German Immigrant Ancestors
in Syracuse and Onondaga County, New York
(Soundex code: G426)
The Gilcher Block,
corner of Butternut & Lodi Streets, Syracuse circa 1890, built by
Jacob Gilcher [22.214.171.124.9.1.1], a native of
The name derives from the city or county of Jülich (near Cologne) on the
Rhine River. A person who came from there was called a Jülicher when he settled
somewhere else, at the time when surnames came into use. As "J" and "G" were used
interchangeably, the town's name was also written as "Gülich" and so was the
family name: Gülich, Gülch, Gülicher, Gülcher, Gilcher, Gilger, and many
For more on the history and dispersion of the surname and the
early families in the Pfalz/Palatinate area of what is today Germany,
see Friedrich F. Hüttenberger's article, "Die Westpfaelzer Gilcher (Gülcher)-Familien
17. und 18.Jh." in Pfaelzisch-Rheinische Familienkunde,
vol. 14, issue 8, p. 381-385, Ludwigshafen a.Rhein, 2000,
featured on his website at
http://www.huettenberger.homepage.t-online.de/ (in both German and English versions).
At various points in history Gilchers have emigrated from their German homelands
to Russia, Austria, Hungary, France, Brazil, Canada, and to the United States, where
they settled in Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania, and Kentucky.
The various ways the surname is spelled and pronounced in the U.S. today reflect
the length and breadth of the journey.
Circa 1904 advertisement for
Jacob Gilcher [126.96.36.199.7.2.6], Syracuse barber, a native of Rathsweiler
Most American Gilcher families descend from Western Palatinate immigrants,
all of whom can trace descent from one family begun by Nickel Gülcher
in the village
of Horschbach in the year 1644. (One of his grandsons married into a family in
Oberalben on the other side of the Glan River and that is where the Rathsweiler
Gilchers, my ancestors, came from.)
Many, many thanks to Friedrich Hüttenberger, source of the above information. His vast
and careful research into the German and American Gilchers, his multilinguistic skill,
and his generous guidance were invaluable and essential as we attempted
to figure out the Gilchers of Syracuse together.
It is only with his assistance, and that of numerous other researchers and family
members, that I am able to offer
the information on the Syracuse Gilchers below.
This genealogy is a work-in-progress and this webpage is under construction with updates happening
all the time, so please check back. Comments, corrections, and contributions
Katharina Gilcher Kreischer
Syracuse, New York circa 1885
Offered in collaboration with information supplied by F. Hüttenberger:
And if your Gilchers might have relocated elsewhere:
Contacts for other GILCHER / GILGER researchers and their areas of study:
[Email me if you would like your email address and/or webpage listed here]
- Rodrigo Guilger Favaretto - descendant of Gilcher ancestors from the Pfalz
who emigrated to Brazil in the early 1800's.
- William Gilcher - descendant of Michael Gilcher, Bandmaster, of the
Essweiler, Pfalz Gilchers who lived in Massachusetts and New York, USA
- Paul Gilger - personally researching Gilgers, etc. from Essweiler to Ohio, USA;
also working on a comprehensive Gilger.com Family website containing info on all Gilgers/Gilchers,
- Roberto Guilger - descendant of Johannes Gilcher from Essweiler
who emigrated to Brazil in November 1827
- Friedrich Huettenberger - researching Gilcher/Gilger/Guelcher/Guilger especially
in the Pfalz (Palatine) area in Germany (with extensions into America, Brazil, and the Alsace
region of France).
- Nancy Gilger Hyden - descendant of GILGER branch in Northumberland and Mercer Counties,
Pennsylvania, originally from Johann Adam Gilger, Sr. born 1752 in Bershweiler, Germany
- Gayle Speight - descendant of Gilcher and Wirth ancestors from Jettenbach
and Bosenbach in the Pfalz, whose descendants settled in Australia.
- Michelle Stone - Gilchers and Gilgers in Syracuse, New York
(my own branch was from Rathsweiler, Pfalz circa 1880's).