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I'm Vince Falter, a retired Army Officer who lived about 9 years in Germany. I have spent 18 years intensively applying my research, analytical, and German (respectable), French (pretty good reading-lousy speaking), and Latin (altarboy) language skills to sort out the Falter-Scharf genealogy and family history. This page displays a VERY SMALL look at the results. If you can add to it, correct it, validate it, or are just interested in discussing it, we would like to hear from you.

The earliest proved member of our Falter family of St. Stephen, Seneca County, Ohio lived in 1711 in the village of Nack (rhymes with rock and clock), in the Grand Duchy of Hessen-Darmstadt. Today, Nack is now in the state of Hessen, Germany. But there are numerous earlier possible, but unproven, ancestors! Our immigrant ancestor, Johann Philip FALTER, with his wife and eight children immigrated to Seneca County, Ohio in 1831. Other lines of this family later immigrated from Nack to Chicago, Illinois and thence to Columbus, Ohio.
Our Scharf Family of Allen, Crawford, Mercer, Putnam, Paulding, and Seneca Counties of Ohio descends from Aimus Johann Christian Scharf who was born in Moselle, Lorraine, France in about 1680. Most of his descendants moved from France to what is, today, Saarland, Germany. We are specifically researching the many descendants of Jacob SCHARF of Gersheim, Saar, Germany and New Washington, Crawford County, Ohio, and the William SCHARF line from the Chicago area in 1930-1940.


We gladly exchange info with researchers of these families.

After 18+ years of research and 3 research trips to Germany, Alsace France, and Luxembourg, "The FALTER-SCHARF FAMILY HISTORY To About 1584" is published. It has 1,200+ pages, hard bound in two acid-free volumes, with over 200 photographs, maps, tables, and illustrations. It contains an 11,000+ name every-person index, hundreds of family stories, genealogies, and full pedigrees of the Falter and Scharf lines. Volume I, FALTER has chapters on our paternal FALTER, BONIFAS, GENGLER, KOERNER, and STEINMETZ families and descendants. Vol II SCHARF includes chapters on our maternal SCHARF, GROFF, HUMMER, KIHM, MUELLER and descendant families. This is 10 books in one! Total cost (including mailing) for either volume is $59.05. Total cost for both volumes, including mailing is $114.00
The FALTER-SCHARF Family Home Page
Updated February 5, 2005


Vincent E. Falter
7380 West Hoover Road
Reva, VA 22735
United States
(540) 547-9812
Fax: (540) 547-9012

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Family Photos

  • Vincent FALTER's Family (149 KB)
    The Web Site author's family photo: son Vincent FALTER II, his wife Ann (WEED) FALTER, wife Marta (STEPHEN) FALTER, Vincent FALTER, grandson Matthew BURT, daughter Laura (FALTER) BURT, son-in-law Kenny BURT, and grandson Ian BURT.
  • Aerial View of Zetting, Moselle, Lorraine, (33 KB)
    Zetting is the village dominated by St. Marcellus Catholic Church, a magnificent church closely connected to the Scharf family. One of its most beloved Pastors was Father Bartholomaus BARTH, an Aimus Johann Christian SCHARFF descendant, and our cousin. The church dates back to at least 1434 and was never destroyed in a subsequent war (although it may have suffered some damage) and was never significantly altered by "modernization." Here is an aerial photo of this quaint village with its church. We also have some closeup and interior photos posted.
  • The Ancient Church; St. Marcellus, Zetting (76 KB)
    This is an interesting photo of the exterior of St. Marcellus in Zetting, Moselle, Lorraine, France. From the outside, it does not look so magnificent but, since it dates back to at least 1434, it is an architectural mix of Roman and Gothic styles. It was originally built in Roman style and was later enlarged. The 400 year old “new” addition was designed and constructed in the Gothic style. I lived in Germany and traveled extensively throughout Western Europe, to include France, for almost nine years and, in my mind, it is one of the finest surviving unreconstructed churches dating from the middle ages that I have ever seen.
  • St. Markus Catholic Church in Rheinheim, Germany (105 KB)
    St. Markus is one of the Catholic Churches in the Bliesgau area of today's Saarland that was attended by our Scharf, Mueller, and Kihm ancestors. It sits about one-quarter of a mile from the border of Moselle, Lorraine, France. It dates back to at least 1315, and its round tower (with the "Witch's Hat" roof) is much older. It was a Roman watchtower. Even earlier, it was a "Heidenturm"; a heathen's tower, which allegedly dates back to Celtic times. This historic claim is credible since one of the oldest Celtic settlements in Europe is about 400 meters (about the length of four football fields) south of St. Markus, on the border with France. The burial of a Celtic princess was unearthed on that site, along with elaborate gold jewelry and utensils which are now in the museum at Saarbruecken. The full story with photos is told in Volume II of the family genealogy and history book.
  • Al and Vic FALTER: Semi-Pro Baseball Players (94 KB)
    My father, Al (Alois) FALTER and his brother Vic (Victor) learned to play baseball from Father Vincent MUINCH, the pastor of St. Stephen Catholic Church at St. Stephen, Seneca County, Ohio, who was my namesake. I am am one of two Vincent Falters named for the beloved Father Muinch.Thir were several other boys named Vincent in his honor. Dad and Vic both developed into pretty good ballplayers and when Dad was 21, both he and Vic were playing semi-professional ball (AAA) in the Tri-State League. They had hopes of being drafted by one of the major league teams, but it appears that they were not THAT good. Too bad. But, as a consolation, they looked great in their uniforms and they loved the game for the rest of their lives!
  • Vaulted Interior, St. Marcellus, Zetting (92 KB)
    The vaulted interior of St. Marcellus (St. Marcel), Zetting, Moselle, Lorraine, France is impressive by any standard. It makes the church look much larger than it actually is but, nonetheless, it is still a large and beautiful church. It is so old and quaint that it looks almost like a contrived tourist attraction or a movie set. Incidently, they get almost no tourists as the church is not currently in tourist guides or on any tourist tour route as far as I have been able to determine.
  • St. Bartholomeus High Altar, Erbes-Buedesheim (87 KB)
    This photo of the St. Bartholomeus High Altar in Erbes-Buedesheim, Hessen, Germany will give you a good idea of the richness of the churches in the small Catholic villages of Hessen. Even the simplest and oldest of the churches are beautiful and reflect great good taste. The churches which are the least attractive are generally those built since 1945, after World War II.
  • Nicholas and Susannah (ADAM) ARDNER (67 KB)
    This photo, circa 1885, is of my great, great grandparents on my father's side. Nicholas was born 5 May 1822 in Oberbexbach, Bavarian Pfalz, Germany and Susannah was born 15 Oct 1814 in Differdange, Canton Differdange, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. She was born about 5 km (3 miles) from my HUMMER great grandparents who were from Niederkorn, Canton Differdange, Luxembourg. The Ardners and the Hummers eventually settled together in Landeck, Allen, Ohio in 1863. By coincidence the Adam family was on the same ship that brought the Ardners to New York. Nicholas stated that he did not know Susanna ADAM in "the old country" or when they were on the ship, but met her when both families initially settled near Tiffin, Seneca County, Ohio.
  • St. Marcellus Stained Glass Windows (368 KB)
    You have already read a little about St. Marcellus in Moselle, Lorraine, France, but I want to add one more item. This is a photo of one of the oldest unrestored stained glass windows in France. These windows date back to the 1400s and are considered classic examples of ancient stained glass art. It is mind-boggling to think that 200 + years ago our Scharf ancestors worshipped in this church with light filtering through these same stained glass windows which were almost 400 years old at THAT time.
  • St. Nicolas Church in Schirrhein, Alsace, France (10 KB)
    Our Steinmetz and Lang ancestors came from Schirrhoffen and Schirrhein, Bas-Rhin, Alsace, France. St. Nicolas Catholic Church served both of these adjacent villages and is located in Schirrhein. This photo shows the "new" church, constructed after the old church was destroyed during the liberation of France during World War II in 1945. This community, as well as adjoining Schirrhoffen, is totally Catholic, although Schirrhoffen had a large and vibrant Jewish community until about 1900. By the time of World War I, most Jews had moved away. If you want more info on this interesting Jewish community, check out Bernie SCHWARTZ's great, fascinating site at Bernie has some great material.
  • Cousin George MUELLER 1832-1915 (194 KB)
    Genealogists always seem to find room for their distant cousins, and here is one of mine. George was a nephew of my great, great grandmother and is my 1st cousin, three generations removed. He was born in Herbitzheim, Bavarian Pfalz, Germany (in today's Saarland), and immigrated to New Washington, Crawford County, Ohio in the 1840s. George is interesting to me because he was a very early Ohio enterpreneur who established a hotel, a bar, and a grocery, and all were very successful! He started out as a MÜLLER, became a "MUELLER", and later Americanized his name to MILLER. This guy was a dynamite businessman.
  • The Church Of Our Gengler and Bonifas Ancestors (42 KB)
    This is St. Thomas Catholic Church in Nospelt, Canton Capellen, Luxembourg. It is the church where our Gengler and Bonifas ancestors worshipped right up to the point that they emigrated from Luxembourg to the United States. It appears probable, based on current research, that the Gengler family originated in Vichten, Luxembourg. Our Bonifas line originated in Holzem, Luxembourg and later removed to Nospelt.
  • Johann Baptiste and Margarette (STEINMETZ) FALTER (79 KB)
    My great grandfather John B.FALTER, as he was known in America, married Margarette STEINMETZ at St. Stephen. Both John B.'s father Johann Philip and Margarette's father, Martin, were founders of St. Stephen Catholic Church which gave the village its name. John B. lived the rest of his life on three farms in Venice Township, none more than 3 miles from the church. Their history is detailed in the "Falter-Scharf Family From About 1585" (our genealogy and family history book) (Volume I).
  • Vince Falter's Official Army Photo (10 KB)
    I essentially ran away from home and enlisted in the Army as a Private during the Korean War. By the time the war ended I had been promoted to Corporal and then applied for and was selected to attend the tough Officer Candidate School at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. I was commissioned a Second Lieutenant of Field Artillery on 18 May 1954 and progressed pretty rapidly in rank from there. Here is my official photo taken when I commanded the Army's Personnel Command as a Major General, 32 years later. I subsequently worked for Secretary of Defense Casper Weinberger in 1986 and 1987, as his Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Atomic Energy) and retired in September 1987 after having commanded at every rank from Second Lieutenant to Major General. After my Army retirement, I started my own National Defense Research company and sold it 13 years later but continued to work for it in a continuing research and analysis capacity for several years. I "really retired" in 2003 although I still do some selective consulting with the government and industry.
  • Two Views of the Gengler-Bonifas House in Nospelt (107 KB)
    The Gengler-Bonifas house in Nospelt is an ancestral home to both our Gengler and Bonifas ancestors. The top photo shows it as it looks today. It is now a Gasthaus (tavern, or inn). The word tavern is really inadequate, but will have to do for now. The bottom photo shows some Bonifas relatives standing with me in front of it. From left to right: Nicolas BONIFAS, his son Larry BONIFAS who lived for a period of time in the US as an exchange student, Vincent FALTER (me), and Nicolas' wife, Josette CLEMENS-BONIFAS. Nicolas, Josette, and Larry have been extremely helpful in our research on the Bonifas line and gracious to us as visitors to Nospelt, and I wish to thank them for their kindness, generosity, and their time and effort to assist us. There is an interesting story about the house and an anvil told in Volume I of the Falter family genealogy and history.
  • Cornelius and Susan (GENGLER) FALTER Go To Mass (145 KB)
    My Grandparents Cornelius (Neil) and Susanna (Susan) and their children Armella, Alois (Aloysius), Victor, and Marguerite load the buggies to get ready for the ride to Sunday Mass at St. Stephen Catholic Church in Seneca County, Ohio in about 1907. That is Neil in the light suit in the middle of the photo holding two horses and wearing a "bowler" hat. This is an interesting photograph to me since the only other photos of Neil prior to 1938 are formal, studio photographs. There is no indication that this was taken by a professional photographer. Anybody out there know who took it? Can anybody identify the other man in a bowler hat and a dark suit on the right side of the photo who is also holding two horses? He was probably a hired hand, but we are not sure.
  • A View of Gengler- Bonifas House in Nospelt (107 KB)
    This is another view of our ancestral home in Luxembourg. Nospelt is a marvelous, typical, small Luxembourg town. It is a great place to visit. If you visit there, do not miss the pottery museum. Two hundred years ago, Nospelt was famous for its pottery and today has a great pottery crafts industry. The artisans do really excellent and unusual work. Check it out!
  • The Wedding of Neil FALTER and Susan GENGLER (119 KB)
    Neil was a schoolteacher and taught three terms of school at the Auer School, west of Delphos and near Landeck, Allen County, Ohio. He was teaching school there when he met Susanna (Susan)GENGLER, and it was there that he courted her. Originally, he was probably encouraged to come to Allen County by his older brother Joseph John FALTER who was married and living there. Neil married Susan, and took her back to Seneca County, Ohio where they raised their family. She died in childbirth with their fifth child. Neil never remarried. Neil and Susan are seated in this photo. The matron of honor is Margaret (GENGLER) KARST and the best man is Neil's brother Edward. We know a lot about them and for more information, see Volume I of the Falter-Scharf Genealogy and Family History.
  • The Marriage of Jacob SCHARF and Maria KIHM (228 KB)
    This is a photo of the marriage record of 28 January, 1856 of Jacob Scharf and Maria "Mary" KIHM. It was recorded in the Parish Book of St. Bernard, New Washington, Crawford County, Ohio by Father Mathias KREUSCH, the parish priest.
  • St. Stephen Catholic Church, St. Stephen, Ohio (37 KB)
    Two of my great, great grandfathers were founders of the St. Stephen Church; Johann Philip FALTER, and Martin STEINMETZ. They helped erect the original log church in 1843 in Bloom Township (on Martin's land). The decision to build a newer, larger church in Venice Township in the 1870s created a major controversy among the parishioners. Some parishoners wanted the new church to be built where the old church was located, and others wanted it to be 400 yards away in Venice Township. My great grandfather, John B. FALTER, son of Johann Philip, was so upset by the decision to locate it in Venice Township that he and his family left St. Stephen parish and attended church at St. Bernard Catholic Church in New Washington, Crawford County, Ohio for several years. John B. apparently got tired of the 6 mile-long Sunday buggy rides to New Washington and returned to the new church at St. Stephen.
  • The Baptism Of Jacob SCHARF at Gersheim (327 KB)
    This is a photo of the Parish Register entry of St. Alban Catholic Church of Gersheim in the Bavarian Pfalz (today's Saarland) of Germany. This entry was made 23 December 1833 and identifies our ancestor, Jacob, as the son of the future immigrants to the U.S, Jacob SCHARF and Catharina MUELLER of Gersheim. His godparents were Jacob MUELLER and Magdalena SCHARF of Niedergailbach (a nearby village).
  • George "Dummy" KIHM, a Famous Baseball Hero (162 KB)
    George "Dummy" KIHM is my cousin. George was a deaf mute who starred as a baseball player in Delphos, Ohio and later became one of the minor leagues' most successful and famous players In the American Association. This photo shows not only George (standing, far right), but his brother, Al (sitting on the floor on the far left). One source claims that this is not Al, but is the famous astronomer Leslie Pelletier. George was given the nickname "Dummy" after his deaf mute role model, William E. "Dummy" HOY. George began playing baseball in the school system in Columbus, Ohio (on the Columbus School for the Deaf team) when he was eight years old. In about 1891 the family was back in Delphos and he was playing baseball professionally. His fielding and heavy hitting was largely responsible for Delphos winning the Northwestern Ohio championship in 1893 and 1894. He was a catcher at that time and in 1895 he was signed to play first base for Findlay, Ohio. Findlay won the pennant largely as a result of George's high quality play. Later George played in Tacoma, Washington, and for the famed Toledo Mud Hens, as well as for New York.
  • Martin and Mary (RUBECK) STEINMETZ (96 KB)
    As poor as these photographs are, they are the only known photos of Martin and Mary RUBECK STEINMETZ. They were probably made to send back to relatives in "the old country." These are very early photographs (probably late 1850s or early 1860s) so their poor condition is, perhaps, understandable in view of both the state of photography at that time and their great age. Many thanks to Dick STEINMETZ of Tiffin, Ohio, for sharing them with us. Martin was born in 1827 in Schirrhein, Bas-Rhin, Alsace, France and his wife Mary was from the Bavarian Pfalz area of what is now the Saarland, Germany.
  • A Gengler Family Reunion at Landeck, Ohio (195 KB)
    This is a cool photo of my great grandparents, Dominic and Mary ARDNER GENGLER and their descendants. My paternal grandmother was Susanna GENGLER, one of their daughters. My grandmother Susanna died in childbirth when my father was 8 years old, long before this was taken. Dad barely remembered her. The Genglers lived in Landeck, Allen County, Ohio and still looked after their distant Seneca County descendants and invited them to all of the family functions and activities. Here is a photograph of their son-in-law Cornelius (Neil) FALTER and grandchildren at the Gengler family reunion in August or September 1922. First Row, sitting, L to R: Marguerite FALTER (my aunt), Francis GENGLER, Valerie GENGLER, Martha GENGLER, Valeria GENGLER, Stella GENGLER, Viola GENGLER, Otto KARST, Rosella GENGLER. Middle row, sitting, L to R: Eunice GENGLER, Raymond GENGLER, holding son Donald, Margaret KARST, my great grandparents Mary (ARDNER) and Dominic GENGLER, Nicholas GENGLER, John GENGLER, Thomas GENGLER, my grandfather Cornelius FALTER, Ollie GENGLER. Third Row, standing, L to R: Loretta GENGLER, Armella FALTER (my aunt), Louis KARST, my father Alois FALTER, Albert KARST, Sylvester GENGLER, Victor FALTER (my uncle), Magdalene GENGLER, Helen KARST, Clara GENGLER, Matilda GENGLER, Martha GENGLER, Esther GENGLER, Johanna KARST.
  • St. Bartholomeus Church in Erbes-Buedesheim (70 KB)
    St. Bartholomeus is the parish church that our Falter ancestors attended because Nack had no Catholic church until the early 1900s. The St. Bartholomeus parish book contains dozens of Falter baptisms, marriages, and deaths. The church sits at the end of a main street where it intersects a narrow cross-street, making it difficult to photograph. The photo on this page is fairly large, to provide some significant detail of the edifice.
  • The Altar at St. Marcellus (282 KB)
    This is the beautiful old altar at St. Marcellus in Zetting, Moselle, Lorraine, France. In the photo, the ladies of the parish were decorating for a wedding. It has not changed much since the days that my cousin, Father Bartholomaus BARTH was the pastor, almost 200 years ago. Father Bartholomaus was a Benedictine priest in Rheinheim,Bavarian Pfalz in what later became Germany from 1787-1789. He progressed in assignments to Blieskastel and other parishes in what is now Germany and, in 1811, was named the resident priest of St. Marcellus in Zettingen, Lorraine, France. That village was renamed Zetting under later French administration. Father Bartholomaus was much beloved and honored as one of the 14 “caregivers” of the Benedictine Order in Zettingen/Zetting and was cited in the parish records. The caregivers were those priests who were judged to be selfless and honored servants of their parishioners. He was buried under a chestnut tree in a grave adjacent to the church.
  • The Falter Gasthaus in Nack (184 KB)
    Yep, there are still Falters living in Nack. Emil FALTER, Jr. was the patriarch and was born in 1917 in Nack. He married Emmillie FELL and they have two children; Emil III (known by the family and to his friends as "Hans Emil), and Christine or “Christa” FALTER who married Hans RIEGER. Christa is the postmistress of the village and operates the postoffice out of her house. That house, by the way, was constructed on the site of the original Falter house in Nack. Emil Jr. served in the German Army in World War II. He was wounded several times and was taken prisoner, and spent a part of the war in a Prisoner of War camp in England. As a result, he learned English and spoke it well. Emil died recently, and his Gasthaus is now operated by his son, Hans Emil FALTER.
  • A Falter Love Affair with Eva TANGUAY (796 KB)
    Two of our great, great uncle Philip FALTER's sons went into the music business together. Frederick and Philip FALTER Jr. formed "Falter Brothers Music Publishers" at 47 West 48th Street in New York City in about 1903. The family tradition is that Frederick was in love with the famous actress and entertainer Eva TANGUAY, who was known as the “I don’t care” girl, her motto. After their love affair was broken off, Frederick never married. He wrote a song, copyrighted in 1904, while they were still "an item" titled "If You’re In Love Say Cuckoo." The sheet music cover was drawn by Philip who was an excellent artist, and it featured a photograph of Eva TANGUAY.
  • The Children of Nicholas and Helen (GROFF) HUMMER (95 KB)
    This is a photo of my great grandparents on my mother's side. Nicholas HUMMER married Helena (Helen)Clare GROFF in New Riegel, Seneca County, Ohio on 19 August 1884. They moved to Landeck, Allen County, Ohio where they raised their large family. Here is a photo of them and their their children, taken about 1937. Their children, reading from left to right: top row- Roman Augustus, Alfreda Clare, Eulitta Hildegard, Raymond Dominick. Middle row- Alfred Joseph, Olivia Matilda, my great grandparents Nicholas and Helen Clare (GROFF) HUMMER, Herman Frank, Victoria Catherine. Bottom row- Ralph Carl, Walter Nicholas, Cora Helen, and Caroline Mary. Many thanks to cousin Judy (PATTON) FLYNN for providing this photo.
  • MYSTERY!! Helena Clare (GROFF) HUMMER! (101 KB)
    Helena Clare (GROFF)HUMMER was my great grandmother. She was the daughter of George F. GROFF and Caroline HAINES/HAYNES. Who were the parents of George F. GROFF of Thompson Township, Seneca County Ohio? George GROFF’s parents are unproved. It appears almost certain that they were Sebastien GROFF and Catherine ____ since, at the time of the 1860 census, George and his wife and family lived next to a Sebastien GROFF, age 72, born in “Germany,” (according to the census) and his wife Catherine GROFF, age 65. George claimed to have been born in Bavaria, Germany. Who were the parents of Caroline HAINES/HAYNES?? They, presumeably, were born in Alsace, according to family oral history. But no proof yet!
  • Nick and Helen HUMMER's Family circa 1908 (248 KB)
    Here is another interesting Hummer family photo. It shows the lovely house that master carpenter Nicholas HUMMER built at his farm at Landeck, Allen County, Ohio. From left to right: Walter Nicholas, Herman Frank, Caroline Mary, Raymond Dominick, Victoria Catherine, Olivia Mathilda, Alfreda Clare, Roman Augustus (in front of his father), Eulitta Hildegard (in front of her mother). Again, my thanks to cousin Judy PATTON FLYNN for so graciously sharing this great photo.
  • Philip FALTER's New 1849 Home (258 KB)
    (Johann) Philip FALTER died in 1849 while building a new home to replace the rough log cabin he had built in 1833. That "new" home on Falter Road in Venice Township, Seneca County, Ohio later became a garage and barn. Here is a photo of that much modified "old" house." An even newer house was built in about 1910. This is a mid 1990s photograph of the 1849 house courtesy of Dorothy FALTER STERLING and Father John FALTER. It has since been torn down.
  • The "Hummer" Night Club of Landeck (233 KB)
    In 1933 the 21st Amendment to the Constitution repealed the earlier constitutional prohibition against liquor, wine, and strong beer. In 1935 the Hummers branched-out from their traditional occupations of farming, carpentry, and shoemaking and opened a "night club." This poster advertises the grand opening of their club, the "Hummer." Volume II of the family history details how the infamous John DILLENGER Gang spent an evening drinking there. AND how the body of one of their gang was found in a burned-out car in the parking lot the next morning. This reads like a fiction novel, but it is true.
  • Gust SCHARF in His Prize-Winning Cornfield (72 KB)
    My grandfather, Gust SCHARF, loved farming and had a farm near Knox, Indiana on which he raised prize corn crops. He is credited with single-handedly making sweet corn (as opposed to field corn for fodder) into an Indiana cash crop, and he was the champion corngrower in the state for a number of years. The story of how he enlisted the help of the Army stationed at Camp Atterbury, Indiana to help him do it is fascinating and is told in Volume II of the Falter-Scharf Family History.
  • The One Room School at St. Stephen (164 KB)
    If you ever wondered what a one-room school really looked like and how many children typically attended, here is your answer. This is the St. Stephen "Academy", Seneca County school in Venice Township in about 1912. The name "Academy" is pretty grand, but it is still just a one-room school. Virtually all of the students were related to the Falters. Back Row; Left to Right: Alma FOOS, Hannah BLUST, Gertrude WURM, Joseph WURM, Edward WURM, my father Alois FALTER, Leo FOOS, Cletus WILHELM, Victor FALTER, Alphonse WILHELM, Sylvester RIEDERMAN, Victor WURM, Edward RIEDERMAN Front Row; L to R: Flora GERHARDSTEIN, Geraldine BLUST, Winifred BLUST, Alma BALL, Cordelia FOOS, Marie FOOS, Catherine STEINMETZ, Lillian GERHARDSTEIN, Hilda FOOS, Wilfred BLUST, Ralph FOOS, Roman GERHARDSTEIN, Gertrude ALT. The teacher, in the center of the last row, is Otta ALT, also a distant Falter relative.
  • Gust SCHARF and Some of His Trophies (75 KB)
    While my grandfather Gust Scharf was a farmer, he "cleaned up well" as they say. Gust was not always in overalls and standing in a cornfield. Here is a photo of him with a few of his trophies. It was taken in the parlor of his home at Knox, Indiana. When he died he was laid out in this same parlor. Grandmother Cora HUMMER SCHARF believed in the supernatural and Gust's death had a spooky supernatural twist to it. It is detailed in Volume II.
  • Peter Johann and Anna Maria (BONIFAS) GENGLER (128 KB)
    These are my great,great Gengler grandparents. Peter Johann GENGLER was born in Nospelt, Canton Capellen, Luxembourg in 1816. Anna Maria BONIFAS was also born there. The two families had been friends and had intermarried for about 200 years.prior to that. Peter and Anna Maria married in Nospelt and then they emigrated to the US on the ship "Sully" that entered New York harbor on 14 July 1845, and docked on 15 July. The "Sully" sailed out of Le Havre, France and most of the passengers aboard were Swiss, Belgian and French. Peter and Mary brought with them their sons, Dominic and Louis. On 29 September 1845 Peter purchased his first farm; 80 acres near New Riegel in Seneca County, Ohio. They later moved to Allen County, Ohio near Landeck. These two families are ANCIENT inhabitants of tiny Luxembourg.
  • Dominic GENGLER's Log Cabin at Landeck (103 KB)
    The first home my great grandfather Dominic GENGLER built in the U.S. was a hewn log house near Landeck, Allen County, Ohio. It was a two-story house with a shake shingle roof, and a centrally located fireplace. A feature of the log house that seems odd to us today is that, in front, there were no windows. The only opening was the door. Very unusual. Has anyone ever seen one like this, particularly in Ohio or Indiana?
  • Neufgrange From the Air (54 KB)
    Our Scharf's earliest documented, proven village of origin is Neufgrange (or Neufscheuren in German), in Moselle, Lorraine, France about 1700. This is an aerial view of the town. It was not very large in 1700. While it has grown it is still a small town. St. Michael Catholic Church where the Scharf's worshipped is on the right of the main road through the town, and the church and school are the largest buildings in the photo.
  • The MÜLLER/MUELLER/MILLERs of Germany and Ohio (64 KB)
    Catherina MÜLLER became my great great grandmother when she married Jacob SCHARF in 1833 in Gersheim, Bavarian Pfalz,(now Saarland), Germany. Her family immigrated to New Washington, Crawford County, Ohio at about the same time that the Scharfs did. The descendants of this Müller family spelled their name three different ways over two generations. Here are some of the descendants of this family, in about 1890.
  • Philip FALTER's Land Claim (37 KB)
    This is a scan of the final award (dated 6 May 1835) of the land claim made by Philip FALTER on 22 Feb 1834. It has a couple of interesting characteristics. First, it says that he was from "Buffaloe", (sic) New York. That may sound confusing but he and his family had wintered in Buffalo during their immigration and movement to Ohio. It also appears to be signed "By the President, Andrew Jackson." In fact, it would have been more accurate if it had stated that it was signed "for" the President as it was actually signed by the Commissioner of the General Land Office.
  • Great Grandfather Jacob SCHARF and Descendants (203 KB)
    Many thanks to Billie BECKER for this marvelous photo. It shows our great grandfather Jacob SCHARF surrounded by grandchildren and great grandchildren. (L to R) Hilda CARDER HERSHEY holding Mildred CARDER, Art CARDER, Jacob SCHARF, Richard GROVES, Julia CARDER GROVES holding baby Alice GROVES BECKER, and Lena CARDER ALLEMEIR holding baby Ralph ALLEMEIER.

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    The two-volume Cornelia Schrader-Muggenthaler book, "The Alsace Immigration Index" lists several Steinmetzes who emigrated from Alsace. Our Steinmetzes are listed but the actual ship records of their emigration have never been found. This is what we DO know.
  • Our Earliest Falter Ancestors (7 KB)
    Here is what our research has turned-up on our earliest Falter ancestors. We can trace the family name back to the 1500s, but our first verified direct ancestor, Wendell FALTER, only to about 1711 in the village of Nack, Grand Duchy of Hessen-Darmstadt. But there are more and earlier Falters who are identified probable ancestors. Here they are for your further research.
  • General Sebastien STEINMETZ of Schirrhein (10 KB)
    General Sebastien STEINMETZ is my great, great, great, great, grandfather and he was the Commanding General of the Royal Army Garrison at D' Oberhoffen, Alsace, France. Technically, you could call him a mercenary for King Louis XVI of France. The garrison was adjacent to Schirrhein and Schirrhoffen in Bas-Rhin, Alsace, France. One family tradition states that he was guillotined during the French Revolution. That is romantic, but is wrong. Here is the REAL story.
  • Our Gengler Ancestors in the America Revolution? (2 KB)
    There were, believe it or not, two Genglers who fought in the American Revolution. And they fought on the British side, as mercenaries (they were "Hessians")! This interesting fact is detailed in this short vignette, and leads to some rather interesting questions. Are they cousins? Yes, they probably are.
  • St. Nicolas Parish History, Schirrhein, Alsace (24 KB)
    Here is the "official" history of St. Nicolas Catholic Church in Alsace, France, translated from "A Lisiere De La Foret" the history of Schirrhein and Schirrhoffen, Bas-Rhin, Alsace, France. It contains a few juicy tales mixed with some basic facts that tell us a lot about the lives our ancestors led and gives a hint about a few of the reasons they emigrated from Schirrhein and Schirrhoffen to Ohio and Missouri.
  • The Ancient Church at Zetting, Lorraine, France (3 KB)
    Some family members of our line of Scharfs lived at Zetting, Lorraine, France and attended St. Marcellus Catholic Church there. A great, great, grandson of our progenitor Johann Aimus Christian SCHARFF was the priest there. Reverend Father Bartholomaus BARTH was an extraordinary individual and much beloved. Here is his story, and the story of St. Marcellus Church. Don't miss the photographs of the church in the photos on our web page plus the full story in "Volume II, The Falter-Scharf Family From About 1585, Volume II".
  • Schirrhein People During the Revolution's Terror (5 KB)
    Here is an interesting bit of history (not rumor and fiction) that tells us a lot about the trials and tribulations of our ancestors who lived in Schirrhein and Schirrhoffen in the "years of terror" during the French Revolution. It is a translation from "A Lisiere De La Foret" that mentions, by name, some of our Schirrhein ancestors, both civilians and those that were soldiers. Perhaps your ancestors are also mentioned.
  • Our Ardner/Artner/Artener Ancestors (6 KB)
    My great grandmother was Maria "Mary" ARDNER of Tiffin, Ohio, and the search for her ancestors and ancestral home was a challenge. Most of the information has been researched and found back to about 1745, but we still have a number of questions about Ardner family relationships in the 1845-1850 period in Germany and Pottsville,Pennsylvania, before they moved on to Ohio. Can you help?
  • St. Nicolas Parish Records 1793-1833 (110 KB)
    Here are extracts of the earliest surviving baptismal records (1793) of St Nicolas Catholic Church, Schirrhein, Alsace, France up until 1833. I have the marriage records for the same time period and will post them after I get some other records in Germany and Luxembourg posted. I hope that these help your research. If so, let me know. I have a lot of detail to share on some of these families.
  • Our Groff-Haines Ancestors (5 KB)
    We have only been able to trace our Groffs with certainty to George GROFF of Thompson Township, Seneca County, Ohio in the mid-1830s. His wife, Carolyn HAINES/HAYNES was a neighbor, but her ancestry is unknown. She claimed to be from Alsace, France. George’s parents are possibly known but are unproved. It is almost certain that they were Sebastien GROFF and Catherine ____. At the time of the 1860 census, George and his wife and family lived next to a Sebastien GROFF, age 72, born in “Germany,” (according to the census) and his wife Catherine GROFF, age 65. Can you help sort out this family and its ancestors?
  • St. Nicolas Schirrhein Marriages (1 KB)
    Complete St. Nicolas Marriage Records Starting Year 1792 (first year of records).
  • The War Deaths of Schirrhein 1789-1946 (9 KB)
    This is a list of all of the known war-related deaths of citizens of Schirrhein and Schirrhoffen. Most are military, of course, but there are some civilians as well. There are many names with which we are familiar. The sources are the St. Nicolas, Schirrhein parish records, the civil records, and the historical extracts found in the fine Schirrhein history book, "À La Lisière De La Forêt," Schirrhein-Schirrhoffen;1995 If you have any more information that you wish to add or correct, please let me know and I will be glad to verify them with the French authorities and add them.
  • The Gengler Family of Luxembourg and Ohio (3 KB)
    My great grandfather Dominic GENGLER was born in Nospelt, Capellen, Luxembourg in 1842 and immigrated with his family to Big Springs Township in Seneca County, Ohio in the 1840s. Our research in Luxembourg led us through a number of small villages, and revealed that Gengler is not an uncommon name there. This raised questions about the "original" home village of our Genglers. Here is what we found.
  • Schirrhein Immigrants to The US 1828-1838 (1 KB)
    As the title implies, this is a list of the residents of Schirrhein who applied to emigrate to the US between 1828 and 1838. Due to the way the records were kept, we cannot be certain of the exact year any of these families emigrated based on these records alone. There is another glitch; this reflects only those that got official permission to emigrate. Some may not have actually left, and others may have left without obtaining the required permission.
  • The Schirrheimers of St. Stephen, Seneca, Ohio (9 KB)
    Johann Baptiste FALTER, known as John B. in America, married Margarette STEINMETZ. Margarette was born in Schirrheim (now Schirrhein), Bas-Rhin, Alsace, France. She was the daughter of Martin STEINMETZ, and the great grandaughter of General Sebastien STEINMETZ who died in the French Revolution. In the period of 1828-1838 a large number of villagers from Schirrhein and the neighboring village of Schirrhoffen immigrated to America. Most initially came to Stark County, Ohio and within a few years migrated elsewhere in Ohio and to Missouri. This is the story of the people of Schirrhein and Schirrhoffen who settled in St. Stephen, Seneca County, Ohio.
  • Philip Falter, our Immigrant Ancestor (18 KB)
    Philip FALTER was a man willing to take risks for the betterment of his family. Here are a few extracts from the Falter-Scharf Family History of his biography. Certainly not as complete as the book, but nonetheless interesting.
  • The Hummer Family Fortune (3 KB)
    This is a story of money and the disappearance of a family member. It has been passed down in at least three versions over the years. This is the version that my grandmother Cora (Hummer) SCHARF used to tell.

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