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Joseph Weber

Joseph WEBER; born in 1840 in Alsace France and died in 1907 in Ontario. Joseph was the first arrival in Canada of our Weber line. He and Catherine raised eight children in the Hanover village near the Bruce peninsula.

Family reference: 615.165

Born Born 2 Aug 1840B   Mertzwiller, Bas Rhin, Alsace, FranceA
Married Married 11 Aug 1868 Catherine Ritter Alsace, FranceA
Died Died 5 May 1907   Preston, Russel co., Ontario1

Photo Album - Family album of photos and documents.


  • Father: George Weber 1801-1852
  • Mother: Margaret Muckensturm 1806-1858


  1. Michael Weber (to verify)
  2. Joseph Weber (to verify)
  3. Rosalie Weber; 1869-
  4. Karl Charles Weber; 1872-
  5. Barbara Weber; 1874-
  6. Georg Weber; 1875-
  7. Barbara Weber; 1876-
  8. Emil "Rusey" Weber; 1879-
  9. Eugen Weber; 1881-

Joseph’s Early Years

Alsace, France Alsace is a green strip between the Vosges Mountains and the Rhine Valley, once a Celtic settlement, but in modern times tugged between France and Germany. The Treaty of Westphalia in 1648 ceded her to France, but Germany kept claiming her as booty in wars. She was still with France when Joseph and Catherina first sailed to Quebec, but Germany got her when Otto von Bismarck won the Franco-Prussian War in 18711.

Catherine Ritter

Catherine Ritter was born on 5 Aug 1835 in Mertzwiller, Bas-Rhin, Alsace, France. She was the daughter of Michael Ritter and Barbe Roth. Catherine was a widow of Michael Eichedinger prior to marrying Joseph. She passed away at her home in Hanover, Ontario on 14 Feb 1901.

Joseph and Catherine

Joseph and Catherine came to Canada from the Alsace area in the mid-1800's, settling in the Quebec region, probably because they spoke little English but were fluent in French and German. Joseph was likely in Quebec in a semi-military capacity, as England was encouraging soldiers from Europe to settle near Quebec's unprotected southern border.

At the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War in 1870, Joseph, a high-ranking military man according to his son, Rusey Weber, was called home to Alsace. Germany was the victor and so Joseph and his family were under German rule from 1871 until they again emigrated to Canada in April of 1886, this time to settle near relatives in the area that was later incorporated (1899) as the town of Hanover.

Hanover, Ontario has many solid brick homes and is beautiful in the summer. At the end of the 19th century, the main employer was the Knechtel Furniture Company (now absorbed by Sklar) where Joseph worked as a furniture finisher.

He was also an artist, apparently. As well as his regular work at Knechtel, Joseph was commissioned to make posters for the railway to attract immigrants to Canada. These were unsigned and so impossible to trace1.

After Catherine

Letter sent from Hanover to a brother back home.

Letter sent from Preston to a brother back home.

The Final Years for Joseph

The obituary for Joseph Weber appeared in the May 9th, 1907 issue of the Hanover Post newspaper and gave his death as the fifth of May, 1907 in Preston, Ontario. After Katherine passed away, Joseph had been spending much of his time in Preston at his son's house, Joseph Jr. The notice was brief:

Joseph and Catherina are both buried in the Hanover Roman Catholic graveyard, in Plot #13. The gravesite records are in the Town Hall1. Interestingly, the next plot #14 is for the Burns family. Tommy Burns, the only Canadian to win the World Heavyweight Championship, in 1906, was possibly a nephew of Joseph Weber, a famly story to be proven sometime in the future. Tommy likely worked in the same funiture factory as a young man.


  • Note A: derived from email correspondence with Richard Baechler of France, a desendent of the Alsace WEBER family on his mother's side.
  • Note B: See birth certificate.

Obituary for Joseph Weber

"Joseph Weber, resident of Hanover for many years, has gone the way of all flesh. The end came at Preston on Sunday last where he had lived off and on for many years. The remains were brought to Hanover on the afternoon train yesterday. His wife died some 5 years ago. He was the oldest employee of Knechtel Furniture Co., Hanover.
- Hanover Post; 9 May 1907 issue; date of death shown as 5 May 1907 in Preston, Ontario.

Obituary for Catherine (Ritter) Weber

The late Mrs. Weber, beloved wife of Joseph Weber, passed away at the family home in Hanover on Thursday last (February 14, 1901). She attained the age of 66 years, 5 months and 2 days. Deceased had been ailing for a great length of time, her state having been considered precarious a few months ago when the sons who are resident in Buffalo [New York] came home.

She rallied at that time, but her residence on this sphere was not to be of long duration.

Neighbours of the deceased and other with whom she was intimately acquainted affirm that her nature was above all eminent for its kindness. The funeral left her late residence on Saturday at 9:45 for the Roman Catholic church where service was held and from thence to the Roman Catholic Cemetery where the remains were consigned to their last resting place. Deceased was born in Mertzwlller. She came to the country on April 9, 1886 (Her maiden name was Katharina Ritter).

Besides her husband, she leaves a large family of grown up sons and daughters:

  • Michael Weber in Michigan
  • Joseph Weber (Jr.) in Preston, Ontario
  • Alis (Mrs. Deiss) in Hanover, Ontario
  • Barbara Weber, Hanover, Ontario
  • Charles Weber, Buffalo, New York
  • Eugene Weber, Buffalo, New York
  • George Weber, Southampton, Ontario
  • Emil Joseph Weber, Manitoba"
- Hanover Post; date of death shown as 14 Feb 1901.

Notes on the children

  • All the children were likely born in Mertzwiller, Alsace, France between the first and last voyage to Canada by the parents.
  • WEBER Michael; is noted in the obituary for Catherine (Ritter) Weber, but not in Alsace correspondenceA. More research is required.
  • WEBER Joseph; is noted in the obituary for Catherine (Ritter) Weber, but not in Alsace correspondenceA. More research is required.
  • WEBER Rosalie; b. 3 May 1869 at Alsace, FranceA; lived in Hanover, Ontario (in 1901); married a Mr. Deiss. The Deiss family lived next door (1901 census2) and it is possible that this is her at age 31 (census name of "Rosie Deiss") married to Nicholas Deiss, with three children.
  • WEBER Karl Charles; b. 6 May 1872 in Alsace, FranceA.
  • WEBER Barbara; b. 19 April 1874 at Alsace, France, likely died young, as a later daughter was also named BarbaraA.
  • WEBER Georg; b. 7 July 1875 at Alsace, FranceA.
  • WEBER Barbara; b. 3 Dec 1876 at Alsace, FranceA.
  • WEBER Emil; b. 10 April 1879 at Alsace, FranceA; d. unknown.
  • WEBER Eugen; b. 19 July 1881 at Alsace, FranceA.

Bruce County marriage records for 18893:
1606-89 Nicholaus DEISS, 30, widower, carpenter, Elzass Germany, Hanover, s/o Ignatz DEISS & Catherina FUCHS, married Rosa WEBER, 20, Elzass, Hanover, d/o Joseph WEBER & Catherina RIEDER, witn: Peter ZETTLER & Elizabeth ROESER, both of Carlsruhe, 7 Sept 1889 at Carlsruhe.

Census of 1901

Person Sex Age Relation Status Birthdate Originated Immigrated Religion Occupation
WEBER, Joseph M 60 head married 1 Aug 1840 Germany 1886 R.C. furniture factory labourer
Barbara F 24 daughter single 18 Oct 1876 Germany 1886 R.C.  

- 1901 Census for District #66 South Grey; Subdistrict B-9 Hanover village; Ontario; family #57, page 6.


  1. "Who's That Sitting in our Family Tree?", by Gert [Webber] Lawrie; private publication 1988; history and stories of Canadian families of Webber, Acheson, Miller and Henry
  2. Automated Genealogy website; Canada Census for 1901, 1906 and for 1911
  3. The Ontario Vital Statistics Project; for births, deaths, marriages, census and more

French cliquez ici pour la version française.

-- JimBenedict - 29 Mar 2006
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I Attachment sort Action Size Date Who Comment
Alsace.gif manage 21.5 K 20 Oct 2011 - 05:14 JimBenedict Alsace, France
fr.gif manage 2.1 K 13 Nov 2011 - 23:36 JimBenedict  

Weber.JosephWeber1840en moved from Weber.JosephWeber1840 on 20 Oct 2011 - 05:09 by JimBenedict - put it back
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