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My name is Linda Silverman Shefler and I started this site. 

As of 18 October 2009 the Höchster-Hoechster-Hochster-Hexter family includes 2347 individuals, 11 generations and goes back to the mid 1600s. 

The following are some of the main surnames found in Höchster family: 



I have attempted to be as historically accurate as possible; hence both given names and surnames are spelled in their various iterations as they evolved over time.  Please be sure to try using the different spellings when you are looking for a specific individual, as the name might not be spelled the way you expect. 

Case in point; German vowels will have an umlat (two dots) over them.  When translated to other languages, many times the umlat is eliminated and an e will follow the vowel.  For example; Höchster without the umlat is spelled Hoechster.  Bründel will be spelled Bruendel.  Löb will be Loeb.  Feel free to cut and paste the letters with umlates to broaden your search.

I look forward to expanding the tree and hearing from family members who have not yet been discovered. It is almost impossible to compile a tree of this size without the help, collaboration and input of numerous people.  While there are many people who are working on their specific branches of the family, I decided to try to locate and reconnect as much of whole family as possible.  I have attempted to be as accurate as possible and to verify information whenever possible, but please let me know if you do see something that needs to be corrected.  


I would also love to include any pictures, documents and other family related items that you are willing to share.  I have been collecting these items from generous family members and will start uploading them shortly.  Any and all contributions will be appreciated by all.

The photo on the left was contributed by Barbara Schwartz Burchstead and is of Leopold and Rosa (Höchster) Mayer and their children. 

The photo on the right was contributed by Caroline Gries and is of the Hays family.  If anyone can identify the individuals please contact me so we can put some names with the faces!

We presently have family members living in the United States, Israel, Canada, Colombia, England and Switzerland. 

This is a work in progress, so please be patient as it continues to evolve.  I look forward to hearing from you!

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Go to family photos
Family news
July 22, 2014
Researcher joined another family site: Geismar Family Web Site
July 16, 2014
Mary Formeller updated the details of <Private> Formeller in family tree Hoechster Family Oct 09
Mary Formeller added <Private> Formeller to family tree: Hoechster Family Oct 09
July 14, 2014
צבי הכסטר updated the details of Sita Rabinowitz (Höchster) in family tree Hoechster Family Oct 09
July 10, 2014
Ann Polachek updated the details of <Private> Polachek and <Private> Polachek (Kasmi) in family tree Hoechster Family Oct 09
July 02, 2014
Linda Silverman Shefler updated her profile.
June 20, 2014
Yoram Igael joined another family site: Selbiger Web Site
May 28, 2014
Linda Silverman Shefler updated the details of <Private> Koomas (Woolf) in family tree Hoechster Family Oct 09
Linda Silverman Shefler added <Private> Koomas (Woolf) to family tree: Hoechster Family Oct 09
May 10, 2014
Leslie Jacobs invited Benjamin Jacobs Yaussy to the site.
Leslie Jacobs invited Jennifer Ann Vorell to the site.
Leslie Jacobs invited Ellen Gwen Wagner to the site.
May 06, 2014
Kathleen (Kathy) Louise Weil (Mandell) commented on event 61st birthday of Kathleen (Kathy) Louise Weil:
 Thank you. Congratulations to Mark! 
May 05, 2014
Caroline Gries updated her profile.
Apr 29, 2014
Leslie Jacobs commented on event 62nd birthday of Jonathan (Jon) Robert Kline:
 Happy Birthday! 
Apr 18, 2014
Linda Silverman Shefler updated the details of Calman Rohrheimer and Moses Rohrheimer in family tree Hoechster Family Oct 09
Mar 16, 2014
Linda Silverman Shefler updated the details of Ruth Havre (Kline) in family tree Hoechster Family Oct 09
Mar 15, 2014
Jonathan (Jon) Robert Kline invited Jason Kline to the site.
Mar 13, 2014
Jonathan (Jon) Robert Kline updated the details of <Private> Kline in family tree Hoechster Family Oct 09
Mar 12, 2014
Jonathan (Jon) Robert Kline invited James Norman Kline to the site.
Jonathan (Jon) Robert Kline invited Judson A. Kline to the site.
Jonathan (Jon) Robert Kline invited Adam Kline to the site.
Jonathan (Jon) Robert Kline updated the details of <Private> Kline , <Private> Kline , <Private> Ebert (Kline) , <Private> Kline and 3 other people in family tree Hoechster Family Oct 09
View older news
News articles
Posted by: Linda Silverman Shefler on Jan 5 2014 19:02

"The project, called “Spurensuche, Deutsch-Jüdisches Kulturerbe Weltweit” in German and “Traces, German-Jewish Heritage in the world” in English, will go live on the internet December 4th and include radio and television broadcasts in four languages".

This will be particularly interesting for those whose families left Germany during WWII.

Cut and paste the following link:
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Posted by: Linda Silverman Shefler on Dec 6 2013 16:16

Sandy Kugelman of Austin, Texas passed away this afternoon after fighting a twelve year battle with breast cancer. I got to know Sandy through email exchanges and Facebook. The little I knew touched me deeply. Sandy was a mother, a fighter, an animal lover, a wonderful writer with an incredible sense of humor. She was also amazingly inspiring. From what I could see, she touched the lives of many with her courage, inner beauty, support and friendship.

Sandy was born in Cleveland and lived in Austin. She is survived by her children Jonathan, Eliana and Ezra, her mother Sylvia (nee Malik) and her siblings, Harvey and Ida Bergson.

May her memory be a blessing.

Never shy about speaking out about cancer, this is the piece Sandy wrote, "Writing Back to Cancer":

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Posted by: Linda Silverman Shefler on Dec 2 2013 14:07
The former head of the Flats Oxbow Association died 12 days before a scheduled sentencing hearing for embezzlement and money laundering.

Tom L. Newman, 65, died Friday at University Hospitals after a long, undisclosed illness. He had pleaded guilty to siphoning more than $500,000 from the nonprofit community development corporation.

Newman was named executive director of Flats Oxbow in 2006, a job that paid him $50,000 a year. Before that, he chaired the group's board of trustees for many years.

Joseph Mazzola, executive director of the group during the 1990s, said Newman led a family aluminum business on the East Side back then.

"He was a great guy," said Mazzola. "Tom was able to run interference and sort through the variety of opinions and give me running room. He was able to navigate the political waters. He knew City Hall."

Newman was also president of the Edgewater Homeowners Association. Former Edgew...

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Obituaries:GLORIA JEAN PRICE de GARCIA 1983-2013
Posted by: Linda Silverman Shefler on Nov 7 2013 22:58
Gloria Jean Price de Garcia was born on May 24, 1983 in Elmhurst, Illinois to Eileen and Daniel Price.
She passed away peacefully at home on October 24, 2013.
Gloria was a Box Office Assistant at The MAC at College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn.
She is the beloved wife of Bayron Garcia Perez.
Loving sister of Marlene Price, Steven Price and Valerie Price.
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Posted by: Linda Silverman Shefler on Sep 20 2013 23:03
Stephen Zellerbach, philanthropist, businessman, community activist and fourth generation San Franciscan, passed away suddenly and peacefully November 11th at his Healdsburg home. He was 84, and will be remembered for a lifelong commitment to the Bay Area he loved. After attending Swarthmore College and serving in the Navy in World War II, Mr. Zellerbach came home to the Bay Area and graduated with a business degree from U.C. Berkeley. He married Merla Burstein and began his business career at the Zellerbach Paper Company, which was founded in San Francisco in 1870 by his great-grandfather, Anthony Zellerbach. His career followed many avenues. After the paper business, he became an entrepreneur, co-founding a successful car rental business and McCutchan Publishing Corporation. He next ventured into the wine business, launching Stephen Zellerbach Vineyards with his wife, Cecile "CiCi" Zellerbach, from the pioneer wine-making Nervo family of Geyserville. The Stephen Zellerbach ...

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Posted by: Linda Silverman Shefler on Sep 16 2013 19:55

The Nuremberg Municipal Library has about 10,000 confiscated books, today subsumed under the heading "Collection Jewish Community Nuremberg" (Sammlung Israelitische Kultusgemeinde IKG). The 10,000 volumes were part of the collection of Julius Streicher, the Nazis' chief propagandist and creator of the notorious anti-Semitic newspaper Der Stürmer.

Most of these books were taken illegally by the Nazis from Jews and other victims of Nazi persecution -- among them, Freemasons, clergymen and activists and institutions connected with the labour movement and left-wing political parties. The collection was placed in the hands of the Nuremberg Jewish community (Israelitische Kultusgemeinde) at the end of the war, which then gave it to the Library on permanent loan.

About a third of the books carry marks of provenance (signatures, book plates, stamps etc.) of former owners from over 400 locations, mainly in Europe. The librarian Leibl Rosenberg researched the books and compiled a list of the names of the former owners found in the books.

In January 2008 a first search list of 121 previous owners, predominantly from Nuremberg and Fürth, was published by the Nuremberg Municipal Library, and on the home page of this Central Registry which worked in partnership (together with the Registry's sister organization, the Commission for Looted Art in Europe) to assist those responding and to trace others. The list can be found at the end of this message.

The response to the first search request was enormous. Two thirds of the cases were resolved and taken off the search list by 2010. In total, 150 volumes were returned to the previous owners or their heirs in the USA, Israel, Great Britain, Austria and Switzerland.

In September 2010, a further list of 306 names of owners whose heirs are being sought was published, and a press release was issued by the Library.

Further details and the list of names can be found below.

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Posted by: Linda Silverman Shefler on Aug 9 2013 13:55

Mark Glickman shared this very interesting article with me, “Passages through the Fire: Jews and the Civil War” pertaining to an exhibit that is at the AJHS (American Jewish Historical Society) in New York, and is then moving to the Jewish Museum of Maryland.

"There has been a lot of scholarship on Southern Jews and the relationship between blacks and Jews, but on the Civil War per se, relatively little. Despite this neglect, the Civil War is kind of a crucible of American Jewish history. The Jewish population in 1840 was about 15,000, and in 1860 it was about 150,000, and there were probably about 10 or 11,000 Jews who fought in the Civil War — maybe about 7,000 on the northern side, 3,000 on the southern side. The war rapidly accelerated Americanization on both sides, and more than 50 Jews were commanders of regiments. The story we’re telling here is about rapid Americanization. In some way it’s a Jewish story, but it’s an American story in that it illustrates how America provided a framework for Jews to exercise their talents relatively unhindered by their Jewish identities".

I have been surprised that my great great grandfather entered the army at the rank of Sargent, but from this article, it wasn't surprising! He was a bookbinder, therefore somewhat educated, or at least able to read and write, which many people in those days were able to do.

Here is the link to the rest of the article.

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Posted by: Linda Silverman Shefler on Apr 21 2013 12:04

Richard Joel, loving husband and father, advertising educator and arts supporter, long-term resident of Tallahassee Florida and Highlands North Carolina, died of natural causes in his sleep on April 15, 2013, at his home at Westminster Oaks in Tallahassee. He was 96. For 85 years opera was his passion. It started at the age of 11 when he attended a Metropolitan Opera performance of Norma in Atlanta, and until the very end, he would tune in daily to satellite radio to listen to Met opera broadcasts.
Richard Joel was born December 31, 1916 in Athens, Georgia.

He was a member of ODK and graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a BA degree from the University of Georgiaand later earned a Master's degree from the University of Wisconsin.

During WWII he served in the Air Force and after that he embarked on an academic career as a professor at Emory University where he founded and directed The Advertising Institute.

He later taught at Florida State University, Florida Atlantic University, the University of Wisconsin, and finally the University of Tennessee in Knoxville where he chaired the advertising department in the College of Communications. He retired as Professor Emeritus of advertising and was named by UT one of the outstanding professors of the year.

After that he returned to Tallahassee where he became a consistent supporter of music at The College of Music at FSU.
He also pursued his hobby as an amateur actor. He was a five-time winner of the best actor award at Tallahassee Little Theater. He worked actively with community theaters in all the cities where he served as a university professor.

At Florida State he was president of Phi Beta Kappa, he was active on the Artists Series Committee, and he served on the board of the Tallahassee Little Theater.
While at UT he was on the board and served as public relations director of the Knoxville Opera. At the same time he served as national president of both the Alpha Delta Sigma advertising fraternity and the American Academy of Advertising.

For three summers early in his career he worked with Clyde Bedell, internationally recognized advertising practitioner and author, whose textbook he assisted in writing and editing.
In Knoxville he became a good friend of Robert Lyall, then general director of the Knoxville Opera Company and later director of the New Orleans Opera.

For the next 25 years, Richard would travel annually to New York with him where he assisted in auditioning over 3,000 opera singers. They would also squeeze in as many Metropolitan Opera performances as their schedules would allow.
While at UT he and his wife Edith were attracted to the climate and natural beauty of Highlands, NC, where they began spending a portion of each year over 35 years ago. Together they became actively involved in local theater and art functions.

Inspired by the exposure to the opera talent in New York and elsewhere, Richard Joel, at 75, created Bel Canto, a musical concert which brought some of the most talented voices in the country to Highlands. His wife Edith actively supported the initiative to become a fundraiser for the Bascom-Louise Gallery where she was serving as a docent.

For fifteen years, until the age of 90, Richard relied on and guided a steering committee made up of some of Highlands' most civic-minded and loyal supporters of the arts. Bel Canto became a highly anticipated event which sold-out annually. As chairman he identified and attracted the talent, he helped create the program, he drew on his advertising experience and originated the publicity by writing the articles for local publications.

In addition he handled the ticket sales while overseeing the steering committee for effective implementation of his vision. After he turned over the position as chairman, his successor observed that it took three people to accomplish all the tasks that Richard had done himself for fifteen years. When he attended the 20th annual recital as chairman emeritus, the fund raising had not only been used to purchase numerous significant pieces for the permanent collection at the Gallery, but had been broadened to include music and choral programs in local schools and the community child development center.

Truly a lasting legacy.
In addition, during the years in Highlands he was very active in the local theater. He was well into his eighties when he played his last lead role -- in "The Sunshine Boys." And until his last summer in Highlands he continued his decades long volunteer work with Mountain Findings, a fund raising endeavor supporting numerous area charities and needs.
Richard Joel is survived by his daughter Madge Joel Ringbakk and her husband Chuck of Tavares, Florida; his son Richard Raymon Joel and his wife Elaine of Tavares, Florida; as well as two grandsons Rick Ringbakk and Jeremy Joel both of Los Angeles, California.

He was married to his beloved Edith for 59 years until her death in 2001.
Richard Joel was not only a university professor. He was for so many a Life teacher. For his 90th birthday his daughter contacted a number of his former students, many by then also retired. She received dozens of responses telling in moving detail how much he had meant to them in and out of the classroom and how they had kept up over the decades.

His passion for the arts and opera in particular has demonstrated that age is a state of mind. By following his bliss and engaging life fully, his Journey became a rich beacon for all who had the privilege of knowing him.
In six words:




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Posted by: Linda Silverman Shefler on Apr 10 2013 14:52
The radio was on but I was not paying attention.
Just another story about a bombing in Afghanistan.
Just another senseless suicide bomber so far away.
I didn't pay attention to the details.

It was only the second or third time that I heard the story
that I noticed the reference to an idyllic Midwestern town.
Only then that I noticed it was our town.
I had never heard the name Smedinghoff before.

Moments later my email inbox began to fill
With notices from neighbors who knew her
Soon I began to learn details of Anne's life,
Her optimism, her generosity, her caring.

Soon I shared in spreading the request that neighbors
Wrap their trees with white ribbons in her honor.
Soon I found myself in a long line of cars at a local church
Where volunteers passed out white ribbons and tiny flags
And accepted gifts of new and gently used children's books in return.

I am not one fo...

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Obituaries:MARGERY BLAHD WILE, MD - (1912-2011)
Posted by: Linda Silverman Shefler on Feb 25 2013 19:10
Margery B. Wile, who died January 6, 2011, at the age of 98, graduated from the University Of Chicago Medical School in 1935, one of a half handful of women. The children of a physician, she and her brother were encouraged to apply to medical school by their father who was, at the time, Chief of Surgery at Mt. Sinai Hospital in Cleveland. Her brother, William H. Blahd, became a pioneer in the field of Nuclear Medicine. Dr. Wile worked in pathology in Chicago and Boston.
After World War II, when her family settled in the New York City area, she took a psychiatric residency at what was then Hillside Hospital in Queens, New York. She also studied at the Post Graduate School for Psychotherapy and the William Alanson White Institute where she was supervised by Clara Thompson. She maintained a private practice with offices on Long Island and in Manhattan. She later practiced in Washington, D.C. for about twenty- five years. During that time she also headed a project working to improve j...

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