Michael Roll the blacksmith

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Date: 1850 [unknown]
Location: Lancaster, New Yorkmap
Surname/tag: Roll
Profile manager: Michael Nuwer private message [send private message]
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Michael Roll (1828 - 1895)
Hedwig (Zimmerman) Roll (1843 - 1903)

Michael Roll married Magdalena Knauber on July 5, 1853 at St. Mary of the Assumption in the Village of Lancaster. The bride’s mother, Salome Holleren, had died a year earlier and her father, John Knauber, began dividing his property among his eight children. After her wedding, Magdalena (Knauber) Roll received one-eighth of her father’s 90-acre farm in the town of Lancaster. On August 6, 1853 Michael and Magdalena Roll were deeded about eleven acres of land contained in lot 8 section 7, which was located on the northeast border with the Village of Lancaster. (The first attached image is part of a map from 1866. By that time the Knauber’s land had been sold, but the image shows the location of the farm in lot 8, section 7.)[1]

About three years later, in March 1856 Michael Roll purchased the site of his blacksmith shop. He acquired one acre of land from Edward Denny for $625. The property was on Main street, west of the village of Town Line, at the intersection with Schwartz road. In the deed, Main street was identified as Cayuga Creek Road; today it is called Broadway. In November of the same year Michael purchased an additional quarter acre of land from William Denny. Michael paid $30 for this adjoining parcel. (The second attached image, taken from the same 1866 map, shows the location of Michael Roll’s blacksmith shop.)[2]

It is not clear from property deeds whether Michael and Magdalena Roll lived on her father's farm at East Lancaster, in a house next to the blacksmith shop at Town Line (the map shows a separate structure), or elsewhere. Nevertheless, in February 1857 Michael Roll purchased a house in the Village of Lancaster which was located in the vicinity of Buck road. It was located in lot number 12 section 7 and he paid $630 for the house and property.[3]

Thus, by the summer of 1857 Michael Roll was the owner of three properties: 1.25 acres in Town Line containing his blacksmith shop, 11.25 acres from his late father-in-law’s farm, and a house on Buck road in the Village of Lancaster.

The farmland was sold in 1859. In September Joseph Knauber, Magdalena’s brother, purchased the 11 acres for $1,000. Over time the farm will be subdivided into residential lots along Erie road, as indicated on the 1866 map.[4]

The house in the Village of Lancaster was sold for $300 in June 1863. It appears Michael took a significant loss on this property. Michael Roll’s sixth child, Maria Rosa Roll, was born March 26, 1863. This child died in August of the same year, and her mother, Magdalena, died a month later. Although the house sold before Magdalena’s death, the two events may have had some connection.[5]

Michael Roll remarried on May 10, 1864. His second wife was Hedwig (Francis) Zimmermann. Her parents, Michael Zimmermann and Francis Hedwig, owned a farm on Crooked road (today it is called Columbia Avenue) in the north-west part of the town. The farm was contained in lot 5, section 11. Michael Zimmermann had purchased 34 and three-quarter acres of land on August 19, 1850. He paid $1,100 for the property.[6]

In April 1865 Michael Zimmermann sold 10 acres of his farm to his neighbor, Jacob Sturm, for the sum of $500. Michael Zimmermann then sold the remainder of his farmland in May 1868. He conveyed 23 acres to Albert Rohm for a sum of $1,760.[7]

In 1870, the Zimmermann’s will journey to Minnesota along with their daughter and son-in-law. Before heading west Michael Roll needed to liquidate his blacksmith shop, which occurred in May 1869. Mathias Schwartzin (probably Schwartz) purchased the 1.25-acre property for $1,000. A year later, when the 1870 U.S. Census was taken, the Roll’s and Zimmerman’s were living in Minnesota.[8]


  1. Martin Knauber to Michael Roll, August 1853 (lot 8 section 7)
  2. Edward Denny to Michael Roll, March 1856 (lot 11 section 1)
    William Denny to Michael Roll, November 1856 (lot 11 section 1)
  3. Stephen Halsey to Michael Roll, February 1857 (lot 12 section 7)
  4. Michael Roll to Joseph Knauber, September 1859 (lot 8 section 7)
  5. Michael Roll to George Coastmann, June 1863 (lot 12 section 7)
  6. John Durr to Michael Zimmermann August 1850
  7. Michael Zimmerman to Jacob Sturm, April 1865 (lot 5 section 11)
    Michael Zimmerman to Albert Rohm, May 1868 (lot 5 section 11)
  8. Michael Roll to Mathias Schwartzin, May 1869 (lot 11 section 1)

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