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
Jan 03, 2017
Linda Silverman Shefler updated the details of Jose Vicente Aranzazu, Dr. in family tree Hoechster Family Oct 09
Nov 15, 2016
Leslie Jacobs invited Nathan Yaussy to the site.
Nov 06, 2016
Linda Silverman Shefler updated the details of Ruth Ann Netzorg (Blahd) in family tree Hoechster Family Oct 09
Oct 06, 2016
helma katz updated the details of <Private> Katz (Parada) in family tree Hoechster Family Oct 09
Sep 20, 2016
Linda Silverman Shefler updated the details of <Private> Fulcher (Kline) and <Private> Woolf in family tree Hoechster Family Oct 09
Linda Silverman Shefler added <Private> Woolf to family tree: Hoechster Family Oct 09
Sep 18, 2016
Jonathan (Jon) Robert Kline updated the details of <Private> Fulcher (Kline) in family tree Hoechster Family Oct 09
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News articles
Obituaries:MARGERY (nee HABER) ZELLERBACH - 1921-2016
Posted by: Linda Silverman Shefler on Jan 1 2017 17:42
Margery Haber Zellerbach died peacefully at home on September 18, 2016. She was born in San Francisco on March 31, 1921, to Harold and Hilda Haber. She is survived by William "Bill" Zellerbach, her loving husband of more than 70 years, four children John Zellerbach (Mary Ellen), Thomas Zellerbach (Amy), Charles Zellerbach (Patricia), and Nancy Boschwitz (David); their grandchildren Joseph Zellerbach, Elizabeth Zellerbach Ruffer (Todd), Jennifer Zellerbach O'Connor, Will Zellerbach, Hilary Reek (Terry), Emily Boschwitz, and Elliot Boschwitz, and two great-grandchildren Amaya and Tyler. She will be missed very much by all.
Marge loved and cared for her family intensely. She had wonderful friends who shared a life-long loyalty to one another. She was a beautiful and intelligent woman who knew her mind and set high standards. She graduated from Galileo High School, which she attended with her future husband Bill, and from the University of California at Berkeley. During World War II, she worked in procurement for the United States Navy and afterwards volunteered for organizations that focused on infants and children in need. She was an avid sportswoman who played golf with her husband and friends, attended 49ers games (from Kezar to Candlestick), and followed the racing careers of her husband's horses (whether good or bad).
The family wishes to extend its heartfelt thanks to the compassionate nurses and aides who cared for Marge prior to her passing. Donations may be made in her memory to the Zellerbach Family Foundation or any charity of your choosing. Private services will be held.
Published in San Francisco Chronicle from Sept. 22 to Sept. 25, 2016
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Posted by: Linda Silverman Shefler on Aug 7 2016 21:19

Mark Strouse, a successful business man of San Francisco and proprietor of the Bay City Meat Market, 1136-1140 Market street, and also doing a large meat-packing business, came to the Pacific coast in 1861, when sixteen years of age. He is a native of Germany, born in 1845, received his education and spent the first sixteen years of his life in his native country. His first business in California was mining at Mokelumne Hill, Calaveras county. He obtained a mining claim, for which he was offered $10,000; this he declined, and at the end of six months left it as worthless. He turned his attention to butchering, and in the spring of 1863 went to Virginia City, Nevada, helped take 5,000 head of stock there and for six months worked in the meat market. Mr. Strouse and a brother then purchased the market and began a career of prosperity, which was continued in that city till 1880 - seventeen years. While Mr. Strouse resided there he took an active part in political and other affairs of the city. In 1868 he was elected by his party (the Democratic) Marshal of the city, and filled the position in a most business-like and creditable manner; and at the expiration of his term of office he was elected Treasurer of the city, and in this, as in his former office, his management of the financial affairs of the city gave the highest satisfaction. While Marshal of the city he had the satisfaction of arresting three notorious robbers, who had committed several crimes and were a menace to the country. They were found guilty and sent to State's prison. When Mr. Strouse came to San Francisco in 1880 he purchased his present market and engaged in business in this city, and met with success from the start, soon attaining a leading position in the business, as he has acquired the good will of a large patronage, and has in his employ seventy-five men and twelve boys. He has in his market the largest cooler on the coast, which enables him to keep his immense stock of meats in choice condition. He is a man of push, energy and large business experience, and what he undertakes succeeds. He has a valuable ranch at Honey Lake, Nevada, where he raises a part of the stock for his large business. He usually packs about thirty hogs per day, and also packs beef extensively. He cures the Emlie ham, which has acquired a wide reputation; his lard has the same brand. Mr. Strouse has belonged to many of the fraternal societies, but the pressure of business has caused him to drop most of them.

He was married in 1874 to Miss Lillie Edgeryton, a native of Virginia City, and they had three children, two of whom died; the surviving one is named Berdhea. Mr. Strouse lost his wife, and was married again in 1883, to Miss Amelia Emlie Bulhert, a native of Mokelumne Hill, California. They have two sons, born in San Francisco: Mark and Albert A. Mr. Strouse is what may be styled a self-made man, as it has been wholly by his own efforts that he has acquired his well-earned success.

~From San Francisco County Biographies

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Posted by: Linda Silverman Shefler on Aug 4 2016 19:37

A cousin just notified me of this. He participated and said it was an extraordinary trip! He’s given me permission to share this with you:

The city of Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany, is inviting children and grandchildren of all people who had to leave Frankfurt because of Nazism and Hitler in the 30's and 40's. The trip for the child or grandchild is free.

If you qualify, contact: "Constanze.Wagner@stadt-frankfurt.de"
Subject: Information Visiting Program Frankfurt.

EC to: "sarah.cienciala@stadt-frankfurt.de"

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Obituaries:EDWARD LOUIS STECKLER JR. - 1927-2015
Posted by: Linda Silverman Shefler on July 12 2016 20:46
Edward Louis Steckler, Jr., a well-respected antiques dealer, died on December 23, 2015, at age 88. Born in New York City on February 1, 1927, to Dorothy Brill and Edward Louis Steckler, he grew up on the Upper East Side of Manhattan where he lived throughout his childhood and early adult years. Ed graduated from The Lawrenceville School and then served in the American Field Service in India at the end of World War II, after which he returned to earn a degree in political science from Princeton University in 1948. Ed later graduated from New York Law School, married Joan Abajo in 1960, and became a corporate attorney for NBC. He was active in politics and served as Chairman of the Board of the New York Young Republican Club, and he worked closely with John Lindsay during his congressional and mayoral campaigns. Ed and Joan had three daughters and eventually settled in Windham, Connecticut where he found his true passion as an antiques dealer and collector of early Americana. Over the f...

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Obituaries:WILLIAM BLEECKER MATTESON - 1928-2015
Posted by: Linda Silverman Shefler on July 12 2016 19:57
MATTESON--William Bleecker.

1928-2015. Everything in our father's life was carefully planned: right down to the way he died. We were assembled at West Point Military Academy for our uncle's interment on May 8th, 2015. The weather was beautiful, the church service was profound, and the soldiers were impressive and with their rifles and flag-folding and their gratitude for our uncle's service to our country. It was all very moving and maybe a bit too much for our aging father. He enjoyed a lively dinner with us, then stayed up exchanging animated stories with his sister about their childhood. When he went to bed on Friday, he had a smile on his face. Sadly, he never woke up. William Bleecker Matteson was born in 1928 and grew up in Mount Vernon, NY. He graduated from The Peddie School in 1946 and Yale University in 1950, and married Marilee Brill three months later. It was the beginning of a lifelong love story. He graduated from Harvard Law School as a member of the Harvard Law Review in 1953 and for the next two years, he clerked for The Honorable Augustus N. Hand in the Federal Court of Appeals in the Second Circuit in New York City and Justice Harold H. Burton in the United States Supreme Court. He joined the Debevoise law firm in 1955 and became a partner in 1961. He headed the Paris office of Debevoise from 1973 to 1976. He was presiding partner of the firm from 1988 to 1993. What was so great about Bill? Unlike a lot of powerful business executives today, he knew how to balance his career and his family life. He raised us in New York City so he could eat breakfast and dinner with us and still put in a full day at the office. He didn't want to waste time commuting out to the suburbs like his father did. His friendships were deep and often with other "giants" in the law profession. After our mother was in a devastating car accident in 1968, he promised that if she recovered fully from her countless fractures, they would live life to its fullest. In 1973, we moved to Paris, where we spent three unforgettable years. Bill was one of the leading corporate lawyers of his generation. He handled a lot of high-profile, interesting cases. He used to say that each one felt like a whole new job and he was always excited to tackle it. In 1979, he got a call while we were on vacation: Chrysler was about to go bankrupt, and could he become their lead attorney in the first bailout during the time of the Loan Guarantee Act in 1980. Lee Iacocca was so impressed with Bill's work that he asked him to join the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, a private-sector effort to raise funds for the restoration and preservation of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Bill had three daughters who grew up in the 1970s, and he began to understand the importance of women in the workplace. He was known to mentor young female lawyers at his law firm. One of his mantras was "make your clients your friends and your friends your clients." He was a consummate client developer who worked to understand the people he represented and their businesses. He also lectured at Columbia Law School from 1971 to 1980, except for the years we lived in Paris. He truly believed in the law and we never saw him do anything dishonest, except when he pretended he didn't speak French to get out of a traffic ticket in Paris. Over the years, Bill was active in the International Bar Association and the Bar Association of New York. He served on several boards, including the French-American Foundation, The Hartford Foundation, The Salk Institute, The Board of Foreign Parishes, The Sconset Trust, The New York Institute for Special Education, The Peddie School, Miss Porter's School and Kalamazoo College. A particular interest of his was the U.S. Council for International Business (USCIB), where he served as a Vice Chairman from 1986 to 1999, focusing on key issues of world trade, finance and investments as the U.S. representative on the Business and Industry Advisory Committee to the Organization for Economic Cooperation in Paris (BIAC). We recently received an email from an old friend: "I heard about your Dad, but have no idea what to say. I planned for Bill to live forever." So did we. But in his own special way, his exit was as dignified as his life and career had been. To have spent his last day at his sister's side with the amazingly beautiful backdrop of West Point in spring, it might've just been his plan. Bill Matteson is survived by his wife of almost 65 years: Marilee; his sister: Anne Sisson; his three daughters and their spouses: Lynn Matteson and John Hoops, Sandra and Perry Helm, Holly and Marshall Pagon; and three grandchildren: William Matteson, and Willow and Samuel Pagon. In lieu of flowers: please send donations in his name to the Sconset Trust, PO Box 821, Siasconset, MA 02564 for conservation efforts on Nantucket Island, "his emotional home." A service is planned there later this summer.

Published in The New York Times on May 17, 2015
- See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/nytimes/obituary.aspx?pid=174876554#sthash.NCMKDFTS.dpuf
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Obituaries:SALLY (nee SUSMAN) KANE - 1929-2015
Posted by: Linda Silverman Shefler on June 25 2016 21:22
Sally D. Kane beloved wife of the late Marvin Earl Kane; devoted and adored mother of Janice Kane, Stephanie Willoughby (Ed) and William Kane; dearest sister of the following deceased: Betty Brightman (Al), Albert Sussman (Pauline), Milton Sussman (Esther), Rose Stein (David), Belle Lesowitz (Nathan),and Faye Pelzer (Howard). Services will be held WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 30, 2015 at 12:00 PM at BERKOWITZ-KUMIN-BOOKATZ MEMORIAL CHAPEL, 1985 S. Taylor Rd. Cleveland Hts. Interment Zion Memorial Park. The family will receive friends at the Kane residence 2111 Acacia Park Drive, #208, Lyndhurst,FOLLOWING SERVICES to 8:30 PM and THURSDAY 2 PM to 7 PM. Contributions are suggested to a charity of choice.
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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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