8    Mar 201133 comments

It runs in the family – especially if you’re a Coblentz!

MyHeritage.com user Mr. Howard Coblentz began researching his family history over 5  years ago and now has, incredibly, over 4000 people in his family tree. Howard has unraveled the mystery of his family's past, revealing a long line of adventurous and successful ancestors whose legacies last to this day. While his search led him to far-flung destinations - one of the biggest discoveries was in his very own hometown of Sacramento. They could have passed each other on the street many times - but the family resemblance between Howard and his cousin Margo Coblentz (reunited via a Smart Match on MyHeritage.com) and the incredible similarities between their daughters,  are plain to see. Read on to find out more about this incredible story. 

Howard and Margo Coblentz – Sacramento cousins reunited through a Smart Match on MyHeritage.com! (click to enlarge)

Curious about his father's history, Howard Coblentz simply wanted to get a copy of his father's war medals from World War 2. More than five years later and boasting a family tree of over 4000 people, it's fair to say that Howard has caught the genealogy bug. Together with the help of his wife, Yvette, they managed to trace his family back to the 1400s, and more recently to the sleepy village of Lixheim in the Lorraine region of north-eastern France. Refusing to be conscripted into the Prussian army against France, his ancestors were forced to flee.  A total of twenty one Coblentz men, a combination of brothers and cousins, migrated to the Americas. They scattered out across South, Central, and North America, each to begin a new life.

The communities that stemmed from the settlement of the Coblentz immigrants have left lasting legacies to this day. They were amongst the first Jewish settlers in both Canada, having founded the Jewish presence in the town known today as Manitoba. There are over 250 Coblentz's present today in Peru, 200 in Mexico and 150 in Costa Rica, the rest in USA, France, Germany and other nations.  And the existing rubber business to this day - established by apparently the first Jewish person in the Amazon - established by no other than the Coblentz family. In El Paso, Texas his ancestors established the White House Store, in Mexico City, La Ciudad de Paris Stores and La Ciudad de London, The French Cultural Alliance in Guatemala, General Stores in Canada, all types of businesses in California, and were always traveling back and forth all over the world promoting business, increasing exports, and the delivery of goods. The Coblentz always exhibited professionalism and reached to be the best at their trade. For example, the White House Store in El Paso was the first in the USA to have electrical escalators with several floors.

Howard, a direct descendant of one of the Coblentz from Lixhem, that landed in Costa Rica, was born in Costa Rica and moved to Hollywood in 1962 and later to Sacramento . Unbeknown to him at the time, he was in fact following a family tradition by enrolling and completing law school receiving his Juris Doctor Degree. From family research, there are a long line of extremely successful attorneys - notably distant cousins Herbert C. Coblentz, William K Coblentz, and Edmund Coblentz – famous lawyers who practiced in the San Francisco and Stockton, California area and Canada.

Some of Howard's other ancestors were Bankers - dating all the way back to Lixheim, France. The Felix Coblentz Bank was established in France. Later Howard’s distant relatives were the owners of the National Bank of Sanger Bank in Fresno County, California (sold to AP Giannini – Bank of Italy, later Bank of America).  The Coblentz line also excelled in Journalism. Felix Coblentz, Gaston Coblentz, Stanton Coblentz, Edmond Coblentz, and Paul Coblentz are just a few examples. In medicine, art, music, and science there are too many to mention.

Just as the pieces of his family history puzzle were coming together, Howard received a Smart Match informing him about a cousin, Margo, who coincidentally also lived in Sacramento. Howard and Margo's great-great grandfathers were brothers. Having lived near each other for the best part of their life - neither had any knowledge of the other. A meeting between the two would put to rest all doubt about their relation. Howard is the father of three daughters and Margo also the mother of three daughters. Their daughters, of similar ages, bore such resemblance to each other that both Howard and Margo were flabbergasted. Sharing the same height, weight and facial features - the girls could all be sisters. Moreover – the three girls are similar in personality. So from Lixheim to Costa Rica – and from Lixheim to USA and finally to Sacramento, what a revelation that the living descendants of the Coblentz family were found in the same town!  Since the initial meeting, arranged by Margo's daughter, Alessandra Soto Coblentz, the Coblentz families have been calling and visiting each other as regular families do everywhere. 

The Coblentz Offspring – Reunited daughters (and grand-daughters) of Howard and Margo

Could be sisters! Fourth cousins Adriane Elizabeth Coblentz and Alessandra “Sandy” Soto Coblentz–daughters of Howard and Margo (respectively)

Whilst writing this story, Howard received another Smart Match informing him of a new Coblentz cousin named Geraldine M. Coblentz, also living in Sacramento, California. He is very excited and looking forward to meeting this new family member and introducing her to Margo Coblentz.  In another coincidental twist of fate, Geraldine happens to have a sister named Arlette whose son fell in love with a woman during a visit to Costa Rica. Arlette Coblentz is now the proud grandmother of two children and the mother of the children is Costa Rican.

It just goes to show that you can go a long way back into the past, across oceans and continents, only to find that what you're looking for is right next door.

Howard will be publishing  his book tentatively titled “The Confluence of the Coblentz in the Americas”. The Coblentz  book will be available later this year and will include the full history of his family.  Such title coincides with the standard acceptable meaning of the word Coblentz:  Jewish (Ashkenazic): habitational name from the German city of Koblenz, situated at the confluence of the Rhine and Mosel. It was founded in 9 bc as a Roman town, Latin name Confluentes (fluvii) ‘confluent rivers’, from which the modern name derives.

We thank Howard for sharing his wonderful family history journey with us.

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Comments (33) Trackbacks (2)
  1. This is excellent Howard. We are so proud to be of such a strong and telling Coblentz legacy. Thanks for all the hardwork in keeping it going for the generations to come..
    Sandy (Soto)!!!
    P.S. Cannot wait to meet Arlette. How exciting.
  2. Que maravilla como se parecen las primas, no hay duda que la sangre jala.
    Cuidense un beso
  3. Wonderful story Howard
  4. I'm so proud of you dad! This is so cool! I've enjoyed living this adventure with you! WOO HOO! ;0)
  5. Having the opportunity to meet new family members, that look like us and have unique similar qualities are uncanny; it's so unreal... It's been very rewarding in expanding the COBLENTZ family.
  6. are the Coblentz s from Ohio,indiana related to your branch of the tree?
  7. This is so fantastic.... que maravilloso trabaja has hecho, gracias por unir a la familia. Keep us posted..
  8. You ROCK Tio!!!!!
  9. Howard Coblentz has the largest genealogical tree in the world related to the Coblentz surname. All connected today we have about 6,500 cousins linked.
    If you wish to get a copy of the book let us know at mpajd11@msn.com. Must order now. Delivery in six weeks.
  10. Last week I got two Coblentz sisters who have never met together via my work in Genealogy. Both have the same father and each did not know the other one existed. I was able to find out that they shared the same father. The father was Howard Ray Coblentz. Since my name is also Howard Coblentz I was contacted by one of the Coblentz sisters to find out why I had the name of his father. You see, she was given to another family when she was born. She had never met any Coblentz before. I was able to trace her family history and find out about her other sister. I found out about the other sister named Kyle Coblentz. I I found her phone number and called her. I also wrote her a letter telling her that I had found out she had a sister named Pamela Coblentz. Now they know of each other and are friends in Facebook and I am so anxius to hear about the reunion. After more than 40 or 50 years ( I am guessing their ages) two Coblentz were brought together and they found out about each other. I am glad to serve the Coblentz family. I feel pride on all Coblentz.
  11. Anyone interested in the Coblentz book to be published please contact me at mpajd11@msn.com for your order.
  12. Very interesting stuff. My name is Seth Coblentz, I'm an attorney in Miami, 36 years of age, and originally from northeast Ohio. I'm doubtful that our origins directly cross, but who knows. There are several amish families in Ohio with the last name Coblentz, unrelated I believe to my family. My grandfather who passed away a few years ago, was also in WWII, and an amazing man. I know relatively little about my family tree on my Father's side. Anyway, very cool blog. Thanks.
  13. Muy interesante toda tu larga investigaciòn acerca de la familia Coblentz me resulta familiar el empeño para encontrar el principio de las raices, yo te estarè enviando datos importantes estoy esperando la aprobaciòn para permitirme el acceso a los padrones de los antiguos alcaldes de Yurimaguas creo que del periodo de 1880, luego te comunico lo que consegui, ok.
  14. Howard,

    Bastante interesante el proyecto que hiciste acerca de tus raices. Te saluda un compañero del barrio de Hollywood y de la Universidad.

    Jorge Rivera Santander
  15. Muy interesante y fascinante poder ver y averiguar el pasado ydarse cuenta de las raices genealogicas de una persona o familia.
  16. My grandparents, Nathan and Pauline Coblentz,lived in San Francisco during the late 1800's and early 1900"s. I think they lived on Post Street. Are we related?
  17. my great great grandfather adolfe coblentz along with his 2 brothers came to Manitoba in the early 1870's and were the first Jews to arrive in this province.My brothers and I are fourth generation Canadians and our grandchildren are sixth generation, but the Coblentz name has died out here so I don't know if we are related. My greatgrandfather came from Alsace Lorraine.
  18. My name is François Coblentz and I live in Brazil. My father is Albert Joseph Coblentz, deceased, born in Sarreguemines, Lorraine, France in 1901. His father was Felix Coblentz and mother Rosa Blum.
    I wonder if we are talking of the same family.
  19. Carol Rosenthal, Estelle Rosenberg, Francois Coblentz and I are all related. We are all distant cousins. All of you are in my Coblentz tree. If you want to know how write me at mpajd11@msn.com

    Thank you to all my cousins...
  20. Hola Howard
    Necessito una ayuda de tu parte ,pero ya no tengo tu mail fallo mi vieja comptadora puedes mandarme tu mail para que te mande mis preguntas
    feliz ano nuevo 2013
    atentemente
    Laurence levy
    laurlevy@sfr.fr
  21. Hello,
    My name is Shamuel Abraham
    I am looking for someone that can identify
    an Arthur Coblentz
    Born 1882 in Alsace-Lorraine, France
    died 1943 in El Paso, Texas
  22. I can identify Arthur Coblentz. He is a distant cousin of my family. He had two brothers. Write me at mpajd11@msn.com

    Howard Coblentz
  23. The Coblentz Tree today is about 17,500 people. It is growing.

    mpajd11@msn.com
  24. My parents born dad Michael Gilmore born 13/9/1910
    Mother Elizabeth Walsh born 1s-11-1907 Dublin Ireland
  25. Hi Howard, soy hija de Luis Godinez, do you remember him? soy Carmen Godinez
  26. Please email me at czavalza@yahoo.com
  27. Francois Coblentz from Brazil, yes we are talking about the same family cousin....Howard
  28. I found the tomb of Gastón and Caroline Coblentz in Mexico City in the French Cemetery called "Panteón Francés de la Piedad".
  29. Cristina H please send me the information to mpajd11@msn.com I belive Gaston Coblentz is family of mine.
  30. Leave your email address so I can get a hold of you. Any Coblentz , Coblens, Coblence or similar name. I will get back to you.
  31. Francois Coblentz from Brazil you have Martinez and Gerard as siblings ?
  32. I'm Ben Coblentz. 30 yrs old. Son of mark Coblentz. 52 yrs old. Grandfather Leroy Coblentz. 75 yrs old. Several other spawn from him. They grew up around the Erie pa area with Amish roots. My father(mark) was 12 yrs old when the family left the Amish and relocated into Akron/canton area Ohio. Then moved to Cambridge Ohio where I am from.
  33. Ben, I went to school with your father and uncle. Your Aunt Wilma was my first grade teacher as well. Your cousin Priscilla lives in our community. I'm also interested in knowing more about this line of Coblentzes as the ones I know are of Amish-Mennonite origins. Any info would be appreciated Howard.

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