The Anstett Farm

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Date: 1865 [unknown]
Location: Alden, New Yorkmap
Surname/tag: Anstett
Profile manager: Michael Nuwer private message [send private message]
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Joseph Anstett

Joseph Anstett’s father, Michael Anstett, Sr., was born September 22, 1810 in the village of Ohlungen, Alsace, France. Michael Anstett married Rosina Schmilli on January 25, 1833 in the Catholic Church of St. George and their six children were each baptized there. Michael Anstett, his wife and four sons left Ohlungen, bound for the United States, in 1845. The great migration out of southern Germany, Alsace, and Switzerland took place between 1827 and 1861. The Anstett family immigrated at about the midpoint of this historical event. Michael Anstett was 35 years old. Joseph, his oldest child, was eleven years old and Anthony, his youngest child, was only eleven months old.

The family embarked at the port of Le Havre on the sailing ship named Baltimore and arrived in New York City on June 27, 1845. From New York City, they made their way over the Hudson River and the Erie Canal to Tonawanda.[1]

Historical records reveal that Michael Anstett purchased property in Cheektowaga three years and eight months after his arrival. On February 2, 1849, he paid $60 for 25 acres of land located in lot number 74. This purchase was a relatively small amount of land at a remarkably favorable price for the buyer.[2] The Anstett family worked this farm through the 1850s. The 1855 Census finds Michael and Rosina Anstett living in Cheektowaga, together with all four of their sons.

Joseph Anstett was the oldest of the four sons and was the first to marry. On February 16, 1858 he and Margaret Ebert were married at St. Mary’s church in Lancaster. The 1860 Census found Joseph Anstett, his wife and their son in living in Cheektowaga.[3] Joseph Anstett worked a farm in Cheektowaga until 1865 and then moved to Alden. In March 18, 1864, Joseph Anstett purchased a 50-acre parcel of land in lot number 37 in Alden, which was on the north side of Westwood Road. Joseph paid John Walter $1,500 for the property.[4] And yet, it appears that Joseph did not move to Alden until the end of 1865. In 1865 the New York Census found Joseph Anstett, his wife and two children living in Cheektowaga. It is not clear why Joseph owned a 50-acre farm in Alden but was living in Cheektowaga more than a year after the purchase.[5]

1866 Land Map, Westwood Road, Alden

Joseph Anstett and his family physically relocated to Alden in the winter of 1865-1866. His third child was born in Alden in February 1866. The following month, on March 21, 1866, Joseph Anstett purchased second parcel of land. He paid Francis Walker $2,200 for this farm which was also 50 acres of land. It was in lot 37 adjacent to the farm he already owned.[6]

Thus, in the late 1860s Joseph Anstett had moved from Cheektowaga to Alden; he owned two adjoining farms with a total of 100 acres of land. He had three children at home, the oldest was 10 years old.

In spring 1869 Michael Anstett, Sr. also moved to Alden. He was 58 years old at the time. His youngest son Anthony, who was 24 years old, was still living at home. In January 1869, Michael Anstett, Sr. sold his 25-acre farm in Cheektowaga for $2,000 and in March he purchased 50 acres of land in Alden. He paid Christian Kessel $2,500 for a parcel of land in lot number 36. This parcel was on the south side of Westwood, directly across from his son’s land.[7]

1880 Land Map, Westwood Road, Alden

Joseph Anstett and Michael Anstett, Sr. were both reported in the 1870 Agricultural Census. Their fields produced a large quantity of oats, wheat, corn and barley, over 1,000 bushels. Thirty-five tons of hay was mowed. They also produced potatoes, peas, and apples. Together Joseph and Michael, Sr. milked eleven cows and produced 2,000 pounds of butter. This was a significant agricultural enterprise.

Anthony Anstett, the youngest of the four Anstett brothers, started his family after his move to Alden. On May 14, 1872 he married Maria Suttel at St. John's church in Alden Center. He was 27 years old. Two months earlier, Anthony had purchased 25 acres of land from his brother Joseph. The land was the eastern quarter of Joseph’s 100-acre farm. Anthony and Mary Anstett, however, never started their family. Anthony died on February 22, 1874, only 22 months after his wedding. He had no children and his wife Mary inherited the 25-acre farm. She sold that land in 1877 to Joseph Roll (son of George Roll, Sr. and brother to John Roll and George Roll, Jr.).[8]

Michael Anstett, Sr. began to back off from farming shortly after Anthony’s death. In March 1874 he sold his farm to his son Joseph.[9] The 1875 Census found Joseph farming 125 acres of land with four horses. He had 34 acres of pastureland, 40 acres of hay, 26 acres of wheat and oats, 7 acres of corn, 2 acres of potatoes and 100 apple trees. Joseph Anstett’s dairy operation milked 8 cows which produced 600 pounds of butter and 700 pounds of pork from three hogs.[10]

Five years later, in the spring of 1880, Joseph Anstett was 46 years old and at the prime of productive career. The 1880 Census lists Margaret, his wife, as the same age and all five of their children living at home. The oldest child, John, was 20 years old, and the two youngest sons, Louis and Joseph, Jr. were 9 and 5. In the middle of the range, Mary was 17 and Rose was 13, and their grandparents lived across the road.[11]

Michael Anstett, Sr. died August 12, 1890. He was 81 years old. His wife Rosina Anstett had died four years earlier on June 29, 1886. Church records at St. John’s listed her age as 85 years.[12] Michael Anstett’s probate records identified three heir, Joseph, Sebastian, and Michael, Jr.

Joseph’s Anstett’s son, Louis, married Katherine Nuwer on June 13, 1893. Katherine was the daughter of Henry Nuwer and Elizabeth Nichter of Lancaster. Two of her brothers will also live and work on Westwood road farms. Louis Anstett and Katherine Nuwer moved to the house formerly occupied by Louis’ grandparents—the house in lot 36 on the south side of Westwood road. Five children were born between 1894 and 1900. In 1901 Louis purchased this 50-acre farm from his farther for $2,500.[13]

By 1910 Louis and Katherine were living in the house on the north side of Westwood road and Joseph and Margaret moved to the house on the south side of the road. When the 1910 Census was taken, Westwood road was the boundary between two enumeration districts. Everyone living on the north side of the road were included in ED 240, while those living on the south side of the road were in the ED 241. Thus, we know for sure in which house the two Anstett family were residing.[14]

Margaret Anstett died October 30, 1914 and Joseph Anstett died almost exactly a year later, on October 29, 1915. He was survived by three sons, John M. and Louis of Alden, Joseph, Jr. of Lancaster and two daughters, Mrs. Frank X. Nuwer (Rose) and Mrs. Louis Walter (Mary). They each inherited a share of their father’s 75-acre farm.

Over time, Louis Anstett and Katherine Nuwer bought out those interests. They obtained Joseph, Jr.’s share in January 1917 and John’s share in December 1918. Mary Walter was bought-out in 1922 and Rosa Nuwer in 1927. [15]

In 1953 when Louis Anstett and Katherine Nuwer were celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary, the Buffalo Evening News noted that Louis was “born in the yellow brick house [he and Katherine] now share and in which he has lived continuously” for 82 years (Buffalo Evening News, June 10, 1953).

Further Reading

The complete story of the Anstett family is available here:


  1. Ship’s manifest, passenger numbers 208-213
  2. Joseph Batt to Michael Anstett
  3. 1860 census
    Michael Anstett:
    Joseph Anstett:
  4. John Walter to Joseph Anstett
  5. 1865 NY Census, Population Schedules
    Michael Anstett:
    Joseph Anstett:
  6. Francis Walker to Joseph Anstett
  7. Michael Anstead to Wilhelm Pfluegu
    Christian Kessel to Michael Anstedt
  8. Joseph Anstett to Anthony Anstett
  9. Michael Anstett to Joseph Anstedt
  10. 1875 Census, Joseph Anstett
  11. 1880 Census, Joseph Anstett and Michael Anstett, Sr.
  12. St. John’s records, Rosina Schmilli burial
    St. John’s records, Michael Anstett burial
  13. Joseph Anstett to Louis Anstett, 30 Aug 1901
  14. "United States Census, 1910," database with images, FamilySearch (, Louis Anstett, Alden, Erie, New York.
    "United States Census, 1910," database with images, FamilySearch (, Jos Aunsted, Alden, Erie, New York.
  15. Joseph Anstett to Louis Anstett, January 10, 1917
    John M. and Barbara Anstett to Louis Anstett, December 26, 1918
    Mary Walter to Louis Anstett, April 12, 1922
    Rosa Nuwer to Louis Anstett, March 26, 1927

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Categories: Westwood Road Farms