Joseph Schleider was the first member of our family to emigrate to New York and ultimately to Foster's Meadow. His parents (Friederich Schleider and Evae (Müller) Schleider) lived in the city of Reifenburg in Germany which is located in the current state of Rhineland-Palatinate (German: Rheinland-Pfalz) in western Germany. The city is located about 100 miles southwest of Frankfurt and is approximately 30 miles from the French border. Joseph, the youngest of Friederich and Evae's eight children, was born on 16 June in the year 1832 and baptized a Roman-Catholic. The church that Joseph was mostly likely baptized was built in 1802 and belonged to the parish of Maßweiler. According to the local historian, the church was built with minimal expertise, so that by 1840 the building was so dilapidated that it had to be closed on January 26, 1847 and later demolished.
After Joseph turned 18, he journeyed to the port at Le Havre, France and departed for the USA. Indications are that his older brother Jacob (born 27 Dec 1825) accompanied him on the journey to the US at the same time. Joseph arrived in New York City on the third of October 1850. On 9 April, 1855 Joseph married 21 year old Helena Maria Anna Gebhardt at St Boniface Roman Catholic Church by Father Ramsauer. Helena (who would go by the name Lena later in life) was the daughter of Heinrich and Genovefae (Hermann) Gebhardt and had immigated with her family to the US in 1852 from the town of Massweiler in Germany which was only a short distance from Joseph's town of Reifenberg.
Joseph was a farmer and Lena kept house in the farming community known at the time as Black Stump which ultimately, in later years, became a part of a larger community referred to as Fresh Meadows. Joseph and Lena had six children in a 13 year time span beginning with Jacob in 1856, Josephine in 1858, Laura in 1859, Henry in 1864, Frank in 1866, and Helena in 1869.
Joseph and Lena celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on 25 April 1905 (they couldn't celebrate the event on their actual date since it fell in during Lent). A nuptial mass was held and officiated by Father Jacob Kurz who was also a nephew on Lena's side of the family.
Lena passed away on 9 March 1917 and was buried at Saint John's Cemetery in Middle Village. Joseph Schleider died on July 20, 1922 and was also buried at St John's Cemetery as well. His brother Jacob and his wife Katherine were also buried there.
Jacob Schleider, born in Newtown and the eldest son, married Margaretha "Mary" Bocklet on October 28, 1879. During their marriage, they had four children; Henry in 1882, Jacob in 1884, and Joseph Francis in 1887. There is no available information on the fourth child. Shortly after Jacob and Mary were married, Jacob purchased the Schermerhorn farm in Blackstump. He was key in the establishment of the Black Stump school as well as organizing the Blackstump Fire Department and was serving as its chief at the time of his death. He was also notable in serving as one of the charter members of the Farmer's Horse Guard Association in the town of Flushing as well as serving as a member of the Third Ward Farmers' Association. He had quite the illustrious standing in the community and was at times referred to as "The Mayor of Blackstump". Jacob passed away on 9 February 1907 and was buried in St John's Cemetery in Middle Village. Mary passed away on 8 January 1940, but was buried in Mount St Mary Cemetery in Flushing.
Josephine Schleider* was the first daughter born from Joseph and Lena in 1858. There is not much information on her and by the 1900 census, Lena had listed that three of her six children had passed.
Another daughter, Laura Schleider*, was born in 1859. As with Josephine, very little information is available on her.
A son, Henry, was born on 6 June 1864 in Foster Meadow. Henry was also a farmer for most of his life. He married Katherine "Katie" Lang in 1892. They had four sons, Joseph Henry (1893), Jacob John (1894), John (1897), and Henry Frank (1901) and one daughter, Mary (1899). Henry passed away in Springfield Gardens on 13 June, 1939 and was buried at Flushing Cemetery. Katie passed away on 21 August 1945 and was buried with Henry in the Flushing Cemetery.
Frank (my great-grandfather) was born on 26 May 1866. He married Mary Wulforst on 26 May 1891 in St Margaret's Roman Catholic Church in Middle Village. Frank and Mary would have five children; Henry (my grandfather) (1892), Mary (1894), Margaret (1896), Frances (1899), and Joseph (1900). Frank was a farmer throughout his life and took care of Joseph and Lena in their later years. Frank passed away on 30 June 1930. His funeral mass was at the Church of St Mary in Jamaica where he had been a loyal member of the Holy Name Society. He was buried at St John Cemetery in Middle Village. Mary passed away on 19 March 1959 and was buried along side of Frank at St John's Cemetery.
The youngest, Helena Schleider, was born on 13 November 1869. She met and married Peter Klein on 23 February 1892in St Mary Roman Catholic Church in Jamaica. During their marriage, she had four children; Peter (1894), Jacob (1895), Joseph (1896), and Henry (1898). Sadly, Helena passed away on 27 December 1899 from diphtheria and was buried in St John's Cemetery in Middle Village. Her husband, Peter, would later marry Margaretha Felten in 1901 in St Boniface Church and have an additional seven children. Peter was the founder of the original Klein Farm that was located off of Blackstump Road (later named 73rd Avenue) in Fresh Meadow on Long Island.
*In the 1900 US Census. Joseph and Lena listed that 6 children had been born in the family, but only three were living at the time of the census
Submitted by Mike Schleider, March 2022