According to history our name orginated about 600 A.D. in a little dukedom in Europe called Brabant. Brabant bordered on France, Belgium, and Switzerland. It has been trampled over and divided up in many wars since then including World Wars 1 and 11. A small part of it still exists in the Netherlands.
In the years before 1000 A.D. many kings of France was produced through the line of Landis. They included Charles May, Charlamayne and the start of the line of kings called Louis. Before the year 1000 A.D. however , our direct line of Landis branched off and emigrated to Switzerland. There they embraced the Mennonite religion. This was a terrible thing to do since most of the known world was Roman Catholic and was just coming out of the dark ages
In the 1500's the Landis's had become well known for their devotion to their religion and families and were being persecuted.
Hans Landis was a very devote Mennonite Evangelist. He felt the need to teach others. The Council at Zurich, in order to stop him ordered his arrest. The council was protestant also, but felt no qualms about sending him to the Catholics at Zolothurn. After some time he was freed but continued to preach and was arrested again. This time he was condemned to die. In Sept. 1614 he was beheaded because of his beliefs.
The Mennonites did not believe in having an earthly head of the church as the Pope called himself. They believed that Christ was the only head. They believed that one should only be baptized when they understood what they were doing. They taught that those that were baptized as babies should be re-baptized. This brought them the derogatory name Anabaptist. (Ana meaning 2) They would not take up arms against their fellow man. They believed devoutly in caring for family, not just immediate family but any relative who needed it.
Hans Landis was the last person known to history to be beheaded in the Zurich area but that did not stop the persecution of the Mennonites. They were imprisoned, beaten, their belongings taken from them and finally they emigrated again. This time to the cities of Manhiem, Alsace and Loraine on the Rhine River of Germany This also called the Palatinate country.
By the late 1600's and early 1700's they had heard of William Penn's offer of land and religious freedom in Penn. and had started slowly to take up the offer. The ports of departure for most of them were
the cities of Amsterdam and Rotterdam in the Netherlands. They had to travel down the Rhine River to get
to these cities, many hundred miles. Most of the German- speaking people landed at Philadelphia. The Landis's came here, to Bucks and Lancaster Co. They bought land, made homes and practiced their faith,
One of them being a Mennonite preacher and his son becoming one.
Land was readily available to everyone, so after a few years they began to move south into Va. and what is now W.V. then into NC Christian Landis took this route. He is our immigrant ancestor. You can read about him on his page
By the mid 1700's, frontiersmen had begun to explore down the Ohio River into wilderness land claimed by Va. and other frontiersmen were going another route, over the mountains from NC. A man named Walker guided the first group and found the opening in the mountians which he called the Cumberland Gap. This trail brought many from the Yadkin River Valley of NC., to what later became Ky.
Before the Revolutionary War, there had been a few very small settlements established, Among them one we all recognize, Boonesboro. Most of these were not towns, they were called stations and consisted of 10 or 15 cabins with walls to protect them from the Indians. Other places were Harroudsburg, Danville, Rudells Station, Harlans Station to name a few.
We are all familiar with Daniel Boone but did you know that he lived in the same area in NC. as did our ancestors? He could very well have guided some of our people over the mountian. We've all
heard of Davey Crockett and maybe other folk heros, but there is one that I had never heard of till I got well into this family history. His name was Hans Micheal Goodnight He was a frontiersman, pioneer
and Indian fighter. His second wife was Mary Landis, daughter of Christian Landis. He was also the ancestor of Harry S. Truman. Mr. Truman was asked by a reporter once, "Who was the person he most admired" Mr. Truman answered, "Hans Micheal Goodnight.."
Hans Micheal Goodnight and his wife Mary were moving to Mercer Co. Ky when he was killed. She stayed there untill her death.The bro. of Mary and John Landis, Henry Landis and his wife Cati Goodnight,moved their family to Warren Co. Ky. John Landis and his family moved to Washington Co.
It appears that the minor children of Christian Landis may have been with John. All these counties were close together. There may have been other siblings that emigrated about that time. I have not researched them. There are Landis's in records of that time that are not accounted for, so it makes sense that they were all related These two bros. and sis. stopped were they were but their children still had the wonder lust.
They spread out to Ohio, IN, ILL, Mo and Tx. Some of them chose the Tennessee River to follow bringing them to Tn. Al. Ark and more of them to Tx. this way.
From here I think the notes on individuals will cover most everything but the name. The name in German was spelled Landis or Landiss. When the immigrants came here from Germany, they were probably educated but could not speak English. There were no schools. If there was any teaching done, it was done by the mother. These people were busy trying to make a living and stay alive. As the generations passed they became more illiterate. Most of the records I have found were signed with an X even into the 1st set of children of Granville. They did not know that clerks were spelling their name wrong, so by 1860 the name was changed here in Law. Co. Al. to Landers. I donít believe it was deliberate. In a court record of the estate of Ilar Landis his name was spelled three different ways.
I am sure that there probably are mistakes in this work. If you find any let me know. I hope that this history will challenge some young person to take up the search for the remaining siblings of John,
Levi, and Robert.
I think I shall never see the end of my family tree, Jean