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In May, 2003, Lynn Blazek wrote to the Sullivan county Genealogical Web Page with the following update on the history of the Knaeble and Lefevre families. This update reflects the period both before and after their arrival in Sullivan County. We are grateful to Lynn for this information. In March 2006, Tom Gerber provided a further update on Lefevre family history and we have cited this material below. We are also grateful to Tom in this regard.

It might also be useful to look at the Genealogy of Tim Richard Tyler, which ties together the Knaeble, Rees, Ziebarth, Rohe and other families.

Andreas KNAEBLE was born July 10, 1801 in Obernsdorf, on the River Nekar, Kingdom of Wurtemburg, Germany. His father was Michael KNAEBLE, son of Andreas KNAEBLE and Maria Anna BRANDEKER, and his mother was Margaretha HIPP, daughter of Gabriel HIPP and Barbara SCHATZMANN. Michael KNAEBLE and Margaretha HIPP were married September 9, 1788 in Oberndorf. Andreas ("Andrew") was child number 6 of 8: Philipp, Josepha, Maria Anna, Franzisla, Teresia (#1), Andreas, Gabriel, and Theresia (#2). The Knaeble information is taken from Obernsdorf parish records.

He left Germany from Bremen on the brig Constitution on May 4, 1828 and arrived in New York, NY June 19, 1828. The ship's passengers were unloaded on the 20th of June, and this is the date he used later for his arrival, although the official manifest lists the arrival date as the 19th. On the passenger's manifest, he lists his occupation as a farmer. The rest of his life he spent as a farmer and as a professional musician (violin). At some point he moved to Boston, MA, as he shows in the 1830 census there as a single man, age 20-29, living in Boston ward 12 ("Andreas Knabble").
Editor's Note: Ironically, in early 2007, we received a query concerning a Louis LeFevre believed to be the maker of a violin dated 1856 and now in the possession of Liam Kirwan of the United Kingdom. The LeFevre surname is attached to musicians in both France and the Amsterdam area from the seventeenth century on, but we do not know if or how these individuals were connected.

He married Margaretta LEFEVRE in Boston, Mass., on July 30, 1831 at King's Chapel. This is the first official record we have of Margaretta. They were both Catholic, so we are not sure why they were married at King's Chapel (Unitarian) instead of the Catholic church in Boston. According to family information, Margaretta LEFEBRE [a variant of "Lefevre"] was born in 1802 near Strasbourg (see update below that disputes this origin place), Alsace-Lorraine. Her father was a Frenchman and her mother was German. She spoke German, knowing only a few words of French. The LEFEBRE's came to the US, probably in the late 1820's. Margaretta's mother and step-father both died in Pennsylvania and she had a sister Caroline who married James THALL of Cherry Township. We believe there was another sibling, possibly a brother, Charles (see baptismal sponsor list below),

The only reference we find to her parents in the US so far is in Father Tourscher's History of St. Basil's Church in Dushore, Sullivan Co., PA when he quotes from the Diary of Bishop Francis Patrick Kenrick, 1830-1851:

"A letter of the mother of the translator of the Diary, written in 1911, states that, when she was a little girl [she was born in Alsace, in 1829], she heard it said that an old lady, Mrs. LEFEVRE, had walked all the way from Dushore to Pottsville to have a Mass said for her deceased husband. This walk was a subject of tradition in the family descendants of Mrs. LEFEVRE among the children of the fourth generation."

Andrew and Margaretta KNAEBLE moved from Boston to New York soon after their marriage. Their first two children were born in New York City, but the third child, born in 1835, was born in Cherry Township, PA. They lived on their farm in Cherry Township until the death of their mother, Margaretta (LEFEBRE) KNAEBLE, September 24, 1865. She was buried in the Catholic Cemetery, near the Parish Church at Dushore, Sullivan County, PA. One month later, about October 28, 1865, the family moved to Minneapolis, Minn.

The family has not been found in the 1840 census yet.

The 1850 Sullivan County census lists Andrew Knoble, age 49, farmer, born Germany; wife Margaret, age 42, born France; Henry, age 17, born NY; William, age 15, born PA; Charles, age 14, born PA; Lewis, age 9, born PA; Sofirah, age 7, born PA; Mary, age 5, born PA; Cattiarine, age 4, born PA; Susannah, age 3, born PA, Philip, age 1, born PA.

The 1860 Sullivan County census lists Andrew Knaeble, age 59, farmer, Wurttemburg; wife Margaret, age 52, born W. France; Sophisia, age 17, born PA; Mary, age 16, born PA; Catherine, age 14, born PA; Susan, age 13, born PA; Phillip, age 11, born PA; Augustus, age 9, born PA; Louisia, age 6, born PA. Their son Henry, age 27, born NY, is also in the census there, married to wife Hannah, age 17, and with daughter Hanna, age 2-1/2. The son William is found in the Minnesota census.

Andrew died April 25, 1888 in Minneapolis, Minnesota of cancer at age 86. His death certificate lists his occupation as "musician". He was buried on April 27, 1888, at St. Anthony's Cemetery, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Marie NEY BROWN, a grand-daughter of Maria Margaretta KNAEBLE ZIEBARTH gave me a typed record that stated: "This record by Andrew Knaeble, written in German and translated." I, Lynn BLAZEK, have added notes of my own in italics. The rest of the record is as translated. The early records from the Catholic Church at Dushore appear to have been missing for over 100 years, so some of this is not verifiable. Three births did not have a location noted -- Sophia #1, Mary Jane, and Ludwig. Two baptism records have been found (for William and Ludwig) and they matched the information given in the typed record. The record said:

"There were 13 children of this union, they are as listed:

Sept. 23, 1832 New York City, Andrew Heinrick (Henry) KNAEBLE
baptized Catholic - sponsors Casper KRAMER and Maria SEKRETCH
(So far no official record of this baptism has been found. Who are Casper and Maria?)

Feb. 4, 1834 New York City, Wilhelm (William) KNAEBLE
baptized Catholic - sponsors Casper KRAMER and Caroline LEFEBRE
(Caroline is Margaretta's sister, later Caroline THALL of Sullivan Co., PA. Who is Casper?)
(Baptismal record found at St. Nicholas Catholic Church, New York, baptism Feb. 23, 1834.)

Oct. 14, 1835 Cherry Township, Penn., Carolus (Charles) KNAEBLE
Baptized Catholic - sponsors Joseph SALINGER and Marion BURTY
(Joseph SALINGER is in the 1850 Sullivan Co. census, age 38, born France)
(Mary Ann BURTY is in 1850 Sullivan Co. census, age 35, and as Marian BORDY in 1860, age 45.)
Editor's Note: This couple, Joseph Solinger and his wife Mary Borde, have a family history on the Sullivan County Web Page in Faces and Families of Old Sullivan County, Group Six.

August 10, 1837 Sophia KNAEBLE - died Dec. 11, 1838.

May 23, 1839 Mary Jane KNAEBLE -- died Aug. 9, 1840.

May 18, 1841 Ludwig (Louis) KNAEBLE - died in his 20th year, 1861.
Baptized at St. Johannes Church in Baltimore, sponsors Anna and Henry SCHULTHEIS. (Who were Anna and Henry?)
(Baptism record actually found at St. James the Less, Baltimore, which in May 1841 was a new church taking over of St. Johannes parish; record shows birthdate of May 18 and baptism date of May 30.)

February 1, 1843 Cherry Township, Penn., Sophia KNAEBLE #2
Baptized Catholic - sponsors Carl N. LEFEBRE and Sabina LEFEBRE
(1850 Cherry Township census lists Carl N. LAFEVER with wife Savana.)

July 13, 1844 Cherry Township, Penn., Maria (Mary) Margaretta KNAEBLE
Baptized Catholic - sponsors Carl N. LEFEBRE and Catherine ROHE
(Carl N. LEFEVER in 1850 Cherry Township census- Margaretta's brother)
(Catherine ROHE was a daughter of Valentine ROHE of Sullivan County. Her sister Hannah later married Henry KNAEBLE and after his death, William KNAEBLE. You can learn more about the Rohe heritage at Faces and Families of Old Sullivan County, Group Two.)

May 11, 1846 Cherry Township, Penn., Catherine KNAEBLE
Baptized Catholic - sponsors James THALL and Catherine ROHE
(1840 census shows James THALL, male 20-30, living next to ROWAY (ROHE), BORDY, and LEFEVER families.)
(1860 census shows James THALL, age 40, married to Caroline, sister of Margaretta LEFEBRE.)
(As mentioned above, Catherine ROHE was daughter of Valentine ROHE of Sullivan Co., and sister of Hannah ROHE KNAEBLE.)

Nov. 28, 1847 Cherry Township, Penn., Susanna (Susan) KNAEBLE
Baptized Catholic - sponsors Anton LUTZSWAB and Catherine ROHE
(1850 census shows Anton LUTZSWAB, age 24, as a neighbor of the KNAEBLE family.)
(As mentioned above, Catherine ROHE was the sister of Hannah ROHE KNAEBLE.)

1849 Cherry Township, Penn., Phillip KNAEBLE
Baptized Catholic - sponsors Valentine Mathaus and Elizabeth ROHE. (No date was given on this birth)
(Haven't found Valentine Mathaus, bur it has been suggested that this is listed as a couple and he is Valentine Mathias ROHE, father of Hannah ROHE KNAEBLE, which is the explanation I am accepting.)
(Elizabeth ROHE is in the 1850 census, age 36, wife of Valentine ROHE.)

August 28, 1851 Cherry Township, Penn. - August KNAEBLE
Baptized Catholic - sponsors Martin & Marion LEITZELMAN
(1850 census shows Mathias and Mary LETCHALMAN, ages 54 & 48, born France, in Sullivan Co.)
(1860 census shows Mary LETSEMAN, age 58, a widow.)
Note: The correct anglicized spelling of this name is Litzelman.

June 12, 1854, Cherry Township, Penn. - Luisa (Louisa) Bassolike KNAEBLE
Baptized Catholic - sponsors Benedict ARTHLIEB and Louisa BOISAL
(1860 Dushore census shows Benedict ARDLIP, age 29. In other records he is shown as Benedict ORTLIEB.)
(1860 Dushore census shows Lewisia BOYSEL, age 31, born France.)
Editor's Note: You can learn more about this family at Benedict Ortlieb and His Descendants.

Tom Gerber provided the following update in March 2006:

We have traced the Lefevre family back to Seltz, Bas-Rhin, France thanks to a little luck. The various family stories are that they were from Strasbourg. This is not correct. Here are the facts from the civil records:

Charles Louis LeFevre born about 1764 in France; occupation dyer:

wife #1 Catherine Ziegler
children: Dorothea born 17 Nov 1802 and Marie Julienne born 11 April 1805

wife #2 Marie Anna Herd (Hoerd)
Charles Napoleon born 17 March 1806 (came to US with family)-married Sabrina Maul
Marie Marguerite (also called Margaretta) born 9 Jan 1808 - married Andrew Knaeble
Francois Joseph born 9 Aug 1809
Marie Caroline born 4 April 1812
Caroline born 7 Dec 1817 - married James Thall in Dushore
Note: You can read more about Caroline at Faces and Families of Old Sullivan County, Group Five, in the section on James Sullivan and Hanora Kelly.

We only know something about the three children that came to the US. Charles Louis Lefevre died in France. Marie Anna (Herd) Lefevre remarred to George(?) Cross before coming to the US. We think her husband's name was George as that's the only Cross on the 1830 census for the county in Dushore/Cherry Twp. He doesn't appear in the 1840 census, so is likely to have died by then. In the 1840 census, Charles Napoleon is living with his mother, based on the age marked for her.

We also found the town of origin for the Bahls thanks to an article written in a genealogy magazine by one of John Bahl's descendants. It was Neubenheim in Alsace where John Bahl was born in 1785. John Bahl then moved to Seltz, France where he married and his children were born.
Editor's Note: You can learn more about the Bahl family at The Frawley Collection.

There were many similarities between the Bahls and our family - from serving with Napoleon to the timeframe they came over. They also appear on the census pretty close to each other.

Anyway, these findings clear up many things. I have several more films on order to further clarify. I hope to find the marriages of Charles Louis with his wives in France; a record of the death of Charles Louis; and perhaps more. My final speculation on the alleged Strasbourg connection is that, after Marie Anna remarried to George Cross, the family may have moved to Strasbourg before immigrating to the US.

Tom gave us a further update in March 2007 with respect to the actual ship that George Gross [not "Cross"] and Marie Herd et al emigrated on:

I found that George Gross (Grass/Gras) and Mary Ann Herd and her children came over on the ship John Hale. The ship left LeHavre France on 4 Aug 1828 bound for Boston. According to a BALL (Bahl) descendant [see the history refenced above in the Frawley Collection], the ship was wrecked and the passengers rescued and brought to New York. I haven't found corroborating information yet to back up that part of this story.

However, I thought you might be interested in the passenger list. At least five of the family surnames appear later in Sullivan County: Bahl ["Ball"], Grass ["Gross"], Lefevre, Salinger ["Solinger"] and Uhl.

Last Name, First name, Age, Location born, Remarks

APPENZELLER, Andre, 29, Seltz, with wife and 3 children
BALL, Jean, 41, Seltz, with wife and 3 children
BERDANICO, Jean, 37, Sarbourg, with wife and child
BUHLER, Francois Joseph, 43, Seltz, with wife and 5 children
DACCENHEINSLER, Francois, 33, Bundenthal, with wife and 5 children
GRASS, Georges, 28, Ottendorf, with wife and 3 children *** my ancestors
GRELL, Anne Marie, 22, Brumath
HARTER, Francois, 35, Hattenhaussen, with wife and 4 children
HEIM, Jacques, 42, Hottwiller, with wife and 5 girls and 2 boys
HELFER, Ignace, 45, Seltz, with wife and 5 children
HELFER, Ignace, 18, Seltz
HOFFARD, Adam, 48, Hottwiller, with wife and 5 children
KLEIN, Jacques, 45, Attanstadt, with wife and 3 children
LEFEBRE, Joseph, 18, Seltz *** my ancestors
LEFEBVRE, Charles Napoleon, 22, Seltz, *** my ancestors
MUHLER, Francoise, 45, Seltz, widow SALINGER with 2 children MUHLER, , 42,
RIEGERT, Barbe, 21, Seltz,
RUHL, Georges, 44, Saarunion, with wife and 6 children
SALINGER, Joseph, 18, Seltz,
SCHAUTZ, Jacques, 45, Clebourg, with wife and 6 children
SCHMIDT, Ignace, 52, Thal, with wife and 4 children
SCHWARTZ, Louis, 40, Bavarois
STREUSSEL, Louis, 44, Seltz
SURAULT, Francois, 29, Poitiers
TREIBER, Paul, 28, Seltz
UHL, Johannes, 35, Allmand, with wife and 4 children

Contributed by Lynn Blazek
May 12, 2003

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