Sophia (Barth) Schank

Sophia (Barth) Schank (1807-1877) was born to Johann Carl and Sophia (Kiefer) Barth in 1877 in Nohfelden, Germany. Not much is known about her life in Germany. On March 29, 1825, she married Peter Schank, son of Johann Matthias and Maria Elisabeth (Ruppenthal) Schank, in Nohfelden. Their seven children were all born in Germany (Peter, Margaret, Philipp, Sophia, Karl, Catharina, and Jacob). In 1840, the family immigrated to the United States. Between 1820 and 1870, over seven and a half million Germans immigrated to America in order to escape economic poverty and political unrest. By 1850, German immigrants embodied nearly 20% of Louisville’s population, and they shaped every facet of daily life, from politics to fine art. The Schank family arrived in Baltimore from Le Havre, France aboard the “Colchis.” Their daughter Catharina, who was only two years old, died on the second day of their voyage. By 1850, the family was living in Louisville in the Phoenix Hill Neighborhood.

Peter worked as a laborer while Sophia kept house. Their son Peter died in 1854 leaving a widow and three daughters. One of the daughters, Sophia, moved in with her grandparents. Death records could not be found, but around 1865, Peter died and was buried in Section A, Range 5, Lot 32 of Eastern Cemetery. Sophia then lived with her granddaughter Sophia (Schank) Speckmann. On September 20, 1877, Elizabeth died at the age of 70. She was buried next to her husband and they share a headstone. Their lot also includes their son Peter, an infant grandchild as well as their son Philipp, his wife Margaret (Kieger), and their children Philipp, Charles, Margaret, and Dora.