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German Farmers - Saving our History

Updated: Jun 4, 2022

I'm looking for help from family that is still near Long Island in order to get our ancestry story preserved. I've traced out most of the family line to the first arrival in America.

NOTE: The names in this screen shot are not finalized. When you click on the individual person, there are often several different names listed (some changed names over the years, others were known by nicknames etc.)

Thanks to my father's family knowledge, I was able to find Helen and George F Laufer, and link them to Edward H Laufer. Edward aka Henry Laufer, and his immediate family is my focus this week.

Finding Edward H Laufer

Edward was my 2nd Great Grandfather. His record was extremely hard to find for a number of reasons

  1. NY did not fully require births to be recorded during the time period

  2. The digital records on the official NY site only go back to 1855 for now

  3. He belonged to the Dutch Reform Church which had fires and was a smaller footprint than most religions in the area

    1. See

  4. His grave site (Shared with my 2nd great grandmother Katherine Kuneth Laufer) is actually inscribed in German

I was able to find most of his life story in the book "Portrait and biographical record of Queens county, New York" seen in the screenshot below. Also included are the will from his mother, and his gravesite.

Notably, George F Laufer (Fred) is not listed in the above records. Fred was born around the same time his father died in Oct 1898, and after the bio sketch. His draft cards for WWI lists his relation with Katherine Laufer. He is also listed in the 1915 census

An odd note about the Census is it listing the father's birthplace as Germany. This and the gravesite being in German makes me wonder how proficient Katherine's English was, and if she mostly used German. It also explains more of how records slip through the cracks, or get lost to time.

Where was the farm?

The bio sketch mentions the family lived in Fosters meadow.

There is an extesive and growing history of the area hosted by Fosters Meadow Heritage Center sponsored by the Franklin Square Historical Society

I reached out to the website managers, and they had no records of the Laufer family at Fosters Meadow. They agreed that the documents I provided indicate our family did live there, and that we can get it added after submitting a write up.

I'm going to continue to do more research, but I would love to see what the family already knows, or has in an attic some where.

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