Michael and Catharina Pfaff


  1. Michael Peter Pfaff, b. 1786 Bavaria, Germany, d. 1836 Eden Valley, Erie Co., New York.
    Michael married Catharina unknown date.
    Catharina Schweitzer, b. 1798 Metz, Germany (today Metz is in France), d. 1908 Eden Valley, New York.
    1. Michael Pfaff, b. 10 Nov. 1816, Dunzweiler, Germany, d. unknown
    2. John Pfaff, b. 20 Sept. 1819, Dunzweiler, Germany, d. 2 Jun. 1900, Rapidan Mills, MN.
      He married Margaret Ecklardt on 23 Jul. 1843.
      She was b. 1823, Province, France and d. 26 Jan. 1881, Rapidan, MN.
      1. Margaret Paff, b. 1844, New York, d. unknown
      2. Jacob Paff, b. 1847, New York, d. unknown
      3. Caroline Paff, b. 1849, New York, d. unknown
      4. Sarah Paff, b. 1854, New York, d. unknown
      5. George Paff, b. 1862, New York, d. unknown
    3. Catharina Pfaff, b. 1 Dec. 1822, Dunzweiler, Germany, d. unknown
    4. Jacob Pfaff, b. 27 Mar. 1826, Dunzweiler, Germany, d. unknown
      He married Dora, m. unknown
      She was b. 1830, Prussia, d. unknown
    5. Peter Pfaff
    6. Frederich Pfaff, b. 13 Feb. 1834, New York, d. unknown
    7. Sarah Pfaff, b. 1835, New York, d. unknown, New York.
      She married George Niess, date unknown.
      He was b. 1829, Bavaria, Germany, and d. unknown, New York.
      1. George Neiss, b. 1854, New York, d. unknown
      2. Jacob Niess, b. 1854, New York, d. unknown
      3. Frank Niess, b. 1856, New York, d. unknown
      4. Albert Niess, b. 1858, New York, d. unknown
      5. Charles Niess, b. 1860, New York, d. unknown
      6. William Niess, b. 1864, New York, d. unknown
      7. Edward Niess, b. 1866, New York, d. unknown
      8. Sarah Niess, b. 1868, New York, d. between 1870 and 1880, New York
      9. Lottie Niess, b. 1871, New York, d. unknown
    8. Fable Pfaff, b. 19 Jun. 1936, New York, d. unknown
    9. Heinrich Pfaff b. unknown, d. unknown
    10. Albert Pfaff b. unknown, d. unknown

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Biographical information

The children who were born in Dunzweiler were christened at Waldmohr Parish.

Michael Peter Pfaff was an Alsace-Lorraine Frenchman. He died in Buffalo, NY in about 1836 from complications of a wound suffered in the Leipzip War of 1813. He received a Russian bullet in the retreat from Moscow. He was a bodyguard for Napoleon Bonaparte. All of Napoleon's bodyguards were required to be 6'4" to 6'6" in height. He brought his bearskin headdress with him and it was left to his daughter, Sarah Niess, who sold it to a museum in Buffalo. He served in the French armies for about 16 years. He migrated to the US in about 1833, with his wife and six children, and settled in the township of Eden, NY, which is now part of Buffalo, NY.

His wife, Catharina, was a Metz German woman born in 1790 and died in 1908. Charles Peter Paff remembered his grandmother in the front yard in Minnesota watching the Northern Lights and wringing her hands. She described the red as the same as the blood of the warring nations then fighting in her beloved Metz. Metz, she explained (she only spoke German) meant butchering in German and was always a battleground of warring nations. Michael and Catharina had ten children. Their eldest never spoke after the age of 7 and in the 1860 census is listed as "idiotic, dumb." Two of their sons, Jacob and Albert, are said to have never been heard from after the Civil War.

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