|My particular branch of
Heisserers originated in Schirrhein and Shirhoffen, Bas Rhin (Alsace) France. In 1792, the
population of Schirrhoffen was 319 and Schirrhein's population was 640. The earliest
Heisserer that I have found is Jean Georges HEISSERER who was born about 1695. He was wed
to Catherine Witt (abt 1700 - May 17,1754).
The Heisserers stayed in Schirrhein / Schirrhoffen for the next 2 generations. Rudolphe
was born to Jean and Catherine in 1730 and died on Sept 28, 1782 in Schirrhein. He married
Marie Ann Keiser. Rudolphe and Marie's son, Johann Georges Heisserer, was born Oct
2, 1774 in Schirrhoffen. He married Marie Ann Walter on Jan 6, 1809 in Schirhoffen. Marie
was the daughter of Christian Walter and Marie Buchman. Johann died in on Mar 2, 1851.
HEISSERER was born to Johann and Marie on Apr 26, 1810 in Schirrhein,
Alsace, France. On May 20, 1833, he married Katharina Hahn in St. Nicolas Church.
Alsace is situated on the border of France and Germany and depending on the time period,
it was part of either country. In the years following Anton's marriage, it is said
that people from Alsace were instructed to speak German. Alsace became part of
Germany in 1871. On August 15, 1847, Anton and his wife, Katharine along with their
5 sons and 2 daughters left Alsace, and crossed France to the Port of LeHarve where they
boarded the ship JOHN CADMUS, which was at sea for 56 days. The Captain was pretty hard on
these people. Everyone that was able to work had to do something, even the children had to
do hard labor. They landed at New Orleans on October 20th, 1847. From New Orleans they
took a steamboat up the Mississippi river, passing Cape Girardeau on Nov. 1st and landed
in St. Louis. Antoine Heisserer and Andrew Pfefferkorn left their families near the ship
and went and rented a house. While they were out in the city, Joseph Georger happened to
see the women and children sitting on the levee taking care of the bedding and clothing.
Recognizing them by their dress as being from his old country home, he inquired where they
were from and sure enough they were from Alsace. He said that they were neighbors and
waited for the men to return. He informed them that they had gone 165 miles too far. They
went back to the captain of the same boat and aked to take them down the Father of Waters
and let them off at Commerce.contracted to have him take them back down the Mississippi
and let them off at Commerce, Missouri. They settled on a farm near New Hamburg, Missouri.
(On the check list of passengers on board the ship JOHN CADMUS, the names were listed as
Antoine Hauserer (37), his wife Anna Katharina (37) and their seven children: Regina (9),
Vincent (8), Jean (French for John-7), Simon (5), Barbara (4), Clemens (2), and Charles (3/4). Along with them came Anna Katharina's
sister, Josephine Hahn (23).)
Anton bought land near New Hamburg, Missouri. Clearing land, building a cabin and
homesteading on this acreage. There two more children were born to them: Rosina and
Nicholas. He also applied for citizenship in 1853.
Anton lost his eyesight when he was only 50 yrs old and had only been in the country 2
years. The native Missourians were very hostile to immigrants especially if they were
Catholics. Anton and many of the immigrants worked as lumberjacks during the winter
months, cutting timber on one of the islands in the Mississippi River near Cape Girardeau
to fuel the boats going up the river to St. Louis. One winter cholera broke out and most
of the men were seriously ill and many died. Antony's eyes were affected and when a doctor
from the mainland finally was sent for, he poured an acid directly into his eyes which
caused the fluid to drain out and Antony was blind from that day on. The men were
horrified and tried to get the doctor, but he had such a
fast horse that no one could catch up with him, which probably saved his life. With such a
large family and Anton being blind made it necessary for young Vincent to get out and work
and help support the family.
Anton died on Jan 28, 1885 at the age of 75 in New Hamburg, Missouri. He and his wife
Katharina are buried at St. Lawrence Catholic Cemetary, New Hamburg, Missouri.
Anton and his son John are memorialized on the American Immigrant Wall of Honor (Panel
189) at Ellis Island that was erected1992.
Born to Anton and Katherina Hahn were 9 children including Charles
Heisserer. Charles had 2 brothers Vincent and John.
One of the anecdotes that has been passed down was that John and his older brother,
Vincent were shanghaied into the Confederate Navy - taken off the street from where they
happened to be. They had no extra clothes with them , not even shoes on their feet. They
pretended to go along with this arrangement but decided in their own minds to get out of
this situation as quickly as they could. The boat stopped at a fueling station for a short
time. They asked the Captain for permission to get off the boat long enough to buy a pair
of shoes. The Captain told them to hurry up as they'd be leaving in a short while. The
brothers hid in a cave along the Mississippi River banks. They arranged with their
brother, Nick, to bring them food so they could hide out during the day and travel at
night. When Nick was returning from one of his daily trips to bring his brothers food, he
was stopped by two Confederate soldiers on horseback who asked if he had seen or heard of
two deserters suspected to be in the area. Nick said that he lied like a trooper and was
told by the soldiers that they would be very hard on anyone who harbored or helped them if
they got caught. Years later Nick told the story that he was so scared he almost
"messed his pants." He wondered what would have happened had they caught him
delivering the food. Both brothers intended to join the Union Army.
John did join the Union Army on July 28, 1861 at Cape Girardeau, Missouri, enlisting in
Company C of the 2nd Missouri Volunteer Infantry. His pension papers say that he was
"enrolled" at St. Louis, Missouri September 10, 1861 under the name of
"John Heiserer." Being new to this country, he couldn't read or write English
yet and that was how his signer spelled it. John was promoted from private to 8th corporal
on April 9, 1863. He was honorably discharged at St. Louis September 27, 1864. He was 5
feet-7 inches tall, fair complexioned, and had blue eyes and brown hair.
During the Battle at Pea Ridge, John Heisserer was in Company C of the Second Regiment of
the Missouri Volunteer Infantry under the command of Lt. Col. Bernard Laiboldt, in Col.
Frederick Schaefer's Brigade, and Brig. Gen. Alexander S. Asboth's 2nd Division. Of course
the whole Union Army was under the command of Brig. Gen. Samuel Curtis. In the 2nd.
Missouri Regiment at Pea Ridge there were 54 losses (8 killed, 34 wounded and 12 missing).
This regiment also fought at Murfreesboro, Stones River, and at Chickamauga.
After the war, John returned to farming in Kelso, Missouri. He also established the first
mail service between Cape Girardeau and New Madrid, Missouri, carrying the mail on
horseback. It took him a full day for delivery. He married Rosine Glauss on November 23,
1865 and had three children. They were Adam, Bernard and Louise (Mrs. Blattel). His first
wife died July 7, 1871. He remarried to Elizabeth Himmelspech on February 23, 1872 and had
eight more children. They were Celestine (Mrs. Bernard Baudendistel); Rosina (Mrs. Clemons
Westrich; Caroline (Mrs. Joseph Schaefer; Aloys, Otto, Soloman and the youngest-August.
His second wife Elizabeth died May 15, 1909. John died of "infirmities of age"
at 89 on January 9, 1928. John is buried with his second wife at St. Augustine Catholic
Church cemetery in Kelso, Missouri. His first wife, Rosine Glauss Heisserer is buried at
St. Lawrence Catholic Church cemetery in New Hamburg, Missouri. John was blind the last 2
years of his life, but other than that retained nearly perfect health until his death.
Charles, the boys borther went on to marry Elizabeth Bucher on Sept 12,1871. The following
year the 2 gave birth to Charles Louis Heisserer on July 4, 1872. Elizabeth passed 27 days
later due to complications of the birth. Charles was re-married a year later (Aug 19,
1873) to Mary Magdellina Ellinger in St. Lawrence Catholic Church. Charles and Mary had 8
children including Bertha Emma Heisserer who married Amos Louis Drury.
......Bertha Emma Heisserer