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The Eighteenth Century Draws to a Close

The Eighteenth Century Draws to a Close

"At the end of the eighteenth century, census records show that the majority of the residents of the German Coast settlement were German. Some were bilingual (French and German), and few traces of their German, Swiss, or Alsatian culture remained. Sawmills were everywhere, operating day and night. Cypress and other woods were being transported out of the swamps in exorbitant amounts. Traveling through channels and tributaries to the river, the wood was rafted and floated to..." Read More


The 1723 chapel found in the second old village, Le deuxieme ancient village, about one-half mile from the Mississippi River, which neighbored the first village. (Sketch by Janis Blair)

The Catholic Church

"In 1723, La Paroisse de St. Jean des Allemands Catholic Church was established at Karlstein. The earlier German Coast settlers worshiped in New Orleans in an old abandoned warehouse that served as the predecessor to St. Louis Cathedral (Church Records of 1720–30). The 1724 census reveals that a chapel had been constructed in a village on the German Coast, which, it appears, could have been..." Read More


Matern Family. Pictured are Jacque and Henrietta Scelson Matherne (Matern), descendants of
Johann Adam Matern, one of the original families of the German Coast. Jacque and Henrietta
raised seven sons on Tete de Morte, a privately owned ridge on the lower bank of Des Allemands
about four miles from Lake Salvador, which has almost fallen to erosion. (Photo courtesy of Mrs. Donald (Annabel Matherne) Hogan, Sr.)

Life On The Bayou – 1850s

"There were several settlements along the German Coast that are no longer in existence. A small community was settled in the late 1850s on the east side of Lake Salvador in St. Charles Parish. Early Choctaw Indians and settlers named the village Bois Choctaw which means “Oaks of the Choctaw.” Trapping, hunting, and fishing provided food and livelihoods for all of the families. Some had permanent homes ashore while others lived..." Read More


Didier Sidney Zeringue (nephew of Charles Troxler, who was the great, great-grandson of Johann Georg Troxler) and his wife, Amelie Troxclair. 
(Photo courtesy of descendent Anne Petit Hymel)

Descendants of Early Settlers

"Almost one hundred years had passed since those first German settlers survived horrific conditions at homeland ports waiting to sail and at sea, many dying enroute by starvation, illness, or later succumbing to the difficult climate after arrival in Louisiana. The new engagés (indentured agricultural workers) were considered habitants (concessionaires) of the company. They arrived debilitated and penniless, received small land grants, and were forced to sell their products to the..." Read More


First Families - The Pioneers

First Families - The Pioneers

"In addition to those first families of St. Charles Parish, those pioneers listed in the 1724 census, other German families not listed in the 1724 census were in the area and eventually came to the German Coast including: Jacob Huber (Oubre), Thomas Lesch (Laiche), Mueller, Johann Weber, Pierre Brou, Michael Zehringer (Zeringue), Schaf (Chauffe), Hans Reinhard Scheckschneider, Jean Zweig, ..." Read More