Syska Family Census


Adolph Syska (1824-1916)

Adolph & Carolina (Petroll) Syska(my 2nd gr grandparents)  arrived in the USA in June of 1885.  Carolina passed away in 1895.  In 1900 Adolph was living in the Bronx with his oldest daughter, Augusta (Syska) Hoffman, her husband, Hiram Hoffman, and her son Frederick. 


Son of Adolph & Carolina (Petroll) Syska:

William F. Syska Sr. (1866-1956) & Elizabeth (Zimmermann) Syska (1871-1954) & Family


William & Lizzie were residing at 6354 Rhodes Ave, Chicago, IL with their 4 children ages 0 to 7 yrs. – Erna, William, Chester & Herbert.  They were living in the home of  Lizzie’s parents, Emil & Elizabeth Zimmermann, along with Lizzie’s siblings Paul, Clara, Carl, Carl’s wife Mary and his daughter Corrinne, and sister in law, Bertha Wordelmann. Emil Zimmermann owned the home at this address and lists his occupation as carpenter.   William Syska lists his occupation as Butcher and indicates he came to the USA in 1885.  He and Lizzie were married 9 years prior in about 1891.


William & Lizzie were living at 752 East 137th St., Bronx, NY.  They had moved to NY sometime prior to 1906 when they were living at the Old Burke Farm located between Bear Swamp Rd. and White Plains Rd. Bronx, NY.  There is an article written about William Syska providing farming consultation to city residents at the time.  
In 1910 they had 8 children ages 7 months to 17 years, with his oldest daughter, Erna, employed as a dressmaker.  William, who was 44 y.o., although the census says ’42’, lists his occupation as Butcher.  We know that in 1918 he reopened a Butcher shop, in Pelham NY.


Sometime prior to 1920 the family moved to Wilton CT and purchased a farm.  William, aged 53, listed his occupation as Farmer.  He resided with wife, Lizzie and all of their children except Erna. We know from a newspaper clipping, that they had a fire in the barn in November of 1920.  The newspaper says that “Mr. Syska’s son was filling the tank of the car with gasoline when it ignited.”  Another article indicates that the family moved back to westchester in 1923, but other city records have the family living in CT. until atleast 1929.


In 1935 William & Elizabeth Syska were living in Daytona Beach FL.  The exact date of their move to FL is unknown.  The Daytona Beach city record shows them living on Ridgewood Ave. in Daytona Beach in 1932.  They owned and operated a gas station, grocer and orchard in FL and continued to reside there until at least 1945.


William & Lizzie were residing at 127 Congress Ave., Daytona Beach FL with their daughter Gladys (Syska) Allard Horton and her 3 sons ages 7 mos. to 9 years.  William is 73 y.o. and lists his occupation as Manager of Gas Filling Station.    The FL 1945 census above is the first time, he indicates he is retired!












Son of William & Elizabeth (Zimmermann) Syska:

William F. Syska Jr. (1896-1981) & Beatrice (Scofield) Syska (1906-1945) & Family


In 1930, a family of four, William, Beatrice, Stanley & Doug, resided in an aparment on Church St. in New Rochelle that they rented for $35 a month.  William and Beatrice (my grandparents) had been married 3 years earlier.  William listed his occupation as carpenter but indicated he had not worked on the previous day.


The family was residing at 19 Burling Ln, New Rochelle, NY in an apartment they rented for $25 a month with their 9 children ages 2 months to 12 years.  Their youngest son, Bruce, wasn’t born until 1943.   
Times were tough for the syska family.  A 43 yr old William Syska Jr., head of household, listed his occupation as a carpenter but was out of work.  He had been on unemployment for 39 weeks.  In 1939 he had worked for 26 weeks and his income for the year was $558.  Beatrice was 33 yr.old and listed her occupation as housework, not to mention mother of 9!  She gave birth to one more child 3 years after this and then passed away in 1945


Immigration ships that brought the Syska and Zimmerman families to America in the 19th century

Here is the passenger list from the Howard which brought the Zimmermann family to America from the port of Hamburg Germany to the port of NY, USA on May 21, 1848.  Although they had been at sea for over 5 weeks their journey was not over.  They took another boat up the Hudson river, a relatively short 130 mile jaunt, to Albany where they loaded onto a train first to Buffalo NY and then onto their final destination of Sheboygan, WI.   The passenger list below shows that my 3rd gr grandparents, Gottfried & Caroline Zimmermann, were not only accompanied by their 8 children (ages 5 to 22), but also by Gottfried’s brother, Michael Frederick Zimmermann (1806-1892) along with his wife, Maria Dorothee, and their 8 children (ages from 6 mos. to 14 years.)

Passengers listed as follows:

Gottfired Zimmermann (age 50);  Caroline (42), Fred (22), Gottlieb (18), Gottfried (15), Carl Ludwig or Louis (13),  William (11), Emil (10), my 2nd grgf, Caroline (7) and on the next page Theodore (5).  Next the family of Michael Frederick Zimmermann is listed and then Christian Zimmermann* (age 25) is also listed.

*Christian may have been a brother or other relative of Gottfried and Michael’s.  I do not believe he is one of their children as he is not listed on any future census or other records as residing with or being part of either family.

Below is the passenger list from the Donau which arrived in NY from Bremen Germany on June 15, 1885 carrying the Szyszka (Syska) family to America.  On board were Adolph & Caroline (my 2nd gr grandparents) with four of their children including 16 y.o. Pauline, 10 y.o. August, 7 y.o. Bertha and 21 y.o. Ottilie.  Their older children had already come to America separately between 1874 and 1883. In total they had 11 children but 3 died in childhood, while the 8 surviving children all emigrated to America.  Adolph & Caroline were descended by 28 grandchildren and well over 50 great grandchildren.

Adolph & Caroline’s children in order were:  Augusta (b.1852),  Amalie E. (b.1854) died in infancy, Anna Wilhelmina (b.1855) probably died in childhood, Julius (b.1857) died in infancy, Mary Wanda (b.1858), Adolph (b.1863), Ottillie (b.1863), William (b.1866) (my grgf), Pauline (b.1869), August (b.1871), Bertha (b.1875).

William F. Syska (1866-1956) provides Farming advice in 1906 and other interesting articles

William F. Syska (1866-1956) provides Farming advice in 1906 and other interesting articles

1906 NY Times Article regarding small farms given to New York City residents to cultivate.

William F. Syska , who had farming experience in the ‘Far West’ and Europe provided expert advice to the farmers.  William, his wife and six children resided in the only house, on the ‘old Burke Farm’ near White Plains Rd. in the Bronx.

Article Citations:
...W.F. Syska, who has had farming experience in the Far West and in Europe, was engaged to reduce the wild to a tillable farm….
Mr. Syska cleared and plowed the land….
Expert instruction also is free, and Mr. Syska is consulted at all times about conditions and requirements.  He, with his wife and six little children, lives in the only house on the place- a house that looks to be a hundred years old. 
William’s wife was Elizabeth (Zimmermann) Syska and their six children at the time were 14 y.o. Erna, 12 y.o. William Jr., 8 y.o. Chester, 6 y.o. Herbert, 3 y.o. Clara and 1 y.o. Stanley.  The Family had previously resided in Chicago with Lizzie’s parents until at least 1903 when Clara was born.  Lizzie’s family owned farms in Sheboygan, WI which could have been the ‘far west’ farming experience referred to in the article.
William and Lizzie’s 6th child, Stanley, was born in Missouri in 1905. Thus, they probably moved to NY about 1906, just prior to this article.  Their second child, William Jr, was born in NY in 1896- perhaps on a visit as William’s parents (Adolph & Caroline Szyszka) had settled in the New York city area after coming to America along with several of William’s siblings.
William and Lizzie had two more daughters, Adele and Gladys born in 1907 and 1909 in New York. The family moved to Wilton, Connecticut before 1920 and then to Daytona Beach Florida in about 1932, by that time the children were grown and many stayed up North.  In addition to farming, William was a butcher and operated a meat market in Westchester County, NY, as well as owning property in Connecticut and Florida.  In Florida he also owned a Gas station, grocer and orange grove.
Children:  Erna J. (Syska) Braun (1892-), William F. Syska Jr. (1896-1981), Chester E. Syska (1898-1983), Herbert P Syska (1900-1974), Clara E (Syska) Vogt Keller (1903-2001),  Stanley E. Syska (1905-1971), Adele (Syska) Pinkham (1907-1992), Gladys L. (Syska) Ellis Allard (1909-2002)

KEUPER Immigration to America

KEUPER Immigration to America


Elizabetha Keuper (my 2nd Great Grandparents) and Michael Emil Zimmermann are the parents of Lizzie Zimmermann Syska.

Eliesabeth (Elizabetha) Keuper was born in 1841 in Lewis, NY.  She was the first child born to Johann Jacob Keuper (1807-1889) and Maria Dorothea Pfeiffer (1816-1886) a year after the family came to America.  The father, Jacob, had come first in 1836 and then in 1840 he went back to Prussia to get his wife.  The family lived in the Adirondacks region of NY – close to the border of Montreal- for three years then moved to Waukesha County, Wisconsin.  Four years later, in 1847, they relocated to Plymouth, WI.  They had three more children, Jacob, Maria and Charles, all born in Wisconsin.  The father Jacob was a farmer and in the livestock business.  His son Jacob, engaged in a number of businesses and local politics in Plymouth.  Elizabetha Keuper married Emil Zimmermann in Sheboygan, WI in 1866 and moved to Chicago, Illinois.

  • An article published regarding their son, Jacob (1845-1931), states Johann Jacob Keuper (b.1807) and his wife, Dora,  were from Troyer which is in the German state of Bayern or Bavaria, the southern part of the country that borders Austria, Switzerland and a small part of France.  Other sources state the parents were born in Thalfang which is father north along the western border shared with Belgium.  The Keupers list their homeland as Prussia on all Census records.  
  1. Johann Jacob Keuper was born the son of Johann Zacharias Keuper (b.1775) and Anna Elizabetha Fetzer (b.1782) both born in Germany, deaths unknown.                                      –
  2. Zacharias Keuper’s parents were Johann Michel Keupper (1745-1780) and Elisabetha Barbara Schmidt (1742-1786). Michel was born in Luckenberg, Elisabetha in Gielroth, Germany. They were married in 1775 in Thalfang, Germany.                                                  –
  3. Michel’s parents were Johann Nickel Keupper (1714-1780) and Anna Elisabetha Weinig (1716-1781). Nickel was born in Luckenburg, Anna in Talling and they were married in 1738 in Thalfang Germany. 
    1. The Keupper name appears to have been changed to Keuper in the 1700’s          –
  4. Nickel’s father was Johann Georg Keupper (1677-1728) born in Burtscheid, Germany. Mother unknown.
All of the family surnames (Keuper, Fetzer, Schmidt, Weinig) can be traced to the 1600’s in Germany.


The Zimmermann Family – Great Great Grandmother’s family

The Zimmermann Family – Great Great Grandmother’s family


Gottfried and Caroline’s granddaughter, LIZZIE (b.1871), married  William F. Syska, SR. (b. 1866) and is our Great Great Grandmother.  

Lizzie is the daughter of Michael Emil Zimmermann(b.1838) and Eliesabeth Keusser (Keuper) Zimmermann (b.1841)


In April of 1848, ‘Gottfried’ Friedrich Zimmermann (1799-1873) and his wife Dorothee Leceralin Caroline Thieme (1806-1885)my great-great-great grandparents– left their homeland of Brandenberg, Germany and set sail for the New world on a ship named the ‘Howard’ with their eight children, ages 6 to 23.  Their journey aboard the Howard, from Brandenberg to the New York Harbor took 5 weeks and 3 days.  The family did not, however, settle in NY, instead sailing up the Hudson River to Albany, New York.  From there, the family headed for Wisconsin via a train, arriving in Evergreen City in Sheboygan county, WI on June 5, 1848.  Along the way the family stopped in Buffalo and Rochester and passed by three great lakes.

Gottfried and Caroline were married March 1825 in Germany and had 7 sons and 1 daughter,  all born in their native country.

Gottfried was the son of Fredrick Zimmerman (b. 1770) and Sophia Sejdow (b. 1774) both of whom were from Brandenberg in Central Germany.  Records indicate that they had 2 sons in addition to Gottfried who also emigrated to the united states.  The oldest, Johann, also settled in Wisconsin although his year of arrival is unknown. Caroline’s ancestry is unknown.

Upon arriving in Wisconsin, Gottfried, who was a shepherd in Germany and perhaps also a lawman, according to his application for emigration, purchased a ‘quarter section of land (160 acres) to farm in Wilson township.  In 1850 he added 120 additional acres.   Gottfried passed away in 1873.  Caroline then moved in with her daughter, Caroline Zimmermann Georges and resided with her daughter’s family until her death in 1885.  The oldest son Frederick Zimmerman (1825-1895) remained in Sheboygan county owning several business’ and holding political office.  Much of the family history is documented in a historical biography of Frederick Zimmermann in the Sheboygan County Historical Research Center.  Additionally, some records and photos were found at the Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Sheboygan.

The third youngest child, Michael Friedrich Emil (Emil) Zimmermann (1838 -1919)  married Elizabetha (Lizzie) Keuper  (1841-1935) on June 25, 1866 in Sheboygan County, Wisconsin- also my great-great grandparents.   Lizzie Keuper was born in Lewis, NY (near Syracuse), the daughter of Johann Jacob (John) Keuper (1807-1889) and Maria Dorothea Pfeiffer (1816-1886) who were both born in Thalfang, Germany which is in the southwest part of the country near the border of Belgium and France.  It is unknown when they emigrated to America or if they were married in Germany or the United States.  John Keuper’s family can be traced back another 4 generations in Germany to Johann Nickel Keupper (1714-1780) and his wife Anna Elisabetha Weinig (1716-1781).

Emil and Lizzie Zimmermann moved to Chicago between 1870 and 1880, according to the census records.  They had 6 children, one of whom was Dorothee Louise Elizabeth (Lizzie) Zimmerman.  The younger Lizzie married William F. Syska, Sr. in 1891.  The Syska family moved to New York sometime between 1900-1910.  Refer to previous post for the continuation of the Syska family tree.

Family and Life of William F. Syska Jr. (1896-1981) and Beatrice P. Scofield Syska (1906-1945)

William F. Syska Jr. (1896-1981) and Beatrice P. Scofield (1906- 1945) were married in 1926, location unknown.  

Beatrice Pearl Scofield was the daughter of Harry Francis Scofield (1870-1965) and Maud Justina Selleck Scofield (1882-1968), my great grandparents, both born and raised in Connecticut and descendants of early English settlers.  – more about the Scofield family history in future postings.  Beatrice grew up in Mamaroneck as the third of nine children.  She had four sisters- Edna, Helen, June and Maud- and 4 brothers- Francis, John, Maurice and Merlin. 

In 1910, the Scofield family’s address is listed as Boston Post Rd,  Mamaroneck and Harry’s listed profession was Grocery Clerk.  In 1920 when Beatrice was 13 years old, the family resided at Woodbine Ave. in Mamaroneck and Harry Scofield was employed as a Butcher at a Meat Market.   William’s father owned a Meat Market in New Rochelle during the same time period.  It’s possible, Beatrice and William’s fathers knew one another through work.  The 1925 NY State Census shows the Scofield family residing on Rockland Ave. in Mamaroneck.  Beatrice was 19 years old and still living at home in 1925, the year before she married William. 

William and Beatrice had 10 children from 1928 to 1943.  On the 1940 census, William listed his profession as carpenter, but indicated he had only worked 26 weeks the year prior, earning $558.   Beatrice died, of stomach cancer, in 1945 at the age of 39.  She is buried in Beechwoods Cemetery, New Rochelle, NY in the Scofield Plot with her father who passed away in 1956.  It is unknown where William is buried.  He passed away in January of 1981. 
Census records and city directories indicate that William Jr. and Beatrice lived at multiple addresses all within New Rochelle while they were married:      
1930:  19 Burling lane New Rochelle, NY               
1936:  35 Clinton Place             
1938:  30 LeCount Place          
1940:  25 Church St.  

Children of William and Beatrice Syska:
Stanley M. (1928-2005), carpenter, married Margaret Hennessy Syska (1935-1989) has 3 children.
Douglas (1930) married Joan Bateman Syska and had 3 children 
Paul W. (1931-2011) married (living-private) and had 6 children 
Daughter (living-private) 
Daughter (living-private) 
Walter (1935-2010)  
Robert (1937-2007)   
Son (living – private info) Married (living- private) and had 2 children
Russell (1940-1978) First wife: (living- private); 2nd wife name unknown, had 2 children.   
Son (living – private info) 

William F. Syska and Lizzie Zimmerman Syska Family

In 1891, William F. Syska (b.1866-) married Dorothee Louise Elizabeth (Lizzie) Zimmerman (1871-1954) – my great grandparents.  Lizzie’s parents, Michael Friedrich Emil (Emil) Zimmermann (1838 -1919)  and  Elizabetha (Lizzie) Keuper  (1841-1935) were both of German Descent.   
*More about this to be posted subsequently in entry dedicated to  Zimmerman Geneology and my our Great Grandmother’s Heritage.
 I haven’t found the location of William and Lizzie Syska’s marriage, but with Lizzie’s family in Chicago and William’s in NY, it appears they moved back and forth until approximately 1908 when the settled in New York, at least for a while.
The oldest of their eight children, Erna J Syska was born in Chicago in 1892.  Four years later, their second child,  William F. Syska, Jr. (b. 1896) – my grandfather,  was born in New York.  According to Census records, Chester, Herbert and Clara were  born in Illinois in 1899, 1901 and 1904.  The 1900 Census has William and Lizzie residing in the same household with Lizzie’s parents in Chicago. Then in 1905, their sixth child, Stanley, was born in Missouri.  The last two children, Adiele E. (b.1908) and Gladys L (b.1910) were both born in New York.  The 1910 census has the family residing in the Bronx. William owned and operated a Meat Market in New Rochelle, NY.   Sometime prior to 1920 the family moved to Fairfield Connecticut.  Together, William and Lizzie owned several pieces of land in Fairfield Connecticut and appeared to be doing well.  he 1927 Bridgeport Telegram, states, “Ms Adele Syska, is planning a trip to Holyoke, Mass after the Fourth of July.” 

William and Lizzie moved to Daytona Beach Florida in approximately 1930 where they spent much of the remainder of their lives and helped to raise some of their grandchildren.  The 1940 census has them residing with their daughter Gladys Syska Horton and her three children.    At some point, William and Lizzie returned to Connecticut.  William F. Syska’s Sr. obituary (in the Bridgeport Telegram) indicates he died at the age of 89 on February 6, 1956 in North Turkey Hill, CT. where he resided with a different daughter before his death.  His wife, Lizzie passed away two years earlier also in Connecticut on July 11, 1954 at the age of 83.

William Syska Sr. and Lizzie Zimmerman’s eight children included Erna J. Syska Braun (1892-), William F. Syska Jr. (1896-1981), Chester Emil Syska (1898-1983), Herbert Paul Syska (1900-1974), Clara Edith Syska Vogt Keller (1903-2001), Stanley E. Syska (1905-1979), Adiele E. Syska Burns (b. 1908-), Gladys L. Ellis Allard Horton (b-1910-2002) 

The Beginning of this Quest

The Syska Family Genealogy blog is created to share our family history and make connections.  I think you will find the information quite interesting and I would love to hear from anyone who has information, questions or comments.   

The Syska  Family was a mystery to me as I was growing up.  Although we have countless cousins, we were spread so far apart, geographically and socially. A year ago I began my adventure to trace our roots on my father’s side with very little information.  I only knew my parents and grandparents names and where my father grew up, but Syska is not a very common name.  It turns out that most of the Syskas in the United States descended from my second great grandparents:  Johnann Adolph Szyzska(1824-1916) and Anna Carolina Petroll (1834-1895).  Adolph and Carolina came to America from a part of Prussia that was originally in Poland.  

During this journey I have also traced my great grandmother’s family, the Zimmermans who settled in Sheboygan Wisconsin and the Keupers, both families of German origin, as well as my grandmother, Beatrice Scofield’s, family, the Scofields and Sellecks who settled in southern NY and CT and descended from the early English settlers.

I am going to post all my research to date, but new and updated information is constantly available.  Most recently, I found my grandmother, Beatrice Scofield’s grave, which was significant in confirming the date of her death and her father’s name.  Hopefully, you will find this blog enlightening and will want to share the information, documents, photos or stories you have.