A Genealogy Blog

Category: Research

Die Indianer in Nord-Amerika by Francis Pierz

Father Pierz & The 4 Sorcerers

From magical bags to escape tricks, Native American sorcerers played a role in the daily lives of tribes in North America, a role that would come into direct conflict with Christian missionaries arriving with European settlers. One of these “black robes” was Fr. Francis Xavier Pierz, a Slovenian-born priest who arrived in the 1830s.

If your German ancestors moved to Minnesota during the mid-1800s, Fr. Pierz may have played a part. He wrote articles in German-language newspapers urging immigrants to settle in Minnesota, which he viewed as one of the best new territories in Die Vereinigten Staaten. He also wrote a book, Die Indianer in Nord-Amerika, to both describe the Native Americans and the land in Minnesota.

The French Occupation & Retreat Along the Höllental in 1796

In a previous article, I provided a selected translation from a book by Fr. Ferdinand Giessler about the French invasion of Baden in 1796. Now, we have another account of those events from the Zeitschrift der Gesellschaft für Beförderung der Geschichtes-, Altertums- und Volkskunde von Freiburg, or the Journal of the Society for the Promotion of the History, Antiquity and Folklore of Freiburg, published in 1925.

Battle of Kehl

Fr. Ferdinand Giessler Describes the 1796 Invasion of Baden

On June 24, 1796, French troops under General Moreau crossed the Rhine at Kehl as part of a three-pronged invasion of the Holy Roman Empire. This came on the heels of an alliance formed by several European powers with the aim of defeating the newly created French Republic. This war is known today as The War of the First Coalition, and it would be the first of several.

Following the first Battle of Kehl, part of Moreau’s army, the southern wing of a larger campaign along the Rhine began a march through “the Höllental,” which translates to Hell’s Valley.

I recently translated passages from Wilhelmiten Kloster Oberried, a history written in 1911 by Fr. Ferdinand Giessler, a priest in Riegel, Germany. The work covers this history of the Wilhelmine monks in Oberried, but the passages I’ve translated highlight the French Invasion, and the subsequent dissolution of monasteries during secularization.

Oldenburg Map

Research Update: Theodore Schroder & Mary Park

I’ve decided to start keeping weekly notes here on my progress in researching family history. Selfishly, forcing myself to let people know what’s going on will help me stay engaged in the research.

In addition, if people find this post using search, I may get some more hints that will keep me from getting stalled!

So without further ado, here’s what I’ve learned this week.

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