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My Paternal


Family Ancestors


An Introduction

Origins of the Surname

Variations of the Surname

Direct Ancestors

Family Location Information

Source Documents

Website Resources

Family Images Gallery

Contact Information


An Introduction

     I have traced my Knecht family line back to my third great-grandfather Frederick Knecht, Sr. born 1840 in Germany.  He immigrated to the United States in 1873 and settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  He eventual became a naturalized citizen of the United States.

     My second great-grandfather Frederick Knecht. Jr. was born 1859 in the area of Germany formerly known as Prussia.  In  1873, when he was 14 years old he immigrated to the United States with his father and mother.   In 1880 his parents filed a Declaration of Intent to become a citizen of the United States.   By 1900 Frederick had become a naturalized United States citizen in Pennsylvania.

     My great-grandmother Elizabeth was Frederick’s eldest child.  She was born in Philadelphia during 1878.  Elizabeth married Frederick Pfeffer circa 1896.  Her life was short as she passed away at age 25 in 1903.    


Origins of the Surname*

KNECHT is a German and Swiss German occupational name for a journeyman, from Middle High German kneht, Middle Low German knecht ‘knight’s assistant’, ‘lad’, ‘servant’, ‘hired hand’, ‘apprentice’, ‘helper’.

Source: Dictionary of American Family Names, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-508137-4 Family Facts (

Source: SurnameDB: Free database of surname meanings


First found in Austria where they were anciently seated.  The family name emerged in the region lending their influence to the development from early tribal conflicts to a nation that would eventually become an integral part of the Habsburg Empire.


*  Many German names have their roots in the Germanic middle ages. The process of forming family names began around the year 1100 and extended through 1600. All social classes and demographic strata aided in the development of names. First Names (Rufnamen) identified specific persons. Over time the first name began to be applied to the bearer's whole family. At first through verbal usage, family names (Familiennamen) were later fixed through writing. Until the 17th century, first names played a more important role. The earliest family names derived from the first name of the first bearer (Patronym). Later names derived from the place of dwelling and location of the homestead. If a person of family migrated from one place to another they were identified by the place they came from. Of more recent origin are names derived from the vocation of profession of the first bearer. These names comprise the largest group and the most easily recognizable, for they tell what the first bearer did for a living. Another group are names derived from a physical or other characteristic of the first bearer. Finally, there are names that tell you the state or region a first bearer and his family came from; the age old division in tribes and regions (low German, middle German and upper German) is often reflected in names.


Variations of

 the Surname

The complexity of researching records is compounded by the fact that in many cases an ancestors surname may have been misspelled.  This is especially true when searching census documents. Spelling variations of this family name include: Spelling variations of this family name include: Knecht, Knechtel, Knechtli, Knechtges, Knechte and many more.


The Soundex system was developed in an effort to assist with identifying spelling variations for a given surname. Soundex is a method of indexing names in the 1880, 1900, 1910, and 1920 US Census, and can aid genealogists in their research.   The Soundex Code for Knecht is K523.  Other surnames sharing the K523 Soundex code: KINCAID | KINGDON | KINGSTON | KINKADE | KINKEAD | KINSTLEY | KNIGHT | KNIGHTEN | KNIGHTON | KNIGHTS | KNOCKWOOD | 

Source: Surname Resources at ROOTSWEB

Searching for more Information about this and other surnames? Then take a look at our:



Direct Ancestors

Additional information about my DIRECT ANCESTORS and their

families may be reviewed by clicking on the name LINK(s) below.



KNECHT, Frederick , Sr.

b: JAN 1840 in Germany

KNECHT, Frederick , Jr.

b: OCT 1859 in Germany (Prussia)

d: AFT 1900 in Philadelphia, Philadelphia Co., Pennsylvania ??

KNECHT, Elizabeth

b: 2 MAR 1878 in Philadelphia, Philadelphia Co., Pennsylvania

d: 25 JUL 1903 in Philadelphia, Philadelphia Co., Pennsylvania

The following LINK will take you to a complete listing of individuals with this surname.

DKPS Surname Locator

Free Genealogy Surname Search Help from Google

This free genealogy site to help you get the best genealogy searches from Google™ by using your family tree, for your research. It will create a series of different searches using tips or "tricks" that

will likely improve your results. The different searches will give you many different ways of using Google and the Internet to find ancestry information about this or any other Surname. 


Family Location Information

Researching the locations where my ancestors lived has provided me with valuable evidence needed to fill-in the gaps in my family tree.  It has also led me to many interesting facts that enhance the overall picture of each family group.  The names of states and counties on the following list were derived from the known places where the persons in the “Direct Ancestors” list (see above) were born, married, and/or died.









Philadelphia County

Use this LINK to find out more about the locations listed above.



Source Documents

The documents contained herein have been located during my research of this family, and used as evidence to prove many of the facts contained within the database of this family’s record.


     Most of these documents can be considered as primary or secondary.  Primary evidence is usually defined as the best available to prove the fact in question, usually in an original document or record.  Secondary evidence is in essence all that evidence which is inferior in its origin to primary evidence. That does not mean secondary evidence is always in error, but there is a greater chance of error.  Examples of this type of evidence would be a copy of an original record, or oral testimony of a record’s contents.  Published genealogies and family histories are also secondary evidence.

     Classifying evidence as either primary or secondary does not tell anything about its accuracy or ultimate value.  This is especially true of secondary evidence.  Thus it is always a good idea to ask the following questions: (1) How far removed from the original is it, (when it is a copy)?;  (2) What was the reason for the creation of the source which contains this evidence?; and (3) Who was responsible for creating this secondary evidence and what interest did they have in its accuracy?

SOURCE:  Greenwood, Val D., The Researcher’s Guide to American Genealogy, 2nd edition, Genealogical Publishing  Co., Baltimore, MD 21202, 1990, pgs. 62-63


You are welcome to download any of the documents contained within this archive.

  Should you encounter a problem obtaining a copy you may get in touch with

 me via the contact information found at the end of this page.

Use the following LINK to view the source documents pertaining to this family.




Website Resources

The following search engine and websites may provide you with additional information to assist with your research about persons with this surname.


o        Search Genealogy Surnames for Knecht

o        Search All-Biographies for Knecht


Source: Surname Genealogy Search - SurnameWeb

Search these Sites for Knecht:  - - - - MyCinnamonToast

RootsWeb Message Boards [ Knecht ] - Knecht Family Genealogy Forum - KNECHT (K523) at ROOTSWEB

RootsWeb List Finder - Cyndi's List - Surnames, Family Associations & Family Newsletters - "K" -

Linkpendium > Genealogy > Surnames beginning with: K - KNECHT: Genealogy Queries -

Knecht Genealogy and Family History Research

Additional Sites That We Recommend

Linkpendium Surnames - Web sites, obituaries, biographies, and other material specific to a surname.

Surname Finder | Free Ancestry Search Resource - online since 1998, providing easy access to free and commercial resources for 1,731,359 surnames. On each surname specific "finder" page, you can search a variety of online databases all pre-programmed with your surname.

Cyndi's List - Surnames, Family Associations & Family Newsletters Index - Sites or resources dedicated to specific, individual family surnames.

Free Genealogy Search Help for Google - This free genealogy site will help you use Google™ for your research. It will create a series of different searches using tips or "tricks" that will likely improve your results. The different searches will give you many different ways of using Google to find ancestry information on the Internet. - Family History and Genealogy Records - The largest collection of free family history, family tree and genealogy records in the world.

Top Genealogical Websites - These mighty roots resources compiled by “Family Tree Magazine”, will give you the power to bust through research brick walls and find answers about your ancestors—all from your home computer.

Knecht Family Images Gallery

During my research I have collected images and photographs that are of general interest to a particular family.  Some of them are presented on this website because I believe they tend to provide the reader with additional information which may aid in the understanding of our ancestors past lives.


If you have any photographs or other images relating to this

ancestral family we would greatly appreciate hearing from you.


Use the following LINKS to ascertain whether I have any images that pertain to this family.


Contact Information


Snail Mail:

889 Dante Ct.
Mantua, NJ 08051



Snail Mail:

889 Dante Ct.
Mantua, NJ 08051