The Montz Family of Louisiana
The Montz family of the Louisiana German Coast originates with Antoine Montz, the youngest of seven known children of Joseph Mantz and Anna Maria Laub. Antoine was born in Landersheim, Bas-Rhin, France, on 23 Jan 1749. His baptism record lists him as Antonius Mantz. His father Joseph died within a year of Antoine's birth and his mother remarried at Landersheim on 9 Jun 1750 to Christophe Achtziger (listed as Joannes Chrystophorus Achtziger in the marriage record), a native of the Diocese of Bamberg, Germany. Maria had two known children with Achtziger, a son Christophe Achtziger born in Landersheim on 30 Jan 1751 and baptized the next day as Sebastianus Chrystophorus Achtziger and a daughter, Anna Maria Achtziger, born and baptized at Landersheim on 30 May 1753.
The 1750s saw many Alsatian families arriving in Louisiana and settling along the Mississippi River above New Orleans at an area was known as Côte des Allemands, the German Coast, because of the many families of Germanic heritage who had been living in the area since the 1720s. Among these Alsatian settlers were Antoine Montz and two of his older siblings, Joseph and Eve Bridget. They arrived in Lousiana about 1759 as part of the family of Christophe Achtziger, their step-father. Joseph Montz had been born and baptized in Landersheim on 19 Jul 1739 as Francisus Josephus Mantz, but, at present no baptism record for Eve Bridget Montz has been located. The three Montz siblings lived with their stepfather on his farm where the two boys helped work the land with their half-brother and stepfather. One of their neighbors was the Christian Jacob family who had come to Louisiana from Alsace in 1753. By 1761, Bridget Eve Montz had married Hanz Michael Jacob, a son of Christian Jacob, and in January of 1761, Joseph Montz wed Hanz Michael's sister, Catherine Jacob. At that time, Joseph was also given title to the Achtziger farm as his stepfather was at an advanced age and probably near death. Soon after his marriage, Joseph Montz died leaving no heirs and his widow remarried in 1763 to Michel Cambre, a native of Germany, who then took title to the Achtziger farm with the concurrence of the family.
Antoine, then, became the progenitor of the Montz families of the Louisiana German Coast. He and Sivile Bischof were married on 24 Nov 1772. Their's was the first marriage to be recorded in the registers of St John the Baptist Catholic Church in Edgard. Sivile was also a native of Alsace, her family having arrived in Louisiana during the 1750s. The newlyweds lived on a farm comprised of two adjourning tracts of land which Antoine had purchased in 1770 and 1772 in the future community of Laplace in St. John the Baptist Parish. Their downriver neighbors at that time were his sister, Bridget Eve, and her husband, Hanz Michael Jacob. Eight children were born to Antoine and Sivile and five of them, four sons and a daughter, survived to have families of their own, with a total of twenty-eight children between them. Unfortunately Antoine did not live to see any of his grandchildren as he died on 23 December 1788 at an age of almost 40 years. In 1809, the farm was purchased from his widow and children by three of the heirs, Christophe, Antoine and Andre Montz. Sivile remained on the farm until her death on 5 Feb 1810. She and Antoine are buried in St. John the Baptist Cemetery in Edgard, LA.
In 1770, Antoine, as a young man, had served in the colonial Spanish Militia of Louisiana. Later, after the Louisiana Purchase during the time of the War of 1812, his sons also did their part in the defense of the area. When the British invasion of Louisiana was eminent at the end of 1814, the Montz brothers, along with many other men of the area, served in the Louisiana Militia forces under General Andrew Jackson defending New Orleans and Louisiana from the invading British forces under General Pakenham. After the defeat of the British on 8 January 1815, the brothers were soon discharged and returned to their homes and families.
Descendants of that young 10-year old boy, Antoine Montz, who with his family left their home in Alsace to settle in the wilderness of Louisiana over 200 years ago, have become widespread. While the major concentration of our Montz family members remains in the South Louisiana parishes of St John the Baptist, St Charles, St James, St Bernard, Jefferson and Orleans, many Montz descendants now claim Texas, Mississippi and other states as home. With family members living as far away as Alaska to the North and Australia to the South, we are truely a global family!
Prepared by Dwayne A Montz
Revised 3 November 2012
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