The Montz Family of Louisiana

The first members of our Montz family to arrive in Louisiana were Joseph Jr, Bridget Eve, and Antoine Montz. They were the children of Joseph Montz of Alsace and his spouse, Anna Maria Laub. In 1750, Anna Maria, widow Montz, remarried to Christophe Achtziger and the family arrived in colonial Louisiana about 1759. They settled along the east bank of the Mississippi River about 27 miles above New Orleans. The area was known as Côte des Allemands, the German Coast, because of the many families of Germanic heritage who were living there since the 1720s.

The three Montz siblings lived with their stepfather on his farm where the two boys helped work the land with their half-brother and stepfather. One of their neighbors was the Christian Jacob family who had come to Louisiana from Alsace in 1753. By 1761, Bridget Eve Montz had married Hanz Michael Jacob, a son of Christian Jacob, and in January of 1761, Joseph Montz Jr wed Hanz Michael's sister, Catherine Jacob. Joseph was also given title to the Achtziger farm at this time as his stepfather was at an advanced age and probably near death. Soon after his marriage, Joseph Montz Jr. died leaving no heirs. His widow remarried in 1763 to Michel Cambre, a native of Germany, who then took title to the Achtziger farm with the concurrence of the family.

Antoine, then, became the progenitor of the Montz families of the Louisiana German Coast. He and Sivile Bischof were married on 24 November 1772. Their's was the first marriage to be recorded in the registers of St John the Baptist Catholic Church in Edgard. Sivile was also a native of Alsace, her family having arrived in Louisiana during the 1750s. The newly weds lived on a farm comprised of two adjourning tracts of land which Antoine had purchased in 1770 and 1772 in the future community of Laplace in St. John the Baptist Parish. Their downriver neighbors at that time were his sister, Bridget Eve, and her husband, Hanz Michael Jacob.

Here, on this Laplace farm, were the roots of the Montz family of the German Coast. Eight children were born to Antoine and Sivile and five of them, four sons and a daughter, survived to have families of their own, with a total of twenty-eight children between them. Antoine, unfortunately, did not live to see any of his grandchildren, as he died on 23 December 1788 at an age of almost 40 years, leaving the task of raising the children to his widow. In 1809, the farm was purchased from the family by three of the heirs, Christophe, Antoine and Andre Montz. Sivile remained on the farm until her death on 5 February 1810. She and Antoine are buried in St. John the Baptist Cemetery in Edgard, LA.

In 1770, Antoine, as a young man, had served in the colonial Spanish Militia. Later, after the Louisiana Purchase, during the time of the War of 1812, his sons also did their part in the defense of the area. When the British invasion of Louisiana was eminent at the end of 1814, the Montz brothers, along with many other men of the area, served in the Militia forces under General Andrew Jackson defending New Orleans, and Louisiana, from the invading British forces under General Pakenham. After the defeat of the British on 8 January 1815, the brothers were soon discharged and returned to their homes and families.

Descendants of that young 10-year old boy, Antoine Montz, who with his family left a homeland in Alsace to come to the wilderness of Louisiana over 200 years ago, have become widespread. While the major concentration of our Montz family members remains in the South Louisiana parishes of St John the Baptist, St Charles, St James, St Bernard, Jefferson and Orleans many Montz descendants now claim Texas, Mississippi and other states as home. With family members living in Alaska to the North and Australia to the South, our family is truely a global family!

Prepared by Dwayne A Montz
Revised 31 August 2000