Joseph's parents were Josef and Anna Raiker Trefzger. They had 2 sons; Joseph born 1844 and Edward born 1847.
Joseph was born in Switzerland on October 18, 1844. The 1900 census said he immigrated in 1848. His death certificate also states that he immigrated in 1848.
Joseph's parents must have brought the two boys to the States in 1848. We have found no records of the parents in the U.S.A. We do not know if they stayed or went back to Switzerland.
This is the story passed down among our Joseph's descendants:
"Joseph Trefzger had to flee Germany with his wife and 2 sons to escape being drafted and being sent to the Russian front by Bismark. He fled to French-Switzerland and then came to New York City, NY, in the USA. Joseph was a trade union leader in a German steel mill. In NYC he was a teamster union leader."*1
Our Joseph begins to show up in the NYC directories in 1869/70. He is a cigar maker living at 24 Avenue A.
On October 20,1871 Joseph became a U.S. citizen.
On July 22,1875 Joseph married Elizabeth Schleich in New York, NY. They had the 4 children: Fred on May 18,1876, Joseph Edward on August 8,1877, Christian on December 18,1885, and Charles on August 27,1894.
In the 1880 census Joseph 35, and Elizabeth 27 are living in New York (Manhattan), NY. Sons Frederick 4, and Joseph 2 are with them.
In 1890 Joseph's brother Edward married Elizabeth's sister Catherine Fredericka Schleich Landseadel in New York, NY.*4
In 1900 they are still in Manhattan. Fred 24, Joseph 22, Christia 14, and Charles 5, are with them.
Joseph died on December 11,1902 in Manhattan, New York, NY.
In 1910 Elizabeth is the head of the family. Fredrick, Christian, and Chas. J. are at home im Manhattan Ward 17.
In 1915 NYC Directory they live at 778 N. Oak Drive. Chas is a clerk, Fred and Jos E. are police.
In 1920 Elizabeth 67, Frederick 43, Christian 37, amd Charles 25 are living in Bronx Assembly District 6.
Son Joseph E.:
In 1910 son Joseph E. is married to Gertrude I. and living in Brooklyn Ward 25, Kings, NY.
In 1920 they have a son George and are living in Bronx Assembly District 6.
In 1930 they are still in the Bronx.
In 1930 son Charles is married to Edna. They are living in Newburgh, Orange, NY in 1930. Arthur Freer 14, Clinton Freer 12 and Harry Freer 10, are living with Charles and Edna.*5
Frederic Schleich, Elizabeth's father, was born in Baden-Baden in 1818. In 1854 he brought his family to New York, NY. Elizabeth was 1 year old.
Bismark's war against Austria was in 1866.
We do believe that Joseph immigrated in 1848 when he was 3 years old with his brother Edward and their parents. If the family returned to Switzerland Edward and Joseph could have returned to the States to escape being drafted by Bismark.
We have not been able to find a relationship with other Trefzger families.
Our sincere thanks to the following:
*1 Susan Trefzger Sullivan. Susan did not know when Joseph came to America. There was a Joseph and his family listed in the New York City Directories starting in 1869 and in the 1880, 1900, and 1920 Federal Census. The names and the relationships were the same as received from Susan.
*2 Susan Trefzger Sullivan has given us information about Joseph Edward's descendants.
*3 Sherri Eldreth has given us information on Edna's last name and her descendants.
*4 Meg Landseadel Staton has given us information about the Schleichs and that Joseph and Edward were brothers. Meg also sent us copies of Joseph & Elizabeth's marriage application, their marriage record, and their death certificates.
*5 Sherri Eldreth wrote "Hi, my name is Sherri Eldreth, my maiden name was Freer. Your relative Charles Trefzger was married to my great grandmother Edna. It was her 2nd marriage. Her 1st marriage was to Clinton Freer and they had 3 children whick Charles raised as his own. My grandfather Clinton W. Freer said Charles Trefzger was the only father he ever knew. I met my step grandfather Charles when I was about 12 years old. Edna's maiden name was Rhodes."