Pfeiffer & Schwartzel Family History


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The Schwartzel Family began in Germany and spread to America 

Joseph Schwaerzel

Arrival in AmericaHistorical Documents
Charles Schwartzel
  Joseph & Elizabeth  

Joseph and Elizabeth Schwartzel began their immigration to America in the spring of 1854, with their three children, Joseph Adam,  Carlottia and Charles.  Their immigration began in Wiesbaden, Germany and ended in New Albany, Indiana.

Joseph was born in Konigstein, Germany or at least he was baptized there as Carolus (Carl) Joseph Schwaerzel in the Parochial Church of Konigstein on July 7, 1811.  His father was Hieronimus (Jerome) Schwaerzel, a miller and his mother was Margaretha Schwaerzel. Joseph grew up in the small farm town of Hattersheim which is located on the Main River near Frankfurt, Germany.  He lived in Hattersheim until he moved to Wiesbaden to marry Elizabeth.  Apparently he grew up learning the trade of a shoemaker and later, after moving to New Albany he continued his trade opening a store on State Street.

Elizabeth Schwartzel was born, Sophie Elizabetha Christine Preiher, on May 30, 1821, in Wiesbaden, Germany to George Preiher and Katharina Elizabeth Reitzel Preiher.  George Preiher was a day laborer.

Hattersheim where Joseph lived, was about twenty miles from Wiesbaden, and was part of the Ducal (Duchy) of Hochst. Wiesbaden was part of the Duchy of Nassau.  Before Joseph could move to Wiesbaden he had to obtain permission. On January 27, 1842, Joseph Schwaerzel obtained permission from the  Duchy of Nassau, for acceptance into the Community of Wiesbaden and permission to marry Elizabetha. Preusser (Priher).

  Hattersheim, Germany
St. Martin Catholic Church, Hattersheim, Germany St. Martin's Record Book of the 1800's showing Schwartzels

Catholic Cemetery, Hattersheim, Germany

Joseph probably was a member of St. Martin’s Church, which has been in existence since the mid 1800's. And, probably left family members behind in Hattersheim. Today, there are still Schwartzels in Hattersheim. There are still today Schwartzels in Hattersheim. Prior to leaving Germany the Schwartzel family moved to the town of Wiesbaden, Germany, where Charles was born. At that time, Wiesbaden was part of the Duchy of Nassau .

Records show that Joseph and Elizabeth had four children:

         Johanna Maria Margaretha Katharina Schwaerzel      Born January 12, 1843

Adam Joseph Schwaerzel                                               Born April 4, 1849

          Carlotta Margaretha Schwaerzel                                    Born August 30, 1851

          Karl (Charles) Schwaerzel                                               Born December 3, 1853

In order for the Schwaezel’s to legally travel outside the Duchy of Nassau, Joseph had to obtain permission. On March 27, 1854, Joseph obtained his permission. When they began their adventure, Joseph Adam was four, Carlottia was two and Charles was only an infant. There was no indication that their first child, Johanna traveled with them. Possibly, she died before they left Germany. The following is the description of Joseph, which was listed on his pass:

Travel Pass Description

Occupation                    Shoemaker

Married                          Yes

Age                                43

Height                            5 FT. 8 inches

Color of Hair                  Brown

Cut of Hair                     Short

Shape of Forehead      High

Color of Eyebrows        Brown

Color of Eyes                Blue

Shape of Nose              Pointed

Shape of Mouth            Ordinary

Teeth                              Sound

Beard                             Brown

Chin                               Round

Shape of Face             Oval

Color of Skin                 Healthy

His Accompaniment     Wife and three children

With the pass in hand the family traveled to the port at Le Havre which is on the northern coast of France in the Normandy area. Le Havre is situated at the mouth of the Seine river and is the second port of France established in 1517 by Renaissance king Franqois 1st. Upon arriving in Le Havre they obtained passage on the Robert Parker 2, a sailing ship which made a number of trips to America in the 1850's from either Le Havre or Liverpool, England. The Robert Parker carried 351 passengers to America on that trip. After several weeks of sailing, 3,118 miles, they arrived in New York on May 22, 1854. Besides the Schwartzel family there was a Conrad Schwartzel listed with Joseph and his family. Conrad was probably a relative and was listed as the same age as Elizabeth, 33.

Arrival date, ship name and passenger list was obtained from “Germans to America” by Glazier and Filby. Note: Some sources date that this reference has a number of error. The Schwartzels were listed as farmers as was most others. Also, ages listed do not appear to be correct.

The arrival date, ship name and passenger list was verified and a photocopy of ship’s passenger list was obtained from the National Archives. 

Birth dates from a hand written note signed by Joseph Schwaersel.

Recorded information from Joseph Schwartzel’s Baptismal records

Recorded abstract from the Civil Station’s Register of Births at Wiesbaden.

Record of Abstract Number Reg. 3462, the government of the country of Duchy Nassau.