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

Comments70 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 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! (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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  • Sandy (Soto) Bryan

    March 8, 2011

    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.

  • Ivonne Heilbron Coblentz

    March 9, 2011

    Que maravilla como se parecen las primas, no hay duda que la sangre jala.
    Cuidense un beso

  • Victoria Fisch

    March 13, 2011

    Wonderful story Howard

  • Eva

    March 13, 2011

    I’m so proud of you dad! This is so cool! I’ve enjoyed living this adventure with you! WOO HOO! ;0)

  • Eva

    March 13, 2011

    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.

  • Martha L. Coblentz

    March 21, 2011

    are the Coblentz s from Ohio,indiana related to your branch of the tree?

  • Ivonne Heilbron

    April 21, 2011

    This is so fantastic…. que maravilloso trabaja has hecho, gracias por unir a la familia. Keep us posted..

  • Susie

    May 17, 2011

    You ROCK Tio!!!!!

  • Dr. Howard Coblentz

    June 15, 2011

    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 Must order now. Delivery in six weeks.

  • Howard Coblentz

    June 17, 2011

    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.

  • Howard Coblentz

    June 20, 2011

    Anyone interested in the Coblentz book to be published please contact me at for your order.

  • Seth Jonathan Coblentz

    June 23, 2011

    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.

  • Maria Soledad Gonzales de Coblentz

    June 29, 2011

    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.

  • Jorge Rivera Santander

    August 9, 2011


    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

  • Martha L. Coblentz

    August 30, 2011

    Muy interesante y fascinante poder ver y averiguar el pasado ydarse cuenta de las raices genealogicas de una persona o familia.

  • Carol Rosenthal

    November 2, 2011

    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?

  • Estelle Rosenberg

    June 18, 2012

    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.

  • Francois Coblentz

    July 14, 2012

    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.

  • Author, Howard Coblentz

    September 3, 2012

    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

    Thank you to all my cousins…

  • Laurence levy

    December 27, 2012

    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
    Laurence levy

  • Shamuel Abraham

    January 30, 2013

    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

  • Howard Coblentz

    February 24, 2013

    I can identify Arthur Coblentz. He is a distant cousin of my family. He had two brothers. Write me at

    Howard Coblentz

  • Howard Coblentz

    February 24, 2013

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

  • Mauragilmore44@

    February 26, 2013

    My parents born dad Michael Gilmore born 13/9/1910
    Mother Elizabeth Walsh born 1s-11-1907 Dublin Ireland

  • Carmen Godinez

    May 9, 2013

    Hi Howard, soy hija de Luis Godinez, do you remember him? soy Carmen Godinez

  • Carmen Godinez

    May 9, 2013

    Please email me at

  • Howard Coblentz

    July 27, 2013

    Francois Coblentz from Brazil, yes we are talking about the same family cousin….Howard

  • Cristina H

    November 3, 2013

    I found the tomb of Gastón and Caroline Coblentz in Mexico City in the French Cemetery called “Panteón Francés de la Piedad”.

  • Howard

    December 29, 2013

    Cristina H please send me the information to I belive Gaston Coblentz is family of mine.

  • Howard Coblentz

    September 27, 2014

    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.

  • Howard Coblentz

    September 27, 2014

    Francois Coblentz from Brazil you have Martinez and Gerard as siblings ?

  • Ben Coblentz

    October 24, 2014

    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.

  • Dan Coblentz

    October 28, 2014

    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.

  • Ben Coblentz

    November 24, 2014

    That’s awesome Dan.

  • Howard Coblentz

    November 30, 2014

    Dan Coblentz how do I get a hold of you? Email? Mine is

  • Nancy Bowers

    December 2, 2014

    Would like to know about the ancestors of Harry E. Coblentz. He is my husbands great grandfather and was married to Ida Louden.

  • Jamie Coblentz

    December 7, 2014

    This is amazing! I also am a Coblentz but from Maryland. Grandfather was John Harmon Coblentz…does this sound familiar?

  • Joseph B. Coblentz

    December 26, 2014

    Howard and I were in touch for years. We haven’t found a link between us, and I am no longer on Facebook, and I miss the Coblentz conversations we were having. Our family left Germany and went eastward, ending up in the duchy of Courland in what is now southern Latvia. In the end, I’m not sure we’re all related. Lots of Jews took the name of the city they were in to avoid getting a “Christian” name from the Elector or Prince or Duke or whatever that would be meant to make fun of them. My clan and the ancestor(s) of yours were all in Koblenz at the time, and our ancestors didn’t want the Elector of Trier giving them a new name. I can only go back to my great great grandfather. Don’t have more than a name — Nachon (Nathan). Not sure he was born in Courland, but my great grandfather Rachmiel (Raymond) was.

  • Howard Coblentz

    January 24, 2015

    All Coblentz are related somehow. Ohio, Maryland, California, Washington State, Oregon, Pennsylvania , Montana, Kentucky, Louisiana and Costa Rica, Mexico, Peru, Canada, England, Germany, France, Israel, Belgium, Poland, Latvia , Spain, Belarus, Italy. All have been connected by blood in my family tree. I don’t have everyone but the fact that we are connected is real. Via DNA studies I have done and 12 years of research proves to me that we are connected and relatives. It is interesting also to find the traits of the Coblentz. The Adler study shows the Coblentz portrait . We do we look? What is our average height?
    I see lots of people asking questions but fail to leave an email. My email is

  • Ben Coblentz

    January 30, 2015

    Nancy Bowers. My great grand father was Henry Coblentz. Married to Ida. They had sonny. Leroy. Elmer. Barb. Bert and Ada I believe. Leroy is my grandfather. 75yrs old now.

  • Rosy Coblentz

    February 17, 2015

    I’m related to pitball I love my uncle Howard Coblentz

  • Rosy Coblentz

    February 17, 2015


  • Howard Coblentz

    April 7, 2015

    Rosy Coblentz write me.

  • Sondra Ickes

    May 31, 2015

    Hi, my name is Sondra Ickes and my family arrived in PA (and maybe NY) from Germany in the 1600s to mid 1700s. Family tradition is that in the 1600s an ancestor was married to a Coblentz. Have you come across any “Ickes” (or some spelling of it) in the research of your family; as far as I know most of the family were Lutheran. It would be exciting to be related. Thank you

  • Hans-Joachim Hoffmann

    June 2, 2015

    Hello, Mr. Coblenz,
    I’ve researched some dates about the Coblenz-Family, living since 1803 in Ottweiler/Saar and I published some articles. I#m still looking for the dates of MARTHA COBLENZ, born in Bielefeld in the family KATZENSTEIN (*08.01.1884). She married DR. FELIX COBLENZ (*30.12.1863 in Ottweiler). He was rabbit in Siegen, Bielefeld and Berlin and died 03.09.1923. IDA Katzensetin emigrated during the NS in the USA. If everybody have some information, it would be nice to contact me.
    Best wishes
    Hans-Joachim Hoffmann

  • Tony Coblentz

    June 15, 2015

    Hello uncle Howard. I am Tony Coblentz 46 years old Burbank Ca. I like the work you’ve been doing. I am the second son to Douglas Felix Coblentz Howard’s brother. I did my part by keeping the Coblentz name going by having 5 kids. Ages 22 to 8. So next time you come through Burbank drop me off a copy of your book.

  • Howard Coblentz

    June 15, 2015

    Hans leave your email . Dr Felix Coblentz was married to Ida Coblentz in my records. Is Martha Coblenz someone else.

  • Christine Mitchell

    December 10, 2015

    Hello Howard
    I am trying to trace my Jewish roots. I believe the two sisters that you reunited back in 2011 are my cousins. I had an uncle named Howard Ray Coblentz who lived with us when I was about 10 years old. My father is Calvin Roy Coblentz…. His father is Menno….his father Moses…..Andrew…..Jacob We are from the Ohio area and have Mennonite/ Amish background. I would love to purchase a copy of your book. Please contact me about any possible Jewish ties.

  • howard coblentz

    December 19, 2015

    Christine Mitchel I am glad we were able to talk. Yes, you are related.

  • lonny coblentz

    December 19, 2015

    Wow, that’s really amazing tio!When do you release your book? I’d love to read it…

  • Latoya Allen

    January 3, 2016

    My name is Latoya Allen my grandfather name was Issac Merkman and his mother name was Mariah MiMi Coblentz she had other children James,Norris,John,Rebecca Merkman that were born I’m assuming in the Netherlands ,Antilles

  • Latoya Allen

    January 3, 2016

    Issac Merkman was my great grandfather sorry for the mistake

  • Donna Weathers Bailey

    February 12, 2016

    @Latoya Allen, Isaac Merkman was my great-grandfather’s name, also from the Dutch Antilles, and his mother’s name was Mariah. I know this because my great-aunt was named for her father’s mother. Are you related to Herman Merkman and Kate Walker?

  • Howard Coblentz, author

    February 19, 2016

    Isaac Merkman

    1930 United States Federal Census
    Birth: Circa 1878 – Cuba
    Residence: 1930 – Pensacola, Escambia, Florida, USA
    Wife: Margueritte Merkman
    Children: Marie Merkman, Lucile Merkman, Margueritte Merkman, Herman Merkman, Alphonse Merkman, Katie Merkman, Willie Merkman

    Latoya Allen this Isaac Merkman was born in Cuba. And there is a Heman Merkman also to anwer Donna Weathers Bailey.

    Must leave emails for contact in the in future.

  • Chris Stine

    February 20, 2016

    Hello Howard, is it possible to get your Coblentz genealogy book? I would be very interested in it. Thank you, Chris

  • James Coblentz

    February 24, 2016

    Howard, I would be very interested in a copy of your book. Or of any electronic records you may have available about our family history. Thank you very much!

  • Patricia Coblentz Moen

    March 3, 2016

    So glad to see so many Coblentz relatives. My sister Kathy contacted you yesterday! So happy to see pictures of people that look familiar even if we have never met! We’re in Wisconsin! I’ve only met a few Coblentz’s.

  • Francois Van Menxel

    April 7, 2016

    I am writing from Münster in Germany and I am through my mother a descendant from the family Coblenz, who lived about 1800 at Ottweiler (Germany, Saarland). I am interested for the history of my family Coblenz/Coblentz. I am certain, that my former generations lived at Lixheim, untill about 1750, after that at Bliesbrück (Mosel) and than at Ottweiler. As historian I am searching on the question, if there have been some contacts in the 18th or 19th centuries between the emigrated Coblenz/Coblentz in the States, if they have written letters or have sent pictures to maintain the contact in the family in France or Germany. Could it be, that in the USA or elswhere in the oversea some Coblentz have still old letters or pictures from these old times, which testify that there have been exchange between the Coblentz/Coblentz in the States and Europe, if they have written letters…?
    Francois Van Menxel, Münster, Germany, email:

  • Maria Hedwigis Erasmus ex-Moen

    April 30, 2016

    I am interested in the family tree of Patricia Coblentz Moen. Especially the Moen’s side. My 2 sons Hacinto and Adrian Moen live nowadays in Florida USA. Their grandparents came from Holland; their ancestors from France. Those ancestors fled from France to Holland (Amsterdam) due to the religion war between the catholics and the Protestants (Hugenots) in 1572. During the Bartholomy night 23 / 24 of august of 1572 thousands of French Protestants were murdered. It was the wedding of the daughter of the Italian Catherine de Medici and a French King, who became Protestant.

  • howard coblentz

    May 16, 2016

    Please when you want an answer leave an email so I can Contact you.

  • Dan Coblentz

    June 6, 2016

    Hi Howard, sorry I didn’t leave my email address and I hadn’t checked back in a while, but my address is Thanks, Dan Coblentz

  • Francois Van Menxel

    July 8, 2016

    Hi Howard, did you receive my answer and my papers on my ancestors from Bliesbrück and Ottweiler? I sent them on 29. May 2016. Are they interesting you or too far from your purposes? Greetings from Münster, Gerrmany.

  • Vance

    August 24, 2016

    Howard, in very interested in my ancestors as well and was wondering where my line comes in at. My father in Tom, son of Dan and Clara. My grandfather would’ve been born and/or lived in Delaware before moving to Virginia and then the Hartville, Ohio area. They’ve since moved to Brazil, then back to Ohio and are now living in Tennessee. Am also interested in your book. Email:

  • Howard Coblentz

    February 17, 2019

    Hello Coblentz relatives and friends. The first Coblentz book will be published soon. It took lots of research and time. Thank you for all the support and contributions.

  • Howard Coblentz

    February 17, 2019

    Let me know if anything

  • Howard Coblentz

    October 30, 2019

    The Coblentz tree is now close to 30k people. Thank you to all that have assisted to make it a reality.

  • E J

    June 4, 2020

    So glad our family came across this! My grandpa was born Coblentz but put up for adoption. I believe he is a descendant of one of the distant cousins you mentioned. He was an amazing man, loved by all, a friend to anyone in need, and never knew a stranger. We continue to find puzzle pieces of his background and your article was wonderful. Thank you.

  • Howard Cóblentz

    July 7, 2020

    The Cóblentz genealogical Book has been published. 200 plus full pages. Lots of charts, pictures, burials, 8 generations and more of the Cóblentz. Write me to if you want to buy a copy.

  • Howard Cóblentz

    July 7, 2020

    EJ write me and tell me more about your Cóblentz .

  • Howard Coblentz

    July 13, 2020

    Cóblentz Genealogy Book has been published recently and available in print. Write me for your copy.
    223 full pages of Cóblentz families. Pictures etc..