Don't John & Fredericka Pufpaff have to be related?

+5 votes

I'm still working on cemeteries - now it's one in NY's Hudson Valley - Montrepose Cemetery in Kingston. I photographed a couple of Pufpaff tombstones because the name was interesting. And I've just made the first 6 Pufpaff profiles for WikiTree.

John C. Pufpaff (1851-1937) is buried right next to Fredericka "Rika" (Pufpaff) Allwardt (1849-1926). Both were born in Germany. It seems like they ought to be related, but I have yet to find it. I've got John connected to our mutual tree. No luck with Fredericka. I want to connect them to each other.

Before I give up and see if I can connect her some other way, I thought I'd ask for assistance from our deep talent pool. Feel free to edit; I'm not at all territorial about this. My goal is simply to place cemetery pictures, then connect them if needed. All help appreciated!

WikiTree profile: Rika Allwardt
in Genealogy Help by Living Winter G2G6 Mach 7 (72.0k points)
edited by Living Winter
Thanks for the badge, Elizabeth!

1 Answer

+4 votes
Best answer

Probably brother and sister.

Here's Rika at home with her husband Charles and father Christian:  "United States Census, 1900," database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 1 June 2018), Ricka Alwardt in household of Charly Alwardt, Election Districts 1 Kingston city Ward 2, Ulster, New York, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 98, sheet 3A, family 59, NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1972.); FHL microfilm 1,241,169.

Here's John, son of Christian, marrying Sophia Lindhorst:  "New York Marriages, 1686-1980," database, FamilySearch ( : 10 February 2018), Chris. Pufpaff in entry for John Pufpaff and Sophia L. Lindhorst, 09 Aug 1911; citing reference 418; FHL microfilm 842,643.

John's profile might have some spouse confusion?


Here's the Pufpaff family, Christian and Maria, along with Fred'a, 5, and John, 3, arriving in New York in 1863:  "New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1891," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 12 March 2018), Chr Puffaf, 1863; citing NARA microfilm publication M237 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm.


by Living Tardy G2G6 Pilot (733k points)
selected by Living Winter
I figured brother & sister, too. Rika's father, Christian, is with her family for the 1920 US Census as father in law. I found a likely German 1867 Census where Rika & Christian both have matching dates. Mother/wife is Elise. Rika is 19. There are only two other children: Marie, 5, and WIlhelm, 2. John would have been 17 at the time. He is not in this family's household. Doesn't mean he's not a son. Could be @ school, with other relations. The 1910 US Census has him immigrating to the US in 1867, so that's a potentially credible explanation.

There's a problem with the 1863 arrival. Rika was born 1849 and John (presumably born Johann) in 1851. That would make them 14 & 12 in 1863, not 5 and 3. Too bad!

I'm curious about the "spouse confusion" you suggest. I took Sophie's LNAB from two places: 1911 New York marriage record (indexed as Leverenz) and from mother-in-law Mary Severence from the 1920 US Census. Since Sophie was 50 when they married, she could easily have been a widow entering the marriage with her first husband's name. Then again, her mother also could be named Severence due to a second marriage. Ornate L's are easy to be misinterpreted as "S". Severence is clear on the Census, though the Census often has errors. The combination of the 2 is what gave me more confidence. I'll keep looking.

I don't have a FamilySearch account, so I don't have access to that particular record. I use Ancestry, so not everyone can see what I'm citing from there either. I can email a screen shot. I would appreciate if you would/could do the same.
FamilySearch is free.  No reason not to sign up.  The 1911 marriage record there shows

Name:  John Pufpaff

Birth Date:  1852

Spouse's Name:  Sophia L Lindhorst

Spouse's Birth Date:  1859

Father's Name:  Chris. Pufpaff

Mother's Name:  Eliza Shuberg

Spouse's Father's Name:  Fred Leverenz

Spouse's Mother's Name:  Mary Storm

So Sophia probably was the widow Lindhorst nee Leverenz.  Was Wilhemina the same person?  Or maybe John married two sisters.

Good catch on the ages in the passenger manifest (definitely dated 1863).  There was a third child, Carol (?) aged 4 months, so the other two are probably not both off by 10 years.

Anyway, John and Rika both had a father named Christian, based on Census and marriage records.  That, plus the unusual name and common birthplace would be enough to convince me they were siblings.  A little more digging and correlating with other family members should strengthen the conclusion.
Still looking. A little time in the Kingston City Directory shows Mrs. Sophia Leverenz, widow, in 1906. There's a problem with her as Minnie's sister though. Minnie had a sister named Sophia b. 1849. Sophia, wife of John Pufpaff, was born 1861, so that's a bad fit.

The 1880 Census has John Peoffpof (1852), Meena Peoffpof (1855), William Peoffpof (1876) and Sophy Peoffpof (1878) in Kingston.  But John didn't marry Sophia Leverenz Lindhorst until 1911.  And yet John's head stone includes Minnie Lindhorst (1855).  Sophia must have been John's second wife, because Minnie died in 1907.  Maybe Sophia was Minnie's sister-in-law?

"United States Census, 1880," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 20 August 2017), John Peoffpof, Kingston, Ulster, New York, United States; citing enumeration district ED 129, sheet 197A, NARA microfilm publication T9 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 0939; FHL microfilm 1,254,939. 

Little Sophie married Edwin Butler in Ulster 20 Oct 1908.  The record lists her mother as Minnie Lindhurst. 

"New York Marriages, 1686-1980," database, FamilySearch ( : 10 February 2018), John Pufpaff in entry for Edwin Butler and Sopha Pufpaff, 20 Oct 1908; citing reference 87; FHL microfilm 842,643.

Getting off track though.  I still think John and Rika were siblings.



There's the rare last name, and the fact that they're just 2 years apart and buried next to each other. That alone makes a strong circumstantial case.
Elizabeth, I'm having second thoughts.  John husband of Minnie Lindhurst buried in Montrepose Cemetery might not be the same John who married Sophie Leveranz Lindhorst.  The 1911 marriage record (John and Sophie) says it was her second marriage, but his first.  That, to me, is a huge discrepancy!  There was another Pufpaff family in Buffalo, with similar dates and given names.  I know that's across the state, but still.  I will look at it again tomorrow with fresh eyes.  I think this rabbit hole has unexpected depths!
I'm continuing on. As it happens, I've started working on the Buffalo Pufpaffs this afternoon. Definitely a work in progress. I very much appreciate your attention to this problem. Plus it's fun to start a new surname; and I did create Pufpaff-1.
My pleasure! It's an interesting challenge, so thanks for the opportunity to participate.  Congrats on the '-1' profile, too.

And thanks for the Best Answer star!
OK, never mind, Minnie and Sophie married the same John Pufpaff.  I laid out all the Census and marriage records I found on John, and there are very few inconsistencies.  His occupation was always Carpenter, except when he was very young and very old.  He lived in Kingston Ward 3 with his daughter Lizzie (b 1893) before and after marrying Sophie.  The 1900 US Census shows his marriage year as 1876, and the 1930 US Census 'age when first married' also gives 1876.  Oldest child William was born about 1876.  No idea why his 1911 marriage record indicates first marriage for him - maybe he and Minnie never legally married?

The only mystery now, to me, regards the inscription on the back of his gravestone:  'Their children Minnie Henry Lena.'  Those must be nicknames, because none of the census records show any of those names.
I'm looking right now at an 1880 Census record, Kingston, NY. Parents immigrated from Prussia/Germany. Son b. New York.

Christopher Lindhorst, head. age 27 (b. 1853)
Sophia, wife.  age 21 (b. 1859)
John, dau, age 2 (b. 1866)

Also of interest are the neighbors next to them on the Census record. Their family name is "Leverence", a potential misspelling of Leverenz like the kind often found in Census records. Also a potential Anglicization of German name Leverenz. Additionally, the wife in the Leverence household is Mary, age 43 (b. 1837)

I'm now considering the likelihood that our Sophie's first husband was Christian Lindhorst, Minnie's brother. In 1920, John Pufpaff & wife Sophie's household includes her mother, Mary Leverence, also b. 1837. The circumstantial evidence is accumulating. I think there's enough pieces now that I am ready to tie it all together.

Yesterday, I wandered far & wide, hoping to find a connection for Minnie Lindhorst, wife of John Pufpaff. I think I've got it now. John Pufpaff's wife #2 was the widow of wife #1's brother. It all fits. I just need a little more to pin it down, but I think that's it!
Awesome!  No doubt 1880 Mary Leverence, 1920 Mary Severance/Leverance, and Mary Storm Leverenz from the 1911 John & Sophie marriage record are all the same person.

If you take another look at the image of the 1920 Census, immediately below Mary, there is a Luella Schomaker.  The L and S are similar, but Mary's name looks more like the L to me.
High tea today will serve Earl Grey tea, watercress sandwiches, and Buffalo Pufpaffs. Teehee

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