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Nuwer's on Westwood

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Date: 1878 [unknown]
Location: Alden, New Yorkmap
Surname/tag: Nuwer
Profile manager: Michael Nuwer private message [send private message]
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Henry Nuwer of Lancaster married Elizabeth Nichter, also of Lancaster, on June 18, 1867. He was one-month shy of his 22nd birthday. Their first child, John George Nuwer, was born in 1869 and Katherine Nuwer was born in 1870. Henry and Elizabeth had a total of nine children. Henry Nuwer reported in the 1875 agricultural census schedules that he was farming 70 acres of land. This was probably some part of his father’s Lancaster farm, but we don’t know for sure.

Two years later, at the age of 33 years, Henry purchased land of his own. On March 16, 1878 George and Andrew Heckel sold Henry Nuwer 75 acres of land on the south side of Westwood road in Alden. Henry paid $3,750 for land contained in lots 36 & 42.[1]

Henry’s neighbor to the west was Louis Schwartz, Sr. Louis Schwartz lived in Looneyville, but he had purchased the Westwood road property in 1873 from the estate auction of Peter Bachman. (The assets in Bachman’s estate were not sufficient to pay his debts, and the court ordered the auction.)[2]

Image 5 (Map 3.1)

Map 3.1 is a close-up of lots 36 and 42 in Alden and was taken from the 1880 Atlas of Erie County. Louis Schwartz’s 1873 purchase included the parcels labeled #1 and #2 on Map 3.1. Parcel #1 contained 50 acres of land while parcel #2 contained 25 acres, but they were separated by the parcel labeled #4 in the map. Henry Nuwer’s 1878 purchase consisted of the parcels labeled #3 and #4—50 acres in parcel #3 and 25 acres in parcel #4. Henry Nuwer and Louis Schwartz knew each other as more than neighbors. They were both members of St. Mary’s parish and Henry’s sister Catherine married Louis Schwatz’s son, Louis Jr. in 1882. These relationships perhaps had an effect in June 1883 when Louis Schwartz and Henry Nuwer traded parcels #4 and #2.

The original image of Map 3.1 shows Henry Nuwer (misspelled as Noover) owned parcels #3 and #2, but in 1880 that was not the case. According to the Erie County real property archive, in 1880 Henry Nuwer owned the parcel labeled #3 and #4. Be that as it may, after 1883, Henry Nuwer owned the 75 acres of land represented in the original image shown as Map 3.1—a 50-acre strip on the west side of lot 36 and a 25-acre piece in the south-east corner of lot 42. Moreover, the Erie County real property archive contains a June 1900 lease for oil and gas exploration on this property, and that document confirms the boundaries of the land. In the 1880 Agricultural census we find Henry Nuwer working his 75 acres of land in Alden plus another 65 acres of his father’s land in Lancaster. The value of these 140 acres was reported as $8,100.[3]

Image 6 (Map 3.2)

In April 1888 Henry Nuwer acquired another piece of farmland on Westwood road in Alden. He purchased 50 acres of land from George Lohr for a sum of $3,000. This parcel was contained in lots 49 and 43 on the north side of the Westwood road, and it will become John G. Nuwer’s farm after his 1893 marriage. But in 1888 when Henry purchased the land, John G. Nuwer was only 13 years old.[4]

As we have discussed in other writings, Henry Nuwer inherited a 90-acre farm from his father in 1897 and the title was transferred to Henry in 1901. This was the land contained in lot number 2 section 1 in Lancaster. Henry and his family lived on that farm, and it is where he died in 1911.

John G. Nuwer was the first of Henry Nuwer’s sons to marry and leave the Lancaster farm. He moved to the 50-acre parcel of land in lots 49 and 43 on the north side of Westwood road. Henry Nuwer’s next two of sons were married in 1900, Andrew in May and Henry C. in November. Both sons moved to Westwood road after their wedding. The 1905 and 1910 censuses show the two brothers as next-door neighbors and that Andrew was living west of his brother Henry. No doubt Henry C. was living on his father’s land. Andrew may have also been living there or he may have been renting the Louis Schwartz farm next door. I don’t know for sure. Land records show that Henry C. will eventually own this Westwood road land and that Andrew purchased a farm on Clinton street in Elma in January 1913.[5]

Anton Nuwer was married around 1904 and in April 1910 he purchased a farm in Alden. The farm was composed of 48 acres of land located on Broadway plus 25 acres of land located around the corner on Two Rod road at the Erie Railroad crossing. By 1910 it was common that deeds did not disclose the selling price of the land, so we don’t know how much Anton paid for these parcels. Nor do we know whether Anton’s father help finance the purchase in any way.[6]

Henry Nuwer died in May 1911 at the age of 66 years. On March 1, 1912 his estate conveyed title of his three farms to three of his sons. The 75 acres of land contained in lots 36 and 42 went to Henry C. Nuwer; the 50 acres of land in lots 43 and 49 went to John G. Nuwer and the 90 acres of land in lot 2 section 1 went to Edward W. Nuwer. Unfortunately, digital versions of these deeds are not available. Nor is there a digital copy of Henry Nuwer’s probate file. Inspection of those documents will require a visit to the Erie County Clerk’s office and the Erie County Surrogate’s Court.

It is possible that Henry Nuwer’s Last Will and Testament was structured similar to his father’s Last Will. Specifically, each of the three farms were assigned an assessed value and that value was charged against John G., Henry C. and Edward’s shares of the estate.[7]

Further readings

For more details see Planting Roots: A Nuwer family history by Michael Nuwer


  1. George and Andrew Heckel to Henry Nuwer

  2. Peter Bachman to Louis Schwartz

  3. Lease for oil and gas exploration

  4. George Lohr to Henry Nuwer

  5. Nellie M. Eiss to Andrew Nuwer
    Index record only https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99WX-YBYP?i=822

  6. Henry Frantzman to Anton Nuwer

  7. The heirs of Henry Nuwer to Henry C. Nuwer
    Index record only https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89WX-BQS9?i=371

    The heirs of Henry Nuwer to John G. Nuwer
    Index record only https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89WX-BQS9?i=371

    The heirs of Henry Nuwer to Edward W. Nuwer

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Categories: Westwood Road Farms