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Family Genealogy - Faust Family Genealogy

We begin the Faust Family Genealogy with Michael Faust. At this time it is presumed that Michael came from somewhere in the Rheinland-Pflaz area of Germany where his descendants were born. There is a reference on his son's marriage record that he was from Dritten but it is not clear if the location name is correct. It is possible that it has been incorrectly transcribed. Michael married Maria Barbara Schmitt probably around 1830, perhaps a bit earlier.

On 23 November 1832, Michael and Maria Barbara were living in Rödersheim, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany when their son, Nikolaus was born. Nikolaus later relocated to Schifferstadt, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany or had moved there previously with his family as on 31 December 1857, Nikolaus married Christina Teutsch in Schifferstadt and they remained there most probably the rest of their lives.

Their son Karl Faust was born in Schifferstadt, Rheinland-Pfalz,Germany on 28 October 1861. Karl was not content to remain in Schifferstadt or anywhere else in Germany. At the young age of 22, in 1883, he made the journey across the Atlantic Ocean, settling in Monroe County, New York where many others from Schifferstadt had come before him. Karl was later naturalized in 1887.

As many of our ancestors did, Karl "Americanized" his given name and went by the name of Charles Faust the remainder of his life.

Our German ancestors lived in small villages that were part of small principalities, kingdoms, fiefdoms, ecclesiastical lands, imperial cities and other, independent entities. It was an agrarian society and land ownership was key in determining the wealth of a family or individual; land was a very prized possession. Each family farmed land that they owned or rented. But because of the many taxes including the death tax and inheritance practices, as the generations passed, each successive generation had less and less land that they owned to farm to the point that they often could not grow enough to support their families. As time passed and land ownership was less common among the average family, the village citizens were forced to learn trades to supplement their livelihoods.

Because his father had relocated to Schifferstadt, it is most likely that Nikolaus had no land of his own and what land he did have to farm came to the marriage from his wife or possibly it was a piece of land that they rented. All villagers grew their own vegetables, fruits and grains and raised their own animals. It was a way of life for centuries.

If his father had no land to give him at the time of his marriage it would have left Charles with few options and quite possibly was the reason why he decided to leave his homeland. Like the many who had left before him, he had heard that land was available in the US that he would be free to purchase, without the restrictions found in his homeland. Germany was also at a time of big changes. In 1871, the principalities, kingdoms, fiefdoms, ecclesiastical lands, imperial cities and the other, independent entities were all united to form what was known as the German Empire and for many, this was not a welcome change.

The Germanic people were slow to accept the changes that came with the new empire and towns and villages continued to function as they did before for many years after unification. It was a hard time for all and it may have also contributed to why Charles left; certainly it was a contributing factors as to why so many others left during the same period that Charles immigrated to the US.

It is not known how Charles came to chose to settle in Monroe County but circumstantial evidence suggests that he may have been encouraged to go there by his family in Schifferstadt since so many other families from Schifferstadt had already settled there. In fact, his father-in-law, George Martin Sellinger, was one of those who had immigrated from Schifferstadt some years previously.

 It is possible, because of that connection, that Charles was put in touch with Elizabth's father and then subsequently met Elizabeth after which they began courting as it was called in those times. Or they could have met at a social gathering of Schifferstadt immigrants or at a church function. But it is most likely that they met because of the link to Schifferstadt that both Charles and George Sellinger shared.

After his arrival in 1883, Charles worked as a carpenter residing in the City of Rochester. It is likely that Charles had learned the carpentry trade in his home town of Schifferstadt before he immigrated to Rochester. He continued to reside in the city working as a carpenter until 1898 when the City Directories indicate that he "removed from the city". His first listing in the City Directories was in 1885 but then was not listed again in subsequent directories until 1890. In 1885 he is listed as a carpenter and boarding at 114 Scrantom. In 1890, still working as a carpenter, he is listed as the owner of his own home at 12 N. Joiner which he may have bought at the time of his marriage to Elizabeth Sellinger.

Charles married Elizabeth on 6 September 1887 in the City of Rochester. There they began their lives and their family.

The 1892 New York State Census Shows Charles and Elizabeth the parents of three children, Elizabeth, George and Mary, residing in the City of Rochester.

We learn from the 1900 census that Charles and family relocated to the Town of Chili in Monroe County. Chalres is listed as a general farmer and owner of his land. It seems likely that land ownership was a prime reason for Charles' immigration to the US. H emost probably saved his money to buy the land from the time of his arrival and when he was able to purchase it, he then moved his family there. The farm was moderate in size as can be seen in a section of the 1902 plat map below, possibly similar in size to the amount of land his ancestors would have farmed in Germany to support their families. The farm was approximately 40 acres of land (as indicated on the map below) and was located on Brooks Road near to where the Genesee River passes through the Town of Chili.

Charles Faust land in Chili

Some time between 1902 and 1918, the size of the farm was reduced significantly. By 1918, the plat maps show that all of the land lying east of the railroad tracks, a total of 29 acreas was no longer part of the Charles Faust farm.

Charles and Elizabeth had 12 children, two of their children did not survive past infancy. Five of the surviving children were born in the City of Rochester and the rest were born in the Town of Chili although only the youngest two sons were baptised at the church in Scottsville; all of the older children wer baptised at St. Micheal's Church in Rochester.

Sadly, Elizabeth Sellinger Faust died on 30 April 1909. The 1920 census shows Charles living with his daughter Christine and her three youngest brothers. By 1930, all of the children had married and moved away, many of them to Rochester,and Charles was living alone on his farm. Like his ancestors before him, he did not embrace change and refused to install electricity on the farm when it became available in the area or indoor plumbing. Sometime after 1902 and before his death, Charles sold off nearly three quarters of his farm; at the time of his death in 1945, the farm consisted of only 11 acres.

It was a hard life for his children, most probably because their mother died so young and consequently none of them embraced the life nor understood the value that the land held in Charles' eyes. Despite those hardships, lessons learned on the farm were carried on. His daughter, Christine, who married Gerard P. Hahn, canned a large quantity of foods all of her life, including delicious grape juice that was enjoyed by her grandchildren when they visited. She also had a green thumb which was evident by the lovely selection of African Violets in her home.

It may have been a hard life, but Charles Faust made his dream come true by living his life on his own land.

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