My Adventure Through Our Family Tree Branches

For over 50 years my Dad researched both his and my Mom's family tree branches - and loved every minute of it! Trying to fulfill the promise I made him the last month of his life, I have spent the past four years continuing where he left off - finding out about all the many family members who came before us, from the many branches of our family trees. The histories will still be published as my Dad always wanted. But what he wanted most was to share the stories of the people who came before us - the places they lived, the cultures of the times, the families they created, and the circumstances - good and bad - that would one day lead to us, their descendants. These are the stories of my Mom's families. . . .

Surnames in this Blog


Thursday, September 5, 2013

THURSDAY'S TREASURE - Our Family Name, Barbara

In my grandfather's Bible, my mother once found this small article from a long-forgotten newspaper (copyright 1920) that he had torn out and saved. It is her name - Barbara. A name that has been passed down one branch of my family tree - from one continent to another, across states, for over 200 years. The name was chosen each time by new parents for their brand new baby daughter, to honor a mother or grandmother or sister whom they loved. Here is how my mother, and my older sister, came to have their name.

In our family I have been able to trace the name Barbara back to 18th century France. I found the name first given to my 6th great-grandmother Barbe Breyer Bour, born June 20, 1750, in Seingbouse, Moselle, France. [Barbe is the French personal name for Barbara.] Her parents, my 7th great-grandparents, were Pierre Breyer (1714-1764) and Anna Marie Schwartz (1713-1761). In February 1770, Barbe married Jean Melchoir Bour, who was born January 1745, in Tenteling, Moselle, France. They had at least two children, including Christine Bour, my 5th great-grandmother.

Christine Bour was born January 1763, in Seingbouse. In 1801 she married Pierre Lang, my 5th great-grandfather. Pierre was born March 1760, also in Seingbouse, France. Together they had at least five children. Their oldest child was Marguerite Lang, my 4th great-grandmother. She was born in April 1802; fourth child and younger sister, Barbe Lang, was born March 1806.

In May 1821, Marguerite married Joseph Frise (1796-1863) in their hometown. They had seven sons and two daughters. Their oldest child was Barbara Frisse, born in May 1822. Barbara is my 3rd great-grandmother. Joseph, Marguerite and their children immigrated to the United States. They settled in St. Anne's Village (now North Vernon), Jennings County, Indiana.

Barbara Frisse married Jean Michael Baptiste Brunette (1818-1863) one month after arriving in America, in August 1846. They had ten children, 7 girls and 3 boys. The name is passed down again at the birth of their fourth child Barbara Brunett. Born in April 1852, Barbara married Philip Huber (1847-1901), an immigrant from Germany, in April 1871, in Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky. Barbara and Philip are my 3rd great-grandparents.

Barbara and Philip had seven children while living in Bowling Green, including (my great-great-grandmother) oldest daughter Mary Bertha "Mayme" Huber, born in August 1873, and her younger sister Philomena Barbara "Minnie" Huber, born September 1876. Minnie never married. Mayme married John Martin O'Donnell (1865-1937) in April 1904, after both had moved to Birmingham, Alabama.

Mayme and Johnny had three boys, including oldest son John Huber O'Donnell (my grandfather), born May 1906, and one daughter, Barbara Lena O'Donnell, born November 1909.
Barbara married Howard Alonzo Howard, (1908-1946), and together they had three children including daughter Barbara Beverly, born 1939.

Huber married my grandmother Susan Elizabeth Flemming, (1909-1999), and named their third child (my mother) Barbara Ann. My mother and father named their oldest daughter Barbara Ann, born 1958, almost exactly 208 years after Barbe Breyer was born. So I can trace our family name Barbara for over 200 years, from 1750 to 1958; from Seingbouse, France, to Birmingham, Alabama, for nine generations. Unfortunately, much like my own name which I traced back to Ireland, no Barbara's from this line have been born since 1958. Such a wonderful name....

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