Collection KLE - Kleiser family collection

Identity area

Reference code



Kleiser family collection


  • 1808-late 20th century (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

7 boxes; 0.12 cubic meters

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Joseph Benedikt Kleiser was born in Freiburg in Baden, Germany, in 1823. He was baptised there on 19 March 1823. His parents were Jacob Kleiser and Fransizka Geschwander. He had an older brother, Andreas (later Andrew), born in 1819.
On 12 March 1840, Joseph arrived in London via Calais and Belfast. Andrew (under the name Andreas) had arrived two years previously, on 2 Nov 1839.

By the time of the 1841 census, both brothers were working as clockmakers. Joseph lived and worked in Chelmsford, Essex, while Andrew had settled in York, where he lived on Stonegate along with his business partner, Philip Schwerer.

In 1854, Joseph married Mary Potter in York. They had three sons:
Cuthbert Joseph Kleiser (born 1855)
John Henry Kleiser (born 1857)
Louis Augustine Kleiser (born 1860).

Andrew Kleiser had also married into the Potter family. He married Hannah Potter in September 1847 at the Catholic chapel on Little Blake Street. They had one daughter, Jane Frances. She was born in 1849 but died in 1853, aged about four.

Andrew was naturalised in September 1852, and Joseph was naturalised in April 1854.
Andrew died in January 1885, and Joseph later that year in December. As Andrew had no surviving children, the Kleiser business passed to Joseph's three sons, Cuthbert, John, and Louis..

Cuthbert Joseph Kleiser married Hannah Lilian Cundall, the daughter of Luke and Hannah Cundall, in 1888. They had one son, Louis Cyril Kleiser, born 1893. Cuthbert died in 1929.

John Henry Kleiser never married, and died in 1920, a patient at the York Asylum.

Louis Augustine Kleiser also never married, and died in 1943.

Cuthbert's son, Louis Cyril Kleiser, was also known as 'Cyril'. He was born in 1893 and died in 1977.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

This collection comprises documents, correspondence, volumes, photographs and physical objects created by and relating to the Kleiser family, and related families (particularly the Cundall and Potter families), as well as to the Kleiser clock and watchmaking/jewelers/silversmiths business. . Much of the material relates to York and Yorkshire, but there are references to other national and international locations.
Includes notes in biro, which dates their creation to the mid to late 20th century, most likely pre-1989.


System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Material is available subject to the usual terms and conditions of access to Archives and Local History collections.

Conditions governing reproduction

Images are supplied for private research only at the Archivist's discretion. Please note that material may be unsuitable for copying on conservation grounds. Researchers who wish to publish material must seek copyright permission from the copyright owner..

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

    Language and script notes

    Finding aids

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    Existence and location of originals

    Existence and location of copies

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    Notes area

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