Spiegel Family

Family tradition says our surname came from the town of Spiegelberg, in Wurttenburg, Germany. There are references to Spiegels as far back as the 12th century when they were dukes of Desenberg. Below is a picture of Heinrich Spiegel von Desenberg, 1380. Bishop of Paderborn Cathedral.

The earliest Spiegel in our family, documented, is Francis Spiegel. Francis was born about 1795 in Olsbrucken, Germany. Olsbrucken, Bayern (Baveria) was listed as his birthplace on the 1850 US census. He immigrated to the US in 1835 with his wife and son Jacob (born about Nov 1822), according to the information given on the census. In 1835, the Kingdom of Bayern encompassed both Old Baveria and Pfalz Bavaria ruled by Ludwig I, now Palantine/Rhineland, Germany. Francis married Apollonia Margaret or Margaret Apollonia ( she was called Margaret, I found an old German custom to call a person by their middle name, the first being a saint's name. I don't know if Margaret used this custom or not) Our Spiegels were Catholic, in the Catholic church records of Otterberg, Bayern, there is listed Jacobus Joanne (John) Spiegel, christianed December 19, 1822, parents are listed as Francis Spiegel and Apollonia (Fals) Spiegel. Otterburg is just about 5 miles from Olsbrucken, there is a cathedral there, perhaps that is where the family attended Mass. Also a record exists of a daughter, Elizabeth, Christianed in the same church on November 9, 1826. The family emmigrated to the US about 1836. Family tradition says they were supposed to be going to Ohio where relatives lived, but not knowing English the family boarded the wrong train and ended up in Rochester, New York. There they stayed, buying land in rural Irondequoit and farming for a living. I am trying to track down the Spiegels that previously had settled in Ohio.

Jacob Spiegel married Catherine Barbara LaForce b. Aug 22, 1832 Otterstadt, Germany, daughter of Joannes (John) Jacob LaForce and Christina Klier, they immigrated to New York from Germany before 1860.; Jacob and Barbara had 13 children. (See the LaForce Family for her ancestry.)
Besides farming, the family manufactured shoes, focusing on corrective shoes and especially arch supports. Many children and grandchildren were employed in the family company.

Our ancestor is John A. the 12th child of Jacob and Catherine. Family members told me that he left the Catholic church over a dispute with a priest and raised his children Protestant. (When he was dying, however, the priest was called to administer the last rites.) The dispute caused a rift in the family and ended contact between our branch and the descendants of Jacob's brothers and sisters. I am trying to find records of the rest of our relatives, it has been long enough.
John A. Spiegel b. September 5, 1875, Rochester, NY; d. April 19, 1927; married Emma Adam daughter of Ludwig and Louise Adam; b. about 1878 in Württemburg, Germany. She emmigrated from Germany with her parents around 1880. She died after 1930, as she was listed on the 1930 census in Rochester, NY.

John Spiegel worked as a clerk in a shoe store in 1920, as is recorded on the 1920 census. Probably in the family business. John and Emma had five children.

Harry b. January 2, 1895; worked at Kodak making cameras. He married Frieda ___ and had three sons, Donald, Harry Jr, and Raymond.

Walter, b. June 14, 1904, was listed as Auto Repair in the 1930 census. He married Elizabeth and had three children, Earl (my father) is living in Georgia; Richard and Marilynn, younger siblings have passed.

Laura b. 1907, died young of a fever.

Evelynn, b. 1917 is living in Rochester NY with her second husband.

Gordon b. March 31, 1923 married ___. Had two daughters. He moved with his daughters and second wife to New Orleans where he spent the rest of his life.



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I. Francis Spiegel b. 1795 Olsbrucken, Germany, d. 4-22-1872, Irondequoit, Monroe Co. New York; m. Apollonia Margaret Fals c. 2-18-1794 Deidesheim, German, d. 4-25-1863. both emmigrated from Germany to Monroe Co. New York in 1835.
II-1.Jacob John Spiegel b. Nov.1822 Olsbrucken, Germany; d. October 23, 1903 Rochester, NY; m. Catherine Barbara LaForce

View of the Catholic Church in Otterberg,Germany where Jacob Spiegel was Christianed

II-2 Elizabeth Spiegel c. November 9, 1826 Olsbrucken, Germany
II-3 Anthony Spiegel b. 1840 in Rochester, New York.
Children of Jacob and Catherine were:
III-1.Lana b. 1849
III-2.Jacob John Jr. b. 1853; d. 1907


IV-1 Frank George b. 1875-1939
IV-2 Matilda 1977-1897
IV-3 Henry August b. 1880
IV-4 George 1882-1883
IV-5 Marie Magdalena 1884-
IV-6 John Frederick 1886-1968
IV-7 Mabel Isabel 1891-1930
IV-8 Bennedict d. 1951

III-3.Barbara b. 1856
III-4.Catherine (Kate) b. 1862
III-5.George b. 1862; d. 1940
III-6.John b. 1865 died young
III-7.Leonesa b. 1866
III-8.Rosalia b. 1867
III-9.Anna M. b. 1870
III-10.Frances b. 1872
III-11.Valentine b. 1873; d.1904
III-12.John A. b.1875; d.1927
  IV-1 Harry b.1/2/1895
IV-2 Walter b. 6/14/1904
IV-3 Laurine b. 1907
IV-4 Evelynn b. 1917
IV-5 Gordon b. 3/31/1923
III-13.Mathilda b. 1878
III-14.Gustav b. 1879

last updated - Mar 3, 2007 Connie Gilbert contacthome • • •