Villages Helping Hands

Destination: The Americas

United States



  Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (PA)
Archivist: Helen Remich Dubas

Let me introduce myself.  My name is Helen Dubas, and "I’m a Philly Girl."  I often joke that you can take the girl out of the city, but you can’t take the city out of the girl.  That really is how I feel about Philadelphia. Times pass, cities change, but the happy memories of days gone by in Philadelphia never fade. I was born at St. Mary’s Hospital in a section of Philadelphia called "Fishtown," the year being 1946. 

After a few years, four to be exact, my family "moved up" to tree-lined streets in the Hunting Park section of Philadelphia. The location changed, but I continued to be surrounded by my Danube Swabian heritage. The new neighborhood was neatly divided, almost ruler-like, into ethnic pockets of German, Irish and Italian.  Even the churches were divided in that fashion, so it is only natural that I went to St. Henry’s School and Church, where at least one Sunday Mass was celebrated in High German.  My family remained in that same row house in the Hunting Park section until I graduated in 1964 from Little Flower Catholic High School for Girls.

Long before Philadelphia’s slogan "City of Brotherly Love" was put into place, Philadelphia was known and continues to be, the "City of Neighborhoods."  You may have taken note that I mentioned "Fishtown" and "Hunting Park." That’s what Philadelphia is all about, neighborhoods. When you are from Philly, you are known by three things… your neighborhood, your parish, or the corner from which you hung out as a teenager.  Jokingly, you were either Catholic or "a public."  It is for this reason, that outsiders often have a hard time when researching their ancestors in Philadelphia. They know their family came to Philadelphia, yet find their addresses to read something like Fox Chase, Pennsylvania. In reality, Fox Chase is a neighborhood within the city limits of Philadelphia. Philadelphia is known to have 395 neighborhoods, official and unofficial.

Yes, Philadelphia is a historical city, a city of many industries that have come and gone, a city of beautiful parks and waterways, but primarily, in my mind, Philadelphia remains a city proud of her people, their many customs, and their ability to join together as one to make her great.  It is a city that many Danube Swabians called home, and I’m one of them. 

Please take a look at what is available for your research on the Destination: Philadelphia page.  As your interest grows, the Philadelphia page will be sure to grow with you. We can work together to make it great, just as our ancestors participated to put Philadelphia on the map and provide happy memories to savor for years to come, memories that we can pass along as well.

Remich Family Archives

Peter Stahl, Musician,  Banat to PA

Neighborhoods of Philly . . .
Probably one of the most argued about topics in Philadelphia, could very well be the boundaries of neighborhoods.

Local Genealogical Research Aids
Philadelphia, & Pennsylvania State Records

There was a large Gross Jetscha population in Hunting Park and nearby city neighborhoods, such as Olney and Lawndale, which were adjoining Hunting Park. See Neighborhoods of Philly . . .

Emigration from Banat in the National Archives Ship Records to Philadelphia
Extractions compiled by David Dreyer of San Mateo, CA

Genealogical Resources at the Philadelphia City Archives

Births | City Directories | Deaths | Deeds | Marriages | Naturalizations

Philadelphia Danube Swabian Surname Registry

Did you know . . .
Odd bits of information

The Philadelphia Soft Pretzel - The origins of the Philadelphia soft pretzel can be traced back to a strong Germanic influence during the early history of Pennsylvania.  The average person eats 1.5-2 lbs of hard pretzels a year, but in Philadelphia, the inhabitants eat near 12 times that amount in soft pretzels.

John Nepomucene Neumann (1811-60)

St. John Neumann,
born March 28, 1811 in Bohemia,
now part of the Czech Republic.

1836 - John Nepomucene Neumann (1811-60) arrived in the United States in 1836 from his native Bohemia to work as a priest in the country's German-speaking Roman Catholic communities. He founded the first American diocesan school system, and in 1852 became Bishop of Philadelphia. In 1977 he was canonized as a saint by Pope Paul VI.

St. Peter’s Catholic Church, Shrine of Saint John Neumann, located at 5th & Girard Avenues in the Fishtown Section of Philadelphia. I was baptized in the church, while my great grandfather, Peter Nischbach, walked to the church everyday to attend Mass, recited in German.  In addition to his native German and Bohemian language, Bishop Neumann, learned Italian, Spanish, Greek, Latin, English and French.  Later he learned Gaelic in order to hear confession of Irish American immigrants. In humility, he reached out to the many immigrants in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia Breweries . . . a mainstay in early Philadelphia.

As a child, I often had opportunity to ride or walk by the Schmidt’s Brewery. It was a large, looming building. My parents, grandparents, and just about everyone I knew drank Schmidt’s beer.

As some of these German brewers became successful, they needed room to expand. It soon became advantageous for them to build new breweries near these vaults, and the result was a brewery building boom the likes of which the city, or the world for that matter, had never seen.  To see this full article by Richard Wagner, Brewery Historian, go to:

Philadelphia, Workshop of the World . . . My grandfather was a sheet metal worker at a metal foundry in 1930. While looking over the census for that year, one can see that his German-Hungarian neighbors were engaged in a variety of occupations, from baker to moulder in an iron factory. A few years later, my grandmother later worked at the Lerner Blouse Company. My mother, when not coloring studio photos for her uncle, Peter Stahl, owner of Stahl Photography Studio at 2nd & Girard Avenues, was employed by the Apex Hosiery Mill.  

To see a list of many the manufacturing facilities by neighborhood, please go to following site:

Donauschwaben & German Associations

Vereinigung der Donauschwaben Philadelphia und Umgebung
Danube Swabian Association and Danubia Soccer Club
President Fred Gauss
1277 Southampton Road
Philadelphia, PA 19116
(215) 969-9356

United German Hungarian Club of Philadelphia & Vicinity
Founded 1910
4666 Bristol Road
Oakford, PA 19053
357-9851 / fax 215-357-1560

German Society of Pennsylvania
located in Philadelphia and lists upcoming events

The 1937 German-Hungarian (Donauschwaben) Family Calendar Magazine
– Palankaer subscriber list for the Entire U.S.A.

(Deutsch-Ungarischer Familien Kalender 1937, German-Hungarian Publishing Company, New York City, NY/Chicago, IL)
Transcribed by Dennis J. Bauer, 11 October 2008

Philadelphia, PA

Surnames appear exactly as spelled in the original text and may not be the actual spelling. The list shows the individual’s place of origin and their address in the U.S. and Canada at the time of subscription to the magazine. Some translations of town, county and country names were done. As with any secondary source, you may wish to consult the original magazine. This is a list of those from Palanka only and not all the German-Hungarians listed.

The magazines were written in German and published in the U.S. from 1932-1954.  They   contained stories from the German-Hungarian regions of Hungary, Yugoslavia and Romania, pictures of "home",  jokes, poems and best of all a list of American and Canadian subscribers, their spouses, their place of origin and their addresses in the U.S. and Canada at the time of publication.  Subscribers listed were from the United States and Canada. During it’s publication, the magazines listed between 10-15 thousand Donauschwaben-Americans.

EVALY, Josef, from Milanlug, Bozega, Slavonia and Magdalena BUDAY, from Palanka, Batschka, Yugoslavia, 2852 N. 11th St., Philadelphia, PA.

PILLER, Katharina, nee HERBERT, from Palanka, Batschka, Yugoslavia, 2528 Claridge St., Philadelphia, PA.
WILDING, Karl, from Palanka, Batschka, Yugoslavia and Barbara NOEL, from Bogarosch, Banat Romania, 7237 Montour St., Philadelphia, PA

Published at 21 Jan 2009, contributed by Dennis Bauer


Philadelphia Danube Swabian
Surname & Researcher Registry
Exclusive for all DVHH Mailing List Subscribers & DVHH Membership


Last Updated: February 29, 2020

A Contact
B Contact
Berg Helen Remich Dubas
C Contact
D Contact
E Contact
Ebner Ginny Robbins
F Contact
G Contact
H Contact
I Contact
J Contact
K Contact
Knapp Peter Knapp
L Contact
Lix Peter Knapp
M Contact
N Contact
P Contact
R Contact
Remich/Romich Helen Remich Dubas
S Contact
Schneider Helen Remich Dubas
Schweitzer Margaret Buza
T Contact
U Contact
W Contact
Wagner Ginny Robbins
Wingergon Helen Remich Dubas
Y Contact
Yohon Helen Remich Dubas
Z Contact
    Surnames without a contact person indicates this name was found while general research was being conducted by one of our archivist.  For more information or to be added as a surname contact, please email the listed Archivist.

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Last Updated: 28 Feb 2020 ©2003 Donauschwaben Villages Helping Hands, a Nonprofit Corporation.
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