When our ancestors, Peter and Anna Maria Zehler, arrived in America, they were greeted by family and friends who had preceded them. In addition to their older children, the family of Peter's second cousin had already settled in Sheldon and awaited their coming. This section presents the family of Peter Zöhler and Anna Becker and how they are related to our ancestor.
Please note that, for the family of Peter Zöhler and Anna Becker, we have consistently used surname Zehler. This is the spelling used by the early generation of the family in America, though they certainly knew the original German spelling. In later generations, the surname Zahler is often found in some branches of the family. However, this spelling can also be a mistake by a census taker or newspaper reporter. Because of our limited experience with this family, we have chosen to use Zehler throughout. Our apology to anyone whose ancestor's surname is incorrect.
Zöhler Family House
Selbach, Saarland, Germany
Peter Zöhler was born on August 20, 1806126, at Sebach, the son of Johann Martin Zöhler and Catherine Petri. At the time of his birth, Selbach was ruled by the French, as a village in the Saare Provence. It lies about six kilometers east of Mettnich. Peter's grandfather had moved to Selbach in the mid-1700's, after his marriage to a girl from that village.
On January 22, 1828126, Peter married Anna Becker at the church in nearby Neunkirchen/Nahe. Anna was born on May 14, 1806126, the daughter of Jodocus Becker and Natalia Mayer. By the time of Peter's marriage, Selbach was part of the Fürstentum Birkenfeld (Principality of Birkenfeld), which was ruled by the Duchy of Oldenburg.
|Peter Zöhler's Death Record|
Peter and Anna settled in Selbach, where Peter was a farmer and where their children were born. Peter died at Selbach on September 5, 1850126, at the age of 44. In 1853, shortly after Peter's death, Anna and most of her family left Germany and emigrated to America. After traveling to the port of Le Harve in France, they sailed on the ship St. Nicolas243, arriving in New York on August 27th. From New York City, they continued their journey, probably by steam boat, to Albany and then by train to Batavia. The final leg would have been by wagon to Sheldon in Wyoming County. Sheldon was home to a German Catholic community centered around St. Cecilia's Church, including several families from the same area of Germany as the Zehler family. They were undoubtedly attracted to Sheldon through information passed on by these families.
Initially, Anna and family settled in the Town of Wethersfield, near its boundary with Sheldon. On September 13, 1853, Anna purchased a fifty acre farm from John and Julia Burns for $110023. Two days later, she sold fifteen acres plus, one-half interest in the farm house, barn and orchard to her son Jacob, for $20023. At age 25, Jacob was in charge of the family farm. Then in 1855113, Joseph finally joined the family. He was probably delayed in coming by the need to fulfill his military obligation before leaving Germany.
In 1859, Anna and Jacob purchased land near Sheldon Center23, where they were living in 1860244. Then in 1865, Anna and Jacob deeded property in Sheldon to her sons Joseph and Peter23, presumably staring them on a life of farming. In 1870, Anna was living with son Joseph26, Jacob having died in 1868. And, by 1880, she was living with son Peter on his farm245.
Anna died at Sheldon on December 12, 18811 , and was buried in the cemetery at St. Cecilia's.
Peter and Anna had the following children:
|i.||Jacob Zehler||Jacob was born on November 9, 1828126, and he died on January 1, 18681. Jacob married (1) Margaretha Becker and (2) Maria Agnes Demuth.|
|ii.||Katharine Zöhler||Katharine was born on February 12, 1831126, and she died on June 5, 1837126.|
|iii.||Natalia Zöhler||Natalia was born on April 8, 1833126, and she died on November 5, 1845126.|
|iv.||Peter Joseph Zehler||Joseph was born on November 2, 1835126, and he died on February 12, 1912242. Joseph married Mary Schuler.|
|v.||Peter Zehler||Peter was born on October 19, 1838,126 and he died on February 25, 19021. Peter married Catherine Schuler.|
|vi.||Nicholas Zehler||Nicholas was born on September 25, 1841126, and he died in February 1864. Nicholas remained single.|
Jacob Zehler was born on November 9, 1828, at Selbach, Fürstentum, Birkenfeld126, the first child of Peter Zöhler and Anna Becker. He grew up in Selbach, undoubtedly working on the family farm. On April 30, 1850, Jacob married Margaretha Becker, the daughter of Matthias Becker and Barbara Maier, at the church in Neunkirchen/Nahe126. Their first two children was born in Selbach.
In 1853, Jacob, along with his wife, child, mother and siblings came to America243, and settled in Wyoming County, New York. Judging from the Passenger List of the sailing ship St. Nicholas, Peter was considered the head of the family243. Jacob initially settled in the Town of Wethersfield23. However, In 1859, Jacob, along with his mother, purchased land in the Town of Sheldon, near Sheldon Center23, where they were living in 1860126. Then on February 22, 1861, Margaretha died1. Jacob continued operating the farm, with the help of his younger brothers.
Jacob and Margaretha had the following children:
|i.||Anne Zehler||Anne was born on March 9, 1851126, at Selbach and she died on April 25, 18911, at Sheldon. Anne married John Mest. John was born on June 24, 1845246, at Thalheim Wüttemberg. He died on November 27, 1921246. John and Anne had seven children.|
|ii.||Peter Zehler||Peter was born on May 3, 1853126, at Selbach and he died there on May 9, 1853126.|
|iii.||Joseph Zehler||Joseph was born on November 25, 18541, at Wethersfield Springs, New York and he died on April 2, 1952, at Geneseo, New York. Joseph married Maria Petri on February 13, 18821. Mary was born on February 7, 18581, at Wethersfield and died on March 28, 194741, at Sheldon. Joseph and Mary had five children.|
|iv.||Peter J. Zehler||Joseph was born on October 15, 18561, at Sheldon, and he died on November 25, 1943247, at Batavia, New York.  Peter married Mary Youngpeter, on January 31, 1882, at Sheldon. Mary was born on July 11, 18601, at Orangeville, New York and died on February 6, 1949248, at Batavia New York. Peter and Mary had two children.|
|v.||Nicholas Zehler||Nicholas was born on January 26, 18591, at Sheldon, New York.|
|vi.||Margarethe Zehler||Margarthe was born on February 10, 18611, at sheldon, and she died there on May 21, 18611.|
On July 5, 1865, Jacob married Mary Agnes Demuth, at St. Cecilia's in Sheldon1. That same year, Jacob joined his mother in selling land to his brothers Joseph and Peter 23. This sale, undoubtedly, helped Joseph and Peter get started. However, it may also have reflected that Jacob was no longer able to manage the family farm, considering that he died on January 1, 18681.
Jacob and Mary Agnes had the following children:
|vii.||Mary Zehler||Mary was born on February 7, 18661, at Sheldon. She married Joseph Berwanger on November 18, 1884, at Sheldon. Joseph was born on August 21, 1858126, at Selbach. Joseph and Mary had seven children.|
|viii.||Anna Margretha Zehler||Anna Margarethe was born on April 18, 18671.|
For additional information on Jacob's descendants click on this link.
Peter Joseph Zehler was born on November 2, 1835, at Selbach, Fürstentum Birkenfeld, the third child of Peter Zehler and Anna Becker126 . Known as Joseph throughout his life, he grew up in Selbach on the family farm. In 1853, his mother, and siblings left Selbach and emigrated to American. However, Joseph stayed behind, possibly to fulfill his military obligation, and came to America in 1855113. In 1860, he was living with his parents in Sheldon, New York, working on the family farm244. On January 9, 1865, Joseph married Mary Schuler at St. Cecilia's in Sheldon1. Mary was born in December 1841113, in Belgium, the daughter of Christopher Schuler and Ann Larden.
In 1865, Joseph purchased land from his mother and brother, Jacob, to begin his life as a farmer23. Joseph and Mary continued to live in Sheldon into the 1880's1,245. However, around 1890, they moved to the Town of Batavia in Genessee County, New York249. Joseph continued farming in Batavia. Mary died there on February 15, 1904250, and Joseph died on February 19, 1912251.
Joseph and Mary had the following children:
|i.||Natalia Zehler||Natalia was born on March 21, 18661, at Sheldon. She married William Cauly on August 18, 1896, at St. Michael's, Warsaw, New York160.|
|ii.||George F. Zehler||George was born on December 3, 18671, at Sheldon, and he died on December 2, 1944252, at Batavia, New York. George married Catherine Alice Kibler on February 11, 18961.|
|iii.||Dominick Zehler||Dominick was born January 17, 1870253, at Sheldon, and he died on March 14, 1936253, at Batavia, New York.  Dominick remained single.|
|iv.||John Edward Zehler||John was born on January 20, 18721, at Sheldon, and he died there on March 4, 18801.|
|v.||Julia Emilia Zehler||Julia was born on October 19, 1874,1 at Sheldon. She married Bert Lawrence. Bert and Julia had two children.|
|vi.||Nicholas Joseph Zehler||Nicholas was born on April 4, 18771, at Sheldon, and he died on April 11, 1961, at Batavia, New York40. Nicholas married Nelllie A. Downing on November 22, 1904, at Portageville, New York40. Nellie was born on May 27, 1882, at Castile, New York, and she died on January 1, 1959, at Attica, New York40. Nicholas and Nellie had two children.|
|vii.||Odilia Carolina Zehler||Odilia was born on May 13, 1879,1 at Sheldon, and she died on July 19, 1951, at Rochester, New York. She remained single.|
|viii.||Edward Theodore Zehler||Edward was born on February 6, 18821, at Sheldon, and he died on March 18, 1954, at Batavia, New York. Edward married Clara Louisa Donahue on November 26, 1913, at St. Joseph's, Batavia, New York41. Clara was born on November 15, 1882, at Stafford, New York, and died on January 29, 1963. Edward and Clara had one child.|
|ix.||Agnes Elizabeth Zehler||Agnes was born on April 9, 1884,1 at Sheldon, and she died on July 11, 1909, at Buffalo, New York261. Agnes married George W. Kibler on June 22, 190941, at Batavia, New York.|
|x.||Andrew William Zehler||Andrew was born on November 13, 1887,1 at Sheldon, and he died on April 30, 1932, at Batavia, New York. Andrew married Jane McColl on July 4, 1910, at LeRoy, New York41. Jane was born on October, 28, 188318, and died in October 198018, at Batavia, New York. Andrew and Jane had four children.|
For additional information on the descendants of Joseph and Mary see the following link.
Peter Zehler was born on October 19, 1838126, at Selbach, Fürstentum Birkenfeld, the fourth child of Peter Zehler and Anna Becker. His youth was spent in Selbach on the family farm and in 1853, at the age of 15, he came to America with his mother and siblings243. In 1860, he was living with his parents in Sheldon, New York, working on the family farm244. About 1866, Peter married Catherine Schuler, probably at St. Cecilia's in Sheldon. Catherine was born in May 1843, in New York113, the daughter of Christopher Schuler and Ann Larden. She was the sister of Mary Schuler, the wife of Joseph.
In 1865, Peter purchased land from his mother and brother, Jacob, to begin his life as a farmer23. Peter and Catherine settled in Sheldon, where they lived for the remainder of their lives113,245. Peter served in Company H, 9th Regiment of the New York Cavalry during the Civil War254, and in 1882, Peter applied for a pension, based on his military service, stating he was an invalid254. In February of 1902, Peter died from tuberculosis1.
Following Peter's death, Catherine applied for widows pension254. She continued to live with one of her children for the next 34 years. In 1910, she was living on Attica Road, along with her son Frank and two granddaughters114. Frank was working on the farm. In 1920, she was living on Creek Road, with son Marcus and daughter Julia52. Finally, in 1930, she was again living on Attica Road with her son Marcus119. Catherine died in 1936255.
Peter and Catherine had the following children:
|i.||Augustus J. Zehler||Augustus was born on January 3, 18691, and he died in 1932256, at Attica, New York.  Augustus married Cecilia Bauer on February 5, 1895, at Sheldon1. Cecilia was born on February 27, 18721, and she died in 1925256, at Buffalo, New York. Augustus and Cecilia had two children.|
|ii.||Albert D. Zehler||Albert was born on November 3, 18701, at Sheldon, and he died 1933260. Albert married (1) Georgiana Brown on February 8, 18981, at Sheldon. He married (2) Eliza Hauver on June 30, 19091. Eliza was born about 1868258, died on June 5, 1920258. Albert married (3) Nellie B. Riley on November 12, 1923, at St. Joseph's, Varysburg, New York259. Nellie was born in 1878260 and died in 1933260. Albert and Georgiana had two child.|
|iii.||Cecilia Zehler||Cecilia was on born February 15 18731, at Sheldon and she died on April 1, 1962260. Cecilia married Andrew Bauer on October 30, 1895, Sheldon. Andrew was born on August 6, 1863260, and died on June 30, 1924260. Andrew and Cecilia had one child.|
|iv.||Frank J. Zehler||Frank was born on February 15, 18761, at Sheldon, and he died there on June 29, 191832. Frank married Julia Schum. Julia was born in 187532, and died on January 10, 190032. Frank and Julia had one child.|
|v.||Marcus Joseph Zehler||Marcus was born on February 16, 1878,1 at Sheldon, and he died on May 13, 1954, at Batavia, New York32. He remained single.|
|vi.||Peter Christopher Zehler||Peter Christopher was born on January 18, 18811, at Sheldon and he died there on March 20, 18811.|
|vii.||Adeline M. Zehler||Adeline was born on May 6, 1886,1 at Sheldon, and she died in 1965. Adeline married Robert M. Glor on May 23, 1906, at Sheldon41. Robert was born in 1879256, and he died in 1957256. Robert and Adeline had one child.|
For additional information on the descendants of Peter and Catherine see the following link.
Nicholas Zehler was born on September 25, 1841126, at Selbach, Fürstentum Birkenfeld, the fifth child of Peter Zehler and Anna Becker. His youth was spent in Selbach on the family farm. Then in 1853, at the age of 11, he came to America with his mother and siblings243. In 1860, he was living with his parents in Sheldon, New York, working on the family farm244. Nicholas volenteered for the Civil War and served as a private in the 5th Regiment, New York Cavalry. He is said to have died in February 1864, at Andersonville Prison, Georgia.
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