Joseph Eifert was the son of Michael Eifert, a German immigrant. He was born in Knox County, Ohio and died in Mercer County, Ohio. He married Sophia Weis and was the father of eight children.

Birth: December 8, 1839 in Danville, Knox County, Ohio
Death: February 14, 1925 in St. Joseph, Mercer County, Ohio
Spouse: Sophia Weis (1847-1908)
Children: Charles J. Eifert (1865-1937), William H. Eifert (1867-1947), Mary C. Eifert (1871-1941), Barbara Eifert (1873-1937), Jacob Eifert (1874-1951), Aloys C. Eifert (1876-1956), Elizabeth Eifert (1878), Sylvester Eifert (1880-1955)

Early Life

Little is known about Joseph Eifert’s childhood. He was born in Knox County, Ohio two years after his parents’ arrival in the U.S. His confirmation is recorded in the records of St. Luke in Danville, Ohio on Sept. 20, 1853. He was confirmed by Archbishop Purcell of Cincinnati.

Settling in Mercer County

In 1860, the Eiferts moved from Knox County to Mercer County. Specifically, they moved to an area near St. Joseph, also called Victoria at one point in time.

Joseph purchased 40 acres of land east of St. Joseph church. The land was totally wooded, and the land needed to be cleared before farming. However, Joseph had to earn a living in the meantime. So he worked as a carpenter or mason building St. Augustine Church in Minster, Ohio.

This was the Eifert farmstead in Mercer County. The house still stands. Pictured are Joseph & Sophia Eifert, with unknown grandchildren. Photo courtesy of Dan & Dorothy Eifert

Minster is about 20 miles away from St. Joseph. On Monday morning, Joseph would walk all the way to Minster for work. He would walk the 20 miles back on Saturday. [1] He built a two-room cabin on his land in Mercer County, and later a home that still stands today.

During the Civil War, Joseph was drafted into the Union Army. He was called to Lima to report for duty, so naturally he traveled the 50 miles on foot. By the time he made it to Lima, Joseph had suffered what appeared to be a heart attack. The illness made him unfit for service, so he was rejected and walked 50 miles back! [2]

Joseph Eifert’s farmstead continued to grow, changing hands within the family along the way. Farming became very difficult in the 1960s, and today all but the house is gone.


Joseph Eifert married Sophia Weis, and together they had eight children, pictured with their spouses below. Not included was Mary C. Eifert, who became a nun with the Sisters of the Precious Blood.

Joseph and Sophia Eifert and their children, with spouses. Not pictured is Mary Eifert, who was a nun at the time this photo was taken.

Some of Joseph’s children remained in Mercer County. William H. Eifert moved to Fort Wayne, Indiana. Aloys moved to Dayton, and Sylvester to Covington, Kentucky. Mary

Joseph Eifert is the common ancestor of many Eiferts in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. Yet it appears that they stayed in contact since a large family reunion was held at the old homestead in the early 1900s. Here we see his children again, but also his many grandchildren!

This photo was taken at least after 1908, since Sophia Eifert had passed away and is not pictured here. Joseph Eifert is seated in the center, surrounded by children and grandchildren.


  1. Kunkel, Elizabeth. “Regarding the Family History of Eifert”
  2. Ibid.