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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Machwirth

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 1259-1260 of Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs, edited by Cuyler Reynolds (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1911). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 929.1 R45. Some of the formatting of the original, especially in lists of descendants, may have been altered slightly for ease of reading.]

This family is an ancient one in Prussia, where the history carries far away into the past. It has been usually an agricultural family, owning and tilling their own acres, yet many of the sons have engaged in professions, the trades and in business. They were usually men and women of quiet life and steady habits, members of the church and believers in education. While no family records are in possession of the Albany family, tradition carries it back to about the year 1800. The founder of the Albany family is John Machwirth, whose life in his adopted country has been a successful though quiet one. With little of this world's goods to start with, a stranger to the language and customs, he has by industry and native ability established a prosperous business and accumulated a competency.

(I) Peter Machwirth, born about 1800, the only son of four children, died at the age of seventy. He was a farmer. He married Susanna Schrader and reared a family. They were people in comfortable circumstances, upright character, members of the Roman Catholic church. Susanna Machwirth died eight years later than her husband, at the age of seventy.

(II) Peter (2), son of Peter (1) and Susanna (Schrader) Machwirth, was born in the town of Schoenburg, Kernznach, Coblentz, Prussia, the family seat for generations, where he lived and died. He was a farmer. He married Barbara Geller, who bore him five children. One of his sisters, Elizabeth, still lives in Germany, widow of John Kern, having reared a large family.

(III) John, son of Peter (2) and Barbara (Geller) Machwirth, was born on the family homestead in Prussia. He was educated in the common schools, and reared to farm labor, remaining on the farm with his parents until he was of mature years. He was ambitious, and having made himself familiar with the conditions and opportunities of the United States decided to emigrate. During his years in Germany he had learned and followed for some years the trade of an iron moulder. He sailed from Antwerp in March, 1867, landed at New York, and soon after was working at his trade in Albany. He did not long remain at that business, but with the money he had saved purchased a milk route, and for three years successfully operated it. In 1872 he formed a copartnership with ———— Weaver, and established the retail grocery business of Machwirth & Weaver. For eight years they remained in partnership and had a well-established business. In 1880 he withdrew and at 381-383 South Pearl street opened his present store as sole owner. Here he prospered and has so increased and developed his business that it is the largest retail grocery house in South Albany. He is a public-spirited man, liberal and progressive. He is one of the substantial German citizens of his adopted city and has been a factor in the improvement of the South End. He has been a Republican ever since he became a voter. His fraternal order is the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. He married Jacobhemia Humes, born in Germany, April 12, 1843. She came to the United States when a young woman and made her home in Albany. A brother, William Humes, came with her and is now an official of Denver, Colorado, and a teacher in the public schools. Eight children of Mr. and Mrs. Machwirth died in infancy or early childhood. The living, all born in Albany, are:

  1. Frederick J., born February 26, 1870; educated in the public schools and Albany Business College; now (1910) engaged in business with his father; married Mary Brown and has a daughter Mary, born 1907.
  2. Sophia, born February 26, 1873; married John Lenehan, a business man of Albany; children: John, Joseph, Mary, Fred, Elizabeth, deceased.
  3. Martin, born January 8, 1878; educated in the parish and public schools; now in business with his father; unmarried.

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