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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Family news
Robin Smolen joined another family site: Budris Web Site
May 20, 2016
Linda Silverman Shefler commented on the photo Barbara Burchstead and Linda Shefler :
 After uploading the picture of Barbara's daughter and new grandson, it dawned on me that I never uploaded a picture from when Barbara and I finally met! After corresponding for I don't know how many years, Barbara and Harry were in the San Francisco Bay Area visiting and we spent a lovely afternoon together! 
May 19, 2016
Linda Silverman Shefler added the photo Sarah Nagy and David to album MAYER FAMILY
Linda Silverman Shefler added <Private> Nagy , <Private> Lamm , <Private> Lamm and <Private> Pina (Lamm) to family tree: Hoechster Family Oct 09
Linda Silverman Shefler updated the details of <Private> Nagy , <Private> Lamm , <Private> Lamm , <Private> Lamm and 4 other people in family tree Hoechster Family Oct 09
May 13, 2016
Linda Silverman Shefler updated the details of Unknown Loeser , Unknown Loeser , <Private> Loeser , William David Loeser, MD and 17 other people in family tree Hoechster Family Oct 09
May 11, 2016
Caroline Gries invited Peter Hays Gries to the site.
May 10, 2016
Linda Silverman Shefler updated the details of <Private> Pollack in family tree Hoechster Family Oct 09
May 03, 2016
Linda Silverman Shefler added the photo Joseph Englander Employment to album STERN
Linda Silverman Shefler updated the details of Herbert (Harry) Englander , Max Plaut , Max H. Biernbaum , Allen Judah Klein and 1 other people in family tree Hoechster Family Oct 09
Linda Silverman Shefler added 2 photos to album PLAUT FAMILY
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Posted by: Linda Silverman Shefler on May 25 2016 20:34

I have to share a story with you! It's one of those stories you read about that happens to other people, but not to you! This time it happened to me!

Here's the email I received from a man named Noam:
"I stopped in at an estate sale here in Baltimore when I found a picture in the basement of a young German soldier posing in WWI gear. It looked to me like the owner of the house had either passed away or had moved and I didn't want the picture to be thrown away, so I bought it. After snooping around a little I found some papers which indicated the house belonged to a man named Walter Lamm. I became really intrigued with the photo and was determined to find out who it was and what had happened to him. So I hit the internet, and after a few hours Walter Lamm led me to Leopold Lamm, which eventually led me to Siegfried Lamm the man in the picture! Siegfried died in WWI as you already know. He was Walter Lamm's uncle. Anyway, your...

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Posted by: Linda Silverman Shefler on Feb 21 2016 18:44

Our cousin, Rabbi Mark Glickman has written another book, which from the sound of it is quite fascinating! And it should be of interest to many of us.

Stolen Words is an epic story about the largest collection of Jewish books in the world—tens of millions of books that the Nazis looted from European Jewish families and institutions. Nazi soldiers and civilians emptied Jewish communal libraries, confiscated volumes from government collections, and stole from Jewish individuals, schools, and synagogues. Early in their regime the Nazis burned some books in spectacular bonfires, but most they saved, stashing the literary loot in castles, abandoned mine shafts, and warehouses throughout Europe. It was the largest and most extensive book-looting campaign in history. After the war, Allied forces discovered these troves of stolen books but quickly found themselves facing a barrage of questions. How could the books be identified? Where should they go? Who had the authority to make such decisions? Eventually the military turned the books over to an organization of leading Jewish scholars called Jewish Cultural Reconstruction, Inc.—whose chairman was the acclaimed historian Salo Baron and whose on-the-ground director was the philosopher Hannah Arendt—with the charge to establish restitution protocols.
Stolen Words is the story of how a free civilization decides what to do with the material remains of a world torn asunder, and how those remains connect survivors with their past. It is the story of Jews struggling to understand the new realities of their post-Holocaust world and of Western society’s gradual realization of the magnitude of devastation wrought by World War II. Most of all, it is the story of people —of Nazi leaders, ideologues, and Judaica experts; of Allied soldiers, scholars, and scoundrels; and of Jewish communities, librarians, and readers around the world.


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Obituaries:MARTIN VAN GELDER - 1944-2014
Posted by: Linda Silverman Shefler on Jan 5 2016 19:03

Gainesville - Martin van Gelder, age 70 of Gainesville, FL passed away on Sunday, October 26th 2014 in Gainesville. Martin was born May 12, 1944 in Chicago, IL to Mozes and Janet (Harris) van Gelder. Serving his country in the US Army as an Airborne Ranger, 24th Infantry, Germany Headquarters, OCS Selection Team, in Ft Dix, NJ, in the Vietnam War, 1st Cavalry Division, Hotel Co., 75th Ranger (Long Range Recon Patrol), having received the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and Combat Infantry Badge, then returning stateside to Ft. Sill OK as part of the Training NCO-Jungle Warfare training Battalion.
Mr. van Gelder was the owner of M van Gelder & Associates, and Empire Realty Corp both in Orlando. He was an Audit Agent with the Florida Department of Revenue, Medical Administrator at the VA Medical Center in Gainesville, the North Florida Area Manager with Burnip & Sims Telcom Inc., and was a volunteer, Construction Coordinator, Secretary and Board member with Habitat for Humanity in Gainesville.
Martin was a member of Congregation B'Nai Israel, American Legion Post 0016, Paralyzed Veterans of America- Central Florida Chapter, Military Order of the Purple Heart, University of Florida Alumni Association, Titletown Gator Club, LifeSouth Blood Bank- 26+ Galloneer, ACLU, NRA, Southern Poverty Law Center, and the NAACP. He was a Life Member of the Vietnam Veterans of America- Chapter 1059, Disabled American Veterans- Chapter Gator #90, Jewish War Veterans- Post 2014, Veterans of Foreign Wars- Post 2811, and a member at large in the 1st Air Cavalry Association.
He is survived by his sons Michael (Angella) van Gelder and Richard (Dale) van Gelder both of Orlando, their mother Liane van Gelder of Orlando, grandchildren Rachael van Gelder of Leesburg, Karl van Gelder and Katherine van Gelder of Orlando, and his great grandchild, Brooke Lillian Hutchins of Leesburg FL. His Gainesville Family Carol Peters, Scott Lansing Peters, Brittany Peters (Nick) Pino, Dylan Cole Pino, Dean Michael Pino, and Natalie Taylor Pino. Special people Rod and Lynn LeBre of Orlando, Irene and Irving Young of Hampton, FL, Shirley Peters of Winter Park, FL, Dr. "Bob" Sammel, the LAMP Team, the Recreational Therapy Team all at the VA Medical Center in Gainesville, and a special thanks to Haven Hospice for all of the love and care given to Martin and his family.
Services will be held at 11:00am on Tuesday, November 4, 2014 at Congregation B'Nai Israel, 3830 NW 16th Blvd., Gainesville, FL 32605. Interment will follow at 2:00pm in Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell, FL.
Published in Gainesville Sun, The (FL) - Friday, October 31, 2014

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Obituaries:DR. MYRON E. RUBNITZ - AGE 91
Posted by: Linda Silverman Shefler on July 21 2015 11:06
Beloved husband for 63 years of Susan Block Rubnitz. Loving father of Mary Lu (Ken) Roffe, Peter Block (Edye) Rubnitz, Robert Block Rubnitz (Ellen Strauss), and the late Thomas Block Rubnitz. Proud grandfather of Gregory (Ashlee) Roffe, Andrew Roffe, Matthew Roffe, Talia Rubnitz, Nicholas Rubnitz, and Amanda Strauss. Adoring great-grandfather of Eliza, Susannah, Delia, and Thomas Roffe. Dedicated son of the late Dr. Abraham and the late Esther Rubnitz. Devoted son-in-law of the late Joseph L. and the late Lucille E. Block. Dear brother of the late Josephine (the late Stephen) Fraenkel and the late Miriam (the late Ervin) Simon. Incredible uncle of many nieces and nephews. He was an Army veteran of WWII and the Korean War. He was a Physician at the Hines VA hospital for 60 years, where the medical technology school is named in his honor. He was a professor at Northwestern and Loyola Medical Schools. He was a proud member of Temple Jeremiah for over 55 years. Memorial Service and reception, Tuesday, 3 PM at Temple Jeremiah, 937 Happ Road, Northfield, IL 60093. Interment Private. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to North Shore Senior Center, 161 Northfield Rd., Northfield, IL 60093 www.nssc.org, Temple Jeremiah, www.templejeremiah.org, or the charity of your choice. - See more at: http://www.chicagojewishfunerals.com/funeral-detail-page?case=ACD4AFE4-F203-4B5E-B9E9-FCA6B79F0CE7#sthash.Xr6cQ95k.dpuf
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Obituaries:SYLVIA EISNER BORKAT - 101 z"l
Posted by: Linda Silverman Shefler on July 8 2015 13:22

SAN DIEGO — When we recite the Yizkor prayer for a mother, we refer to a mother who has passed away as imi morati, my mother, my teacher. In this simple phrase we have a recognition of the significant role entrusted to the mother, her role as teacher of her children.

For the most significant part of a child’s education occurs not in the classroom, but in the home. The mother conveys to her children her fears and her hopes, her defeats and aspirations, through the way that she handles the experiences of life. These hopes and values are what shape the outlook of her children and her grandchildren, and generations beyond.

This afternoon, as we bid our final farewell to Sylvia Borkat, who passed away on January 1 at the age of 101, we recall the phrase, imi morati, my mother, my teacher, for above all, Sylvia was the person in her family to whom others looked to for guidance on how to deal with all that life brought,

I never...

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Obituaries:CLARA MARIE BERNS (nee DAVIDSON) - 1920 - 2015
Posted by: Linda Silverman Shefler on May 21 2015 20:38
Clara Marie Berns (nee Davidson) passed away on Friday, May 15,2015. She was 95 years old and preceded in death by her husband, Herb Berns.

Clara had three children, Judy Stephenson (Jim), Ellis Berns (Mary), and Marcey Aronson (Art); six grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

A graveside service will be held on Sunday, May 17 at 2 p.m. at Rose Hill Cemetary in Akron, Ohio. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Menorah Park Foundation, 27100 Cedar Road, Beachwood, Ohio 44122.

Published in Akron Beacon Journal on May 16, 2015
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Posted by: Linda Silverman Shefler on Apr 26 2015 19:33

Patsy F. Eichengreen, 96 years young died on March 29, 2015. A longtime resident of Glencoe, IL and Rancho Mirage, CA, she was born in Winnetka, IL the daughter of the late Ivan P. and Bernice M. Florsheim and sister of the late Ivan P. Florsheim, Jr. She was the wife of the late William H. Eichengreen and mother of Jill Mittelman; William H. Eichengreen, Jr (Jerry); Jobie Stern; and Steven Eichengreen (Cindee); Mimi to 6 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren. Aunt to many loving nieces and nephews. She will be remembered for her great sense of humor and zest for life. A celebration of her life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to theredkiteproject.org

Published in a Chicago Tribune Media Group Publication on Apr. 5, 2015

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Media:Burt Bacharach Opens Up About Daughter's Suicide: 'We All Did Everything We Could'
Posted by: Linda Silverman Shefler on Apr 15 2015 21:01

NEW YORK — Burt Bacharach knew writing a memoir would be emotional – not because of his never-heard backstage tales or his tumultuous marriages. He knew that being honest would force him to come to terms with the death of his daughter.

"It was very tough because I had to revisit what that period was and go deeper into it," he said of his daughter Nikki's premature birth, years of emotional issues, and eventual suicide at the age of 40.

The 84-year-old award-winning music composer of such classics as "I'll Never Fall in Love Again," the Oscar-winning "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head," and The Carpenters' "(They Long to Be) Close to You," understood that baring his deep, dark secrets was essential to his recently released autobiography, "Anyone Who Had a Heart: My Life and Music" (Harper).

The idea for a memoir came long before Nikki's death in 2007. Bacharach had Nikki with former wife Angie Dickinson, best known for her role on the seventies drama, "Police Woman."

"(Nikki) was one-pound, 10 ounces at birth, you should know the deck is stacked against you then," Bacharach said.

According to Bacharach, she grew up with emotional issues, which he later found out was an undiagnosed case of Asperger's syndrome (the autism spectrum disorder is a relatively new diagnosis.)

"Nobody said she's got Asperger's or she's got autism. (They said) she's just got behavior things," he said.

But after suffering for so long, he never imagined she would actually kill herself.

"It's like the boy who cried wolf. Somebody who says, `I can't stand it. The helicopters are making too much noise and the gardeners and the blowers are making too much noise and if they don't stop I'm going to kill myself,'" he said, his voice cracking. "And you hear that enough and you know it's never gonna happen and then one day she just goes and kills herself."

She committed suicide in her southern California apartment.

"When she did kill herself she did it alone, Textbook 101. Bag over her head. Alone. Kind of brave I guess for somebody who (was) scared of so many things and (she) left a note to me."

He later realized that the signs were always there, but thought that the strong relationship she had with her mother would prevent it from ever happening.

"They had a very connected, symbiotic relationship," he said, adding, "We all did everything we could. I did what I thought would be the right thing and it wasn't the right thing and I was just trying to get her better."

Bacharach was referring to the painful decision to send her away to a special school. He feels he made the decision because Nikki was not properly diagnosed. Because Nikki spent some time away from her mother, he feels she always held that against him.

"There was always that resentment that I kind of imprisoned her and the last thing in the world you know," he said. "I wish somebody would have just said, you're not going to heal her, let her be."

Asperger's syndrome is a pervasive developmental disorder on the autism spectrum. People with Asperger's often have high intelligence and vast knowledge on narrow subjects but lack social skills.

With his family struggles hidden from the world, Bacharach continued to make great music.

"I was always able to alleviate the noise, some of the noise with what was going on with Nikki becoming a Sikh, or whatever, because I would go to my music. ... It was during that time I scored `What's New Pussycat,' I scored the first `Casino Royale.' I would get engrossed in my music because there's no other way for me."

And while he continues to make music (he has an upcoming project for a musical with Elvis Costello), Bacharach is still haunted by her death. When they discovered the body, Nikki had left him a note.

"I know exactly what's in the note. I never read the note. I never will," Bacharach said as his voice cracked. "There is no need to read it. I already know what she said."

Posted: 05/22/2013 1:30 pm EDT

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Posted by: Linda Silverman Shefler on Mar 25 2015 18:18

Copy and paste the following link to see an interesting piece written by our cousin, Rabbi Mark Glickman, about his ancestors who immigrated to America:


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Obituaries:DR. EUGENE LOESER OF BOCA RATON - 1926-2013
Posted by: Linda Silverman Shefler on Mar 20 2015 15:56
Dr. Eugene Loeser, 86, died peacefully in Boca Raton, FL on Monday, July 22, 2013 after many dedicated years as a neurologist. He was born in Buffalo, NY to William and Carolyn Loeser. Gene was predeceased by his beloved wife, Nancy Loeser. Eugene is survived by his two children, Andrea Price and Douglas (Linda) Loeser; three grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. A memorial service will be held at 4:00 pm on Saturday at Edgewater Pointe Estates, 23315 Blue Water Circle in Boca Raton. In lieu of flowers, consider Alzheimer's Association or Christopher Reeve Foundation.

Published in The Palm Beach Post from July 26 to July 27, 2013
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