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During the 1830’s and 1840’s, several Benitz from Endingen settled in north-eastern USA, mostly in Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania, USA) and the surrounding area. Many were children of Anton Böniz (master cooper) and Maria Anna Wagner. In the US census records, “Benitz” is spelled in a variety of ways (Bönitz, Bennitz, Bennittz, Bennetz, Bennettz - and sometimes anglicized with the Z replaced by an S) but always at the same addresses.
Note: Many Germans settled in this area; they became known as “Pennsylvania Dutch”.
This page includes brief histories of the following persons: (The above buttons by person provide access to much more detailed information regarding the person.)
Franziskus (Frank) Baumann was born 6 February, 1853, in Endingen (Baden, Germany), the son of Xaviar Baumann and Appolonia Benitz - see her entry for a family tree listing her descendants, including those of Frank Baumann.
Per the “History of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania” (page 738), published in Chicago by A. Warner & Co., 1889, Frank Baumann immigrated to the United States in 1874:
“FRANK BAUMANN, Glenfield, was born Feb. 6, 1853, in Endingen, Baden, Germany, son of
Frank[correction: Xaviar] and Appolonia (Benitz) Baumann, former of whom was at one time a merchant, and now lives retired in Freiburg, Germany. Frank Baumann, the subject of this sketch, was educated in his native home, and there learned the brewers trade. After having traveled considerably in Europe, he came to America in 1874, and followed his trade in Pittsburgh for a couple of years, then engaged in the hotel business, and subsequently turned his attention to fruit-growing. He now owns a farm of thirty acres, and has been very successful. Mr. Baumann married Augusta Schuahmann, a native of Prussia, and they have one daughter, Emma [Baumann], and one adopted daughter, Lizzie Baumann. In politics Mr. Baumann is an independent.”
Per the baptismal record (shown below), Johann Evangelist Bönitz was born on 12 December, 1812, in Endingen, Baden, Germany. He was a son of Anton Bönitz (cooper) and Maria Anna Wagner. We know little about his youth.
He reappears in 1833 on a passenger manifest: Johann Bennitz and Wilhelm Bennitz, natives of Baden, ages 21 and 18 respectively, were passengers on the ship Utica when it sailed from Le Havre, France, to New York City, U.S.A., arriving on December 2, 1833. The names, ages, and country of birth match those of Johann and his younger brother Wilhelm (William). It is too much of a coincidence to believe it is not them.
Johann is not mentioned in the family records. If he wrote to their eldest brother Thaddeaus in Germany, his letters were not preserved. Brother Anton Benitz, in his letter of May 6, 1852 to Thaddeaus announcing he had found William, ends with “As for the rest, Xaver and Nany are, as far as I know, healthy and doing well.” He makes no mention of Johann, which suggests everyone knew of Johann’s whereabouts or fate.
In the Pittsburgh City Directory of 1859-1860, there are listed Mrs. A. Benitz (beer hall) and John Benitz (brewer) residing at the same address. Mrs. A. Benitz was almost certainly Anton Benitz’s widow, and John could haven been either her 18 year old son or her brother-in-law Johann. According to the Erie County, Pennsylvania Naturalizations, 1825-1906 (pub. 1983 by Erie Society for Geneolocial Research), a John Benitz claimed to have arrived in 1854 – could the year be a misprint of 1834?
[Nr. 99, 1812, Page 41]
On December 12, in the morning at half past five a boy was born at this location. He was baptized on the same day in the morning at eleven o'clock. He was named Johann Evangelist Bönitz. Parents: The cooper Anton Bönitz and Maria Anna Wagner. Sponsors: The master saddler Joseph Peintner and the “Bürgersfrau” [middle-class woman] Maria Anna Müller. Witness: The master butcher Anton Halbling. Endingen, December 12, 1812
Alexander Umber pastor
We have concluded he is not related to the Benitz from Endingen (Baden); that it was just a coincidence that he lived in the same ward (5th, Pittsburg) as Anton Benitz (b. 1803, see above). Per the census of 1850, Joseph Bennitz was from Germany, age: 53 (i.e., born about 1797); occupation: cooper; wife: Susan (age 40, born in Germany); three children: Charles (18, born in Germany), Leopold (16, born in Germany), & Mary (12, born in Pennsylvania). Per the 1870 Census, son Charles was born in Bavaria. Per a descendant of Charles’, the US immigration records show Joseph Bennitz & wife Susan as immigrants from Bavaria, born 1796 and about 1802 respectively; they arrived in New York city on 31 December, 1832, from Le Havre, France, on the S.S. Bayard. Per the US Federal Census Mortality Schedule, he died of dropsy (edema or congestive heart failure) in 1860.
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In the baptism records of Endingen, Germany (see below), there is a Joseph Böniz baptised on 4 February, 1807, and died 25 March of the same year (signified by the cross in the second column). He was a younger brother to Anton Benitz (b. 1803).
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In the baptism records of Endingen, Germany, there is a Joseph Böniz, born 23 February, 1811. Brother to Anton Benitz (b. 1803), he was presumably named in memory of his deceased sibling. We have found no other records about him - marriage, children, death, etc. No mention is made of him in letters his siblings wrote to their eldest brother, Thaddeaus, which hints at the possibility that he died young.
© Peter Benitz (Benitz Family)