Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The man with eight daughters: Jean Plaideur

Posted by Craig on 1/06/2009
Born about 1640 in Eparcy, Picardie, France, my ancestor Jean Plaideur was a Lutheran living in a predominantly Catholic land. In the late 1650's, the French Huguenot decided to flee religious persecution to a place called Saarland, a war-stricken region that offered cheap land in hopes of repopulating. Best yet, this place did not discriminate against practicing Protestants.

Plaideur found a home here in a village called Bierbach, literally "Beer River." He found a wife, taking 16-year-old Anna Eva Schwarz's hand in marriage after an agreement with her father Wendel. The Schwarz family, also Protestant, was one of just two that survived the Thirty Years' War that devastated Bierbach and Wendel was determined to find a good mate for his daughter. He was impressed by Plaideur, who had a superb work ethic. The man not only farmed, he opened up a restaurant and bar in town less than a year after his arrival.

Plaideur brought new hope to a deserted village and he was one of the key figures in turning the Bierbach economy around. Several other families soon joined the community and Plaideur was elected mayor. He served the people well while fathering eight children with Anna Eva - all daughters.

I descend of Jean Plaideur in multiple ways - through his eldest daughter Johanna (married Wannemacher), his daughter Anna Catharina (married Koerner), and his daughter Anna Eva (married Moser). I actually descend of Anna Eva twice - through both her son Peter and her son Jacob.

Just one man, but one with a very interesting story, who helped repopulate and turn around a village that was devastated during the Thirty Years' War. Since I go back to him through four different lines of my ancestry, I've always found him fascinating. May he be remembered.

4 comments on "The man with eight daughters: Jean Plaideur"

Anonymous said...

Craig - like yourself I have been doing genealogy for many years. Your blog is interesting to me because one of my German/French lines (Conrad)comes from Bierbach and Peppenkum. We have Jean Plaideur as a common ancestor as well as other names like Wannemacher and Koerner. I would be interested in your sources for this information. I have primarily used the Einwohner von Bierbach by Hans Cappel and parish records. Diane

Craig on February 24, 2009 at 4:42 PM said...

Hi Diane,

Some of my info there, as you probably noticed is from Einwohner von Bierbach by Hans Cappel. He had some notes on Jean Plaideur. The rest comes from primarily history books and piecing things together.

The 8 daughter reference came from a few researchers of this family in Germany. Apparently the name is also spelled PLETT and in similar ways in early records, and based on dates, they were determined to be daughters of Jean.

Unknown on September 5, 2016 at 3:00 PM said...

Hi Craig,

i was born in Bierbach as a descendant from the Moser family on behalf of my paternal grandmother. The family still owns land in Bierbach which goes back to our common ancestors.
Two of my great grandfather´s Johann Moser brothers inmigrated before the 1. WW with their wifes and children to Erie, PA. My grandmother used to tell, how after the 2. WW food parcels arrived from our relatives in Erie, which helped the family to get through the difficult times. Unfortunately the contact was lost and i would very much like to take contact with my distant cousins if there is also an interest on their behalf.

best regards from Bierbach

Andreas Gölzer

Craig on September 5, 2016 at 10:13 PM said...

Andreas, I loved reading your comment. Thank you. It's nice to hear of this connection and that Mosers lived in the same place for so many years. I was lucky enough to go to Bierbach a few summers ago and loved my time there. Sorry to hear that story about the tough times and losing contact, and yet it was so interesting. Many Bierbachers ended up in Buffalo NY, Rochester Ny, and the Midwest United States and the descendants here are numerous.


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