The Reuben M. Emerich Family

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    I do not have a lot of information on Reuben Emerich. There were a number of Emerich families living in Pennsylvania during the 1800's and I believe I have connected Reuben to one of them but I do not have definite proof as of this writing. I do have some strong leads which I will discuss below and you can draw your own conclusions. The information I do have about this family comes from census records and a book published in 1916 by JH Beers & Company, titled Schuylkill County Pennsylvania, Genealogy-Family History-Biography. The maiden name of Reuben's wife Elizabeth was given to me by a descendant and researcher of Elizabeth's parents Jonathan Borkey and Rebecca Wertman.

    Reuben and his wife, Elizabeth W. Borkey, were living in Berks County in 1900, on Market Street in Orwigsburg Bourough, Schuylkill County at the time of the 1910 census, and in Deleware County in 1920. All three census records state that he was born in Pennsylvania and the 1910 and 1920 census state that both of his parents were born in Pennsylvania. Reuben and his wife were married sometime between 1879 and 1881. According to the 1900 census the couple had been married for 19 years and the 1910 census states that they had been married for 31 years. The 1900 census also gives us information on eight of Reuben and Elizabeth's nine living children. Elizabeth stated that she had had 11 children but that only 9 were living in 1900. Only eight are listed, so, one is either older and already out on their own or in some cases a daughter would live with an older relative to help care for them or with a relative who may need help with small children. Since I do not have any information about this child I can not say for sure. By the 1910 Census, Reuben and Elizabeth have had another child named Chester. My ancestor Jonathan Grover is listed as Grover in the 1900 census, Jonathan in the 1910 census and is listed living next door to Rueben and Elizabeth as Jonathan G. in the 1920 census.

Below you will find the census information for this family for 1900, 1910, and 1920.

Who were Reuben Emerich's parents?

    In order to find Reuben's parentage I have spent years searching for any Reuben Emerich mentioned before the 1900 census. I finally stumbled across this name in a biographical sketch of Irvin W. Emerich in a book published in 1916 by JH Beers & Company, titled Schuylkill County Pennsylvania, Genealogy-Family History-Biography. Below are the first two paragraphs of this sketch found on page 714 of this two volume set. To view the entire bio please click here.

IRVIN W.EMERICH, of Schuylkill Haven, is a native of South Manheim township, Schuylkill county, and a descendant of one of the old settled families of this region. His grandfather, Jacob Emerich, lived in South Manheim township, where he was a pioneer, and followed farming on the place where he continued to reside until his death. He is buried in the Summer Hill cemetery. His children were Morgan, Jacob, Jonathan and Joshua.
    Joshua Emerich, father of Irvin W. Emerich, was born in South Manheim township, Schuylkill county, and died in that township Oct 5, 1895. He did day's work and was a man of industrious habits, respected by all his neighbors. By his marriage to Pietta Gruber he had children as follows: Nathan, who is deceased; Nathaniel, deceased; Filmore , who died seventeen years old; Reuben, a resident of Pottstown, PA.; Alvin, living in reading, Pa; Kate of Schuylkill Haven; Deborah, who died young; and Alida, of Schuylkill Haven.

How reliable is this information?   Most of the biographical books like the JH Beers book mentioned above were compiled from information from descendants who paid a subscription fee to have their families included. This can lead to a lot of unsubstantiated family lore and numerous errors and omissions. So just how acurate is Irvin Emerich's information?

I would venture to say that Irvin Emerich is probably the family member who contributed this information. He was born in 1870 and the book was published in 1916, so he would have been 46 and at this age probably at a point where he could afford the subscription fee to include his family. For this particular book, the fee was twenty dollars. If we make this assumption, we can most probably conclude that the information concerning the names of his parents and his siblings is correct. But, is this Reuben mentioned in the biography the Reuben Emerich married to Elizabeth Borkey. My first thought was that having searched records for many years I have not come across any other Reuben Emerich and secondly my Reuben Emerich, according to the 1900 census records, was born October of 1861 and this would fit with Irvin being a brother born in 1870. Next I went to census records for South Manheim.

Since the 1890 census is not available in most cases, I started my search for the Joshua Emerich family in the 1880 census. I was hoping to find Reuben, who would have been 19 at this time with or near this family. I did find Joshua Emerich in the South Manheim, Schuylkill Co., PA census but Reuben was not listed. Listed in this family is Joshua, head of family, age 48; Fietta, wife, age 46; Albert, son, age 16; Kate, daughter, age 14; William, son, age 10; Frederick, son, age 7; Mamey, daughter, age 3. I was surprised not to find Irvin who would have been 10, but then, Irvin's middle initial is W. in the biographical sketch, so perhaps the W. is for William. The name Pietta, given as Irvin's mother's name is not very common so I am fairly certain I have found the right family.In the Ancestry.com census pages you will find the image on page 22 of the Auburn Borough section of Schuylkill Co. To view this image click here. For a close up click here. In this same census one also finds the Jacob Emerich family as well as Jonathan Emerich, both of whom are listed as brothers in Joshua's bio in the JH Beer's book. For a close up of Jacob Emerich family, click here and for a close up of Jonathan listing, click here.

I next went to the 1870 census for South Manheim. Here I found the Joshua Emerich family, although Joshua is listed as Josiah. Any of you who have searched the census records know of the many errors found there and after looking at the names of the rest of the family members listed I feel that this is Joshua's family. The family is divided over two pages in this census. Joshua(Josiah), age 40; his wife Paetta, age 36; son Nathaniel, age 15; and Filmore, age 14; are listed on the bottom of page 10, and the rest of the family, Lydia, age 12; Ruben, age 9; Alfred, age 7; William, age 5; and Catherine, age 4; are on page 11. To view the entire census pages click here for page 10 and here for page 11. Here we do find Ruben but we also find questions. There is a William listed as being age 5. If the William listed as age 10 in the 1880 census is the Irvin W. written about in the JH Beers book who is this William? Perhaps Irvin W. had a brother named William who had died before the 1880 census and Irvin W. then was called William. This is only a guess and until I am able to find other documentation for this family it will remain only a guess.

At this point, I would not find Reuben in any other census since he was born in 1861, but I did continue to work my way backwards with Joshua's family to see if I could determine if his father's name was Jacob Emerich, as was written in Irvin W. Emerich's bio. Below you will find information from and links to census images for 1860, 1850 and 1840 for various Emerich families listed in South Manheim. I am fairly certain that these families are parents and brothers of Joshua. I will let you draw your own conclusions but I feel 99% sure that I have found the father and grandfather of my Reuben Emerich.

Census year

Link to Image

Dwelling #




1860 Census Complete Image 147 Jacob Emerich 73 M
  Close up of image   Eliza     " 51 F


Jefferson Major (Moyer) 9 (?) M


Samuel     " 20 M


Jonathan Emerich 47 M


Jacob     " 6 M


148 Jacob D Emerich 47 M


Lusette     " 36 F


Morgan     " 20 M


Franklin     " 18 M


Sarah     " 16 F


Amanda     " 7 F


Florenda     " 6 F


Ephraim     " 2 M


William Henry     " 4/12 M


149 Joshua Emerich 28 M


Prittah     " 4/26 F


Nathan     " 8 M


Nathaniel     " 6 M


Filmore Henry     " 4 M


Eliza     " 2 F

Census year

Link to Image

Dwelling #




1850 Census Complete Image 95 Jacob Emerich Jr 38 M
  Close up of image   Louisa 36 F


Marcus     " 10 M


Franklin 9  


Sarah 7 F


Issac 5 M


Louisa 2 F


96 Jacob Emerich Sr. 64 M


Maryann 62 F


(could this be Joshua? There is no Joseph listed with this family in the 1860 census and Joshua would have been 18 in 1850.)



Leah 16 F

Census year

Link to Image

Head of Family

Family Information

1840 Census

Complete Image
Close up of image

Jacob Emerich

1 male 5-10
1 male 40-50
1 female 10-15
1 female 40-50
  Jacob Emerich Jr.

1 male under 5
1 male 20-30
1 female 5-10
1 female 20-30
  Jonas Emerich
(I am not sure how this Jonas fits with Jacob Emerich's family.)
3 males under 5
1 male 20-30
1 female 15-20

According to information found at the Emerich, Emerick, Emrick, Emrich web site, Jacob Emerich, father to Joshua Emerich married to Piettah Gruber, was married to Anna Maria DeWald (DeWalt). At this site you will find information on this family and in some instances sources. I have not seen these sources myself so I cannot give a guess as to accuracy but it is a starting place for the next phase of my research. Joshua's family's information is found in the family charts for Christoff & Maria (Fritzche)Emerich. This is a great site for more information on the Emerich family and you will also find more information on others who are researching the Reuben Emerich family in the "In Search of" section of site.

1900 Census Information

The image below is taken from the census forms found at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. The information was actually on two seperate pages. Reuben, Elizabeth and son Robert were on the bottom of one page and the rest of the family were on the next page. Unfortunately I did not make photo copies of the information at the time and when going to Ancestry.com's Census pages the first page is not there. I have seen the information and the next time I get to DC I will make photocopies but at this writting I only have the image of the second page with the children listed. To see this image please click

1900 census

1910 Census Information

At the National Archives one can use forms to copy information from the actual microfiche film. These forms have places to write the information from the census on the front and on the back. In the actual census, this information is recorded on one large sheet. Below are the front and back of the form I used at the National Archives. To see the actual census from Ancestry.com click
HERE and for a close up of the Reuben Emerich family click HERE

Front page of form
1910 census

Back page of form
1910 census pg 2

1920 Census Information

Please read my explanation for the
1910 census forms. The same applies to the images below. To see the entire census page for Reuben Emerich click HERE and for a close up, click HERE

Front page of form

1920 census

Back page of form
1920 census pg 2

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