European Origins of the German Coast of Louisiana 2024
Germany, France, and Switzerland
from $4995 per person + air
Optional Single Supplement $1000
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This is Volume 1
The settlement of the German Coast of Louisiana in 1721. Early pioneering families of Colonial Louisiana were recruited from Alsace, Lorraine, the Rheinland, and Switzerland by John Law to settle in what is today St. Charles Parish, Louisiana. The community of settlers came from various regions of Europe. As the modern country of Germany did not unify until the 1870s, these ancestors were from different countries -- kingdoms, duchies, and principalities, but were united under the common Germanic languages, each with their own local dialects.
In Louisiana, the German language was soon replaced completely within 3 generations by the predominant French language of the time. By the 1800s these “Germans” had mostly Gallicized names. As their community grew and prospered their settlements soon extended upward to the Second German Coast and the establishment of a second church parish dedicated to St. John the Baptist. The populations would soon encompass both the west and east banks of the river. As the 19th century progressed 4th and 5th generation German coast families spread even further up the river into St. James, Ascension, Iberville, and even Pointe Coupée Parishes. Others traversed the swamplands and established along Bayous in what is today Lafourche & Terrebonne Parishes. And others even further west into the Attakapas region along the Bayous Teche and Vermilion and along the prairies of the Opelousas Post in the southwestern part of Louisiana. The majority of people in South Louisiana today can trace their ancestry to a German Coast settler, if not many of the original settlers. As genealogy became popular in the mid-20th Century up until it’s present boom in the 21st century, many scholars have traced the European origins of the settlers of “la côte des Allemands” and with this research, in mind, we intend to go back to these locals to enjoy the offerings of Europe and to visit the villages from which our ancestors hail.
The itinerary is designed with travelers in mind. Every attempt was made to minimize the change in hotels so we can enjoy more time visiting places than packing up each night. We have incorporated many of the main families in the itinerary below, but if you’re coming and we overlooked a family you descend from let us know and we can make every attempt to incorporate it into the itinerary. Likewise, if no one in the final group is descended from a particular family we’ll be eliminating those stops to maximize time elsewhere.
Cynthia Breaux Seitz owner of Heritages Tours by Seitz Travel is a genealogy buff and experienced tour director that has led many international “genealogy” oriented tours has partnered with Jay Schexnaydre, President of the German-Acadian Coast Historical & Genealogical Society to plan this trip.
The package includes:
A unique program focusing on the history and culture of our European ancestors in Germany, France, and Switzerland. This tour is custom curated for those whose ancestors settled the German Coast of Louisiana.
Bus transport to all destinations during your tour.
A visit to the area of Europe where our ancestors inhabited before they settled on Louisiana's German coast.
Local Tour Guides, your Louisiana tour director Cynthia Seitz.
The price of the tour includes 14 nights hotel stay, breakfast daily and 12 meals (lunch or dinner), entry into all excursions excluding those you take part in during your free time, tips, motorcoach, and local tour guide.
You will stay at three and four-star hotels. (3 nights in Zurich, Switzerland, 3 nights in Colmar, France, 3 nights in Strasbourg, France, 1 night in Saarlouis, Germany, 1 night in Metz, France, and 2 nights in Mainz, Germany)
You will have some leisure time on your own to stroll the historic towns, have a coffee or a nice meal.
Most mornings we will leave the hotel around 8:00 AM so you are not too rushed.
Local English speaking tour guides along the way.
Don't miss out on this German Coast Heritage Tour!
Email Cynthia today!
German Coast Families: European Origins and Settlement in Colonial Louisiana
European Origins of the German Coast of Louisiana
PROPOSED ITINERARY 2024
IMPORTANT: This is a preliminary itinerary and may be modified at any time before or during the tour due to unforeseen events or to improve or better accommodate the group.
0 - Saturday, May 25, 2024
Your heritage tour begins with an overnight flight to Zurich, Switzerland
Day 1 - Sunday, May 26,2024
Arrival & Willkommen
Today you arrive in Zurich, Switzerland. Upon arrival at the airport, tour directors, Cynthia Breaux Seitz and Roy Seitz. You will be met at the airport and then you will be transported to the town of Zurich, Switzerland where we will spend the next few nights.
This afternoon you will enjoy a leisurely tour of the city of Zurich and nearby German Coast ancestral villages
Welcome dinner at the hotel.
[ALTORFER – Kloten] [TOUPS – Aesch] [ HIRTZEL, KELLER - Pfäfficon] [TOUPS, ROME, STEIGER, SCHMAHL, SCHNEWLI, - Affoltern-am-Albis] [LOUP – Zürich]
(Overnight in Zürich, Switzerland)
Day 2 – Monday, May 27, 2024
A Day in Lovely Luzern
Today, we will visit the lovely city of Luzern in the morning. After lunch we will make our way back to Zürich and stop at ancestral villages of Affoltern-am-Albis, Rickenbach and Hausen-am-Albis along the way. (Overnight in Zürich, Switzerland) [HUBER/OUBRE - Hausen-am-Albis] [SCHNEWLI, ROME, WEIDLER, STEIGER– Rickenbach] [TOUPS, KLEINER, STEIGER - Affoltern-am-Albis][TROXLER, FALLER – Rothenburg][TOUPS, HEDINGER, – Birmensdorf and Aesch]
Day 3 - Tuesday, May 28, 2024
Bern: A Capital City!
Today you will visit the Old City of Bern on a walking tour, a UNESCO heritage site. You will enjoy a lovely lunch before heading back to Zürich. On the return trip, we will visit ancestral towns of Bätterkinden & Solothurn along the way. (Overnight in Zürich, Switzerland)
[STEINER - Bätterkinden] [BURAS & HIRTZEL - Solothurn] [BURAS & HIRTZEL - Lüsslinger - EDELMAYER/LEMAIRE, HIRTZE, STEINER]
Day4 - Wednesday, May 29, 2024
Today you will depart Zürich on your way to Colmar. On our way to Colmar we will stop at Huningue, France [ZERINGUE] in the morning. In the afternoon we will visit the famous Alsatian wine route. (Overnight in Colmar)
Day 5 - Thursday, May 30, 2024
This morning you will enjoy a walking tour of Colmar you
will have the afternoon off to explore this magnificent city on your own.
[EDLER/ETTLER, STRIMPHEL, HAUSSER, KLIEN - Colmar]
(Overnight in Colmar France)
Day 6 - Friday, May 31, 2024
Trip to the Franche-Comté
Today you will visit the ancestral villages of Belfort, Thiancourt, and Mulhouse.. In the evening you will discover the village of Schwobsheim - home of the Waguespacks [KATTERLÉ, SERRE, JUDICE, LEMAIRE – Belfort] [JUDICE – Thiancourt] [EDELMAYER, LEMAIRE – Mulhouse][WAGUESPACK – Schwobsheim][ORY - Lutzelhouse]
(Overnight in Colmar, France)
Day 7 - Saturday, June 1, 2024
Splendors of Strasbourg
A day in Strasbourg - Capital of Alsace!! Enjoy a guided tour of Strasbourg and a visit to the Astronomical clock. Today you will take a riverboat ride on the Ill River and a visit to the Palais de Rohan. (Overnight in Strasbourg, France)
[BISCHOFF/PICHOFF, KLEINPETER, KNOBLOCH, TRICHE - Strasbourg]
Day 8 - Sunday, June 2, 2024
Venture into the Black Forest
Visit Mummelsee is a 17-meter-deep lake at the western mountains of the Hornisgrinde in the Northern Black Forest of Germany. It is very popular with tourists traveling along the Schwarzwaldhochstraße. According to legends, the lake is inhabited by a Nix and the King of the Mummelsee. At the Mummelsee you will have some famous Black Forest cake and maybe spot a Nix or even the king. On this day you will visit the beautiful Black Forest and the Black Forest Open Air Museum.
(Overnight in Strasbourg, France)
[PRESTENBACH - Hügelsheim]
Day 9 - Monday, June 3, 2024
This morning you will tour the villages of your ancestors in Lauterbourg, Schœnenbourg, Keffenach, Lembach, Trulben, Benheim, Fort-Louis before Lunch. In the afternoon you will enjoy a walking tour of charming town of Haguenau and free time on your own to explore the city. (Overnight in Strasbourg)
[TREGRE, DRAHER, HAUSER - Lauterbourg][CHAUFFE/SCHOFF/SCHAAF, FOLTZENLOGEL - Schœnenbourg & Keffenach] [ELFER - Lembach] [LAICHE/LECHE - Trulben][ABWENDEN, ACKERMANN, GOTZ - Beinheim] [CRETZMANN/GRETSCHMANN, SCHMIDT, APFTL, REIBEL - Fort-Louis] [SCHAAF, FOLTZENLOGEL - Memmelshoffen] [DRISCH/TRICHE, WITTENMANN - Haguenau]
Day 10 - Tuesday, June 4, 2024
Overnight in Saarlouis
Visit ancestral hometowns and Saarlouis and Vaubin Fortress
Today you will journey from Strasbourg, France and will visit many ancestral villages along the way. You will stop at Lichtenberg, Ingwiller, Menchoffen, Schillersdorf, Bouxwiller, Kirrwiller, Hochfelden, and Wingersheim.
[TROXLER, TROSCLAIR, TROXCLAIR - Lichtenberg] [JACOB - Ingwiller & Menchoffen] [BERENHARDT, HESSINE & MEHL - Schillersdorf] [MEHL & SCHERLE - Bouxwiller][JACOB & SCHERLE - Kirrwiller] [CLAUS & STEIN - Hochfelden] [DEBES & FREDERIC - Wingersheim]
In the afternoon you will enjoy a walking tour of Saarlouis (Overnight in Saarlouis)
Day 11, - Wednesday, June 5, 2024
Today you will depart Saarlouis for Metz, France. Along the way you will make a stop at Ramstein, Germany for a museum visit. We will also stop in Thionville, France, home of the Tassin family. Upon arriving in Metz, we will enjoy a guided tour of Metz, the Capital of France’s Grand-Est Region. Visit to the Metz Cathedral known as La Lanterne du Bon-Dieu (The Lord’s Lantern) because it has the most stained glass of any cathedral in the world and is one of Europe’s tallest. (Overnight in Metz, France)
[TASSIN - Thionville] [FOLSE - Ramstein][TASSIN - Thionville]
Day 12 - Thursday, June 6, 2024
Rheinland-Pfalz (Palatinate) & Baden-Württemberg Villages
Take a ride back in time to the small towns and villages of Eppingen, Stebbach, Kirchardt, Reihen, and Rothenberg your ancestral hometowns in the Rheinland-Palatinate and Baden-Württemberg You will also be visiting the city of Heidelberg Germany with a walking tour before heading back to the hotel. (Overnight in Mainz, Germany)
[TOUPS, BARTHE, EDINGER - Eppingen] [MARKS, HAUSER, EDINGER - Sinsheim][EDELMAYER, HIRTZEL, LAUTERMILCH, SCHNEIDER, STEINER - Reihen][ALTOFER, GEISSER, MULLER, ROMMEL / ROME, SCHNEIDER, STEIGER, WEIDLER, ZIRCKEL - Kirchardt] [WESELE, WICHE - Stebbach] [FREDERIC – Rothenberg]
Day 13 - Friday, June 7, 2024
Day Trip to Neunkirchen
Your day will begin in the morning with a nice breakfast at the hotel. After breakfast we will visit the villages of Walldürn too & Gissigheim. We will have lunch and then visit the village of Neunkirchen home of the HAYDEL family and have lunch at a family-owned restaurant and biergarten which has been in business since 1688. Farewell Dinner with the mayor of Neunkirchen and his wife (.Overnight in Mainz, Germany)
[HAYDEL – Neunkirchen]
Day 14 - Saturday, June 8, 2024
Go home Trans-Atlantic Flight Home
Return Home - Flights depart from Frankfurt, Germany back to the USA