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Joseph F. Lift

1857/58 Bavaria to 1950 Chicago





Joseph & Eva listed that they came to the US in 1881. The ship "The Herder" arrived in NY from Hamburg  3-16-1881 carrying a Joseph "Luft" (as Joseph was called in the 1900 census as well), a 24-year-old smith from Bavaria. This all matches Joseph Lift. The passenger beside him was named Eva, last name illegible.



Eva M.

1857/1859 to 1919




  Louise Lift


  Edward Lift

  George Lift







unknown of Germany

spouse's parents:


unknown of Germany

maternal grandparents:


paternal grandparents:


Somewhere along the line the Lift family connects to the Bahr family, because Louise Lift Pfleger is photographed holding her godchild, Walter Bahr. Dolores Wachorf's impression was that he was related to Louise, the grandson perhaps of one of her siblings, but she could not recall the exact relationship.

click on any image to enlarge. Once enlarged, to activate zoom, move cursor to right of image, back onto image, and click again.

wedding of Louise Lift and Henry Pfleger c. 1905, certain to have Lift family members in the group, but who's who?

wedding of Louise's son George, around 1943. Bookend groomsmen are Wachdorfs, but any of the other four could be Lift kin

Louise Lift Pfleger with Walter Bahr, 1957

label of preceeding photo

Lift tombstone, St. Mary's Cemetery, Evergreen Park, IL

Joseph F. Lift was born in Germany in 1857 according to his tombstone, or Nov. 1858 according to the 1900 census. Eva M. Lift (maiden name unknown) was born in 1859 according to her tombstone, or in May 1857 according to the 1900 census.

In 1881 Joseph and Eva arrived in the US, according to the census in 1900 and 1910 (1920 he said 1885, but in 1930 he's back to saying 1881). There is a ship, the Herder, which went from Hamburg to Le Havre to NY, arriving 3-16-1881, which had passenger 503 "Josef Luft," 24, a smith from Bavaria (all of which matches Joseph Lift). Passenger number 502 is Eva Iss? (three letter name, not quite legible), age 28, but for all the world it looks like she's listed as "single" and those 3 letters don't spell Luft. And the age for her is not accurate. That's an oddity, because in the 1900 census, their daughter Louise is listed as born in June, 1881. Either they weren't married when she was conceived, or these are the wrong Lifts, or (most likely) info somewhere along the line is inaccurate. Another possibility--the Eva next to him is a coincidence, and not related to the Lift family at all.

1900 census, Chicago, 447 W. 58th St. (near the Wachdorfs) under the name "Luft" in the census index:

Joseph Lift, born Nov. 1858 in Germany, immigrated in 1881, married for 19 years

Wife Eva, born May 1857 in Germany, also immigrated in 1881, mother of seven, all alive

daughter Louise, born June 1881 in IL, occupation: dressmaker

daughter Annie, born Dec. 1883

son Edward F., born Feb. 1889

son George J., born Nov. 1890

daughter Catherine born April 1893

daughter Lena born April 1895

daughter "Sousana," born April 1899

(note Louise's birth date is three months after the Herder arrived in NY, but these birth dates are not accurate--Edward was actually born, according to his draft card and the Social Security Death index, 1-31-1888, but is listed here 13 months off)

1910 census, with the address now listed as 347 W. 58th St. (may be the same address, altered by an official reorganization of the street numbering system in Chicago). At any rate, Joseph lists that he owns the home without mortgage. He lists his age as 52, his immigration year as 1881, and his occupation as "blacksmith--ice mfrs." Wife Eva is also 52. Louise is no longer in the home (she is married to Henry Pfleger and living on Lafayette Avenue, which coincidentally is the street where her brother Edward comes to live by 1918), and Annie is gone, but I don't know her married name. Edward, 21, lists no profession, nor does George, 19, but Katherine, 17, is a lithographer. Lena is 14 and Susan is 11.

In 1919 Eva Lift died (information taken from her tombstone), but the tombstone says she was born in 1859, and the 1900 census said she was born in 1857.

1920 census: 347 W. 58th St. Joseph Lift, 59, widower, puts his birthplace more specifically as Bavaria, though he has changed his immigration year to 1885, and his naturalization year is 189- with the last digit illegible. He is a blacksmith--foreman. Daughter Helen, 24, is still in the house, and so is daughter Susan, 21. The latter lists her occupation as clerk--mail order.

1930 census: 347 W. 58th, so it's Joseph's house and he is listed as head of the household, widower, 72, married at age 24, immigrated 1881, no occupation, owns his home and values it at $4000 (and doesn't have a radio--they asked that year). Next listed is Louise Pfleger, daughter, 48, married at 27, no profession, then Henry Pfleger, son-in-law, 49, married at 28, occupation: clerk at City Hall. Lastly, George Pfleger, grandson, 17, no profession.

Joseph Lift died in 1950, according to his tombstone.

Somewhere along the line the name Bahr crosses into the Lift family, but I am not sure of the connection.