The origin of your last name

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Have you ever stopped to think about your last name or about the origin of your last name? What about where your ancestors came from?

After reading this article, you might have a little better understanding about your last name. On March 7, 1721, a vessel named the Portefaix brought 300 German colonists to settle in Biloxi, Miss. Under the command of Charles Frederick d’Arensbourg and after many hardships the Germans left Biloxi behind and settled in a small village called Lucy. The original name of Lucy was Karlstein.

In 1724, a census was taken, and the names of the German families were changed from German to French. This change took place because St. John the Baptist Parish had a mostly French population that spoke, read and wrote French. Therefore, the spelling of the last names

was changed to use the French spelling.

The family names that have been documented are as follows:

Troxler to Troxclair, Heidel to Haydel, Rommel to Rome, Treager

to Tregre, Wagensbock to Waguespack, Foltz to Folse, Huber to Oubre, Lesh to Laiche, Weber to Webre and Fabre, Zehringer to Zeringue, Wickner to Vicknair, Schof to Chauffe and Trischl to Triche.

If one of these names happens to be your last name, you are probably of German descent, and now you know how and even why your name was changed.

The towns located on Lake Pontchartrain were Ruddock, Wagram and Frenier, and these were mostly German settlements. The Louisiana Treasures Museum has hundreds of items from these towns on display. For more information or hours of operation, call Wayne Norwood at 225-294-8352.

Wayne Norwood is a lieutenant with the St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Department and owner and operator of the Louisiana Treasures Museum.