NAMES OF GERMAN HABITANTS ON BOTH BANKS OF THE MISSISSIPPI ABOVE NEW ORLEANS

 
                                                                                       Official Census of 1724

                                                                        

.The official census taken in November, 1724, must always be the principal source of information concerning the founders of the German Coast in Louisiana. It will, therefore, be treated here at some length ; and such notes will be added to it as were taken from other census reports, from church registers, and other official sources. The official census of 1724 embraces the concessions and habitations on both sides of the Mississippi River from New Orleans to and including the German Coast. It consists of two parts of sixty entries each. The first part covers the right bank from the upper limits of the German villages (upper side of Bonnet Carre' bend) down to a point nearly opposite New Orleans ; and the second part begins at the upper town limit of New Orleans on the left bank (at what is now Bienville street) and follows the left bank up the river to a point ten lieues above and opposite the German villages, where the first part began. Concerning the spelling of the German family names the reader is referred to the section of this work on the changes German names suffered at the hands of the French officials. Having met these names in many official records and church registers, and having found the same names spelt differently by many officials, and having also found original signatures of the German people, the author was in many instances able to restore the original German names. Where this was not possible, a question mark follows the name here.

RIGHT BANK OF THE MISSISSIPPI. The German Village of Hoffen, 10 Lieues Above New Orleans. November I2th, 1724.

Simon Lambert is mentioned as "premier habitant et le plus haut sur le fleuve," the habitant living highest up on the right bank of the Mississippi. This location was on the upper side of Bonnet Carre' Bend, about four miles below Edgard in the parish of St. John the Baptist. Lambert's habitation bears the number one. Thence the census enumerator proceeded down the right side of the river.

1. Simon Lambert, of Oberebesheim, diocese of Spire, Catholic; 40 years of age. His wife ; and a son, 18 years of age. Five arpents cleared. Gave up his first place on account of inundation. 1726 : Six arpents cleared. 1731 : Occupant of this place, Jean Martin Lambert, son of the aforementioned, with wife and child. 1764: Bartholomew Lambert, son of Jean Martin Lambert and Anna Eve Lambert, married Margarethe Troxler, daughter of Geo. T. and Marie Agnes Troxler.

2. Conrad Friedrich, of Rothenberg, diocese of Spire. (There is one Rothenberg east of Mannheim.) Catholic; 50 years old. His wife and three children. A daughter of 18 years; the youngest child five years old. Gave up first place on account of inundation. "A good worker". 1726: Six arpents cleared. 1726: Daughter Anna Barbara married Friedrich Merkel from Wurtemberg, and, after whose death she married Nikolaus Wichner. Nikolaus Wichner and Anna Barbara Friedrich were the progenitors of most of the " Vicners", "Vicnaires" and "Vickners". 1728: Daughter Anna Maria married Edw. Poupart, of Paris. 1731 : One child at home. Two negroes ; one cow. About 1750 Sebastian Friedrich, son of Conrad Friedrich, married Regina Heidel (Haydel), daughter of Ambros Heidel, of St. John the Baptist. They lived below New Orleans.

3. Johann Georg Troxler, of Lichtenberg in Alsace. Catholic; 26 years old. A mason. His wife. "Fort bon travailleur". Two and one-half arpents cleared, on which he has been only since - the beginning of the year having left the village in the rear. Exposed to inundation. Absent because of bad health. His wife is also sick. Lost his crop and his house. A neighbor, who cooked in a shed attached to Troxler's house, accidentally set fire to it. 1731: Two children. Two negroes; one cow. Johann Georg Troxler was the progenitor of all the "Troxler" and "Trosclair" families in Louisiana.

4. Johann Georg Bock, from the neighborhood of Fort Kehl in Baden. Catholic; 38 years old; weaver. His wife with child at the breast. One and a half arpents cleared. Two years on the place. 1729: Marie Francoise, daughter of J. G. Bock and Cath. Hislinger, baptized. 1731 : Three children. One negro. Now come the two tracts of land abandoned by Lambert and Friedrich.

5. Wilhelm Ziriac, also "Querjac", "Siriaque", and "Siriac", of Ilmenstadt, near Mayence. Formerly coachman to King Stanislaus. Catholic; 50 years old. His wife and daughter, seven years old. Two and a half arpents cleared. Two years on the place. "One of the more well to do people of the community. A good worker." 1731 : Only husband and wife mentioned. His daughter became the first wife of Ludwig Wiltz, the progenitor of the New Orleans branch of the Wiltz family, which is now extinct in the male line. All of the name of Wiltz now living belong to the Mobile branch of the family.

6. Johann Callander, of Aubrequin (Ober ... ?), Palatinate. Catholic ; 26 years old. His wife. A daughter. Sister-in-law : mother-in-law. One year on the place. Six arpents cleared, two and a half of which he bought from Peter Schmitz, a two and a half of which belonged to his mother-in-law and his children. 1731 : One child. One negro; one cow.

7. Stephan Kistenmacher, of Cologne. Catholic; 39 years old. His wife and a daughter of 10 years. One and a half arpents cleared. Two years on the place. "Sick, broken down, miserable." 1728: His daughter Margarethe married Louis Leonhard, from the Arkansas post. 1731 : Husband, wife and child. One engage. One negro; one cow.

8. Jeremias Wagner, of Orensburg ( ?) in the marquisate of Ansbach (Bavaria). Lutheran ; 27 years of age. Hunter. His wife with a child at the breast. Sister-in-law. Two arpents cleared. One year on the place. "Very good man and a great hograiser". 1726: Six arpents cleared.

9. Leonhard Magdolff, of Hermnnse ( ?), Wurtemberg. Catholic; 45 years old. His wife. An adopted orphan boy, 10 years old. Two and a half arpents cleared. One year on the place. "A good worker. Has a very fine garden, is well lodged, and very prosperous in his affairs." 1726: Six arpents cleared. 1731 : No children. Three cows.

10. Andreas Schantz (Chance), of Hochhausen, Franconia. Catholic; 25 years old. Miller. His wife with a child at the breast. Stepdaughter of 15 years. "A good man, well lodged." Has a cow from the company and a calf of eight days. A big hog and two little pigs. 1726: Andreas Schantz married Maria Magdalena Gaffel, daughter of Leonhard G. and Cath. Wolf. 1731: Two children. Four negroes; four cows.

11. Johann Georg Betz, of Weibstadt, diocese of Spire. Catholic; 32 years old. Butcher and prevot. His wife with a child at the breast. An orphan girl, nine years of age. Three arpents cleared. Three years on the place. A cow, a calf, and two pigs. 1727: On the first of July, 1727, Betz, his wife, and two children are reported as inmates of the hospital in New Orleans, and on the 24th of August Betz died. His widow, who was a sister of Ambros Heidel (Haydel), then married Caspar Diehl of Alsace. The whole family, Diehl, his wife, two children, "a brother" ( whose brother?) were murdered in 1729 by the Natchez Indians in the great massacre in Natchez.

12. Johann Adam Matern, of Rosenheim, in Upper Alsace. Catholic; 26 years old. Weaver. His wife with a child at the breast ; two sisters-in-law, 18 and 20 years of age. One and a half year on the place. Two and a half arpents cleared. "A good worker", who deserves some negroes. Three pigs. 1731 : Three children. Three negroes ; seven cows.

13. Caspar Dubs (Toups) from the neighborhood of Zurich, Switzerland. Protestant; 40 years of age. Butcher and prevot. His wife; two boys, 10 and 12 years old. Two years on the place. One and a half arpents cleared. Three pigs. 1728: Caspar Dubs married Maria Barbara Kittler, from Wurtemberg.1731 : Six arpents cleared. Caspar Dubs was the progenitor of all the Toups families in Louisiana.

14. Ambros Heidel (Haydel), of Neukirchen, electorate of Mayence. Catholic; 22 years old. Baker. His wife; his brother, 1 8 years old; his brother-in-law, aged 13, crippled. One and a half year on the place. "Good worker, very much at ease." One pig. Ambros Heidel's younger brother is mentioned for the last time in 1727. It is possible that he was murdered by the Natchez Indians with the family of his sister. See No. 11. From the entry there it does not appear whether the brother murdered was the husband's or the wife's brother. 1731 : Ambros Heidel, wife, two children. One engage. Three negroes and two cows.

15. Jacob Ritter, of Lustuen in Wurtemberg (Lustnau near Tubingen?). Catholic; 28 years old. Shoemaker. His wife. One and a half arpents cleared. Six months on the place. One Pig- 1726: Four arpents cleared. 1731 : Two cows.

16. Michael Vogel, of Altdorf, Suevia, Germany. Catholic; 40 years old. Cooper. A little hard of hearing. Son of two years, daughter of eleven years in New Orleans. Sixteen verges cleared. (Ten verges=one arpent.) Two years on the place. One pig. 1726: Four arpents cleared. 1726: Margarethe Vogel, his daughter, married Jean Bossier, farmer from Natchitoches. 1731 : Two children. One negro; two cows.

17. Sebastian Funck, of Hagenau, Alsace. Catholic; 30 years old. His wife. Child of one year; orphan girl of 16 years. Two years on the place. Five arpents cleared, which he bought from two Germans, of whom one went to Natchitoches, while the other took land from Governor Bienville near New Orleans, which he has now held two years. One pig. 1726: Husband, wife, two children. Four arpents cleared.

18. Michael Horn, of Limbal, near Mayence. Catholic; 39 years old. His wife and a daughter of eight years. Fifteen verges cleared. Fifteen days on the place. Came from "the old village". His sickness prevents him from succeeding. Michael Horn's daughter married Louis Toups. 1726: Four arpents cleared.

19. A strip of land of eight verges for the surgeon of the community. A hut on it. Abandoned.

Here ends the village of Hoffen, and the census man now leaves the river front and proceeds to the two old villages in the rear, which were mentioned before. Old German Village (i. e., the "second" one. See before.). Three- fourths of a mile from the Mississippi.

20. Balthasar Monthe, of Troppau, in Silesia, Germany. Catholic; 42 years old. His wife. Daughter of 13 months. One and a fifth arpents cleared. Three years on the place. "A good worker. Everything well arranged on his place. Was sick the whole summer." Two pigs. He died in 1727.

21. Johann Georg Raeser, of Biebrich, in the electorate of Mayence. Catholic; 32 years old. Blacksmith. His wife. An orphan girl of 18 years. Two arpents cleared. Three years on the place. "Well arranged. Good worker." 1726: Husband, wife, three children, brother-in-law. Six arpents cleared. One pig. 1731 : Husband, wife, one child.

22. Johann Jacob Bcbloquet ( ?) of Lamberloch, Alsace. Lutheran ; 36 years old. Hunter. His wife. Three children, two boys and one girl, ranging from two to thirteen years of age. One and a half arpents cleared. Three years on the place. Two pigs. "Well arranged. Good worker."

23. Johann Cretzmann (Kretzmann), of canton Berne, Switzerland. Calvinist; 46 years old. His wife; son of five years. One and a half arpents cleared. "His affairs well regulated. Demands his passage." Did not get it. 1726: As widower of Barbara Hostmann, Johann Cretzmann married Susanna Rommel (Rome), daughter of Heinrich Rommel, and sister of Johann Rommel. See No. 26. 1731: Husband; wife; three children. Six arpents cleared.

24. Balthasar Marx, of Wullenberg, Palatinate (one Wollenberg near Wimpfen), Catholic; 27 years old. Nailsmith. His wife, 22 years old. "His wife had a miscarriage last year on account of working at the pounding trough ('pilon'). He went to New Orleans to get some salt and had to give a barrel of shelled rice for three pounds. His affairs excellently arranged. Good worker." One and a half arpents cleared. Three years on the place. 1731 : Husband, wife, two children. One engage. One negro ; three cows. 1775 : Jean Simon Marx, son of Balthasar and Marianne Aglae Marx, married Cath. Troxler, daughter of Nik. T. and Cath. Matern (St. James parish).

25 Bernard Wich, of Tainlach, in Wurtemberg. Lutheran; 46 years old. His wife. Three children, a boy and two girls, from 13 years down to two months. Two arpents cleared. A pig- 1731 : Two children. One engage. One negro.

26. Johann Rommel (now Rome), of Kinhart, Palatinate. Catholic; 24 years of age. Tailor. His wife. One and a half arpents cleared. Three years on the place. A pig. 1728: Jean Rommel baptized. 1731 : Three children. Two cows.

27. Catharine Weller (ine), 49 years old, from Heilbronn, Wurtemberg, widow of August Paul, a Lutheran, a tailor. "Expects a child. Alone and poor. Has no provisions and needs some assistance. Six verges cleared."

28. Anna Kuhn, widow of Johann Adam Zweig (Labranche). Her husband was a Catholic, and died in Biloxi. Daughter of twelve years. One and a half arpents cleared. "Has no provisions and no seed for the next year. Needs some assistance." 1729: Daughter Anna Margarethe Zweig married Pierre Bridel, a soldier, and a native of Bretagne. According to the marriage entry the bride was born in Bollweiler, Alsace.

29. Magdalena Fromberger, 50 years old. Catholic; widow of George Meyer from Ingitippil (?), Suevia, Germany. "Her son, Nik. Mayer, is crippled but industrious in the cooper trade. He also makes galoches which are a great help when shoes are scarce. An orphan girl, 20 years old. One and a half arpents cleared. Three years on the place. A pig.1731 : Nik. Meyer. His wife and a child. One engage. Two negroes ; two cows.

30. Margarethe Reynard (Reinhard?), from Bauerbach, Baden. Catholic; 46 years old. Separated from Johann Leuck (?), who lives on the Mississippi. Daughter from first marriage, aged seven years. Seven verges cleared. Three years on the place.

31. Catherine Hencke, of Horenburg, Brandenburg, widow of Christian Grabert, a Catholic, who died in Biloxi, aged 50 years. A daughter, 14 years old. Both sick. She needs some assistance and is very willing to work. Two arpents cleared.

32. Christian Grabert, Grabert, of Brandenburg. Catholic; 23 years old. His wife. An orphan child, 13 years old. Two arpents cleared. Three years on the place. One pig. 1726: Christian Grabert, his wife, mother-in-law, sister-in- law, and sister. Six arpents cleared.1731 : Husband, wife, three children. Two cows. Descendants of the Grabert family still live in Ascension parish, La.

33. Andreas Necker, of Dettenhausen, Wurtemberg. Lutheran; 36 years old. Miller. His wife. Two arpents cleared. One year on the place. Two pigs.

34. Jacob Oberle, of Zabern, Alsace. Catholic ; 35 years old. Two arpents cleared. One year on the place. The four arpents occupied by Necker and Oberle were situated between the two old villages and had served as a cemetery; but when the German people moved to the river front this cemetery was abandoned, whereupon Necker and Oberle took possession of it "a year ago". D'Arensbourg, however, whose land was contiguous to the cemetery, also claimed it on the ground that these four arpents had been cleared by the community.

            (" FIRST") OLD GERMAN VILLAGE. One mile and a half from the Mississippi and adjoining the "second" village.

35. Andreas Schenck, from Saxony; Lutheran; 35 years old. Farmer, prevot of a village. His wife and a child of two years. Land at discretion. Always serves with the troops as a musician. 1727: Andreas Schenck, wife and two children.

36. Marcus Thiel, of Bergwies, Silesia. Lutheran; 43 years old. Shoemaker. His wife. Land at discretion. Always sick.

37. Moritz Kobler, of Berne, Switzerland. Calvinist; 64 years old. Butcher. Served for thirty years in France in Swiss regiments. His wife. Land at discretion. Wants to return to France. 1729: Kobler's widow, Emerentia Lottermann, of Berne, married in this year Jacob Weisskraemer, from Bavaria, whose wife as well as his parents, Abraham and Magdalena W., had died at Fort Balize at the mouth of the Mississippi. In 1745 Jacob Weisskraemer married in Pointe Coupee Margarethe Franqoice Sara, the widow of one Jolier.

38. Karl Friedrich D'Arensbourg, "captain reforme", aged 31 years. An orphan boy from 10 to 12 years old. A cow and a calf from the company. A bull belonging to him. Two pigs. Twelve arpents. Not much cleared from lack of force.

The census here informs us that the village just mentioned ( the first old German village) had been founded by twenty-one German families, that some had died and others had moved to the river front, having been drowned out by the great hurricane three years previous. Schenck, Thiel and Kobler seem to have come over from the second village. This is the reason why these three had "land at their discretion," there being, as the census remarks, at least 100 arpents of beautifully cleared land in the neighborhood of this village, cleared, no doubt, by the twenty-one German families, the founders of the first village. But now, the census continues, these three men also want to leave and move to the other village (the second one), nearer to those abandoned lands, which they would now like to take up. This, the census man thinks, would be right as far as those lands are concerned which were abandoned more than a year ago, because the parties who left had in the meantime been able to clear enough new land to support their families and to continue farming. The fourteen families remaining in the second village, nearer the river, were all doing well, except the widows, and did not think of moving. Having completed the two villages in the rear, the compiler of the census now evidently begins again at the river front, going down.

39. Andreas Traeger (now Tregre), of Donauwoerth, Bavaria. Catholic; 37 years old; hunter. His wife with a child at her breast. Three arpents cleared. Two years on the place. "A good worker. Well lodged. His yard, 90 x 90, staked off with palisades. Well cleared. Birds have caused a great deal of damage." One cow from the company. One pig. 1726: Four arpents cleared. 1731: Husband, wife, three children. Two negroes; three cows. Andreas Traeger was the progenitor of all the Tregre families in Louisiana.

40. Jacob Lueck, of Weissenburg. Forty-five years old. Separated from his wife, who lives in the village (See No. 30). "Left his place to go to Natchez, but is back now. Lazy, and a very bad man."

41. Andreas Hofmann, from the marquisate of Ansbach, Bavaria. Catholic; 27 years old. His wife. A daughter aged seven years. One and a half arpents cleared. A pig. 1726: Four arpents cleared. 1731: Husband, wife and four children.

42. Mathias Friedrich, of Weilersheim, Alsace. (There were two Friedrich families in the colony then.) (See No. 2.) Catholic; 29 years old. His wife with a child at the breast. An orphan girl, aged 15 years. One and a half arpents cleared. "Good worker." A cow from the company. A calf and three pigs. 1726: Husband, wife, and three children. Six arpents cleared. 1731 : Four cows.

43. Bernhard Reusch, from the Palatinate. Catholic; 52 years of age. Tailor. His wife. A son of fifteen and a daughter of eleven years. One and a half arpents cleared. Two years on the place. Water caused much damage. Two pigs. 1726: Four arpents cleared.

44. Paul Klomp (Klump?), of Bauerbach, near Karlsruhe, Baden. Catholic; 30 years old. His wife. A son three and a half years old. An orphan boy of 12 years. One and a half arpents cleared. Three years on the place. Ground overflowed. Has been sick. 1724: Four arpents cleared.

45. The Chapel with house and kitchen. Garden. Cemetery of about one and a half arpents. It was at the completion of this new cemetery that the cemetery between the two old villages was abandoned.

46. Adam Schmitz, a widower of Isnen, Suevia, Germany. Lutheran 44 years old. Shoemaker. A daughter of nine years. Two years on the place. Eight verges cleared. "Works at his trade, making galoshes."

47. Johann Rodler, of Rastadt, Baden. Catholic; 35 years old. Locksmith. Works at his trade. His wife. Two years on the place. Eight verges cleared. Deaf. 1726: Four arpents cleared.

48. Anton Distelzweig, of Selz, Alsace. Catholic; 29 years old. His wife. One child, one and a half years old. "Good worker." Three arpents or 32 verges cleared.

49. William Pictot, 50 years old, from Bretagne.

50. Friedrich Merkel, from Wurtemberg. Catholic; 30 years old. His wife Marianne Kohleisen. Sixteen verges cleared. Two years on the place. "Good worker." Two pigs.1726: Four arpents cleared. In the same year Friedrich Merkel married Anna Barbara Friedrich, daughter of Conrad F. and Ursula Frey. (See No. 2). Merkel's name occurs for the last time in the census of 1727. Anna Barbara Friedrich, his widow, then married Nik. Wichner. (See No. 2).

51. Peter Muench, of Oberheim, in the Palatinate. Catholic; 40 years old. His wife. A son, one year old. Two arpents cleared. Two years on the place. Works at his trade. 1726: Four arpents cleared.

52. Andreas Struempfl, of Ottersheim, near Fort Kehl, Baden. Catholic; 23 years old. His wife. Two daughters. Two arpents cleared. Two years on the place. A cow and a calf; two pigs. 1728: Anna Barbara Struempfl baptized. Another daughter by the name of Agnes married, about 1748, Johannes Ettler, of Colmar, Alsace. 1731 : Three children. Two cows.

53. Johann Adam Riehl, of Hatzweiler, Basle, Switzerland. Catholic; 45 years old. Carpenter. His wife. Daughter of five months. One and a half arpents cleared. Two years on the place.

54. Jacques Poche, 45 years old, native of Omer, in Artois.

55. Joseph Wagensbach (now Waguespack), of Schwobsheim, Upper Alsace. Catholic; 23 years old. His wife. One and a half arpents cleared. Two years on the place.1726: One child. Six arpents cleared. 1731: Three children. Two negroes; two cows. Joseph Wagensbach was the progenitor of all the Waguespack families in Louisiana. th

56. Sibylla Heil, widow of Wiedel, 37 years old, of Elchingen, Suevia, Germany. Catholic. Two years on the place. One and a half arpents cleared. "A good worker."

57. Johann Adam Edelmeier, of Reiheim, Palatinate. Calvinist; 50 years old. Cooper. Two boys, 10 and 14 years of age. A daughter, Maria Barbara, married Lionnois, a sailor from Lyons. Three arpents cleared. Two pigs. "A very good worker, who deserves attention." 1726: Six arpents cleared. 1728: Marie Christine Edelmeier baptized. 1731 : Five children. One negro; two cows.

58. Philipp Zahn, of Grosshoeflein, Hungary. Catholic; 25 years of age. His wife. Three arpents cleared. Two years on the place. A pig.1726: One child. Four arpents cleared. 1727: As widower of Margarethe Wiethen (ine) Philipp Zahn married in this year Marie Schlotterbecker of Wurtemberg, widow of Jacob Stalle and sister of the wife of Thomas Lesch. The census at this time mentions the land forming the passage of three arpents' width, leading from the river front to the concession of M. de Meure. According to a map of 1731, this place was about two miles above Hahnville.

59. Johann Jacob Foltz (now "Folse"), of Ramstein, Palatinate. Catholic ; 26 years old. Shoemaker. His wife. A child of one year. Four arpents cleared. Two years on the place. One pig. This year made only seven barrels of rice on account of inundation. Was sick the whole summer. 1731 : Two children. Two cows.

60. Bernhard Anton, of Schweigen, in Wurtemberg. Lutheran ; 30 years old. His wife. A boy, 10 years old. About four arpents cleared. Two pigs. Two years on the place. Made this year 20 barrels of rice, and would have also made 60 barrels of corn, if there had been no inundation. "Good worker." 1731 : Three children. One engage. Six cows.

 

 

LEFT BANK OF THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER. Continuation of the Census of 1724. The land immediately above New Orleans and on the same side of the Mississippi, beginning beyond the moat of the upper town limit (now foot of Bienville street), and extending up to the center of the great bend of the river at Southport, beyond Carrollton, belonged to M. Bienville in all, 213^ arpents river front. The lower portion of Bienville's land from Bienville street to somewhere about Felicity road, 58*4 arpents' front Bienville reserved for his own habitation. Of this tract he sold a part to the Jesuit fathers. From Felicity road up to Southport he placed, as has been stated, twelve German and a few French families, most of whom received their titles on and after the first of January, 1723. But by the time the census of 1724 was taken, a number of these had left. The fact that the Germans had already once before lost their all by a great hurricane and inundation, and the failure of Bienville to build a levee, although he had guaranteed one to them in their titles, and the consequent inundations they were subjected to even in the first year, together with the exacting conditions of rental to be fulfilled all these were causes to compel these people to sell out their contracts as quickly as they could. Some had already left during the first year, and Jacob Huber, the last German to remain on Bienville's land, stayed only from 1723 to 1727. Partly from census reports, and partly from chains of titles of Bienville's hands, the author has been able to ascertain the names of most of the German storm victims who settled on Bienville's lands :

Peter Bayer, from Wankenloch, near Durlach, Baden, who had taken six arpents of Bienville's land above New Orleans.

Caspar Hegli, a Swiss, from near Lucerne. "Six arpents. Catholic ; 35 years old. His wife. A daughter. Two orphan boys. A cow, a heifer, a young bull, and three pigs. Two years on the place. Used two and a half barrels of seed rice and did not make more than three barrels on account of inundat1on. Has a very fine garden enclosed by palisades. He has made a good levee and is a good worker. He deserves a negro." (Census of 1724.)

Jacob Huber, with six arpents. "Native of Suevia, Germany. Catholic; 45 years old. His wife, son of 16 years. One engage. One cow, one heifer, a pig. Made no crop on account of inundation. Good worker." (Census of 1724.)Jacob Huber's son Christoph married Marie Josephine St. Ives. Descendants write the name now "Oubre", " Ouvre", "Hoover". '

Andreas Krestmann, or Christmann, from Augsburg, with his two sons, 10 and 12 years old. Six arpents. "Wheelwright. His wife. Two orphan girls, eight and fifteen years old. Two years on the place. A cow, a heifer, a calf and three pigs. He is industrious and is at work fencing in his cleared land. He made a good levee and paid in advance the workmen who made it for him at a cost of 100 pistoles. Deserves a negro." These four men occupied a portion of Bienville's land from the present First street of New Orleans to Napoleon avenue.

Further up, beginning about the upper line of Audubon Park, were:

Simon Kuhn, of Weissenburg, Ansbach, Bavaria. "His wife, daughter, son-in-law, Daniel Hopf, 20 years of age of Cassen, diocese of Spire. Orphan boy, 12 years old. Cow, calf, three pigs. One year on the land. Had to change his engagements twice, having been forced to give up his cabin on account of water. Good worker." (Census of 1724.) An elder daughter of Simon Kuhn, Anna Kuhn, was the widow of Johann Adam Zweig (Labranche), who had died in Biloxi. She had a daughter of the age of 12 years. The orphan boy, 12 years old, was, no doubt a relative, and very likely that Jean Labranche who, in 1737, married Susanna Marchand and became the progenitor of all the Labranche families in Louisiana.

Daniel Hopf (French spelling "Yopf" and "Poff") married, in 1727, Anna Maria Werich, of Lampaitz, German Lorraine. A daughter of this second marriage, Renee "Poff", married, 1752, in Pointe Coupee, Pierre Baron.

Thomas Lesch (now "Leche" and "Laiche"), with three arpents. " His wife. One engage." (Census of 1726.) Thomas Lesch married, in 1725, in the cathedral of New Orleans, Anna Schoderbecker of Wurtemberg. Only daughters were born from this marriage: Margarethe Lesch married one Peter Engel, a carpenter, whose name occurs also in the spelling "Aingle", " Ingle", "Hingle", and "Engle". There were three sons, Simon, Sylvestre and Santjago Hingle, who married into the Bura family in Plaquemines parish (Bura's Settlement). The "Hingle" family is quite numerous there. Regina Lesch, another daughter of Thomas Lesch, married one Christian Philippson.

Joseph Strantz, with three arpents.

One Mueller, with six arpents.

Johann Weber, the progenitor of the "Webre" families in Louisiana, with six arpents near the upper limits of Bienville's lands, now Carrollton. He was born near Fort Kehl, Baden, and was then 24 years old. (Census of 1724.) His wife was Marie Stadler, who came to Louisiana with her parents, Ulrich and Maria Stadler, on one of the four pest ships. "Mother-in-law, an orphan girl, aged 16 years. Cow, heifer, bull, four pigs. One year on the place."

The conditions under which these lands were given to the German storm victims by Bienville, were: From six to eight livres annual ground rent for each arpent and, every year, two capons and two days' work "in the form of corvee" for each arpent. Jacob Huber paid eight livres ground rent. Bienville subjected even the Jesuit fathers, who, on the first of May, 1728, bought five arpents from him, to conditions similar to these, including even that of corvte. This is true, also, of the Canadians who held lands from him on the Algiers side of the river. The people of Bienville's lands must also repay the advances made to them by Bienville. These consisted usually of provisions for one year, a cow in calf, two hogs, four chickens with a cock, and the necessary utensils and agricultural implements. Continuing our trip up the river, on the left side, we find n 1724 the habitations and concessions of Dartigniere & Benac, Henry Pellerin, Cousin, Vaquir, Dire (Dire leaved in Cannes Brulees), d'Artagnan, Chautreau de Beaumont, Pujeau & Ka- vasse, Meran & Ferandou, Bouette, Chaval, Chesneau, Dauny, and Pierre Brou. The habitations of Chesneau and Dauny were later, after 1727, acquired by Caspas Dubs (Toups) and Ambros Heidel ( Haydel), who, in 1724, were yet neighbors on the other side of the river on the German Coast. Continuing our trip up the river, we find in 1724 the habitations of Pommier, Picollier, Sainton, Dizier, Dejean, and Pel- loin. Then we meet again Germans :

Peter Schmidt, from the Palatinate. Catholic; 34 years old. His wife, his brother-in-law, aged 17 years. Three arpents cleared, which he had bought for 400 livres.

Bartholomaeus Yens (?), of Cologne. Catholic; 25 years old. A brewer. His wife, with a child at the breast. Three arpents cleared. Then we pass the habitations of St. Pierre, St. Julien, Go- bert, Reux, Caution, Guichard, Piquery, Petit de Livilliers, Du- cros, Lantheaume. Then comes :

Joseph Ritter, of Durlach, Baden, 52 years old, a carpenter. His wife, a son of 20 years, two orphan girls of 14 and 19 years. About three years on the place. Three pigs. Works at his trade. "Is a good worker and deserves some negroes." Then we come to the Baillifs,

Claude Baillif from Picardy, and Joseph Bailliff, of Dieux, in German Lorraine, aged 22 years. His wife. Eight arpents cleared, which he had bought for 250 livres. His widow married later Michael Zehringer, of whom we shall hear soon.

Nik. Schmitz, of Frankfurt. Catholic; 40 years of age. His wife. A daughter of 18 and one of six years. Eight arpents, which he had bought for 800 livres. "Made a good levee and is a good worker."

Peter Bayer. Catholic; 23 years old. His wife. Two arpents of land, which he had bought for 210 livres, having given up the land which he had from Governor Bienville. . He brought all his things with him. Had not made more than two barrels of rice and a quantity of girammons, which was all that was left to him after paying M. Bienville. "Is a very good worker and satisfied with his small piece of land for his fortune."

Johann Fuchs, of the canton of Berne, Switzerland. Catholic; 38 years old. His wife, with a daughter at her breast. Four arpents, for which he had paid 250 livres. About one year on the place. "On account of sickness and misery he made no crop."

Lorem Ritter, Jr., aged 20 years. Begins to establish himself on eight arpents.

From there up the left bank to where the census enumerator of 1724 stopped, there lived only Frenchmen and Canadians. As the census of 1724, the first one to give the names of the German habitants, covers only the territory above New Orleans, and does not contain the names of the orphans staying with the German families, nor of the numerous engages, many German people consequently remained unaccounted for. If the registers of the chapel on the German Coast, of which the census of 1724 speaks, and which had a resident priest as early as 1729, had not been lost, and if the records of the St. Louis Cathedral, in New Orleans, had not been to a great extent destroyed in the great fire of March 21st, 1788, many of these names could be recovered. As matters stand, only the cathedral records from 1720 to 1732 are available, which together with scattered court records and other official papers will be used here.

 

MICHAEL ZEHRINGER, the progenitor of all the "Zeringue" families in Louisiana. He signed his name in German script " Michael Zehringer." He was from Franconia, Bavaria. His name appears first on the passenger list of the ship "Le Droma- daire" in 1720, together with sixty workmen under the command of de la Tour, the chief engineer of the colony. In 1721 Zehringer heads the list of "ouvriers" of the king as master carpenter. In 1722 we find Michael Zehringer in Biloxi, where in tearing down a house he found, according to a proces verbal still existing, a number of articles which had been taken away from the old fort and hidden there. In the same year his wife, Ursula Spaet, died, and, six weeks later, his daughter Salome, aged 1 8 years. In the next year he married Barbara Haertel, the widow first of Magnus Albert (who came over with her in one of the pest ships) and then of Joseph Bailliff. By her Zehringer had four sons: Michael, Pierre Laurent, Joseph, and Jean Louis. The census of 1731 mentions Michael Zehringer as living below Chapitoulas, somewhere in the Sixth District of New Orleans. His family then consisted of his wife and three children. He had one engage, twelve negroes, four negresses and twenty-seven cows. He died in 1738, and one of the witnesses in his succession was Louis Wiltz.

JOHANN LUDWIG WILTZ, the progenitor of the New Orleans branch of the Wiltz family, is not mentioned in the census. Johann Ludwig Wiltz, of Eisenach, Thuringia, Germany, was born in 1711. (He wrote his name "Wilsz" as does the family in Eisenach to the present day.) In a later official document referring to the disposition of some land belonging to him, it is stated that his father-in-law, Wm. Siriac, was living on it. Siriac (see census of 1724, No. 5) had but one daughter, who, at the taking of the census of 1731 no longer lived with her parents. So the marriage of Louis Wiltz may have occurred in 1731, when Wiltz was twenty years of age. At the taking of the census of 1724, he was only thirteen years old, and he was therefore almost certainly one of the orphans whose names are not mentioned in the census of 1724.

JOHANN KATZENBERGER, who, in 1722, while yet an engage, married Christine "de Viceloque" (from Wiesloch, near Heidelberg,Germany), lived in the village of Gentilly, one and a half miles from New Orleans. He was from Heidelberg. In Gentilly he had an engage and eight arpents of land. The name of the family has been changed into "Gasbergue."

SIMON BERLINGER, of Blaubayern in Wurtemberg, was Katzenberger's neighbor in Gentilly. He had a wife and a son, and owned eight arpents of land. His first wife was Cath. Rode, the widow of Jacob Herkomm, who had died "aux Alle- mands." In 1725 Berlinger married Elise Flick of Biel, Baden, whose first husband, Joseph Ziegler, had died in L'Orient. Berlinger later moved up to the German Coast.

JOHANN WEISS with his little son lived on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain. There were then only five families with fourteen persons living on the lake shore. One of them was called "Lacombe," and it may be that "Bayou Lacombe," between Bonfuca and Mandeville, was named after that family. Descendants of this Joh. Weiss live in Pointe Coupee.

WEISSKRAEMER. Down near the mouth of the Mississippi, at a point called "Fort Balize," was the family of Weisskraemer, from Bavaria.

 WICHNER. Then there were the progenitors of all the " Vicner," "Vicnair," and "Vickner" families. Nik. "Wichner" came in 1720 with his wife, Therese, and a child of one year on board the ship "L' Elephant," and was destined for the concession of Le Blanc, on the Yazoo River. His wife died some years afterward, and then he married Barbara Friedrich, the widow of Friedrich Merkel (see census of 1724, Nos. 2 and 50). The little child the Wichners brought from Germany seems to have survived, for the records of Pointe Coupee inform us that in 1777 " Gratien Vicner (Gratian probably stands for "Christian"), the son of Nik. Vicner and Theresa ..." married Marie Louise Cortez", and, in the same year, a child was born to them Marie Louise. Sons of Nik. Wichner and Barbara Friedrich married there, too, about this time : 1772: Antoine Vicner, son of Nik. Vicner and Barbara Friedrich, married Perinne Cuvellier, daughter of Pierre C. and Marie Arrayo", and 1777: "David Vicner, son of Nik. V. and Barb. Friedrich, married Marie Margarethe Cuvellier, a sister of Perinne". She died 1781 in St. John the Baptist. On board the same vessel by which Nik. Wichner and his family came to Louisiana there was one Francois Wichner.

FRANCOIS WICHNER, his wife Charlotte and two children, two and four years old. Charlotte Wichner died in New Orleans in 1727, and her husband died in Pointe Coupee in 1728 as "habitant and entrepreneur." Yet the name of this family does not appear in any census enumeration until 1731, when "Nik. Wichner, his wife and a child" are entered as habitants of Cannes Bailees.

RICHNER (Rixner). From a petition addressed by the tutor of the children of de la Chaise to the Superior Council in 1730, we learn that one Rixner, a German, (signatures of the family prove that the original name was "Richner") had been manager of a plantation below New Orleans for three years. His time would expire in June, 1730, and a family meeting should have been called at that time to arrange for a continuance of the improvements on said plantation. In the census enumerations Johann Georg Richner appears for the first time in 1731. He lived then opposite New Orleans, two lieues above the town. There was then also a "Rixner fils," who was not yet married and who owned three negroes and three cows. Richner's daughter Margarethe married, in 1728, Jacob Kindler, a Swiss, and died the same year. Richner's wife was a sister of Ambros Heidel's mother. Johann Georg Richner came to Louisiana on board "La Saone," one of the four pest ships, in 1721. His name is not contained in the census of 1724.

SCHAF (Chauffe). Then there was the family of Schaf, of Weissenburg. Jacob Schaf and his wife Marianne sailed with five children for Louisiana on the pest ship "La Garonne" on the 24th of January, 1721. From church records it appears that the wife of Ambros Heidel (Haydel), Anna Margarethe, was a daughter of Schaf. Ambros Heidel had also a brother-in- law with him. Another daughter of Schaf married one Claireaux, and later, as her second husband, Franz Anton Steiger, from the diocese of Constance, Baden, while Anton Schaf, the eldest son, became the son-in-law of Andreas Schenck in 1737 ( see census of 1724, No. 35). Yet no census mentions the Schaf family.

SCHECKSCHNEIDER. On the same ship and on the same day sailed from L'Orient the Scheckschneider family, Hans Reinhard Scheckschneider, his wife and two children. One son, Jacob, was landed in Brest and died there. Nothing more is heard of the parents, and only after 1730 their second son, Albert "Seg- shneider," the progenitor of the numerous Scheckschneider families appears as a habitant. He, too, must have been one of the many nameless orphans whom the census of 1724 mentions in connection with the German families.

ZWEIG (Labranche). On the 24th of January, 1721, there sailed on the pest ship "Les Deux Freres" from L'Orient a second Zweig family, Jean Zweig, with his wife and two children, who came from the neighborhood of Bamberg, Bavaria, Germany. The parents probably died before the census of 1724 was taken; their daughter was married as early as 1724 to Joseph Verret, but nothing is heard of the second child of the Zweig family, a little son,88 until he, in 1737, bought land at what is now called "Waggaman," on the right bank of the Mississippi, opposite the habitation of his brother-in-law, Verret, who lived in "La Providence," on the left bank. There young Zweig married Susanna Marchand, of St. Marcellin, Grenoble, France, but then an orphan in the Ursuline Convent in New Orleans. The marriage contract which the author found in official acts in the custody of the "Louisiana Historical Society" was signed on the 6th of November, 1737. In this marriage contract the officiating French notary changed the name "Zweig" into "Labranche." The name Zweig being difficult to pronounce and still more difficult to write, as it contains sounds for which the French language has no signs, and young Zweig not being able to sign his name (so the contract states), it was but natural for the French notary to inquire into the meaning of the word " Zweig." Hearing that it meant in French "la branche," he put " Labranche" down as the family name of the bridegroom, and this has remained the family name ever since. The Labranche family has preserved to the present day the tradition of its German descent and of the original name "Zweig." Having also found the joint last will and testament of Jean Zweig and Susanna Marchand made on the 21st of October, 1780, as well as the papers of the Labranche-Marchand succession, settled in 1785, the writer is able to give the correct list of the children of Jean Zweig and Susanna Marchand. As to the later descendants thanks are due to Chas. Theodore Soniat Dufossat, Esq., one of the many distinguished descendants of the Labranche family, whose mother, Marie Amenaide Labranche, was a granddaughter of Michael Labranche, the eldest son of Jean Zweig.

CHILDREN OF JEAN ZWEIG (LABRANCHE) AND SUSANNA MARCHAND.

1. Michel Labranche, who married Louise Fortier and left seven children. He died in 1787. Female descendants married into the Le Blanc, Porthier, Sarpy, Fortier, Soniat Dufossat, Augustin, Beugnot, Wogan, Dupre, Villere, Larendon, de la Barre, Godberry, Second, Brown, Lesseps, Oxnard, Sanchez, Chastant, and Martin families.

2. Alexander Labranche, one of the signers of the constitution of 1812, married a Miss Piseros and left five children. His son, Octave, became Speaker of the Louisiana House of Representatives. His son Alcee was also Speaker of the House of Representatives, Member of Congress, and United States Ambassador to the Republic of Texas. Female descendants of Alexander Labranche married into the Tricou, de la Barre, Soniat, Dufossat, Chalard, Dupuy, Meteye, Dauphine, Michel, Sarpy, Heidel ( Haydel), Fortier (o grandson of Edmund Fortier and F elicit e Labranche, is Professor Alcee Fortier of the Tulane University of Louisiana), Ganucheau, Aime, Piseros, Villere, Augustin, Schreiber, Toby, Frederic, Brou, Le Blanc, Grevenberg, Berault, Lal- land, Blois, Wood, Jumonville, Bouligny, Albert Baldwin, and Dr. Smythe families.

3. Jean Labranche died single.

4. Susanna Labranche married Joseph Wiltz in 1759, and died in 1777. She had two children; Joseph Louis Laurent Wiltz, with whom the New Orleans branch of the Wiltz family became extinct in the male line in 1815 ; and Hortense Wiltz, who married, in 1789, Juan Leonardo Arnould. Their son, Julien Arnould, married (1829) Manuela Amasilie Daunoy; their daughter, Jeanne Aimee Arnould, married Francois Trepagnier, and their second daughter, Louise Mathilde, married Jean de Dieu Garcia.

5. Genevieve Labranche married Alexander Baure.

6. Marie Louise Labranche married Frangois Trepagnier.

                                           ADDITIONAL GERMAN NAMES OF THE PERIOD NOT IN THE CENSUS.

There were: NIKOLAUS, CHRISTIAN and CONRAD KUGEL, three brothers, whose parents died in L'Orient ;

Lou1s LEONHARD, who married, in 1728, the daughter of Stephan Kistenmacher ;

PAUL ANTON MUELLER, of Halle, who married, in 1728, Franchise Bourdon;

JOHANN KRETZEN, whose wife was Elise Kerner ;

BERN HARD RAUCH, who died in New Orleans, in 1728, aged fifty years;

LORENZ RAUCH ;

JOHANN KECK, of Bamberg, who died in New Orleans in 1725, aged sixty years;

JOHANN WECHERS, of Strassburg, whose parents died in Cannes Brulees, and who was the husband of Magdalena Ackermann;

RUDOLPH MARTIN, whose wife was Marg. Besel, of Neu- stadt ;

JACOB STAHL;

JOHANN GEORG STAEHLE ;

JOSEPH RICKER ;

LORENZ GOETZ, of Dicklingen, diocese of Spite;

JOHANN STRICKER;

NIKOLAUS HUBERT ;

ANDREAS TET, of Differdangen, Luxembourg, diocese of Treve (Trier). This family still exists on Bayou Lafourche.

JOSEPH RITTER;

TINKER, of Frankfurt;

DANIEL RAFFLAND, of Berne, Switzerland;

NIKOLAUS WEISS, of Wolkringen, Berne;

JOHANNES ETTLER, of Colmar, Alsace ;

JOHANN ADAM SCHMIDT;

JOHANN ADAM KINDELER, or Kindler, a Swiss;

ANTON RINGEISEN;

ADAM TRISCHL, the progenitor of all the "Triche" families ;

ANTON LESCH, the progenitor of all the "Leche" and Laiche" families and probably a younger brother of Thomas Lesch. DANIEL

MIETSCH, of Wuerzburg ;

GEORG ANTON MEMMINGER;

BALTHASAR CLAUSEN;

JACOB ECKEL, of Weilburg;

JOHANN NERLE;

GEORG RAPP ;

JOHANN BAPT. MANZ, the progenitor of the "Montz" families.

All these names the author found in church records. Moreover, the census of 1724 does not contain the names of those still on Law's second plantation below English Turn. These names alone prove that the German population of Louisiana during that period was much larger than the census of 1724 would make it appear.

Source:The Settlement of the German Coast of Louisiana and the Creoles of German Descent (1909)

                                                                                                                         

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