JOHANN LORENZ BLAU was born in Frankenhausen on April 17, 1806 at 6:00 a.m. He married JOHANNE CHRISTIANE SOPHIE SIEBERT in Frankenhausen on May 13, 1832 when he was 26 and she was 22. The parish records show his occupation first as "Lein und Baumwollenweber" (linen and cotton weaver). He then was able to pass the strict requirements of guild to earn the title "Meister" (master of his craft). Later his occupation changes to "Kauf und Handelsmann" (tradesman and merchant), showing a progression in his status from weaver to master weaver and to a merchant, possibly with his brother Johann August Gunther Blau. While the parish records do not mention the type of merchant, it is likely that he became a merchant of textiles. In the tax records of Frankenhausen for about 1870 and for 1876 he is shown as a merchant of cut goods (schnitthandler). He was shown in that tax record as a class 2 taxpayer. There were three classes of taxpayers. The class determined the amount of tax to be paid and the strength of his vote. The class 2 taxpayers represented 13.9% of the population and elected 33% of the House of Representatives. Toward the end of his life he may have joined with his youngest daughter's husband in building pianos and organs. It is family tradition that they built the organ for the church in Frankenhausen. Johanne Christiane Sophie Siebert Blau died on May 31, 1866 at 3:00 a.m. at age 56, of stomach disease. Their children:


1. Henriette Frederike Eleonore Blau, born September 7, 1832 at 10:00 p.m. At age 24 she married Friedrich August Theodor Kneisel on January 26, 1856. He was an assistant in the office of the Frankenhausen's board of revenue, and was the second son of the second marriage of the mayor of Frankenhausen, Christian Jakob Kneisel. Their children were:

a) A daughter, no other information.

b) J. Selma Christiane Kneisel, born March 6, 1859; died October 27, 1863 at 1:00 p.m. at age 4.

c) Friederike Ida Ernestine Kneisel, born May 18, 1860; died October 28, 1863 at 10:00 p.m. at age 3.

d) Otto Friedrich Max Kneisel, born August 23, 1864 at 12:30 p.m.; died February 23, 1865 at 11:00 a.m. at age 6 months.

Henriette Frederike Eleonore Blau Kneisel died on January 14, 1865 at 6:30 a.m. at age 32.


2. Fredrich August Emil Blau, born July 10, 1834 at 11:00 a.m.; died December 3, 1834 at 8:00 p.m., age 4 months.


3. Johann Carl August Blau, born November 1, 1835 at 1:00 p.m. 

Carl went to the United States with his younger brother, Wilhelm Eduard Louis Blau, in 1854. The passenger list of the ship Gutenburg shows him as a weaver. It is not known how long he stayed in the United States. He probably went to Milwaukee with his brother. He did not go to Columbus , Georgia with his brother and probably returned to Germany before 1860. Leonora Blau Norris, in her recollections, said Carl went to London. He may have lived in London after leaving the United States and prior to returning to Frankenhausen. The church records of Frankenhausen do not show a marriage or birth of children to Carl. 

 References to him are found in the tax records of Frankenhausen in about 1870 which shows him in the age group of between 16 and 60, a saddlemaker (sattler), and a class 1 taxpayer. The class 1 taxpayers represented 3.8% of the population and elected 33% of the House of Representatives. In the 1876 tax record he is listed on the page between his father and his brother-in-law Reinhold Strobel. The church records of Frankenhausen show his wife as Christiane Emilie Luise Laura Blau (Born about 1840; died January 31, 1890 at 5:45 a.m.; the cemetery record shows her as age 50). The church records do not show the date of marriage, nor information concerning children, indicating the marriage was someplace other than Frankenhausen. Her death record shows Carl's occupation as "Schnittwarenhandler (Cut goods merchant). Carl is shown a "Privatier" in the 1810 Adressbüchern (City Directory) probably meaning a retired person. The church records show he died on November 5, 1914 and was a widower.

4. WILHELM EDUARD LOUIS BLAU, born October 16, 1837 at 8:00 p.m.; died May 6, 1924 at age 86. Immigrated to the United States in 1854 and changed his name to EDWARD WILLIAM BLAU. See above.

5. Christian Ernst Theodor Blau, born September 13, 1839 at 6:00 a.m. He is believed to have emmigrated to London. The following were known as "our cousins in London" and were probably his children, though one or more of them may be children of Carl.:

a) C(hristian/ Carl ?). E(rnst ?). L(ouis ?). Blau

b) Linna Blau

c) Gladys Blau

d) Alice Blau


6. Johanne Caroline Henriette Blau, born March 28, 1841 at 11:00 p.m.; died April 28, 1841 at 3:00 p.m. at age 1 month.


7. Albinus Franz Gustav Blau, born July 28, 1842 at 6:00 a.m. 

Gustav immigrated to the United States on the ship Teutonia, arriving in New York on August 28, 1866. The records show him as a printer. He joined his older brother in the Columbus-Girard area. On September 25, 1867 he purchased 29 acres in Muscogee County (Deed Book N, p 247). He, along with his brother, was a musician involved in the cultural life of Columbus. He was involved with the Gesang Verein, a German choral group, and was associate musical director of Edward Mollenhauer's Monster Orchestra in Columbus in 1869-1870 (Showboats To Softshoes: 

Musical Development of Columbus, p 58). He Anglicized his name to "Francis" as early as 1869, or as "F.G."  His marriage license in Muscogee County on October 77, 1869 shows Francis G. Blau married Henrietta A. Owens, the daughter of Martha E. and Richard A. Owens of Columbus. He sold his 29 acres on January 5, 1870 (Deed Book O, p 645). On May 4, 1870 Henrietta Owens Blau and Francis G. Blau sold one third of lot 327 on Early St. (now 6th St. at the corner of Broad St.). This apparently was the residence of her parents which she was selling as her portion of their estate. He joined with his brother in piano tuning and in operating a brewery in Girard for the German community in Columbus in 1871 . After Germany defeated France and began the united county. He left Columbus to return to Frankenhausen for a short visit:

"OFF FOR 'SHARMANY' - Mr. F.G. Blau, leader of the 'Gesangverein' and 'Turhverein,' who has achieved considerable notoriety in our city as a fancy painter and public-spirited musician, will leave for Europe today on a visit to 'Faderland'. It is his purpose to return in August. We wish the young gentleman a pleasant trip and safe return." (Columbus Enquirer, April 13, 1871)

He apparently returned on schedule:

MORE ABOUT THE CONCERT -About 250 persons were present at the Bent Club's Concert Thursday night...Messrs. J. W. Smith, F.G. Blau, B.H. Hudson and W. C. Coart, added much to the effect of the several choruses..." (Columbus Enquirer, September 30, 1871 )

In the 1872 Columbus City Directory, Francis "Blew" is listed as a weaver in Girard. By 1877 he and his wife moved to Austin, Texas where he was a draftsman and cartographer for the Texas Land Office:

"LOCAL AND OTHER MATTERS: ...The map of the capitol lands, now in the Governor's office, is a beautiful one and reflects credit upon the general land office. It was compiled and drawn by F.G. Blau and A.B. Langermann." (Austin Statesman, December 12, 1880).

He also was a lithographer and music teacher. He is found in the City Directory from 1877 through 1910. In 1891-1892, his niece, Leonora Blau, lived with them. He was known to the Columbus Blau family as "Uncle Gus". He died in Austin on May 9, 1910 at age 67. (Austin Daily Statesman May 10, 1910). His death certificate in Texas is incorrectly filed under "Blaw". Henrietta Owens Blau died on August 4, 1915 at age 72 (Austin American, August 5, 1915). They are buried in Oakwood Cemetery in Austin, section 3, lot 874, NE 1/4. His tombstone shows his full German name and place of birth. The Austin Public Library's Austin History Center has some of his original drawings. They had no children.

8. Franz Emil Blau, born September 13, 1844 at noon; died February 9, 1850 at 4:30 p.m. at age 5.

9. Minna Ida Emilie Blau, born June 8, 1846 at 6:00 p.m.; died July 9, 1849 at 9:00 a.m. at age 3.

10. Friedrich Hermann Wilhelm Blau, born May 8, 1848 at 10:00 a.m.; died July 8, 1853 at 4:00 p.m. at age 5.

11. Dorothee Linna Minna Bertha Blau, born July 5, 1850 at 4:00 p.m. 

On May 15, 1872 at age 24, she married Ernst Wilhelm Reinhold Eduard Strobel, age 26, who was an organ builder (Orgelbauer). He was born April 6, 1846, son of organ builder Julius Alexander Strobel [born October 7, 1814 in Unbertriebel to Pfarrer (pastor) Georg Heinrich Strobel]. Reinhold Strobel built the organ in the Lutheran Church in Frankenhausen. He also built pianos.  Their children:

a) Ernst Rudolpf Carl Franz Strobel, born February 27, 1873. The 1928 city directory (Adreßbuch) showed Franz Strobel as "Privatier".

a) Ernst Rudolpf Carl Franz Strobel, born February 27, 1873. The 1928 city directory (Adreßbuch) showed Franz Strobel as "Privatier".

b) Emil Ernst Strobel, born April 27 , 1874; died May 6, 1874 at 9:00 p.m. age 16 days.

c) Paul Otto Johann Strobel, born June 27, 1875; married Anna Elizabeth Lina Lehmann (born December 31, 1878; died January 9, 1963) on May 10, 1902; the 1928 city directory (Adreßbuch) of Frankenhausen showed him as an organ builder; died March 31, 1943. Their children:

1) May Helene Strobel, born March 20, 1905 in London; baptized in Frankenhausen on March 26, 1911; married name was Birkicht; died April 12, 1986. One child is known but died at birth:

a) Franz Paul Birkicht, born and died April 14, 1967.

2) Reinhold Heinz Strobel, born December 13, 1912; married Anna Bertha Margarethe Kitzig (born August 31, 1919; died May 28, 1982); he was an organ builder; died 1945. Their child:

a) Doris Ursel Strobel, born June 1, 1943; died February 17, 1944.

d) Clara Bertha Hedwig Strobel, born August 16, 1877.

e) Ehrig Otto Strobel, born August 17, 1879.

f) Elsa Strobel, born August 10, 1881.

g) Frida Strobel, born July 18, 1883.

h) Reinhold Strobel, born December 6, 1885. In 1922 the organ and piano builders were known as "Reinhold Strobel GmbH" (Company).

It appears that when her father retired he may have assisted Reinhold Strobel in making pianos and organs. In 1883, when her older brother, Eduard, married his second wife, Emma, a family built piano was sent to them in Girard as a wedding gift. Reinhold Stobel's father died on August 24, 1884 while working on rebuilding the organ of the Unterkirche in Frankenhausen. The work was completed by Reinhold and his brother Adolph Strobel on October 17, 1886. It appears that after her father's death, the Strobels may have briefly moved to Leipzig where Reinhold may have worked for Wilhelm Schimmel, as about 1900 they sent a Schimmel piano from Leipzig to Charles Blau in Columbus. His organ building firm was "Strobel und Söhne". Bertha Blau Strobel died in Frankenhausen on November 20, 1902. Reinhold Strobel died on November 27, 1916 in Frankenhausen.

Johann Lorenz Blau died on May 11, 1890 at age 84. Five family built pianos were sent to his son Eduard in Girard as his share of the inheritance.