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WELCOME TO OUR
FIRESTONE GENEALOGY WEBSITE
The Firestone/Feuerstein Family in Alsace
This website is about the family of Johannes Feuerstein and his youngest son, Nicholas Firestone (born Johann Niclaus Feuerstein), of Berg and Thal Parish in Alsace, France. It's designed to showcase them and their immediate relatives in the years before Nicholas and his family left Alsace for Pennsylvania. Much of the information here will be new to most readers, at least to most American readers.
Some of the Firestone immigrants who came to America after Nicholas are related, so please make yourselves known. The Berg Church Records Abstract on the last page of this site has records of your ancestors in Berg and Thal. Firestone or not, give the site a good look over and be sure to leave a message in our guestbook before you leave.
Other Feuerstein families lived in Alsace in the 1600s and it's a matter of debate whether they are all distantly related or not. The ones in the near vicinity of Berg and Thal are very likely related and closely. On the other hand, a Feuerstein Y-DNA project shows that the tested Feuersteins have a large number of unrelated ancestors.
This website is a work in progress, so check back every now and then to see what's new.
A LITTLE BACKGROUND. According to Feuerstein family legend, the Alsatian Feuersteins descend from three brothers who emigrated from Austria in the 1400s. In the 1700s, many Alsatians made their way to America, most of them to Pennsylvania.
Nicholas (Nickel, Johann Niclaus) Feuerstein was the fifth known child of Johannes (Hans) Feuerstein of Thal. He was born about 1711 or 1712 (no later), but does not appear in any known records until he witnessed a baptism in the Berg and Thal Parish in 1727. On June 13, 1733 he married Catherina Nunnemacher. Ten children were born to this couple, nine before leaving France.
In 1752 the family left Thal and eventually boarded the ship Peggy in Rotterdam. On September 24, 1753, the Peggy arrived at the Port of Philadelphia. The next day Nicholas and his oldest son, also named Nicholas, took the oath of allegiance to King George II.
A Johann Feuerstein (not Johannes and not Nicholas) was the first known Feuerstein to settle in America, arriving in Pennsylvania in 1750. According to George Ely Russell, Johann "settled in Cocalico Township in Lancaster County, where he died testate in 1801, leaving widow Justina Maria and five children."
It has sometimes been surmised that Nicholas and Johann Feuerstein are related since they both came to Pennsylvania at about the same time. However, there were no Johann Feuersteins in Berg and Thal Parish at this time, and there were no Justina Maria Feuersteins there. There were two Johannes Feuersteins, but they never came to America. Also, Dr. Peter Feuerstein (1946-2013) traced Johann back to Germany rather than France. Dr. Feuerstein, who was a descendant of Johann, posted informative messages on Ancestry Message Boards: PETER FEUERSTEIN MESSAGES. He also built a website on Freepages: PETER FEUERSTEIN WEBSITE. We have nothing more about this Johann Feuerstein on this site.
-- Just a note concerning the descendants of industrialist Harvey Firestone. Well-known people value their privacy very highly because they don't always have enough of it. If you're tempted to get in touch with them, resist the temptation. They'll appreciate it.
-- Pretty much all history, including genealogy, has mistakes. To err is human. If you see anything on this website that contradicts primary sources, please leave a message in our guestbook and we'll look into it. Thanks.