The Klein Family

Until the early 1700s, areas in present-day northeastern Serbia, southern Hungary and northwestern Romania were known as the Banat, meaning frontier province. The Batschka, just west of the Banat had already become part of Austria in 1699. The dissatisfied peasants who labored hard for little freedom under the feudal system of Central Europe accepted the offers from the Austrians to settle these areas. The settlers came from the provinces of Baden, Württemberg, Alsace, Lorraine, Rheinland, Westfalen, Bayern and Schwaben, as well as from present day Italy and Spain.

The offer included travel stipends from Wien (Vienna) to the settlement town, free land to build houses, fields and loans for seeds and tools. Freedom from serfdom, freedom to marry without permission of the ruler, and tax exemptions, but especially the free land, enticed these early settlers. They were collectively called Donauschwaben (Danube Swabians).

The first Swabian settlement, between 1722-1726, was under Karl VI, and brought 15,000 Germans to the area. The second settlement under Maria Theresia between 1763-1771 brought 45,000 German settlers. The third Swabian settlement, 1784 to 1787 under Joseph II, brought another 60,000 Germans to the Banat.  Most of the ancestors of Michael Peter Klein were among the second and third wave of settlers.

Georg Bühler/Pierle/Bierle, a shepherd who was born in Lonsee near Geislingen in Baden-Württemberg, quite close to Ulm, registered on 10 May 1786. His community of Lonsee donated 12 gulden for his travel. The various spellings of the names were because the first two pastors in Tscherwenka were Hungarians who could not understand the dialects of the settlers.

Many of the ancestors of Michael Peter Klein who emigrated to Donauschwaben in the late 1700s came from Moselle and Meurthe-et-Moselle, departments of the former province of Lorraine in France.

Emigrant ancestors of Michael Klein who undertook the long journey include Jean Pierre Augustin, who emigrated from Virming to Gottlob with his wife, Catharine Heydinger, and family, Jean Paul Thiebauld, who emigrated from Hommarting to Bogarosch in 1770 with his wife, Margueritte Veronique Conselin and family, Andreas Hubert Marx, who emigrated from Buhl-Lorraine to Bogarosch in 1769, with his wife, Maria Elisabeth Gendret from Niderviller, and family, Jean Claude Christophe, who emigrated from Parroy to Sankt Hubert with his wife, Françoise Gerardot, and family, Jean Bonn, who emigrated from Petit-Ebersviller to Lenauheim, who emigrated with his wife, Marie Catharina Martin, and family, and Dominique Hess, who emigrated from Sarraltroff to Gross Jetscha, with his wife, Marie Christine Bonard, and family.

Dominique Klein and his wife, Catharine Haman, migrated to the Banat area of Austro-Hungary from Basse-Vigneulles (Niederfillen) in Moselle, France with their two young sons. Their earliest known ancestors were Christian Klein and Catharina Schneider, daughter of Pierre Schneider and Odile Moye, who married on 4 May 1700 in Guinglange. The Gottlob area, where Dominique Klein and Anna Maria Augustin lived, had been settled primarily by immigrants from Saarland and Lorraine.

Peter Klein, the grandson of Jean Pierre Augustin, married Elisabeth Tibold/Diebold/Dippold) who was born in Lazarfeld, which had been founded in 1809 by German colonists. Descendants moved to nearby Rudolfsgnad, which was founded in 1866. The Tibolds originated in Hommarting, Haut-Rhin, Moselle, Lorraine. The earliest Thiebauld immigrant, Johann Blasius Thiebauld, married Maria Elisabeth Marx, daughter of Andreas Hubert Marx and Maria Élisabeth Gendret in Bogarosch. They lived in Charleville, one of a cluster of French-speaking villages including Sankt Hubert and Seultour, founded by settlers from Lorraine. Immigrants also arrived from Moravia in the now Czech Republic. Michael Klein married Catharina Valla/Vallya/Wola, who was the daughter of Josef Valla/Vallya/Wola, from Velká Bíteš in Moravia.

In time a primogeniture inheritance system led to a scarcity of land. This, along with heavy taxation and compulsory military service, led to emigration to America.

In this database you can explore the ancestors of Michael Peter Klein, and many of their descendants.

Please contact me if you have any corrections or additions, or if you have found anything on this website useful for your own genealogy. I'd love to hear from you!

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Ancestor of Michael Peter Klein
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