Thursday, March 29, 2012

Sophia Hefenieder

Sophia came to America with her brother and his family -- My grandparents. Sophia is my great aunt.

From a tree published by Glenn LaRoy Sitzman, 2002
The family of Conrad Kinsfather
11.5 Conrad Kinsfather of Toppenish, WA apparently believed he was born in Lincoln, NE, since this was the birth information provided in his obituary. He was, however, born in Huck, Russia, and arrived at Ellis Island, NY on 14 June 1892, at the age of eight. He arrived with his mother, Justina (Hardt) Kindsvater and two older brothers, George and John. He is said to have been born on 15. Dec. 1884. This date cannot be verified because the records at Huck have not been preserved beyond the year 1858. He lived for several years at Lincoln, NE and then for a few years at Shell Lake, WI where his mother died a short time before his nineteenth birthday.

The two older brothers moved to Billings, MT about 1908, according to the obituary for John, and about 1907, according to the obituary for George. It is not clear whether Conrad went first to Billings or to Lincoln from Wisconsin. What is clear is that Conrad married Sofia Maria Hefeneider at Lincoln, and that Roy, their first child, was born in Billings in 1909. Sophia had come from Norka, Russia in 1906. Sophia was born at Norka on 28 March 1887, and died at Yakima, WA on 18 July 1951, at age 63 years, 8 months, 10 days. Conrad died in Yakima on 13 May 1959, at age 74 years, 4 months, 28 days.

I have taken information about Conrad and Sophia’s children from various sources: from their cousin, Rachel Kinsfater, from obituaries, and from a biographical sketch in the book “Germans from Russia in the Yakima Valley prior to 1940,” published by the Central Washington Chapter of the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia and printed by Shields Printing, Yakima, WA 1990.

1. Roy Kindsfather, b. Billings, MT 1909; d. Yakima, WA 1973. Married Freda Harding
2. Leo Kindsfather, b. Billings, MT 12 Dec. 1911; d. 11 Dec. 1959 “He served in the military during WWII; he was a sergeant with the 358 Bomb Squad AAF.” Germans from Russia book
3. John Kindsfather, b. Billings, MT Lived in Lebanon, OR
4. Conrad Kindsfather, b. 29 Apr. 1917. Married Virginia Putnam; they lived at Yakima, WA
5. Elsie Kindsfather, b. in Toppenish, WA, 1919 “She married Mr. Burkhart.” She was called Mrs. James Hunt in obituaries for Conrad and Sophia.
6. Alfred Kindsfather, b. in Toppenish, WA, 7 Apr. 1921; d. 20 Apr. 1952
7. Clara Kindsfather lived in Portland, OR in 1990; she married Richard Owen.
8. Freda Kindsfather (Mrs. Alvin Charles) lived at Thorp, WA in 1990.


  1. Sophia Hefeneider was my grandmother and I would appreciate any information one may have about who her parents were.

  2. Can you give me any information as to who her parents were? She is my grandmother, and I seem to hit a wall searching for information about her.
    Thank you Maralyn Kinsfather

    1. Hi Maralyn, we are cousins of some degree.

      I, too, am searching for information regarding the parents of that family of Hefenieders. I believe the father's name was Jacob, but can't remember where I saw that -- not a reliable document, I'm sure.

      If I find out, I will let you know. I'm afraid that more details about the Hefenieders will require a paid Russian genealogist. :(