Universal York

Part of the USA Today Network

The Barnitz York and Baltimore Brewing Dynasty

I was asked, in response to my recent post about the Barnitz brewers of York, if they were related to brewer J. C. Barnitz of Harrisburg. Click here to read about the York brewers.
Good question, and the answer is Yes. It turns out that brewing was a traditional occupation in the Barnitz family during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

I didn’t get a chance to research original records, so the information below was gleaned from several printed family histories and online resources:
Nicholas Barnitz, born in Hesse Darmstadt (Germany) in 1676 immigrated to Baltimore and supposedly established a brewery there. He had five sons: Conrad, William, Daniel, Leonard, and John George Carl. Daniel is to have stayed in Baltimore while Nicholas and the other sons came to York County.
One website gives John Leonard Barnitz and Elias Daniel Barnitz credit for establishing a brewery (later the Globe Brewing Company) at Hanover and Baltimore Streets in Baltimore in 1748. Another site credits W. Barnitz as being the first Baltimore brewer.
Nicholas…Leonard…Daniel…William…it all seems to be the same family.
Nicholas’s son, John George Carl Barnitz, married to Anna Barbara Spengler, is said to have left his York brewery to two of his sons, Charles and John. His other children were Daniel, Jacob, George, Michael, Barbara, and Susan.
The York brewery I previously wrote about was that of A.M. (Albert McLean) Barnitz and D. W. (Daniel Wagner) Barnitz, sons of Jacob Barnitz, Jr. (also a brewer) and Catherine Wagner Barnitz. Albert and Daniel were grandchildren of brewer John George Carl Barnitz.
J. C. (John Charles) Barnitz was born in York in 1795, the son of George Barnitz (son of John George Carl) and Catharine Spangler. He learned brewing, and in 1831 moved to Harrisburg, the hometown of his wife Elizabeth Kunkle, and built his brewery there.
That seems to make J.C. of Harrisburg a first cousin of Jacob, Jr., father of the A.M. and D.W. who advertised that they were taking over their father’s brewery business in 1857.
Confusing, isn’t it. To make it more so, a quick perusal of a database of York County tax lists 1800-1850 lists at least ten different Barnitz family members as brewers in York or Hanover during that period. That was about half the total number of all the brewers in the county. I wonder if there are any family members still in the brewery business. Or maybe they just like a good beer.
Click here for another York County brewer.