Steil Family History

From Neuerburg, Germany to Detroit, Michigan


What's New

When photographs, documents, essays, or other materials are added to the website, there will be an entry posted on this page to inform visitors about the new information.

Contact Information

December 29, 2016

Probate Court Records for John Peter Steil

The probate court records for the estate of John Peter Steil have been added to the Steil Family History Collection.  I received a "hint" from today and to my surprise I found those records.  They show that he died without a will and that his son Valentin was named to serve as administrator of the estate.  The only significant asset was the family home at 874 Mt. Elliott in Detroit.  The home was sold at auction in order to pay off the mortgage.  His son, John Nicholas Steil, was the highest bidder so the home stayed in the Steil family.  A bit of trivia was learned as well.  His daughter Elizabeth Steil is named in the records as "Lizzie" so apparently that was her nickname.  For a copy of the probate records, click here.


November 15, 2014

Photo of John Peter Steil and Anna Ruhl

Thanks to Bob Flogaus and his wife Lee, we now have a photo of our 2x great grandparents, John Peter Steil and Anna Ruhl.  Bob is a third cousin through the Stephan branch of the Steil family.  The photo was inherited from Mary Anna Steil who was the sister of George Steil and aunt of Frank W. Steil.

Last year, some of us arranged to have a headstone installed for John and Anna at the Trinity Cemetery in Detroit. 

This photo was probably taken a few years after the couple married in 1858 in Germany.  They immigrated to Detroit in 1884.  Click on the photo to see a larger version.



May 28, 2013

Steil Grave Marker Has Been Installed

The gravestone for great-great grandparents John Peter Steil and Anna Ruhl Steil was installed in Trinity Cemetery on Memorial Day Weekend.  The task was done by Gary Coleman, Ray Rogers, and Diane Coleman Rogers.

Ray and Diane were responsible for having the stone cut and engraving the message on it.  They dug the hole in the ground at the cemetery.  After they putting several inches of gravel into the hole to give a good foundation, Gary put the stone in place and leveled it just right.  The new gravestone was placed next to one already there for Valentin Steil, a son of John and Anna.  The ashes of Frances, Valentin's wife, had been scattered on that grave many years ago. 

Gary and Diane took a moment to pose by Valentin's headstone.  Gary put a tool up against the headstone.  The carpenter's tool belonged to Valentin when he was alive.  The tool was probably given by him to our Grandfather Frank Steil.  It was found by Gary under the cottage in Bunny Run.

Thanks to the joint efforts of those who answered my call for donations, and thanks to Gary, diane, and Ray, our great-great Steil grandparents, John and Anna, finally have a headstone at their gravesite in Trinity Cemetery in Detroit.


May 15, 2013

A Trip to Salt Lake City Produces Results

During the past two days, I spent about 10 hours doing research at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.  Some of that time was focused on the Steil family in Germany.

Among the Steil documents I found was the marriage record for John Peter Steil and Anna Ruhl.  Part of that record shows their actual signatures.  It also verifies the names of their parents.  To view the marriage record, click here.


May 5, 2013

A Grave Marker for our 2x Great Grandparents

Through a collaboration of efforts of several of their descendants, John Peter Steil and Anna Ruhl Steil now have a grave marker.  The marker will be installed in Trinity Cemetery in Detroit, Michigan.

A dozen descendants made donations to finance the project, which was launched by Tom Coleman.  Diane Coleman Rogers and her husband Ray selected the stone, had it cut, and did the engraving.

For more information about the headstone project, click here.  For a larger image of the grave marker, click here.


November 4, 2012

Webpage of Mary Anna Steil has been updated

Trish Young sent an obituary and photos of Mary Anna Steil which I have uploaded to the website.  Trish passed along information from Marilyn Young Hauser, a granddaughter of Mary Anna.  As Trish said, "Marilyn is getting up there in age."  Marilyn is 88 years old.

Mary Anna Steil was born in Germany in 1872.  She came to Detroit with her parents and siblings in 1884.  She is the daughter of John Peter Steil (my 2x great grandfather) and the sister of George Steil (my great grandfather).  The original family reunions held at my grandparents cottage in Lake Orion, Michigan, were called the "Steil-Stephan Family Reunion."  I think my sister Maryann may have been named after my mother's great aunt Mary Anna. 

I have added the following photos to the webpage for Mary Anna Steil (who married William Stephan, thus creating the Stephan branch of the Steil family): obituary, 1939 photo of Mary Anna and William, photo of the Stephan grocery store in Detroit, and a wonderful photo of Mary Anna when she was 18 years old. (see below)



June 24, 2012

Grave Marker of Valentin Steil is Discovered

A photo of the headstone of Valentine Steil and his wife Frances has been added to the website.  They are buried at Trinity Cemetery in Detroit.  Valentin is the son of John Peter Steil and the brother of George Steil.  The photo was taken by Marilyn Glasson who published the photo to the website.  Marilyn takes photos of headstones at various cemeteries and puts them on that website, with the hope that relatives of the deceased might find them through a google search at some point in time.

Last year, I visited Trinity Cemetery on two occasions, looking for the headstones of John Peter Steil and Valentin Steil but to no avail.  Thanks to Marilyn, we now have a photo of one of the headstones.  I will visit the cemetery again this summer, and hopefully this time will find the grave of John so I can determine whether he is buried in an unmarked grave or has a headstone.

To see the photo of the headstone of Valentine and Frances, click here.

June 2, 2012

Passing of Bob Flogaus

Lee Flogaus has sent notice that her husband, Bob Flogaus, died on May 15, 2012.  Bob is a descendant of John Peter Steil (1828-1891) and thus is a member of the Steil family.  Bob's mother, Helen Frances Stephan, was the daughter of Mary Anna Steil, who was the daughter of John Peter Steil and Anna Ruhl.  Mary Anna married William J. Stephan in 1897, and as a result, the Stephan branch of the Steil family was formed.  Bob is the fourth member of the Steil family to have died in May.  To read the obituary for Robert Charles Flogaus, click here.


May 14, 2012

Passing of Jack Ashby

Ken Steil has sent notice that Jack Ashby died on April 21, 2012.  Jack was the husband of Betty Steil, the daughter of George Steil.  Jack and Betty lived in Three Rivers, Michigan.  Jack, 94, was the oldest living relative in the Steil family.  To read his obituary, click here.


May 14, 2012

Passing of William Carl Klein

Celeste Klein has sent notice that her father, William Carl Klein, passed away on February 8, 2008.  William was the husband of Marjorie Stephan who died in 2008.  Marjorie was the granddaughter of Mary Anna Steil and William J. Stephan, the grand matriarch and grand patriarch of the Stephan branch of the Steil family.

To view the obituary of William Carl Klein, click here.


May 8, 2012

Passing of Tom Walker

Audrey Walker has given notice that her husband, Tom Walker, died today after struggling with cancer.  A memorial will be held this summer.  Thomas Nowell Walker died at the age of 82.  He was the son of Marie Louise Steil and Bradley A. Walker.  Marie was the youngest child of George Steil and Katherine Ackles.  To read his obituary, click here.


April 11, 2012

A new section for videos was added to the website

A section for videos of Steil family members has been added to the site.  If anyone has a video to share, send me the link or an email attachment or a disc by mail and I will upload it to the website.  Today I have added a video slideshow (with music) of photos taken during the life of Kathleen Steil.  Kay was the daughter of Frank and Catherine Steil.  She married Murray F. Coleman and they had nine children.  To access the video page, click here.


February 21, 2012

More photos and videos from Tom and Audrey Walker

Tom and Audrey Walker have sent more photos of Bradley and Marie Walker and their children -- and some old video footage too.  Marie was the youngest child of George and Katherine Steil (and the youngest sister of my grandfather Frank Steil).  To view the photos and the videos, click here. 


February 21, 2012

Photos from Tom and Audrey Walker

Tom Walker is the son of Bradley Walker and Marie Steil.  Bradley and Marie were my great aunt and uncle.  Marie was the youngest sister of my grandfather, Frank Steil.  Tom's wife, Audrey, sent me some photos of Bradley and Marie, their children, and grandchildren.  I will be posting them to this website.  Among the photos I received today was a color photograph of my great grandparents, George and Katherine Steil.  It appears to have been taken in the late 1920s or early 1930s.  To view the photo, click here.


February 13, 2012

Gerhardt "Gerry" Steil gets his own page

Thanks to photos and other documents supplied by Renee Steil Sandoval, we now have enough information on Gerhardt Steil (son of Valentine and grandson of John Peter Steil) to warrant a separate page for him on the website.

To view the page for Gerhardt, and photos of him and his family, click here.


February 10, 2012

Tracing our Steil roots back to 1709

Thanks to information provided from Rene Steil Sandoval, descendants of John Peter Steil can now trace our roots back even further.  We have now identified Peter Steil as the great grandfather of John Peter Steil.  Peter was born in Germany in 1709 and died in Neuerburg in 1779.  I have added key excerpts from records supplied by Renee of families living in Neuerburg during the 1700s and 1800s.  Click here to view this information.


February 9, 2012

A page has been added to the website for the children of Valentine Steil

Rene Steil Sandoval has sent several photos of the children of Valentine and Frances Steil, so a new page has been added to the website to display those photos.  Click here to access that page.


February 6, 2012

Photos of Valentine Steil, his wife, and two children are added to the site

Renee Steil Sandoval has shared several photos of her great grandparents and their children.  She posted them on the Steil Family History page on Facebook and I have added them to this website.  To view the photos, click here.


February 4, 2012

The "Steil Family History" Website and Facebook Fanpage Are Launched

I have been researching the family history of my mother's paternal ancestors for the last two years, spending countless hours to piece together this historical puzzle.  This research has been a labor of love which I have enjoyed and from which I have gained considerable knowledge about my ancestors and relatives.  I started this project knowing only about two dozen names, mostly great aunts and uncles and a few cousins.  The Steil family tree now has about 450 entries.

This website is a gift to the Steil family, in honor of my mother (Kathleen Steil) and my grandfather (Frank Steil), and has been created for the benefit of my brothers and sisters, their children and grandchildren, and for my many Steil cousins. 

This website is also available in dvd format, so if any family member would like a copy of the dvd, please contact me ( and I will send one to you.

I have also created a Facebook fanpage so that people can upload their own photos or make comments about Steil family history.  I will also use the fanpage to give people notice when new material has been added to the website.

                                                                                                         -- Tom Coleman