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  • GEORGES VETSCH, born 1658, died 21 Oct 1712 in Niederlauterbach
  • JEAN-MICHEL VETSCH, born about 1682, died 17 Apr 1732 in Niederlauterbach
  • JEAN-THEOBALD VETSCH, born 28 Jul 1712, died 17 Dec 1796 in Niederlauterbach
  • FRANCOIS-GEORGES VETSCH, born 1746, died Jul 1805 in Niederlauterbach
  • JEAN-MICHEL FETSCH, born 05 Oct 1784 in Niederlauterbach, died in Selz
  • KARL FETSCH, 1826 -- ?, born in Selz, Odessa district
  • MICHAEL FETSCH, 1857 - abt. 1935, born in Selz, Odessa district
  • BRIGETTA FETSCH, 1888 - 1966, born in Selz, Odessa district
  • REMIGIUS WEISS, 1919 - 1988, born Fox Valley homestead

GEORGES VETSCH. Georges Vetsch, was 54 years old when he died on 21 Oct 1712 in Niederlauterbach, Bas-Rhin, Alsace. He was a civil judge in this small town in the extreme north-east corner of today's France, north of Strasbourg. Georges Vetsch was married to Marguerite Von der Stein, daughter of Michel Von der Stein and Anne-Catherine Heilmann. Marguerite died 10 Feb 1712 in Niederlauterbach at the age of 49. Court records (20 Nov 1712) of the disposition of their property revealed six children.


  • Eva, 33, married to Wendel Anstett
  • Barbe, 30, married to Laurent Heintz
  • Michel, 28 (age doesn't correspond exactly with other records)
  • Anne-Marguerite, 26, married to Hans-Jakob Zimmermann
  • Wendel, 24
  • Martin, 8

JEAN-MICHEL VETSCH. Only his death record refers to him as Jean-Michel, and his name is spelled as "Fetsch". Other records refer to him simply as Michel Vetsch. His death record says he was about 50 years old when he died on 17 April 1732. He had suffered from two diseases listed as dropsy and phthisis". Michel Vetsch was married to Magdalena Gutlin. They had four children.


  • Anne-Marie, who married Franz Engelhardt in Niederlauterbach
  • Jean-Theobald
  • Marie-Anne, who married Gabriel Eberle in Niederlauterbach
  • Jean-Adam, a shoemaker, who married Eva Karch in Niederlauterbach

After Michel died in 1732, Magdalena re-married to Jean Burckart. Magdalena died in Niederlauterbach on 23 Aug 1757.

JEAN-THEOBALD VETSCH. Jean-Theobald Vetsch was born in Niederlauterbach on 28 Jul 1712. When he is listed as a beneficiary in the 1740 will of his father's childless uncle (Hans Wendel Von der Stein), his name is given as Hans-Theobald Vetsch. Jean-Theobald lived a long life, dying in his son's home on 17 Dec 1796 at the age of 84 years. On his death record, he is referred to as Johannes Theobald, but legal documents concerning his estate again refer to him as Hans-Theobald Vetsch. These documents, dated 12 Jan 1797, reveal that Jean- or Hans-Theobald was married twice. His first wife was Eva Reisinger, who died in 1745, after giving birth to three daughters.


  • Anne-Marie, deceased in 1777, never married.
  • Marie-Jacobea, married to Joseph Leininger.
  • Marie-Barbe, deceased in 1748 at the age of 6 years.
  • His second wife was Eve-Marguerite Lummert, with whom he had three more children

  • Franz-Georg
  • Marguerite, who left the country 30 years ago.
  • Jean-Adam, a soldier of whom the family has had no news for 9 years.
  • Marguerite Lummert died in their son's home in Niederlauterbach on 18 Mar 1796 at the age of 70 years. Both Marguerite and Jean-Theobald had lived long lives.

FRANCOIS-GEORGES VETSCH. Francois-Georges Vetsch was a farmer ("cultivateur") in Niederlauterbach born about 1746. On the birth record in 1784 of his son, Jean-Michel, Francois-Georges is referred to as a day labourer. Francois-Georges died in Niederlauterbach in July 1805. The disposition of his property in 1812 shows that he was married three times. His first wife was Anne-Marie Flick, born about 1750 in Niederlauterbach, the daughter of Michel Flick and Catherine Heinrich. The will lists two children:


  • Jean-Michel
  • Barbe, who married Michel Metzger.
  • Anne Marie died 12 Nov 1788, shortly after the birth of a third child, daughter Marguerite.

    The second wife was Marguerite Huber of Neeweiler, another town nearby. This union produced one son - Georges, who was a tailor.

  • Georges

    The third wife was Benedicta Oberkirch, and they had five children:

  • Marguerite
  • Laurent
  • Joseph
  • Catherine
  • Jean

This document from the Archives Departementales du Bas-Rhin refers to the heir, Jean-Michel Vetsch, as "charpentier etabli en grime", meaning that he was a carpenter living in Russia.

MICHAEL FETSCH. Michael Fetsch left behind a long history in Alsace and emigrated into Russia in 1808. Jean-Michel Fetsch was born on 05 Oct 1784 in Niederlauterbach, and was baptized the day after. His godparents were George-Adam Heydel and Barbara Baumann. This record spells his name with "F", but his marriage record spells it again with a "V". His marriage record also gives his birth as 06 Oct 1784 and refers to him as Francois-Michel Vetsch. The marriage record clearly identifies his parents (both deceased at the time) as Francois-Georges Vetsch and Anne-Marie Flick. His signature at the bottom appears to read as Franz Michael Vetsch. Perhaps in later life, Michael adopted his father's name - Francois - to differentiate from his half-brother Jean. Any records recovered thus far from Michael's life in Russia refer to him as Michael Fetsch, sometimes Vetsch.

Michael's first wife was Margueritha Sennhauser of Neeweiler, Lauterbourg, Bas-Rhin. They married in Neeweiler on 19 Jan 1807. (See marriage record.) Margueritha was born 23 Jan 1789, the daughter of Georges Sennhauser and Catherine Elizabeth Kah. They had one son, Francois-Antoine, born Oct 1807 in Neeweiler. He must have died young because he does not appear in any further records.

From archived records retrieved from Saratov, it appears Michael Fetsch fathered fourteen children with four different wives. Michael Fetsch was a carpenter by trade, and became the first mayor of the new village of Selz, Odessa district. He is listed in the 1852 Village Census for Selz, in Household # 36, age 66 years old. Another Fetsch, Johannes, also from Niederlauterbach made the 1808 trip to Selz, Odessa district. Other Fetsch families from Neeweiler and Niederlauterbach had established themselves in nearby Kleinliebental and Josefstal as early as 1804. Further research may reveal more "old-world" relationships among the Fetsches of "New Russia".

See the Family Tree of Jean-Michel Vetsch as prepared by Raymond Schwengler of Strasbourg, France, whose research discovered nineteen archived documents pertinent to my Vetsch family's lives in Alsace.


  • Francois Anton, b. 24 Oct 1807 (mother Marguerite Sennhauser)
  • Franz Joseph, Abt 1809
  • Michael, Abt 1810/1811 (mother Elizabeth Reinhardt)
  • Franz Georg, Abt 1813
  • Johannes, Abt 1815
  • Franz, Abt 1822
  • Karl, Abt 1825
  • Mathias, Abt 1828
  • Christina, b. 15 May 1830
  • Marianna. b. 14 May 1832
  • Margaretha, b. 05 Sep 1833
  • Anton, b. 13 May 1837 (mother Maria Eva Grimm??)
  • Andreas, b. 18 Jun 1838
  • Katharina, Abt 1849 (mother Margaretha?)

KARL FETSCH. Karl Fetsch was born in Selz about 1825. His parents were Michael Fetsch and Elizabeth Reinhardt (born about 1794). At the age of 22, Karl married Agatha Koehler in Selz. I have birth records for five children, and know only that at least two survived to have children of their own. A daughter, Fransizka married Casimir Riffel of Mannheim. Casimir and Fransizka migrated to Culelia, Rumania, and then to Canada with two sons (Peter, Anton) and three daughters. They homesteaded in the Prelate - Blumenfeld district of Saskatchewan.


  • Fransizka, Abt. 1850
  • Johann, b. 28 Sep 1854
  • Elizabeth, b. 06 Nov 1855
  • Michael, b. 05 May 1857 -- my great grandfather
  • Peter, b. 27 Jul 1861

MICHAEL FETSCH. My great grandfather Michael Fetsch or Vetsch married Barbara Schwab in Mannheim on 04 Nov 1880. They raised their family in Selz. Their yard is shown on the 1944 Selz town map behind the mill on Mühl Gasse. They had seven children. My Aunt Eugenia (Weiss) Stach told me that she remembered the day her mother in Canada learned of her father's death in Russia. She remembered that her mother cried all day, and the year to be about 1935. On Barbara (Fetsch) Goldade's 1944 EWZ form, she lists her siblings as "Adam - in America, Brigetta - in America, and Michael - in the SS. There is no mention of Philomena, Elizabeth or Appolonia. Ida Vetsch of Leverkusen, Germany says her family has always spelled their surname with a "V".


  • Philomena, Abt. 1881
  • Adam, b. 15 Sep 1883
  • Balthasar, b. 17 Mar 1885
  • Brigetta, b. 10 Jan 1888 -- my grandmother
  • Elizabeth, b. 21 Feb 1889
  • Appolonia, b. 10 Dec 1891
  • Barbara, b. 25 Dec 1895
  • Michael, b. 27 Feb 1900


Barbara Vetsch, and younger brother Michael on the day of his First Holy Communion, about 1910 in Selz. Photo from my Aunt RoseMarie.

My grandmother, Brigetta Weiss, taken about 1956 in Medicine Hat, AB. After Conrad died in 1948, Grandmother lived in Fox Valley. She re-married to Raphal Steinkey in 1953, but he died in 1954. Brigetta moved to Medicine Hat about 1956, and lived there for 10 years.

The Adam Fetsch family of Prelate, SK.

BRIGETTA FETSCH. My grandmother was born in Selz, grew up in Selz, and married my grandfather, Conrad Weiss, in Selz on 10 Aug 1908. They had twelve children. three were born in Russia, and the rest in Canada. Four died young; two died as young adults. Conrad and Brigetta left Russia in January of 1913, and traveled by train to Hamburg, Germany. Grandfather was quarantined for a month with an eye infection. There followed a twelve-day Atlantic Crossing on the S.S. Belgic, and then more than a week on the train, as they made their way from Portland, Maine to Montreal and then via the CPR on to Maple Creek, SK. A two-day trip by horse and wagon took them north to her brother's place (Adam Fetsch) south of Prelate, SK, ariving there about April 20, 1913. Grandmother had been travelling for three months with two small girls, 3 1/2 years and 7 months.


  • Emelia, b. abt. 1909
  • Barbara, b. abt 1910. Died in Selz.
  • Agatha, b. 1912
  • Joseph Weiss, b. 15 Sep 1914
  • Frank Weiss, b. 28 Dec 1915
  • Julia, b. 22 Nov 1917
  • Remigius Weiss, b. 05 Jan 1919 -- my father.
  • Eugenia, b. 13 Oct 1920
  • RoseMarie, b. 29 May 1922
  • Nicholaus Weiss, b. 1924
  • Dan Weiss, b. 25 Jul 1925
  • Anne, b. 14 Feb 1927

See Michael Fetsch Descendant Chart, 5 generations.