HENRY W. KLEISER - Page County, Virginia 1860's

There was a Henry W. Kleiser, born 7-11-1810, died 4-25-1885 who lived only three miles away from Mathias Kleiser's place. 

We are related to Henry W. Kleiser, but I cannot connect the exact relation, yet.

Henry lived in Page County, along Jeremiah's Run just north east of Kimball, near Luray. Henry owned and operated saw mills. He first appeared on record in the 1830 Census and again, when Mathias Kleiser's son Martin Clizer died in 1849. When Martin Clizer's estate went up for public sale, among those who made quite a few purchases was Henry W. CLIZER. Again, no documentation to show kinship. 

Records later show that Henry W. Kleiser married to Nancy Lehew in 1855, they had one daughter Mary C. Kleiser, born in 1859, died in 1883. His wife Nancy Lehew was the sister in-law to Eve Cliser who married Nancy's brother, James Harvey Lehew in 1826. 

Seems that Henry could have very well been a nephew to Mathias Kleiser, or a cousin? Early historians on Shenandoah Valley have claimed that a KLIZER was among the first pioneers to settle in an area known as Powell's Fort, west of Luray. In 1733, a man named Klizer along with two others named Tebo and Crick settled on this land, but all three were later bought out by men from Maryland.

Cliser's & Clizer's in NY, NJ and ILL 1860 Census

The following information comes from the US Federal Census from 1860. Ages are given on the census and estimated year of birth is determined. Bottom line, I am not aware of these family members or how they may be connected.

Census - US Federal 1860
… New Jersey » Burlington » Township Of Bordentown » Page 77

Cliser, William (b: 1812*)
wife: Cliser, Maria G (b: 1819*)

Cliser, Sarah A (b: 1839*)
Cliser, Mary (b: 1843*)
Cliser, Henry (b: 1844*)
Cliser, Ellinor (b: 1846*)
Cliser, George (b: 1847*)
Cliser, Anna M (b: 1851*)
Cliser, Virginia (b: 1854*)


Census - US Federal 1860
… Illinois » Jo Daviess » Thompson Township » Page 479

Clizer, Geo F (b: 1821*)
wife: Clizer, Catharine (b: 1835*)

Clizer, Henry (b: 1830*)
Clizer, Jacob (b: 1859*)

Census - US Federal 1860
… New York » Tioga » Owego » Page 151

Clizer, Saml C (b: 1817*)
wife: Clizer, Charlotte (b: 1825*)

Clizer, Georgiana (b: 1844*)
Clizer, Saml (b: 1855*)
Clizer, Clarence (b: 1858*)

JOSEPH KLEISER - Romney, West Virginia 1780's

Mathias Kleiser / Cliser, born in 1765 was not the only Kleiser living in the Shenandoah Valley region during the same time period. There was a Joseph Kleiser, born in 1763 in Germany who lived in Romney, Hampshire County, Virginia, now west Virginia, approximately 40 miles northwest of Page County. Early land deeds of Hampshire County list Joseph Kleiser on several public records, and again, with our familiar name spelling variations. In 1788, his name was spelled CLEIZER; 1790 CLISER; 1792 CLEISER; 1793 CLISHER & CLISER. Even after they moved to Bourbon County, KY, they continued with the CLISER spelling on record thru 1830. Even his grandchildren are recorded as CLISER. If there is a relationship between Mathias & Joseph, there are no documents to prove a direct kinship. But they could have very well been brothers or cousins since their ages only differed by two years. However, during a DNA test in 2006, between Gary Cliser and a descendant of Jospeh Kleiser's line (Harry Kleiser)proved that we were related dating back to at least 500 years where we had a common anscestor. This particular Kleiser family line is the most well documented Kleiser line in America thanks to Harry Kleiser of Washington.

Joseph Kleiser was born December 25, 1763 at the Swiss end of the Black Forest in Germany. His brother inherited the landed estate by the laws of that country, Joseph left his native land at the age of 16 and went to London, England around 1780. He served an apprecnticeship under his uncle, Johann Kleiser, who was a prominent clock maker. Joseph left London around 1785 and went to America, where he first settled in Virginia. In 1788 he married Elizabeth Lyter, who was born August 6, 1765, a daughter of Henry and catherine Lyter of Romney, Virginia (now West Virginia)

They had ten children, eight are noted: 1) Samuel Brown Kleiser, 2) Jonas Markey Kleiser, 3) John Kleiser, 4) Martin Kleiser, 5) Henry Kleiser, 6) Mary Kleiser, 7) George Kleiser, 8) Nancy Kleiser.

In 1793 Joseph and Elizabeth Kleiser / Cliser and their family moved to Bourbon County, Kentucky and settled in a town called Paris. Joseph lived here until his death in 1847 at the age of 83. The spelling of Cliser was used randomly by Joseph and his own children and grand children in later years. In later years, some of Joseph and Elizabeth's children moved to Waveland (Montgomery County) Indiana. One known to have lived there was George Kleiser, who was born in Virginia. George Kleiser married Elizabeth McLeod of Bourbon County, KY.

One of their children James Abrahm Kleiser, born July 7, 1818, grew to manhood in Indiana. James' father George kleiser died in Indiana and James took over the household. The 1840 census of Indiana list's James and his mother Elizabeth both living in Montgomery County, last name spelled CLISER.

When James reached manhood, he moved out west to California where he settled in Humboldt County in 1853. There he built and operated a flour mill until 1858. He then moved to the Russian River Valley in 1859 and purchased 750 acres of lands, which is now the town of Cloverdale in Sonoma County, California of which James Kleiser is listed as the founder of that town. In 1867 he built bridges and the Central railraod on the Truckee River. In 1868 he erected six miles of snow sheds at the summit of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. James Kleiser is a noted California pioneer. Link to James Kleiser's Autobiography:


Link to James Kleiser a California Pioneer:


During that same year, 1868, James married Elizabeth Unferfate of San Francisco on March 18, 1868. James superintended the building of the railroad from Healdsburg to Cloverdale in 1871. James and Elizabeth had their first son, George William Kleiser on June 25, 1874. Their second and third sons were named James Henry Kleiser, born 1-28-1876 and Joseph Albert Kleiser, born 8-1-1881.

George William Kleiser (pictured below), the eldest, became a doctor and married Maude O'Neill. They then moved to Portland, Orgeon. While in Portland he and fellow named Walter F. Foster formed an advertising billboard company in 1901. Their turn of the century business partnership coincided with the beginning automotive age and expansion of western America. Their innovations and improvements in the quality of billboard advertising impressed bankers, who helped finance the expansion of "FOSTER and KLEISER" throughout the west coast. From that point on the new company expanded from Portland to Los Angeles in 1915, and San Diego to Arizona in 1924. After George Kleiser's death in 1952, the company went through various ownerships. FOSTER and KLEISER then expanded futher into markets in Chicago, New York, Ohio, Texas, Florida, Maryland and Wisconsin.

Any comments or additional info please contact me