Good Afternoon List Members,
My name is Carol Wagner Mills. I have been researching my family tree for over two years now, having started in a small town in Avoyelles Parish, Louisiana called Mansura. My Grandmother Coberly's Mom was a SIESS.
I have discovered quite a bit of information about the three SIESS brothers, who emigrated >from Alsace around 1852 to the USA. They first appeared in Woodville, Miss., with my gg-grandfather Leopold ( b. 1833- d. Feb. 4, 1885 at Alexandria, Rapides Parish, La), applying for a marriage license there to wed one Celestine ROZ, but did not, as far as I know. A year later he converted >from Judaism to Catholicism to marry a Cajun widow - Josette CHATELAIN. His brother David ( b. June 3, 1836- d. April 7, 1925 at Mansura, Avoyelles Parish, La.) settled in Mansura, married Clara COCHRANE and raised a family there. David remained Jewish.
The other, and oldest brother Simon ( b. November 22, 1830 - d. 1924, New Orleans, Orleans Parish, La.) , also remained Jewish, and eventually married Fanny CERF and moved his family to New Orleans, La.
I have found only three European towns mentioned during the course of my investigation. David's obituary and tombstone indicates his place of birth as Lembach, Canton Wissembourg, Bas-Rhin,, France. Leopold's birthplace was M??lheim, Bavaria. ( There is a crack in the stone - but room for two letters.) I suspect that the town may actually be Molsheim, just south-west of Strasbourg.
SIESS is not a common name either in the USA or in France. Most of the references I have found to the surname SIESS, are for German or Austrian Catholic families.
Getting back to Leopold's tombstone, unearthed in September in the Jewish Cemetery in Pineville, La., the Hebrew inscription revealed that his name was "Yehudah ben Asher Halevi."
I have searched the 1808 "Prise de Noms Patronymiques" published by Pierre Katz and the "Cercle de Genealogie Juive", and the SIESS ( SUESS, or SUSS) name appears twice - once as "SUESS" in Tieffenbach, a "Barbara SUESS wife of Abraham WEILL and twice in Diemeringen as SUESEL, Baruch and his wife Dina. I have ordered more material, and will soon be getting an 1851 census >from the Bas-Rhin. In the meantime, I posted to "GerSig" several days ago and got some very valuable information: Rosanne Leeson quotes to me >from this 1851 census: "In the community of Lembach I spot the name of SUESS, not Siess (probably a simple spelling change to achieve the same sound in the U.S.). I see there, residing at #124 rue Bourg, A family of Solomon LEHMANN, with a wife, Minette THALSHEIMER, and 3 stepsons (sons of Minette): Simon SUESS, age 19; Leopold SUESS, age 18; David SUESS, age, 15. There was also a son of Minette by Solomon LEHMANN; Isaac LEHMANN, age 12.
When Leopold converted in 1856, he listed his parents as being MICHEL SIESS and MILNA DALSIN, both >from France, and both deceased. There are DALHEIMERS in Tieffenbach and the neighboring town of Struth in 1808. THALSHEIMER and DALHEIMER are not so far apart, and close enough to DALSIN to make a match. Furthermore, in the 1860 Avoyelles Parish Census
The SIESS brothers and their descendants married into the following Jewish families in Rapides, Avoyelles, and Orleans Parish, La. : KAFFI, FRIEND, GODCHAUX, WEIL, MAYER, LEVIN, LIEBREICH, LICHTEN, CERF, SILVERSTONE, SOLOMONSON, PORTNOY, FARKAS, CRAGER, MENDELSON, LOPEZ, KAHN and WEIS.David and Simon SIESS are living with Isaac LEHMAN, age 22, a "clerk" >from France. So he is their half-brother. So these are definitely my SIESS brothers >from Avoyelles.
Thanks in advance for any information anyone on the list could provide regarding any of these Louisiana/Mississippi families.
Carol Wagner Mills - Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - firstname.lastname@example.org