The Serwazi Family of Manayunk


Theresa, the future wife of Peter Serwazi



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Theresa, the future wife of Peter Serwazi.

  • Christoph Knoll (1840-)

  • Joseph Knoll (1847-1864)

    One of the stained glass windows in Manayunk’s St. Mary of the Assumption church has the inscription: Preserved by the Engelbert and Catherine Knoll Family.


    A fourth large family emigrated to the US from Schielberg in 1856:


    • Martin Reichert (1808-1891), whose wife had already died

    • Theresa Reichert (1840-)

    • Clement Reichert (1841-)

    • Florian Reichert (1843-)

    • Wilhelm Reichert (1845-)

    • Sophia Reichert (1849-)

    • Gustav Reichert (1851-

    Wilhelm Reichert (Americanized as William Richart) married Elizabeth Hüls (Hill) in Manayunk. One of their children, Emma Richart, would marry Hugo Niessen in 1904.


    Emigration of several families from one place of origin to a common destination is usually evidence of their being related. Joseph, Thomas, and Martin Reichert may have been children of Johann Adam and Barbara Reichert, but we don’t know this or the relationship between these Reichert and Knoll families at the time of their emigration.



    1 Winfried Schneiders et al., Pünderich: Geschichte eines Dorfes (Trier: Kliomedia, 2009), 590-605. Schneiders, currently volunteer village historian, is by profession a meteorologist for the German Army.

    2 The Pünderich church records give Albert’s name as Hubert Servazi. In America, he seems to have used “Albert” exclusively and he is also Albert in his Mesenich birth record. In this narrative we will use “Albert” to avoid any confusion.

    3 The main source for my information on Mesenich families is the four-volume transcription and analysis of Senheim parish registers (which include Mesenich) for 1614-1798 Frederick J. Nicholson, New York 1992: Senheim: Baptisms; Senheim: Other Church Records; and Senheim: The Family Book. All volumes are available at any Family History Center of the Mormons by ordering microfilm number 1183739 as items 4-7 at the end of the reel. There is a more recent transcription by Lika Hellwig, Senheim mit Senhals- Grenderich- Mesenich sowie zeitweise Moritzheim 1614-1899 (Trier, 2007) that I have not seen. It forms a basis of the list of 17.580 names, with associated birth and marriage dates and places but lacking most relationships, consulted online on December 20, 2009 at http://www.genealogienetz.de/vereine/wgff/trier/Familienbuecher/Senheim.html . Many names and relationships are accessible to Ancestry subscribers in the “world tree” entitled The Caspari Family of Grant County, WI, and the Mosel Valley, Rheinland.

    4 Ferdinand Pauly, Mesenich a.d. Mosel: Beiträge zur Geschichte eines Dorfes (Boppard: Rheindruck, 1988) primarily uses the name Servaty for members of this family. He seems to be citing records in German, so I decided to use this spelling for the early generations. The Latin records, however, write Servatii or Servatij.

    5 Schneiders, in Pünderich, 595.

    6 Pauly, 41-2.

    7 Pauly, p. 29-30 and 42. Pauly doesn’t identify the troublemaker by name.

    8 Pauly, p 45-6, 48-9, 61.

    9 “Vom Schiffbau an der Mosel,” http://www.olivers-bibliothek.de/geschich/schiffba.html, viewed November 28, 2009.

    10 Many of these ancestors turn up in the ancestry world tree of the Caspari family, cited earlier. It is based in large part on the transcription by Hans-Peter Bungert, Familienbuch der katholischen Pfarrei Strimmig: mit den Filialen Altstrimmig, Briedern, Liesenich, Mittelstrimmig, und Pflaumbachmühle, 1590-1798 (Großrosseln/Warndt, 1995). You can order it at Family History Centers as film number 1183739, on which it is item 7.

    11 There is a two-volume transcription of the family records for Pünderich based on the original 1985 manuscript by Otto Münster, Familienbuch Pünderich, 1666-1900, with data for the period after 1798 taken from the civil registry records in Zell. Through the generosity of Wilfried Schneiders I possess much of this data in the form of an MS Access file.

    12 Karl-Josef Gilles, Die Geschichte der Gemeinde Briedel bis 1816 (Trier: Druckerei Ensch GmbH, 1998), 64.

    13 Geschichte Pünderichs, http://www.puenderich.de/puenderich/dorfchronik-und-geschichte/geschichte-puenderichs/ , consulted April 5, 2009. The Pünderich website has extensive information on town history, much of which has since been incorporated into the book of village history cited below.

    14 The December 15, 1911 letter of Nicholas Julius Filzen (1866-1938, who emigrated to the US in 1886) indicates his grandfather (Nikolaus Filzen, 1797-1871) “went in 1806 with Napoleon I as a soldier all over Europa. After the disaster of the Franch Armee in Russia, he with many others joined as a light Hussar the forces of Marshall Blucher until peace was declared in 1815.” Nikolaus was only 15 in 1812, but his brother Philipp was three years older so maybe this memory refers to him.

    15 Winfried Schneiders et al., Pünderich: Geschichte eines Dorfes (Trier: Kliomedia, 2009), 491-5. The Hultens were an old Pünderich family. The younger Hulten was an uncle of Peter Rockenbach (see below) and grandfather of Nicholas Julius Filzen.

    16 Ibid., 190-1, 197-9, 639.

    17 http://www.unser-platt.de/0000009a9e139330f/5362929a28148560b/index.html, consulted April 27, 2009.

    18 Scheiders et al., 126.

    19 Family records for Reil are transcribed in Familienbuch der katholischen Pfarrei Reil von 1544-1900 by Matthias Peters (2007). I possess a pdf of this 812-page work. Unlike most transcriptions, it is organized alphabetically by name rather than chronologically.

    20 Jonas and Peter appear in the Reil Familienbuch listed above. The nearly 25,000 names listed in the work Leben im rych zu croeve, with dates and psouses but not relationships, are available online at http://www.genealogienetz.de/vereine/wgff/trier/Familienbuecher/Kroev_Listen.html , viewed December 20, 2009

    21Cröver Reich tax list, cited above.

    22 http://penta2.ufrgs.br/rockenbach/index.html, consulted April 18, 2009.

    23 Information from Werner Rockenbach, http://penta2.ufrgs.br/rockenbach/rockgerm.htm, consulted April 18, 2009.

    24 http://penta2.ufrgs.br/rockenbach/werner.htm, consulted April 18, 2009.

    25 Gilles, 266-9, 280-1, 283-4,.

    26 Pünderich, Geschichte eines Moseldorfes, 476.

    27 Ibid., p. 187-95 does not list him among the emigrants from the village, but the 1900 US census indicates William, 15, was born in Germany but Theresa in Pennsylvania. William was not born in Pünderich, so the family must have lived elsewhere in Germany for awhile and this is why they are not listed as emigrating from Pünderich.

    28 Hermann Braunstein, Chronik von Schutterwald (Schutterwald: Gemeindeverwaltung Schutterwald, 1974), 108. The original title of the poem is Badisches Wiegenlied; translation by Jim Niessen.

    29 Ibid., 110-13. The database of emigrants from Southwestern Germany created by the State Archives of Baden-Württemberg in Stuttgart http://www.auswanderer-bw.de/ displays the names of many but not all of our ancestors who came from Baden.

    30 Ibid., 59.

    31 Ibid., 63-4.

    32 Ibid., 215. The “N” in Kern’s name is probably not an initial, but signifies “unknown” or “illegible”. The relationship, if any, of the district head to Rosina or to her godfather, Anton Kern, is unknown. The district head (Oberamtmann or Landrat) of Offenburg in 1833-1844 was Franz Kern. He was declared an honorary citizen of Offenburg in 1836, and was district head of Mannheim in 1847-9.

    33 The identity of this family is somewhat uncertain. The emigration database provides the same name for the parents, but identifies two daughters with different names: Friederike and Genoveva. This disagreement might be explained by the girls having double names, which was common in German families.

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