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Records on the Knatz in Niedenstein

The Knatz and Heiderich families are llisted in the first church book entries as being FROM Niedenstein while all the other church book entries on related families are listed as coming from somewhere else. So maybe a Knatz was one of the four who survived in Niedenstein at the end of the 30 years war. The earliest Knatz entry in the church book is 1654, only six years after the Peace of Muenster.

The earliest plat map of Niedenstein from Marburg Archives shows land holdings of Paul Knatz.

On the first page of the church books for Niedenstein is the record of the marriage of Paul Knatz and Maria Oelwein. Note that there are two versions of the church records, the original book and then a record book that had been recopied at least 100 years ago to make the records more legible. Unfortunately, the information recopied is not always complete. For example the original record for the Paul Knatz marriage indicates that his father’s name is Herman and that he is the butcher. But the record from the church book that was recopied does not have that information. The records are shown next to each other for comparison.

According to the Niedensteiner Heimatbuch published in 1954, the Stadtbuch von 1660 (city book of 1660) lists 74 names. There is one listing for a Knatz and that is Paulus Knatz.
The tax list for 1735 gives the size of the estates: Heinrich Knatz in Mittelgasse: 4 horses, 2 cows, several sheep and he had to pay 435 Thaler. He together with Johannes Muller are the biggest farms in Mittegasse. Muller had 4 horse, 2 cows and he paid 404 Thaler. The Mittelgasse is the area between the Untergasse and the Obergasse which was the land area in the middle of the town between the two main steets. The list from 1740 list Johann Jost Knatz, he had a smaller tax to pay.
The tax list from 1764 shows three Knatz families: Johann Knatz who paid tax of 55 Thaler, Johann Paul Knatz whose paid 25 Thalers and Johann Jost Knatz who paid 40 Thalers.

Johannes Knatz and Anna Elisabeth, born Lechthaler has 8 children. Not all survived and had children and two of them, August and Conrad emigrated to America in 1860. Their oldest son, Carl stayed in Niedenstein and married Marie Magdalena born Gerhold. They had 4 children:
1. Justus Ludwig, born 1856
2. Sophie, born December 1858
3. Johannes, born May 1862
4. Charlotte, born Jan 1867

This picture shows Sophie on the right and Charlotte on the Left, leaning on the fence built on the old wall of the city at the Knatz/Reinhard farmhouse.

Johannes married Katharina Ruppel and had one child, Sophie born in 1886. Johannes was know as “Post Knatz” as he was the mailman. He also appears in the photo taken from “Bilder aus dem alten Niedenstein.”

Sophie (1886-1950) married Heinrich Reinhard (1878-1946)  on January 3, 1907 and had 6 children
1. Johannes “knatzhans” (1903-1970)
2. Georg “schorsche” (1908-1967)
3. Wilhelm (1903-1943), died in Russia of yellow fever during WWII.  (Wilhelm’s son Friedhelm Reinhard supplied the information on the Sophie Knatz and Heinrich Reinhard family included here.  Friedhelm Reinhard is one of the authors of the book Bilder sud dem alten Niedenstein)
4. Heinrich “henner” (1911-?)

5.  Friedrich “fritzchen” (1913-1916), died after an accident playing with a hay-tedder on the family farm

6.  Charlotte “lottchen” (1917-1975)


The 1910 photo below shows four generations of the Knatz family in Niedenstein: Johannes Knatz, his wife Katharina, Johannes sister Charlotte Knatz, and his daughter Sophie. In the front is Johannes’s mother Marie Magdalena, along with his grandchildren, Johannes, George and Wilhelm.

The information given below comes from material sent me by a researcher from Niedenstein named Gisela Weldner.

Johannes Reinhard, born 1903 married Christine Huhn and had two children, Charlotte (born Jan. 12, 1931-died Jan 13, 1971) and Hans-Georg. Hans-Georg Reinhard married Erika Gonnermann and had three children, Armin, Cornelia and Uwe.

Carl Knatz and his wife Maria Magdalena’s other son Justus married Katharina Stauch. They had 4 children
1. Johannes, born 1881
2. Carl, born 1887
3. Adam, born 1893
4. Ludwig (A photo of Ludwig is shown on the World War I page. Ludwig and his family were killed by the Allied bombing of the City of Kassel in World War II.)

Johannes married Marie Sorst and they had three children
1. Ludwig, born 1914 Ludwig lived in East Germany and had three children, 2 boys and 1 girl
2. Heinrich, born 1918 married a woman named Hedwig and had two children Elfi and Barbel
3. Justus, born 1921 (killed in WWII)
Carl married Anna Hahn and had two daughters, Friedel and Anni. Fridel was the mother of Wolfgang and Gisela (Weldner) who helped me with my research in 1987. Gisela’s daughter Ilona Grunau works at the Niedenstein Museum (see post “ A Trip to Niedenstein” under family blog).
Adam married Martha Krapf and they had 4 children: Gertrud,Lise, Hedwig and Walter. Walter married Ingrid and has a daughter Sonja. Sonja married Peter Passman and they had a son Dennis. A photo of Walter, Ingrid and Sonja is on the Family Blog link under the post “A Trip to Niedenstein.”