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Knatz Family in Ohio and Wisconsin


Washington Township, Ohio, was largely settled by Germans. Today, there are members of the Knatz family that still live in Ohio. The History of Western Ohio and Auglaize County by C. W. Williamson (with Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of Pioneers and Prominent Public Men ) published in 1905 included the following entry on page 776 about Conrad Knatz:
“CONRAD KNATZ, a prominent farmer and noted stock raiser of Washington township, was born in Germany, August 11th 1829. His father George Knatz, who was a farmer, died at the age of fifty-three years. His wife, whose maiden name was Anna E. Ritz, survived him twenty years. In accordance with the laws of the country, he had served two years in the German army, which he left in order to take care of his parents who were old. He had three brothers who served seven years each.
Conrad Knatz was well educated, having attended the common schools of his native country until he was fourteen years of age, and afterward attended a higher school for some time. After leaving school, he became foreman on a large farm, and retained that position three years, although young for so responsible an office. He came into possession of a farm from his father’s estate, which he sold, and in the fall of 1853 sailed from Bremen, Germany with his bride to found a new home on American soil. After a voyage of nine weeks and three days, the young couple landed at New York, whence they came directly to Ohio. He found employment on a farm for a year, and then invested his money in eighty acres of his present farm in section one, Washington township. His land was heavily timbered, swampy, quite level and most of it under water. Wild game was plentiful, as the region was only sparsely settled. Deer used to run with his cattle, being so bold that Mr. Knatz often chased them out of his wheat field.
After erecting a round log cabin and moving into it he entered upon the arduous task of felling the forest and preparing the soil for cultivation. From a state of nature his farm gradually developed into one of the best in the township. By his persevering energy and strict economy he was able from time to time to add to his landed estate, until at the present time he has an aggregate of three hundred and fifty acres.
Mr. Knatz was married in Germany to Miss Anna E. Filling. After their arrival in America they became the parents of four sons: George, Henry, John and Ditmar. The elder and two younger are engaged in farming their father’s farm, while Henry, the second son, is foreman in a large store in Milwaukee. Mr. Knatz is living a retired life, and is at the present time (1905) a resident of Wapakoneta.”
The Conrad Knatz mentioned on the New York page of this website, is not he Conrad Knatz that was the first Knatz who settled in Washington township, Ohio. In 2005, I was contacted by Dennis Knatz from Ohio who tells me that the Knatz family farm described below is still in the Knatz family. Dennis Knatz also provided the following information from an obituary of Conrad Knatz. Conrad Knatz’s first wife Anne E. Filling died in April 21, 1885. Conrad remarried Sophia Weber on December 24, 1897. Conrad died November 7, 1905.
Using Ancestry resources, Conrad’s son’s Ditmer was born in 1867. Ditmer had a son Albert, born 1896, who registered for the draft for WWI. Dennis Knatz told me his father’s name is Vernon and his grandfather’s name is Albert. His great-grandfather would be Ditmer Knatz, his great-great-grandfather would be Conrad Knatz and his great-great-great grandfather would be George Knatz. I have not traced this George Knatz in Germany. It would be great to know where he was born in Germany. Hopefully one of the Ohio Knatz’s will want to take on this challenge and see how the Ohio Knatz’s are related to the New York Knatz’s.


There are Knatz that  settled in Sheboygan Wisconsin from Russia.  These were Germans who lived in the Volga River area of Russia.  I have some limited information about the Knatz in Sheboygan under the Knatz family from Russia page.