|Birth: ||Jul. 6, 1883, Poland|
|Death: ||Feb. 24, 1959|
Albert Ernest Heft (original spelling was "Hoeft") was the oldest child of August Ernst Hoeft and Karoline Karlecka vel Karlowksi. He was born July 6, 1883 in the village of Sewo in the Mlawa region of Poland. The Hoefts were part of the extensive German diaspora living in Poland. A few years before Albert was born, August Hoeft (as well as his brother Gustav Hoeft) had emigrated from Prussia to the Mlawa area of Poland with the promise of cheap (or free?) land. They eventually settled in the village of Mdzewo.
For reasons unknown to us at this time (it may have been to escape conscription into the Polish army), Albert emigrated to the United States, arriving in New York City on April 6, 1901. He traveled on to Cleveland, Ohio - which was a popular destination for German immigrants from Poland. Albert's uncle Gustav Hoeft had emigrated 8 years earlier (in 1893) and was also living in Cleveland.
While Albert spelled his surname as "Heft", his uncle Gustav retained the original spelling "Hoeft". The "Heft" spelling was likely due to Albert's Russian identity documents (Poland was part of the Russian empire, and official documents were required to be kept in Russian). Russian has few vowel combinations (unlike German and English), so "Hoeft" is rendered as "Heft" in Russian. Gustav, who was born in Prussia, undoubtedly had German language identity documents, which would have contained the correct spelling "Hoeft". The reason why Gustav later changed his surname to "Haft" is not known.
On July 22, 1906 Albert married Ida Bayer, another German immigrant from Russian Poland. Ida had emigrated to the US only a year earlier in 1905. The Bayer family was from a nearby village in Poland, called Strzegowo. It is likely that Albert and Ida knew each other before coming to the US, as their families would have attended the same Lutheran church in the town of Mlawa, Poland.
Ida and Albert made their home in Cleveland, Ohio - and together they had 4 sons:
William - 1907
Robert - 1909
Clarence - 1914
Albert - 1916
Life was tough for the Heft family. Being a recent immigrant with little education, making an honest living was very hard. Albert became a naturalized US citizen in 1914. Before 1930, the Hefts moved from Cleveland to rural West Springfield, Pennsylvania where they worked a small farm.
Ida had frequent health problems, struggling with diabetes in her later years. She died on September 17, 1954 at the age of 66. Husband Albert died 4.5 years later on February 24, 1959. They are buried together in the East Springfield Cemetery in East Springfield, PA.
Ida Bayer Heft (1888 - 1954)
William Henry Heft (1907 - 1961)*
Robert Richard Heft (1909 - 1994)*
Clarence Paul Heft (1914 - 2000)*
Albert Hermann Heft (1916 - 1977)*
Created by: Jon H.
Record added: Jan 13, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 103512779