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German Immigrant Ancestors
in Syracuse and Onondaga County, New York





Known descendants of
AUGUST LIEPKA
and
AUGUSTINE RUSCHINSKI
who were married
9 June 1889 (in Güttland?) in the district of Dirschau,
near Danzig (now Gdansk), West Prussia, Germany (now Poland)
and who immigrated to Syracuse, New York
in December 1893



1. AUGUST LIEPKA (surname also spelled LIEPKE, LIPKE, LIPPKE, LEIPKA, LIPKY, LIPKA) was born August RICHERT/RICHARD on 14 March 1866 and baptized on 18 March 1866 in Lünau in the Catholic parish of Stüblau, Kreis Dirschau, West Prussia (today Dirschau is called Tczew, located southeast of the Baltic port formerly known as Danzig, West Prussia and now known as Gdansk, Poland). He was the son of unmarried woman AUGUSTYNA/AUGUSTE RICHERT/RICHARD, the birth subsequently legitimized in the Catholic church records by the acknowledgement of his father, JOHANN LIPKA/LIPKE/LIEPKE following their marriage in Güttland 10 June 1867. A laborer, AUGUST, age 23, married AUGUSTE, age 19, on 9 June 1889 in the Catholic parish of Dirschau, West Prussia. He and his wife and their small children Johann and Franz immigrated to the U.S. from the Danzig area via the port of Bremen, Germany in late November 1893, arriving in New York on the steamship Stuttgart (Norddeutscher Lloyd line) on or about 7 December, and passing through Ellis Island about a year after it opened. Little Franz had been born only a few months earlier, in Wittland near the Baltic port city of Kiel (in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany). Several other families they evidently knew traveled with them on the Stuttgart to settle in Syracuse, including the RESCHKE and JOCHIM (Yochem?) families. In Syracuse AUGUST LIEPKA worked as a day laborer (evidently for the Solvay Process Company at one point) and as a driver for an ice company, and was a member of Assumption Church, where he was also a member of its St. Fidelis Society (a mutual health insurance society) and its German Branch of the Holy Name Society, founded by his fellow Danziger immigrants, the RESCHKEs. He lived at “Solvay Village” (formerly Geddes) in 1894, then lived in a rented home at 213 West Division Street (1900-1908), where for a time in 1905 his brother, Johann Lipke, and Joseph Ruschinski (his father-in-law or brother-in-law), lived next door at no. 211. (AUGUST and his wife “Tina” were godparents of his brother Johann’s first American-born child, Anthony Lipke, at his baptism by Rev. Louis Hammer at Assumption Church on 10 March 1907.) The AUGUST LIEPKA family moved to 220 West Division Street (1909-1910). AUGUST died of colon cancer at age 44 at 6:00 p.m., 29 Sept. 1910, after a month’s illness at St. Joseph’s Hospital. He was buried at Assumption Cemetery on 3 October 1910, F. C. Wenz, undertakers. He had never applied for U.S. citizenship. He was survived by his brother JOHANN LIPKE in Syracuse, and by his parents and two brothers (FRANK and MICHAEL) who remained “in Germany.”

Spouse: AUGUSTINE W. RUSCHINSKI (also known as Anna Auguste, Auguste, Justine, Justina, Augustina, Augusta, and “Tina”) was born December 1868 in West Prussia/Germany. She was the daughter of JOSEPH and ANNA (BRZEZYNSKA) RUSCHINSKI (Joseph also immigrated to Syracuse and died there 25 September 1911). She immigrated with her husband and two sons in 1893, and settled in Syracuse. She gave birth to nine children, but two had died by 1910, according to the U.S. censuses (their firstborn, Marie Auguste, died 25 September 1889 in Güttland, Kreis Dirschau, West Prussia, and the other child, name unknown, was born and died, probably in Syracuse, between 1900 and 1910). Two boys (John and Frank) immigrated with their parents in 1893 and five more children were born in Syracuse. TINA was left a widow, age 40, with seven children when AUGUST died in Syracuse in 1910. She and her children moved to 129 Basin Street, living there with her father, who died the following year. She and her children then later moved to 1201 North State Street (1913-1916), then to 1424 Lodi around 1917; then to 1305 North State Street in 1919. She remarried circa 1919-1920 ANDREW MAPHEY (born? died after 1935; German immigrant and factory foreman at R.E. Dietz Co., lantern manufacturers; a pleasant man, he played the accordion) and lived with him and his 10 children plus her two youngest at 202 Herbert Street, Syracuse. Evidently AUGUSTINA gained U.S. citizenship in 1919 upon marrying ANDREW MAPHEY. MAPHEY remained at that job and they lived at that home address through 1935, according to Syracuse city directories. AUGUSTINA (then listed as AUGUSTA MAPHEY in the Syracuse city directories) died on 31 March 1936 at her home and was buried at Assumption Cemetery following a funeral at Assumption Church. She was survived by three brothers (JOHN, JOSEPH, and FRED RUSCHINSKI; brothers AUGUST and FRANK died earlier) and a sister (Mrs. August DEMANSKI or DEMASK of Syracuse; sister MARY died earlier). She was remembered by one grandchild as a stern, dour woman with a BIG kitchen filled with a huge table and lots of kitchen chairs—not surprising in light of all the children and stepchildren she had to feed.

August and Tina’s seven surviving children:

2. JOHANN / JOHN A. LIEPKA (LEIPKA, LIEPKE, LIPKI, LIPKA, LIEPKI) was born [10?] February 1891 in Germany, and immigrated to the U.S. with his parents aboard the S.S. Stuttgart from Bremen in 1893 at the age of 2 years. As a teenager and young man in Syracuse he worked as a driver for an ice company, as a “chauffeur,” and as a laborer, but by around 1915 he was also working (as an “orderman” and later as a “machine operator”) for the Syracuse Lighting Company, which would later be known as Niagara Mohawk Power Corp. He retired as a foreman in the gas division after 45 years with this employer (c. 1915-1960) and was a member of its 25-Year Club. Married in 1919, he and his wife made their home at 715 North Alvord Street on Syracuse’s North Side from 1921 until his death in 1972. He was a communicant of Assumption Church and a member of its Holy Name Society. Celebrated his 50th wedding anniversary with his wife at the Pastime Athletic Club in Syracuse at a party organized by their daughter, Mary Rita, in 1969. He died 27 August 1972 at Crouse-Irving Memorial Hospital in Syracuse, New York and was buried at Assumption Cemetery.

spouse: EMMA – . (born? died?) They had four children:

3. FREDERICK J. LIEPKA born 4 August 1919, Syracuse, NY; employed for 40 years at Kilian Manufacturing Corp.; communicant of Immaculate Heart of Mary Church and member of the Pastime Athletic Club; died 5 Jan 1994 at Community-General Hospital, Onondaga Co., NY, age 74, after a long illness. Buried in Woodlawn Mausoleum. Wife still living; they had no children.

3. KENNETH A. LIEPKA born 18 May 1921, Syracuse, NY; died 11 May 1996, age 74, at the Van Duyn Nursing Home, Onondaga County, NY after a brief illness. Never married.

3. ROBERT HAROLD LIEPKA born 15 April 1926, Syracuse, NY; World War II Navy veteran; policeman for 22 years with the Syracuse Police Department and a member of the Syracuse Police Department Retirees’ Association. Communicant of the Church of the Assumption in Syracuse and of St. Mary’s in Minoa. Died 26 November 1987 at the Veterans Administration Medical Center, Buffalo, NY, age 61. Buried at Assumption Cemetery, Syracuse, NY. Wife (still living?) and one daughter (still living?).

3. MARY RITA LIEPKA born c. 1924 in Syracuse; died 14 May 1969. Spouse and three children (still living?).


2. FRANZ / FRANCIS THOMAS (“FRANK”) LIEPKA (LIEPKE, LIPKA, LIPKI, LIPKY, LEIPKA. LIEPKI) born 17 June 1893 in Wittland, West Prussia; immigrated to the U.S. from the Danzig area via Bremen on the S.S. Stuttgart with his parents in late 1893 at the age of 5 months. In 1910, age 16, he was an apprentice tailor; he was a “presser” the following year. He worked as a “driver” between 1912 and 1917. He applied for U.S. Citizenship at age 23 on 4 June 1917 and was granted his Certificate of Naturalization No. 1985823, issued 10 May 1924. Personal description at age 23: “Color white, complexion dark, height 5 feet 9 inches, weight 165 pounds, color of hair dark brown, color of eyes brown, other visible distinctive marks: mole under right ear.” Occupation in 1917: laborer, single, and living at 1201 North State Street, Syracuse. According to the January 1920 census, he was a laborer for an ice company, age 26, married, living at 124 John Street, Syracuse. In 1924: gas-fitter and/or steelworker, age 30, married, living at 600 Kirkpatrick Street, Syracuse. 1926: Steelworker, living at 600 Kirkpatrick. He was also working as an “orderman” for the Syracuse Lighting Company in 1923, and again from 1927 on, later retiring from the Niagara Mohawk Power Corp. as a member of its 25-Year Club. Moved to 206 Merrill around 1930 and remained there until his death. He was a communicant of Assumption Church and a member of its Holy Name Society. Married between 1916-1920. Died 27 January 1970 at St. Joseph’s Hospital, Syracuse, age 76. Burial was in Assumption Cemetery.

spouse: ANNA C. SCHULTZ 10 April 1894 in Syracuse, NY; died 19 May 1981, at Crouse-Irving Memorial Hospital, Syracuse, NY. She was a communicant of Assumption Church, where her funeral was held on 22 May 1981. Buried in Assumption Cemetery. Frank and Anna had a daughter (still living?) who had a son (still living?).


2. ANNA (ANN, “ANNIE”) LIEPKA (LIEPKE, LIPKA, LIPKY) born [31?] October 1894, Syracuse, NY. She got a job as a “stripper” in a tobacco shop at age 15 (later joined by her younger brother Gus after their father died) and evidently continued in this job until she was married c. 1917. Eventually she and her husband separated, but never divorced. She was an assembler for 20 years with the Kilian Manufacturing Co. (1945-1965) before she retired. Last lived on North Alvord Street, Syracuse before entering a nursing home. She was a communicant of Assumption Church. Died 1 May 1995, age 100, at the Syracuse Home Association nursing home after a long illness.

spouse: MICHAEL YOCHEM (YOKUM, YOCKEM) born ? died 1960. The 1920 city directory lists Yochem & Appleton grocers (Michael Yochem and Charles C. “Nuck” Appleton, husband of Michael’s sister, Augusta “Gussie” Yochem), located at 1228 North State Street. Michael Yochem’s home address was 204 Union Place during the years 1919-1924, and Anna’s brother Fred lived with them in 1921. In later years, after Michael Yochem became a policeman (or state trooper), he and Anna separated. They had no children.


2. AUGUST (“GUS”) LIEPKA (LIEPKE, LIPKY, LIPKA, LIEPKI) born November 1896, in Syracuse. Early jobs included “stripper,” in a tobacco shop, messenger, lantern-maker, driver, and laborer. At the time (January) of the 1920 census, he was a 23-year-old private in the U.S. Army, stationed at Madison Barracks near Watertown (Jefferson Co.), NY (“Leipke, August” acc. only to the Soundex; could not find the census entry). During the 1930’s he worked as a cook in a CCC camp and was an expert cook. Never married. Said to have died in Syracuse in the (late?) 1940’s; no further information known (no listing on the NY death index or obituaries found).


2. FREDERICK A. (“FRED”) LIEPKA (LIEPKE, LIPKA, LIPKY, LEIPKA, LIEPKI) born 6 March 1899, in Syracuse. Early job as a shoeworker (1913-1919). In 1921, lived with sister Anna and her husband at 204 Union Place while working as a gearmaker at the New Process Gear Corp. 1924 Syracuse city directory lists: “Liepka, Fred gearmaker h [home] 715 N Alvord” and 1926 directory lists “Leipka, Fred (Anna) helper h 715 N Alvord” [living with brother John and John’s wife Emma]. Later they lived at 831 Park Street 1926-1929; he worked as a machine operator at the same place as his brother John, the Syracuse Lighting Company (later Niagara Mohawk Corp.) In 1930 they moved to 619 Carbon Street; in 1933 moved to 1129 Park Street. He worked at the Crucible Steel Company (c. 1950-1965) for 15 years before retiring. He was a communicant of Assumption Church and a member of the United Steelworkers of America. His last address was 511 Burnet Avenue, Syracuse. Married date/place? Died 17 July 1967 in State University Hospital, age 68 years. Burial in Assumption Cemetery.

spouse: ANNA E. ---, born ? died before 1967; married before 1925. Two daughters, three grandchildren (still living?)


2. ANTHONY J. (“TONY”) LIEPKE, SR. (LIEPKA, LIPKA, LIPKY, LIEPKI) born 21 August 1903 in Syracuse. When he was 16, he was single, working as a laborer in a shoe factory (he could read, write, and speak English), and was living at 202 Herbert Street with his mother and younger brother, “Lenard,” and his stepfather, Andrew Maphey, and 10 stepbrothers and stepsisters. 1925-1932 Syracuse city directories list: “Leipka, Anthony” a machine operator residing at 202 Herbert (same address as brother Leonard). Married c. 1933 acc. to city directories and moved to 112 Liberty Street, then 116 Wall (1934 & 1935) when he worked as a punch press operator. He retired circa 1967 as a machinist from Textile Marketing of Syracuse. Last residence was on Gifford Street, Syracuse. Died at age 84 on 14 November 1987 at Mohawk Valley General Hospital, Ilion, New York, after a long illness.

spouse: HELEN J. ---, born 30 June 1905, died March 1972, Syracuse, NY. married before 1933. They had a son and two daughters, and grandchildren (still living?).


2. LEONARD N. LIEPKE (LEIPKA, LIPKA, LIPKY, LIEPKI) born 4 September 1905 in Syracuse, NY. The 1920 census shows him age 14, attending school, not working, and living at home with his mother and his older brother Anthony in the large Maphey household at 202 Herbert Street. 1925-28 Syracuse city directory lists: “Leipka, Leonard solderer res [residence] 202 Herbert” (same address as brother Tony). Became a machine operator at Syracuse Lighting in 1929 and was living in East Syracuse around 1929. Married circa 1930 acc. to city directory, and was living at 135 Wall Street. Was a chauffeur during the early 1930’s. Moved to 829 Emerson Avenue around 1933, then 134 North Geddes the following year. Moved to 400 Pond in 1935. Worked at Sacred Heart Cemetery and the Amos Rice and Wenz Coal companies. Was a communicant of St. Stephen’s Roman Catholic Church. Last residence was 531 Richmond Avenue. Died 7 January 1974 at Crouse-Irving Memorial Hospital, Syracuse, age 68. Buried at Sacred Heart Cemetery, Syracuse. Married c. 1929-1930.

spouse: FRANCES BRZEZINSKI / BREZINSKI born 10 August 1905 in New Jersey; spent most of her life in Syracuse. Worked for many years in the Syracuse city schools. Was a communicant of St. Stephen’s Catholic Church and a member of the Sacred Heart Church choir. Died 20 October 1995, at the Syracuse Home Association nursing home in Baldwinsville, New York, age 90. Buried in Sacred Heart Cemetery, Syracuse. They had five children, two sons and two daughters still living, plus:
3. LEON A. LIEPKE born 11 April 1932 in Syracuse. He retired after 17 years with Lenox Industries. Died 25 February 1990, in Syracuse, NY, age 57. Married; wife and 10 children, plus grandchildren still living.


Updated by M. Stone 28 May 2011.



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