Hi Mike -- MERRY CHRISTMAS,
Yes, we have emailed each other, years ago. I still have you in my email address book. The following is what I have written with my database on this family legend. Following that I have the family outline - starting with John and covering his children. My husband's family is related to Barbara Plaiss, who married Frederick Rue. This will have you up to date with what I have.
Thansk for writing. -- Alice
Tales of adventures that immigrants had prior to coming to America can always be quite colorful and exciting. When blended with famous personalities and great historical events just magnify the family saga. This was the case in the family legend about John Plaifs (later spelled Plaiss) who emigrated from Germany in the 1820s to settle in Indiana. The village of Stetten am Heuchelberg within the Province of Wurtemburg in Germany was where John was born around 1793. By 1807, the Emperor Napoleon proclaimed himself the de facto ruler of Germany along with many other regions of Europe. Young males across the area were recruited for Napoleonís Army. The story was told that Johnís older brothers did not want to be pushed into military service so they left Germany. Instead John selected to stay and became a drummer boy in service to Napoleon by 1808. He remained with the Army for a number of years, even after Napoleonís exile and return to power in 1815. The tale continues that John was present at the Battle of Waterloo in June 1815 and Napoleonís eventual defeat by the allied forces. Whether John was captured and held as a prisoner for a number of years is unknown because he didnít come to America until the 1820s.
This particular story is extremely difficult to research and verify, being that very few records would contain all the thousands of names of individuals serving under Napoleon. This was one legend verbally handed down with no written documentation. Historical facts about Napoleon conquering regions of Europe are known as well as his recruitment of soldiers from the area to serve in his Army. From different descendants the tale remained the same with little or no variation. There was also no physical piece of equipment or artifact, like possibly the drum sticks John may have used and then handed down over the generations. Definitive proof on this legend is improbable but never impossible one day.
Sources: First marriage book of Floyd Co., IN, 1819-1837, Index, compiled by DAR, 1964. (orig. in city/county bldg., New Albany, IN 47150). Plaess, John---Anna Barbara Flock p.49
License 11/2/1827 .
Internet web site (research) on Napoleon and his battles.
Descendants of John Plaiss-Plaifs
1 John PLAISS-PLAIFS b: September 30, 1793 in Wurtemburg, Germany d: May 13, 1857 in New Albany, Indiana Burial: 1857 Fairview Cemetery, New Albany, Indiana c: August 1850 Lived in New Albany, IN with wife and children. Had $2,500 value of land. Was a farmer. Age 56 yrs old. Fact: John's family from a little town called Stetten am Heuchelberg in Wurtemberg, Germany. Fact-1: John's brothers left Germany around 1808 as not to serve in Napoleon's Army. But John did join as a drummer boy and served in Napoleon's' Army. Property: May 01, 1829 Federal Land patent for Floyd County, Indiana-80 acres (doc. #1513) Property-1: September 09, 1835 Federal land patent for Floyd County, Indiana-additional 80 acres (doc. #5005) p: September 09, 1835 Federal land patent for Floyd County, Indiana-additional 80 acres (doc. #5005)
.. +Anna Barbara FLOCH b: January 08, 1807 in Penn. m: August 02, 1827 in Floyd Co., Indiana d: November 04, 1887 in New Albany, Floyd Co., Indiana Burial: November 1887 Fairview Cemetery, New Albany, Indiana Children: Anna and John had 18 children. Three of the children died as infants. Census-1: July 1860 Lived in New Albany with a couple of her children. A widow. Lives next door to her daughter Barbara P. Rue and to her son, Lawrence Plaiss and his family. Census-2: 1880 Lived in New Albany, Floyd Co., IN with son, Henry Plaiss, a farmer. He is age 28 and his wfie is Catherine, age 24 yrs. Anna is a widow, age 75 yrs. Fact: 1850 Given name spelled "Barbary" - age 42 yrs old. Listed birth state as Penn. Residence: 1870 Lived with her son, Harry.
...... 2 Barbara Magdalene PLAISS b: October 15, 1841 in New Albany, Indiana d: July 16, 1929 in Chrisney, Spencer Co., Indiana Cause of death: apoplexy (paralysis due to stroke) Burial: July 18, 1929 Chrisney Cemetery c: May 1880 Age 40, a housewife Census-1: June 1900 Stated she was born Nov. 1841 (age 58 yrs old). Also that she had 18 children and 18 were alive in 1900. -- NOTE: could be census taker's mistake and put 18 down instead of 15 children living. Also said her mother was born in Indiana. Census-2: April 1910 In Grass Township, IN. with husband, two sons and three grandchildren. Barbara was age 70 yrs old. Listed she had 15 children but one had passed away by 1910. Census-3: January 1920 Lived with son, Harry, in town of Grass in Spencer Co., IN. She was 79 yrs old, a widow. Stated she was born in Indiana and parents from Germany. Fact: Given name like her mother's - spelled in 1850 "Barbary" Fact-1: Had fifteen children (nine sons & six daughters) Residence: 1920 #91 Locust St., Grass, IN.
.......... +Frederick RUE b: August 28, 1838 in New Albany, Indiana m: February 01, 1860 in New Albany, Floyd Co., Indiana d: November 17, 1916 in Spencer Co., Indiana Burial: 1916 Chrisney Cemetery, Indiana c: May 1880 Clay Township or Hammond, Spencer Co., Indiana. Age 41, listed birth as Indiana. Census-0: April 1900 Lived in Grass, Spencer Co., IN. Age 61 yrs old. Had two sons (Harry & Sam) and one daughter (Florence) at home. Also two grandchildren - Peter & John Forthmann. Addison and wife lived nearby. Stated he was born in Indiana and parents in France. Census-1: April 1910 Lived in Grass Township, Spencer Co., IN. Age 71, had been married 50 years to Barbara. Sons Harry and Frank live at home. Also three grandchildren: Johnny Forttman - age 16 yrs old, Nellie Forttman - age 14, & Maria (?) Rue - age 13 yrs old. Fact: Given name also spelled "Fredric" Fact-1: 1910 Frederick Rue - in 1910 stated his parents were born in Germany and spoke German. Occupation: Bet. 1860 - 1910 Farmer Fact 1: Bet. 1880 - 1900 Stated on the census, he was born in Indiana and his father was born in France. But on his children's census notes, it's stated the children's father was born in France. Later research shows he was born in Indiana.
...... 2 Lorenzo-Lawrence PLAISS b: 1829 in New Albany, Indiana d: November 03, 1916 in New Albany, Floyd County, Indiana c: June 1880 Lived in New Albany, Floyd Co., IN with wife, Sarah and three children. He is a farmer. Fact: May 17, 1888 May have remarried to Mary L. Booker in Clark Co., IN
.......... +SARAH b: 1827 in Indiana m: Bef. 1855 in Indiana d: Aft. 1880 c: 1880 Runs a market stand. Listed as age 58 yrs.
...... 2 Philip PLAISS b: 1831 in New Albany, Indiana d: April 20, 1916 in New Albany, Floyd County, Indiana
.......... +HETTIE b: Abt. 1832 in Indiana
...... 2 Catherine PLAISS b: 1833 in New Albany, Indiana d: November 16, 1921 in New Albany, Indiana
.......... +Henry W. DIECKMANN b: 1825 in Hannover, Germany m: January 01, 1851 in New Albany, Floyd Co., Indiana d: July 22, 1905 in New Albany, Indiana Fact: Another surname spelling: Dieckman Occupation: 1860 a tailor
...... 2 Emmanual Robert Monterville PLAISS b: 1834 in New Albany, Indiana c: August 1850 Given name listed "Monterville" - age 16 yrs old.
.......... +Harriet DEAN m: July 01, 1858 in Floyd County, Indiana
...... 2 Margaret PLAISS b: 1837 in New Albany, Indiana
.......... +William LOYD m: April 05, 1855 in Floyd County, Indiana
...... 2 Solomon PLAISS b: 1838 in New Albany, Indiana
.......... +Susan MAGUNIGAL m: May 28, 1857 in Floyd County, Indiana
...... 2 John H. PLAISS b: 1843 in New Albany, Indiana d: November 09, 1888 in Indiana
...... 2 Justiena Ustenssa PLAISS b: 1844 in New Albany, Indiana
...... 2 Matthew PLAISS b: 1846 in New Albany, Indiana
...... 2 Rosina (Rosa) PLAISS b: March 1848 in New Albany, Indiana d: Aft. 1900 in New Albany, Indiana c: 1880 Married to Washington Holmes, living in New Albany, Indiana Census-1: 1900 Living in New Albany. Had three children living in household.
.......... +Hugh F. L. Luckey SMITH b: Unknown m: October 05, 1865 in Floyd County, Indiana d: Abt. 1871 in New Albany, Indiana Fact: "Luckey" - used as first name.
...... *2nd Husband of Rosina (Rosa) PLAISS:
.......... +Washington HOLMES b: April 1846 in Indiana m: October 03, 1871 in New Albany, Floyd Co., Indiana d: Aft. 1880 in New Albany, Indiana c: 1880 Lived in New Albany, Floyd Co., Indiana. Occupation: Blacksmith
...... 2 Henry James PLAISS b: May 1850 in New Albany, Indiana c: August 1850 Age 3 mos. Given name listed: "James H." Census-2: 1870 Lived with mother Census-3: 1880 Lived with wife and his mother in New Albany, IN. He was a farmer.
.......... +CATHERINE b: Abt. 1856 m: Bef. 1880 in Indiana
...... 2 Elizabeth PLAISS b: 1851 in New Albany, Indiana
...... 2 Mary Ann PLAISS b: 1835 in New Albany, Indiana c: August 1850 Lived with parents in New Albany. Age 15 yrs old.
.......... +William MERKER
...... 2 Franklin PLAISS b: January 15, 1854 in New Albany, Floyd County, Indiana c: July 1860 Lived in New Albany with his mother (a widow) and a couple other siblings. Age 5 yrs old. Family liveds next door to the Rue (Rough) family and to his brother Lawrence Plaiss & his family.
.......... +Clara STINSON
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