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Joseph Girard Farm

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Surname/tag: Walter
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Napoleon Joseph Girard purchased 50 acres of land on October 10, 1857. The parcel was in Lot 36 on the south side of Westwood Road. He made this purchase from the Farmers Land and Trust Company which was the predecessor of the Holland Land Company.[1]

Joseph Girard was marred to Magdalena. Her maiden name is not known. Joseph and Magdalena Girard had one child, Josephine Girard. According to the FamilySearch database Josephine was born in France in 1838.

Josephine Girard married Bernard Fix on May 19, 1857. The wedding was at St. John's church in Alden Center. Bernard Fix was identified as a widower.[2]

Josephine Girard and Bernard Fix had two children, Magdalena and Emma. Magdalena was born January 21, 1858 and baptized at St. John's church.[3] Emma was born March 8, 1859 and baptized Amelia Cecilia Fix at St. John's church.[4]

Census documents from 1860, 1865 and 1870 report someone named Frank Fix as a member of Josephine's family. Frank was born in 1854 or 1855 which makes him too old to be Josephine's legitimate son. There is no baptismal record at St. John's church for the years 1854 or 1855 with the name Frank Fix. He may have been Barnard's son from his first marriage.

Bernard Fix died November 25, 1859, he was 36 years old.[5] Within a year Josephine Girard married Mathias Walter. The 1860 Population Census found Mathias Walter, Lena Walter, Frank Fix and Lena Fix, living with Joseph and Lena Shiller. This Census schedule was taken August 10, 1860 and, based on the neighbors, this household is clearly living on Westwood Road. Joseph and Lena Shiller are probably Joseph and Lena Girard; Lena Walter is probably Josephine (Girard) Walter; Emma Fix was probably missed by the emulator.[6]

Joseph Girard was found in the 1865 agricultural census of New York. His 50-acre farm was valued at $2850. Joseph Girard plowed 20 acres and another 20 acres were grass lands.[7]

Mathias Walter purchased a 50-acre farm next door to Joseph Girard in 1868.[8]

Josephine Girard and Mathias Walter had five children: Josephine, Jr., Mathias, Jr., Charles, Rosa, and William. These five children were found in the 1870 Census. Also living in this household were Magdalena Fix, Emma Fix, and Frank Fix.[9]

Josephine (Girard) Walter died October 11, 1871.[10]

Mathias Walter remarried in June 1873. Following the wedding Magdalena Fix and Emma Fix moved into their grandparents household. In the 1875 Census Magdalena and Emma were found living with Joseph and Magdalena Girard.

Emma Fix died October 10, 1876.[11]

A year later, on October 30, 1877, Magdalena Fix married Bernard Wenzinger at St. John's church in Alden. [12]

Then on August 24, 1878 Joseph Girard died. [13]

Josephine Walter died 12 August 1879, age 18 years. [14]

Joseph Girard's heirs and next of kin were his wife, Magdalena Girard and Josephine's surviving children: Magdalena Fix, Josephine Walter, Mathias Walter, Charles Walter, Rosa Walter, and William Walter. Note that Frank Fix was not listed as one of Joseph Girard's heirs or next of kin. If Frank was Josephine's son he would have been listed unless he had, like Emma, died.

Joseph Girard's will left his farm to his wife for the remainder of her life. Magdalena Girard lived on the farm until she died, which was on November 29, 1897. [15]

After Magdalena Girard died, Joseph Girard's farm was devised to his granddaughter Magdalena (Fix) Wenzinger and Magdalena was charged to pay her five step siblings $250 each. These payments were to be made two years after her grandmother's death. Magdalena Wenzinger had died before 1899 and the land passed to her daughter Bertha Wenzinger. By 1899 Bertha was the owner of the farm as well as the obligations to pay her mother's siblings. These payment were made as follows:

  • to Josephine Walter's estate, November 1899[16]
  • to Mathias Walter, February 1901[17]
  • to Charles Walter, November 1903[18]
  • to Rose Walter, December 1905[19]
  • to William Walter, November 1905[20]

Birtha Wenzinger died in 1905 or 1906 and, in her Last Will and Testament, the Westwood Road farm was given to her Aunt Anna Wenzinger Young.[21] Anna W Young sold the 50 acre Westwood Road farm to William Staebell in January 1908.[22]


  1. Erie County deeds, https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9WX-S81L?i=356
  2. Church records, St. John's, Alden https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9K1-HYD7?i=94
  3. Church records, St. John's, Alden https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9K1-HYGC?i=20
  4. Church records, St. John's, Alden https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9K1-HYJQ?i=23
  5. Church records, St. John's, Alden https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9K1-HYKM?i=451
  6. U.S. Census, 1860, https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33SQ-GBSD-98HG?i=41
  7. New York State Census, 1865 https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-DT73-WLF?i=43 (Line number 5)
  8. Erie County deeds, https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99WX-S4Z1?i=247
  9. U.S. Census, 1870, https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-67NW-ZKF?i=50
  10. Church records, St. John's, Alden https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9K1-HYD4?i=457
  11. Church records, St. John's, Alden https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9K1-HYZP?i=460
  12. Church records, St. John's, Alden https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9K1-HYHX?i=103
  13. Church records, St. John's, Alden https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9K1-HY4V?i=127
  14. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9K1-HYF9?i=461
  15. Church records, St. John's, Alden https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9K1-HYCZ?i=471
  16. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89WX-XYXD?i=361
  17. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99WX-ZWM3?i=262
  18. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99WX-Z7LB?i=261
  19. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9WX-6JSP?i=405
  20. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9CQ-Q8WR?i=113
  21. The Will of Bertha Wenzinger, https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9WX-6JSP?i=405
  22. Anna W Young to William Staebell, January 1908
    Oil and gas drilling lease

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Categories: Westwood Road Farms