German Logo

The Germanic Roots of the Kruessler Family
Written and researched by Margaret Odrowaz-Sypniewska

From the Historical and Statistical Gazetteer of New York, 1860, pages 245 and 601, we learn that approximately eighteen hundred Germans settled on the Hudson River around 1710 in Columbia County. One side of the Hudson River was named East Camp and the other West Camp.

The original Crysler immigrants to the New World arrived from the overpopulated region of Germany called the Lower Palatinate. The Cryslers left Germany in 1709. They lived in the East Camp settlement, until around 1711 when they moved to Schoharie County with six or seven hundred others. Johann Phillip, Anna Catherina (Braun) Greisler, and their two children, Johan George and Johannes lived along the Hudson River in present day Athens, New York until 1784.

The Revolutionary War (1776-1781), OR "The American Colonist's War For Independence," split the Crysler family into halves, as some sympathized with the British Crown and moved to Canada.


The Meaning of the Kreussler, Crysler, and Chrysler Name


The Kruessler, Crysler, Chrysler Coat of Arms


  1. Hunter's List #249 (July 1, 1710) recorded that the Kruessler/Crysler family came from Guntersblum, Germany. This is verified in the Lutheran Church records (from 1651).

  2. H. Crysler Hilliker's Crysler and Chrysler, History and Family Trees. This book was the result of fifty years of research done by Mr. Hilliker of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Karin Holl states that Hilliker got his informatin from Charlotte Taylor Luckhurst's Chrysler Family Records, Albany, New York, 1932. I have not seen a copy of this book, so I can NOT comment. However, I was told H. Crysler Hilliker's information was translated from German genealogical and civil records. My early family information is from Hilliker's book, unless otherwise noted.

  3. Another book is by Henry Z. Jones who has done extensive research about the Palatine Germans. His Website: Hank Jones lists his books. He also said that Guntersblum, Germany, was the place that the Cryslers left when they came to New York (from Hunter).

    This is not really new since Hunter said the same thing (see Hunter's List).

  4. The most recent book about this family is entitled: Walter P. Chrysler, His American Roots by Karin Holl. This publication comes in both German (KeiBler - Chrysler eine Auswanderungsgeschichte) and English and is published as Volume 22 of Pjaelzisch-Rheinische Kamilienkunde. ISSN 071-1512 Cost 13 Euro. I own a copy of this book.

  5. In the 2000 edition of the Vincent Curcio book called Chrysler: The Life and Times of An Automotive Genius, on page 9, it states:

    "The River Lahn ... flows east, south, and southwest and finally enters the Rhine between the towns of Oberlahnstein and Niederlahtnstein. Its winding valley ... divides into two nearly equal parts the territory of Nassau, which was until the nineteenth century an independent and sovereign duchy of Germany."

    It continues:

    "The castle of Lahneck, where the Knight Templar is said to have died a hero's death, the twelfth century church of St. John of Jerusalem and the ancient abbey of Arnstein all arose in medieval times,..."

    "The first recorded verifiable ancestor of the Kruessler/Crysler/Chrysler family was Johann William Kruessler, who was born about 1560 and died prior to 1621. He was the chief magistrate or mayor of Niederhadamar..."

Then on page 10 of the Vincent Curcio book, and was quoted from page 1 of the Hilliker book, there is the mention of the coat of arms that is pictured above. So you see that as recent as 2000, it was thought that the Chrysler/Crysler family came from Niederhadamar.

Thus, you could say that it has taken 444 years to decide wherein lie the roots of this family. Hunter stated they came from Guntersblum before coming to New York. This has been documented since 1651. However, this was in reference to Johann Kruessler, son of Leonhart Kruessler. There is a 59 year gap between the birth of Leonhart (in 1594) in Guntersblum(?) and Count Johann Kruessler, the elder, who was born in 1535 and died in 1606/8, in the Nassua-Dillenburg and Nassua-Hadamar region. Count Johann's father was Wilhelm, the Rich, Count of Nassua-Dillenburg. So these are obviously not the same DIRECT line. They could be related at some point, however, that point has not yet been discovered. One line was landed gentry and the other were commoners.

There is also a 52 year gap between the birth of Leonhart's son, Johannes (b. 1646), unless Leonhart had a much younger wife this seems unlikely. Although my own great-grandmother Ermina (nee Crysler) Dickerson gave birth to her last daughter, Lena, at age 52.


Hilliker states that "the Kruesslers were originally in Austria, but and settled in southern Wuttemburg, Bavaria, Baden, and the Rheinish Palatinate in the seventeenth century." They were thought by many to have fled to Germany in order to escape religious persecution. Many think it was because of the plague. Let's examine the years of the plague in Vienna. The first plague of Vienna broke out in April 1349. It was said to have lasted from four to six months. Poor people were affected more than the wealthy. In 1348 there was an earthquake in Bavaria, and Rothenburg had an earthquake in 1356. This could have caused a bit of a stir in itself. This plague ended on September 1349. Recovery was short-termed because the plague would strike again in ten years and would last for the entire year.

During this plague, German people thought there was a Jewish conspiracy and that Jews had poisoned the wells. Many Jews were killed or driven out of Germany at this time. From 1348-1350 the Brethen of the Cross were stirring up trouble amongst German citizens. This was a general time of chaos which caused many lives to be ruined and people fled to what they thought might be safer places.

We find the Kruessler family in Germany by 1594. The second plague, in Austria, was called "The Great Plague of Vienna," and it killed thousands in 1679 and continued until 1680.

In Hunter's List #249 it states that the German origins of the Crysler/Chrysler family were at 6524 Guntersblum (6 km south of Oppenheim). This information was from the Lutheran Church records there (from about 1651). Hunter shows the earliest known ancestor of the American line as Leonard (other sources say Leonhart) Kruessler, who as a commoner (Gemeinsmann) at Herrnsheim, who born about 1594 and died between 1638-1658 in Germany. Rudolf II was the Holy Roman Emperor from 1576-1612. Rudolf II and his brother Matthias repressed the Calvinist uprisings of the Hussites in Bohemia, until the climate of tension finally led to the *defenestration of Prague (1618) which was the proximate cause of the Thirty Year's War. Rudolf was the son of Maximillian II.

*defenestration is the act of throwing a thing, usually a person out of a window. As example: The defenstration of the commissioners of Prague in 1610.

Karin Holl states that Leonhart Kreissler died before November 23, 1658; that he owned 18 1/2 acres in Herrnshiem since 1659; and was a watchmen (Weingartschutze) in a Herrnshiem Vineyard, in 1631 (Hull, 9).

Let's examine this claim:

The Palatinate (German Pfalz) is Germany's biggest vineyards because of its sunny, dry climate. There are many German vineyards along the River Rhine, most of them are in Rheinland-Pfalz. A world famous Wine School at Geisenheim (Rheingau) owns 45 acres of land. Geisenheim makes excellent wine. In Hugh Johnson's book, The World Atlas of Wine, he states that in the Rheinhessen region that the best wines come from Bodenheim (in the north) and Guntersblum and Alshiem (in the south), along the Rhine River valley. Johnson also says that Baron Heyl zu Herrnshiem was a wealthy vintner.

Christmas in Rheinland-Pfalz(NEW)

Holl says that the records in Herrnshiem can not be explored any further back than Leonhart KreiBler. Leonard, she says, swore his oath of allegiance to the von Dalberg landowners in 1628, as a watchman. On November 23, 1658, Johannes Kruessler (b, 1645?), only son of Leonard married (1) Elisabetha Schmidt, daughter of Adam Schmidt. Johannes was a commoner (Gemeinsmann) and a tailor. Elisabetha died from complications of childbirth on August 23, 1660 (her son was stillborn). Others show her death as November 23, 1658. (2) Johannes married Elizabetha Seyfried, daughter of Veiltin, on April 21, 1661 in Guntersblum, Germany. They had a child, Paulus, who was baptised at home on January 7, 1666. He was later recorded as living in Bechtheim. Bechtheim is known for its wineries since Roman times. I was also a place of pilgrimage. Others say that Paulus died in infancy. (3) Anna Maria Sylwy (b. 1650), daughter of Conrad Sylwy from Alsheim Althrhein (an old palatinate in Germany)was married on July 13, 1669; in the Lutheran Church in Guntersblum. Anna is listed as bearing four children. Anna died September 7, 1692 in Guntersblum, Germany. She outlived her husband by six years. Johannes, the tailor, was buried October 15/25, 1686, in Guntersblum, Germany (at age 51).

In Donald Chrysler's article, "The Blue-Eyed Indians: The Story of Adam Crysler and his Brothers in the Revolutionary War," it states: "In 1709, Johann Phillip Greisler with his wife, Anna Catharina and two sons, Johann George and Johannes left their home in Guntersblum, Germany to seek a new life in America (Johannes father was Johannes Kruessler and his grandfather was Leonard Kruessler)." Obviously, he was referring to the Hunter version.

However, Hilliker has the following listed:


    Johann Wilhelm Kruessler. Johann Wilhelm was born circa 1560 and died prior to 1621. He was recorded as a chief magistrate or mayor of Niederhadamar. The Kruessler family had a coats of arms and were most likely landed gentry at this time.

Another early Kruessler was Count Johann the Elder/John I (1535-1606/8). Count Johann KreBler was the son of William "the Rich," Count of Nassau-Dillenburg. John/Johann was his son by his second wife, Juliana (1506-1580), daughter of Bodo III, Count of Stolberg-Wernigerode. John/Johann I was also the Count of Nassau-Dillenburg, and Nassau-Hadamar, a title given to his uncle, Emich who died in 1334. Count Johann died on October 8, 1608. His estate went to Count Johann Ludwig, who converted to the Roman Catholic faith (most likely not completely by choice). However, Count Johann Ludwig did establish a Jesuit College at Hadamar and received some sort of concession from the Kaiser Ferdinand, and a confirmation from the Pope. Hilliker states that it is unclear whether the Kruessler family is Catholic or Protestant in this time period. Knowing the politics of this area of Europe, it is possible that they quite literally had to change religions with each new Kaiser, since many people were killed for having the wrong religious preference.

John II (Johann Ludwig?) was executed in 1734, as was his brother George (in 1739). His sons Ernest Casimir and John Louis lived.

For more on the Counts of Nassau CLICK HERE

If this royal line has any connection to the other Kruessler family it is UNKNOWN, at this time.


According to Hilliker, Johann Wilhelm Kruessler had two sons:

    (1)Hans (Johann) Casper Kruessler
    was born in 1594 in Neiderneissen, and was the chief magistrate or mayor of Niederneisen-on-the-Aar when he died on June 12, 1635. This was the time of the Thirty Years War (1618-1648), and the Kruessler family fled their home and took refuge in the fortified town of Dietz. The crowded conditions most likely spread disease faster. Diseases that were prevalent during the Thirty Years War were: typhus fever, bubonic plague, and dysentary. There were also outbreaks of scurvy. The conflict between the Roman Catholics and the Protestants were played out mainly in Germany. The constant movement of troops across the country led to repeated outbreaks of various diseases. Information about these various epidemics comes from local chronicles, such as parish records and tax records, that are often exaggerated and incomplete. Details were not such that a researcher could determine whether they died of pestilence or the extensive famine that spread during this war. Thousands of refugees fled from the country to cities to seek a safer place. Germany was prone to pestilence a decade or two before 1618. After Hans' death, his wife, Catharina, watched three of their children die before falling victim herself on August 1635. Bubonic plague was first recorded in 1630, but after 1634 it seems to have become more prominent. The crowding of refugees is cited as the reason. The epidemic of 1634 was said to have killed about 15,000 residents of Munich, Germany. It did not abate until 1637. Hilliker thought that Catharina (her surname is not known) was Hans second wife.

    (2)Hans (Johann) Wilhelm Kruessler was born at Niederhadamar on November 21, 1597 and died January 17, 1673. Hans Wilhelm was a licensed fencing-master. This confirms the fact that this family held a high ranking, since only gentlemen were allowed to carry swords. Hans (Johann) Wilhelm married Catharina Weischer, daughter of Lukas Weischner (librarian of the University of Jena); on May 28, 1621.

What is interesting is that our entire branch of the family is also involved in fencing as a sport. Genetic memories or coincidence?


  1. Hans (Johann) Casper Kruessler, son of Johann Wilhelm Kruessler was a resident of Dietz, and his family was all but wiped out by the plague.

    Germany had plagues in the 1500's; from 1663-68; and from 1675-83. So this must have been during the 1663-1668 outbreak, that the Kruessler family was nearly wiped out. The Rhine River areas were said to have the most casualities.

    Hans (Johann) Casper Kruessler's surviving children were:

    (1)Hans (Johann) Daniel Kruessler was born at Niederneisen about 1608. He died at Dietz-on-the-Lahn on August 10/12, 1641, and was buried in Flacht-on-the-Aar, and is buried in the churchyard. His tombstone read:

    "Anno 1641, on August 10th (translated from the German)there died the honorable and stalwart Johann Daniel Kreusler, head of the local government of the County of Dietz, 33 years of age; may God have mercy on his soul."

    Hans married Anna Maria Binckehl, daughter of Simon Binkehl, innkeeper of Kirberg; in Kirberg near Limburg. Anna died on December 21, 1671.

    (2)Hans (Johann) Friedrich Kruessler (see generation 3).


Hans (Johann) Friedrich Kruessler was chief magistrate or mayor of Flacht-on-the-Aar. Hans (Johann) Friedrich Kruessler is much younger than his brother, Hans (Johann) Daniel Kruessler. Hilliker thinks that he is the son of Caterina ____, wife number two of Hans (Johann) Caspar Kruessler.

It is thought that Hans (Johann) Friedrich Kruessler was born about 1630 in Dietz (or later). Yet another record shows a Johann Friedrich Kruessler born on February 3, 1636 in Worms. It is thought that after their parents died that the two boys lived together with his brother serving as his father. After his eldest brother's death, he and his sister-in-law returned to the old family estate in the Aar valley.

Hans (Johann) Friedrich Kruessler married (1) Anna Rufina before 1659. Anna died December 26, 1675 and was buried two days later. He married (2) in 1676 to ____? and died September 26, 1685 in Flacht on Aar.

Children of Anna Rufina and Hans (Johann) Friedrich Kruessler(Generation Five)
  1. Johann Daniel Kruessler who was baptized on June 28, 1662
  2. Ann Margreth Kruessler was baptized February 18, 1666.
  3. Anna Elizabeth Kruessler was baptized April 1, 1667
  4. Johann Gottfried Kruessler was baptized March 6, 1669
  5. Anna Catharina Kruessler was baptized April 2, 1671
  6. Johann Ludwig Kruessler was baptized December 12, 1675. Since this birth is close to the time of Anna's death, we can assume she died of complications from childbirth.

Children of unknown wife and Hans (Johann) Friedrich Kruessler(Generation Five):

  1. Johann Heinrich Kruessler, baptized September 7, 1677 (*note: there is another. Henrich that was baptized in April 6, 1671 in Gemeinsmann).
  2. Johann Phillip Kruessler was baptized on January 26, 1679 in Niederneisen, Germany. He was part of the Kruessler family of the Lahnthal. There seemed to have been two Johann Phillip Kruesslers in the same time period. Hilliker felt that they were one in the same, even though records conflict (however this is rather common in genealogy). He got his information from the parish records of Dietz, Niederhadamar, Niederneisen, Flacht and numerous other places in Germany.

    Hilliker also cites J.P. Seddon's Rambles in the Rhine Provinces, p. 107; K. Stieler's The Rhine From Its Source to the Sea, Volume II, p. 78-80; M. Ziller's Topography Hessiae et Regionum Vicinarum (reprint of 1929 edition), p 7-9; and the Encyclopedia Britannia, 11th Edition, Vol. XVI, p. 80 and Vol. XXIII, p. 242.

  3. Catharine Elisbetha Kruessler, baptised December 22, 1680.
  4. Jakob Ernst Kruessler, baptized November 5, 1682.
  5. Maria Clara Kruessler, baptized March 15, 1684.
  6. Georg Ludwig Kruessler, baptized August 23, 1685. Died July 28, 1686, and was buried two days later at Flacht.

This account seems to have been verified in Walter Allen Knittle, PhD's Early Eighteenth Century Palatine Emigration published in Philadelphia by Dorrance & Company. Lists were compiled by Rev. John Tribbeko and Rev. George Andrews Ruperts. They made four listings. The listing was published in June 16, 1799. We find the family on the Third Party listed as Embarking June 5 to June 10, 1709, on page 254 of Knittle's book:

...Greisler, Johannes and vrouw 3 ch.

Another listing was the New York Subsistence List. This was a listing of the Palatine debtors to the British government since their landing. The listing was in the Public Records office, C. O 5 1230 and was compared and corrected with the C.O 5 1231. On this listing we find:

Braun, Johann Jost 3-5, 5-3
Braun, Johann Paul 2-0, 2-0

As explantion

...2 adults and 0 children under ten years of age in 1710
...2 adults and 0 children under ten in 1712.

Feller, Niclaus 2-2, 4-2

Geisler, Peter 3-1, 2-2
Greisler, Johann Phillip 2-2, 4-0

Then there was Simmendinger's List:

...Braun, Paulus (l=Schoharie Valley)& w (wife)

...Kreussler, John Phillip (e=Beckman's land) w. Anna Catharine & 3 children.
Kruessler, Peter (e=Beckman's land) w. Anna Lucia & 3 children.

...Manck, Jacob (e=Beckmann's land) w. Anna Margaretha.



Cantor, Norman F. In the Wake of the Plague: The Black Death and the World It Made. New York: The Free Press (a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.), 2001

Curcio, Vincent. Chrysler: The Life and Times of An Automotive Genius. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.

Hilliker, H. Chrysler. Crysler and Chrysler History and Family Trees. 1974.

Kohn, George C. The Wordsworth Encyclopedia of Plague & Pestilence. New York: Facts on File, 1995.

Magnuson, KBE (editor), Magus. Larousse Biographical Dictionary. New York: Larousse Kingfisher Chamber Inc., 1994.

Smith, Elsdon C. New Dictionary of American Family Names. New York: Gramercy Publishing Compnay, 1988.

Ziegler, Phillip. The Black Death. Gloucester, England: Allan Sutton Publishing Limited, 1991.

Sie setzen uber dieses Seite hier--->internet Translator (tm) can translate single words, phrases, sentences and entire web pages<---Translate this page into any language here.

You are the visitor since November 9, 2003

Free GuestBooks by Phaistos Networks!
Read My Guestbook! | Sign My Guestbook!

View My Guestbook
Sign My Guestbook

Back to the Crysler Table of Contents


Webmaster: Margaret Odrowaz-Sypniewski
Last updated on April 10, 2005

This page is hosted by