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View Tree for Joseph HügJoseph Hüg (b. January 7, 1864, d. April 14, 1932)

Joseph Hüg (son of Jean George Hüg and Catherine (hüg) Németh) was born January 7, 1864 in Dornach, Haut Rhin, Alsace, France39, and died April 14, 1932 in St. Louis, MO. buried Calvery Apr.18, 1932. He married Louise (hug) Huck on January 24, 1888 in St. Augustin Cath Ch St. Louis, MO.40, daughter of Antoine Huck and Sophie (huck) Gerber.

 Includes NotesNotes for Joseph Hüg:

Joseph HUG was born at home, 27 rue de Belfort, in the town of Dornach, in the Upper Rhine valley, Alsace, France, on January 7, 1864, son of Jean George(Johann Georg) Hüg and Catherine Németh, both from Alsace, France (source: Birth certificate). (N.B. The name of his mother is written Németh. There are even variations in the spelling on some of the children's birth certificates, sometimes spelled Nemmeth, or Német, or Nemett, Nimeth.) The house on 67 rue de Belfort is still being used today and looks to be in good condition. Joseph was baptised at the Church of Saint Bartélémy which was just down the street (rue du Château Zu Rhein, 68200 Mulhouse).
The town of Dornach is today an incorporated suburb of the city of Mulhouse. When Joseph was born, it was an industrial town on the outskirts of Mulhouse. Many textile factories had sprung up there and drew people from the surrounding countries: France, Switzerland and Germany. Dornach remained a separate town until June 1914 when it was incorporated into the city of Mulhouse.
It is believed that, like many people living in Alsace and Lorraine, Joseph came to the USA because, with the treaty of Frankfort on May 10, 1871, these territories were torn away from France and annexed to the New German Empire, and Joseph didn't want to be German! There is possibly another reason. Check to see if he had done his military service. Many youth didn't want to fight for Germany and so left Alsace before being drafted into the army. Joseph was about 20 when he came to the USA. Census records list him as immigrating to the USA in 1884.

The 1900 census records (ED=405, sheet=9, line=65) and 1910 census records list him, as well as his wife Louise, as coming from Germany. At that time Alsace was still part of Germany. But the 1920 census records list them as originating in Alsace (vol=120, ED= 527, Sheet= 3, line=43). This change was no doubt due to the fact that in 1919, after World War I, the territories of Alsace and Lorraine were returned to France. Although he spoke the germanic dialect of Alsace, grandpa Hug was very French. I can remember Mom saying that, when she learned to play the piano, he insisted that the first piece she learn by heart be "La Marseillaise", the French National Anthem. The 1900 census records state him as already being a naturalized citizen. The 1920 census records give a "PA" after the date of immigration for both Joseph and Louise. It would usually be a "NA" for "naturalized". Could this possibly mean that they immigrated through the port city of Philadelphia? Many people coming to St. Louis, however, came through New Orleans. Check it out!
Joseph was not the only member of his family to come to the USA, and perhaps he was not the first. We know that Clementina, his older sister was here, since she was a witness at his wedding. Cecilia, Albert and Albertine also came, and all except Joseph moved to Oakland, California.
How he came to St. Louis is not known. There were some people with the name of Hug living in the city of St. Louis, in Franklin county (city of Berger) and in Gasconade county (city of Herman). Also in the region of Highland IL. Were they relatives, and did he live with any of them in the country when he first came to the USA? These are "wine countries" and the outskirts of Mulhouse is wine country also. I remember Mom saying that her dad used to make his own wine. Could there be a connection?
Or did he live in St. Louis from the time of his immigration (1884?) till 1887? Mulhouse was an industrial area, and Joseph worked, as far as we know, as a molder in the foundries. In St. Louis, he must have boarded with someone and therefore been registered in the St. Louis Directory as a member of that household. In 1887 he is listed as living at the same address (2600 Eliott Ave.) as Joseph Huck, the younger brother of Louise Huck who was to become his wife. She however was not listed as living there in 1887 when the information for the Directory was taken. Could she have just immigrated to the USA later that year to marry him? Or was it in St. Louis that they got to know each other? Or did she live somewhere else in St. Louis before she married him? Or in another city in Missouri, like Herman or Berger or St. James?
Joseph and Louise were married at St. Augustine's parish on January 24, 1888 (source: St. Louis Archdiocesan records). There is no mention of Joseph and Louise HUG in the St. Louis Directory as living in their own house before 1889.
Check to see where they lived from 1889 to 1897.
In the 1897 and 1900 St. Louis City Directory they is listed as living at 4760 Ashland Ave., St. Louis, MO. His occupation is listed as a "molder". Also living at the same address in the 1900 is Charles Hug, a molder. Was this a friend or relative from Alsace? In 1915 their son Theophile A "David" Hug is living there. He was a plumber. In 1923, their daughter Sophie, Mom, is listed as living at 4760 Ashland Ave., and working as a stenographer at Woolworth. Mom and Dad were married that same year. But in 1928, Joseph Hug is listed as living at 4766 Ashland Ave., St. Louis, MO. His occupation is still a molder. Mom said that he worked in a foundry. I imagine it was down by the Mississippi river. I heard that his death was somehow connected with a lung disease which came from his work. Is this correct?
Joseph Hug died in mid-April 1932 and was buried at Calvary Cemetery on April 18, 1932. By that time Aunt Marie and Mom were both married, and David had died. Grandma continued to live in the same house till 1942 when she moved in with us in Jennings.


It was in the year 803 that "Mulinhuson" (the house of the mill) was mentioned for the first time in local writings. According to legend, this name originates from a mill that was situated on the banks of the river Ill. One winter evening, the miller's daughter found an exhausted warrior in front of her door. She took him in and cared for him, and this relationship led to their marriage. As the family grew and the mill prospered, the village took shape. The waterwheel with four spokes and eight water-paddles would later feature in the town's "coat of arms".
The old city of Mulhouse consisted of a lower town, situated around the famous "Place de la Réunion" or Meeting Place, and an upper town near the Chateau or Castle, of which only the "Devil's Towers" remain today.
The lower town was for the common folk, and today the names of the streets still reflect their occupations: Butcher's Street, Tanner's Street, Blacksmith's Street, etc. This was already a thriving town in the XII century at the time of Frederick Barbarosa.
The upper town, to the west of the lower town, centered around the ecclestical properties: the Franciscan Monastery, the Poor Claires Convent, the Maltese Knights Monastery. In 1826 the New Quarters were build to the east of the lower town, containing picturesque French-style gardens with an abundance of flowers and walkways to stroll in, a large Square lined with a series of archways.
Today, this "Old Mulhouse" as the lower town, upper town and New Quarters are called, has been almost entirely cut off from traffic and made a pedestrian area, taking you through streets lined with chacteristic houses painted with frescoes (the City Hall is a marvelous example), lanes and passages lined with attractive shops.
In the early XII century, Mulhouse became part of the Holy Roman Empire under Frederic I, known as Barbarosa. His grandsons, Frederick II protected the town and granted it autonomy to be governed by a Council of Bourgeois.
In the XIII century, rather than be ruled by the Bishop of Strasbourg, Mulhouse placed itself under the authority of Rudolph of Hapsburg.
At the beginning of the XIV century it became an Imperial Town, governed by an imperial Provost and a Council of 12 nobles. In 1354 it formed an alliance with other towns throughout the Rhine valley, like Strasbourg, and while keeping much of its independence became part of the Decapole or "Ten Cities Alliance" (Zenstadtebund).
In 1445, the nobles and aristocrates from the town, in a dispute over power, sided with the House of Hapsburg. The Burgeois expelled them from Mulhouse. A new town Council was formed, composed of 12 elected burgeois, and Mulhouse became one of the Free Republics or "Reichstadts".
Attacked from all over in the following years, Mulhouse formed an alliance with Berne and Soleure. During the Reformation period, Mulhouse became a protestant town, whereas Strasbourg was catholic. This alliance, which extended in 1515 to thirteen Swiss cantons, was to last until 1798, the year Mulhouse was to become part of France.
In 1648, the Treaty of Westphalia made most of Alsace a part of France, but Mulhouse remained an independent town, allied to the Swiss cantons. This was a time of peace and development. In 1746 Mulhouse, already famous for its spinning mills, became the first to manufacture printed calico and this marked the beginning of its industrial development. However Mulhouse's independence hindered its ecomonic growth and, in 1798, urged by the young French Republic, Mulhouse decided to unite with France. From then on, the town experienced unimpeded growth.
In the XIX century there was astonishing expansion. New industries appeared and prospered: spinning mills, weaving mills, textile mills, mechanical workshops, chemical factories. All these brought immigrants from all over the neighboring countries of Switzerland and Germany as well as from other parts of France. Of those who came from the small town of Ermensee in the Swiss Canton of Luzern was the Hug family.

The name HUG comes from the old high German HOUC which means "hill" or "high place". It seems that it was written successively HOUC, HUCK, HUCHH, HUGG, HUG. In a shifting population, when most people could not read or write, it was not uncommon to have names written by village scribes in different ways. From parents to children, and indeed from one child to another, the name continued to evolve, sometimes written HUG, sometimes HAUG or HOUG, at other times HAUCK, or again HUGÉ, HUGUET, HUGOT, HUGUENIN, HUGELÉ. Sometimes the name of the town was added for nobles or the name of the occupation or trade which the person performed, as HUG de LUEMSCHWILLER, HUG de LANDSER, HUG de COLMAR or HUG von WINTERBACH.

The name HUG was very common in the Swiss cantons. We find them mentioned in Appenzell (in 1483), Bâle (1524), Berne (1540), Fribourg (1871), Lucerne (1368), Sant-Gallen (1376), Unterwald (1619), Zoug (1435) and Zurich (1462). Johann George Hug, the grandfather of my grandfather Joseph Hug came from the town of Ermensee near Hitzkirch in the district of Hochdorf Canton of Luzern about the year 1775. His father's name was Adam Hug. The town was first called Hilts-chilche in 1230 and Hiltzkirch from 1274. It has one of the oldest churches of the region, mentioned in 1080 as the parish of the small town Richensee which in 1237 became part of Hitzkirch. The Hug family of the district of Hochdorf in the canton of Lucerne was a very noble patrician family. We should be able to trace deeper into the family tree because the parish registers in Hitzkirch go back to 1582.
The history of Hochdorf (Lucerne) speaks of noble Hug families as far back as the XIV century. Ulrich Hug was a Grand Councilor in 1421, as was Rudolf Hug. Hans Hug was a military leader in 1444, as was Ludwig Hug in 1494. Simon-Oswald Hug was a doctor there in 1559. Peter Hug was a Jesuit who died in 1657. He wrote the life of Nicolas de Flue, the patron Saint of Switzerland, which was published in Latin in Rome in 1671 and in German in Lucerne in 1701.


This territory (5,600 sq mi) is situated in a beautiful region with natural boundaries (the Vosges mountains on the west and the Rhine river on the East). It is bordered by France, Switzerland and Germany and has always been a "debatable ground," fought over by the neighboring peoples. Today it is generally considered together with Lorriane and known as Alsace-Lorraine (Elsass-Lothringen in German).
It was inhabited by the Celts and Alemanni when it was conquered by the Julius Ceasar in 58 BC. It became the Provincia Germania Superior. For 5 centuries, despite continual attacks from the Alemanni, the Franks and Attila's Huns, it remained part of the Roman Empire. In the wake of the retreating Huns and of declining Roman domination, in a period that became known as the "Migration-of-Nations," the Alemanni became the predominant power.
With the victory of Clodwig over the Alemmani (496), the Franconians conquered and christianized the region.
Alsace gained importance during the time of the Kingdon of Charlemagne (A.D. 800 +). The Rhine region, with its important river, was the center of his great empire. Charlemagne's son, Louis I ruled till 840. At his death the empire was divided among his 3 sons by the treaty of Verdun. The oldest son, Lothair I, received the central portion of the kingdom (including Italy, the Low Countries, Alsace and Burgundy); Louis II, called the German, was given the eastern Franconian Kingdom, which came to be known as Germany; Charles "the Bald" received the western Franconian Kingdom. With the treaty of Mersen in 870 and upon the death of Lothar II, the part of his emipre called Lothringia (or called today Lorraine) also became part of the eastern Franconian Kingdon of Louis II.
In the centuries following, it changed hands often. From 925 Alsace belonged to the Dukedom of Swabia called Alemannia. In the early XII century it became part of the Holy Roman Empire under Frederick Barbarosa. When this began to disintegrate, French influence began to assert itself.
In 1354 there were many "Free Republics" (Reichstadts) and together with Strasbourg and Mulhouse they formed the Decapole or "Ten Cities Alliance" (Zenstadtebund). The treaty of Westphalia (1648) marked the end of the Thirty Years' War and a long era of germanic domination. The lands and properties of the House of Hapsburg were given to France. And even though this was the beginning of the French era, the social, cultural, economic and religious relations with Germany/Austria were still strong.
Having long lived under a strong centralism of germanic control, the principles of "liberalism" espoused by the French Revolution aroused a keen interest among the population of Alsace. Ironically enough, the music for the French National anthem, called "La Marseillaise," originated in Strasbourg! Despite the appeal of the revolution and their adherence to it, the Alsacians remained a thorn in the side of the French government. They demanded and were able to keep much of their social and economic uniqueness. The people continued to speak their germanic dialect, follow their germanic habits and live according to their germanic institutions. Over the years efforts to popularize the French language in Alsace met with little success. In the kingdom of France, Alsace was one province. During the period of the Frence Revolution (1789-1799) it was divided into two departments, known as the Upper Rhine and the Lower Rhine.
In the 1700's many people from Alsace, just like those from England, Germany and Holland, emigrated to North America, because of religious persecution. The following years were horrible ones for the people, especially in Upper Alsace. The first large emigration period began in 1815 generally because of starvation.
And by 1815 Germany began to gain strength. This created problems for a disunified France. Years of intrigue followed. As Germany became stronger, France found herself going from one coup d'état to another. The French Revolution had established the First Republic. This in turn gave way to the First Empire under Napoleon Bonaparte (1804-1814). Under Louis XVIII the monarchy was restored (1814-1848). The surpirsing collapse of the monarchy led to the establishment of the Second Republic in 1848. A coup d'état in 1851 elected Louis Napoleon who subesquently set up the Second Empire and took the name of Napoleon III. All of these changes came about through wars. About 125,000 young men emigrated from Alsace to North America in the 1840-1850's both because they didn't want to be soldiers and because of the famine.
Internal intrigue, a weak foreign policy, rash plans, irresolute action and drained finances finally led to Napolean's downfall by opening the way to the Franco-Prussian war of 1870-1871. The Third French Republic was formed. Napolean, still at the head of the army, was beaten by Prince Otto von Bismark and his troops, and taken prisoner of war. Oddly enough, for the first time since becoming part of France, the inhabitants of Alsace were enthusiastic about a French government. Yet it was that very government of the Third Republic which used Alsace (except for the Territory of Belfort) and part of Lorraine as a pawn to gain peace for France. With the Treaty of Frankfurt in 1871, the regions of Upper Rhine and Lower Rhine were "torn away from France" and annexed to Germany! They became known as the German Reichland Elsass-Lothringen. The western part of the Upper Rhine fought against the annexation by Germany and remained with France. This became a new region, and since 1871 it is known as the Territory of Belfort.
There was tremendous opposition by the local population to this transfer of Alsace-Lorraine to the German Reichstad. To no avail. Bismark seemed to have had high expectations for a quick assimilation and self-government of this German-speaking majority into the German regime. But in reality he was obliged to govern this region as a conquered province till 1902. Oppositon to being German was fierce. People redoubled their efforts to maintain a maximun of French culture in the region but many recognized that their struggle was all but hopeless. Waves of inhabitants left their homeland going to France or to other countries. In fact the treaties of May 10 and December 11, 1871 gave the people the possibility of "opting" for French citizenship. Many did.
Both born as French citizens, Joseph Hug and Louise Huck were among those who left their native Alsace for the United States in the years that followed (1884 and 1887).
The region of Alsace-Lorraine would continue to switch hands between France and Germany. With the Treaty of Versailles ( June 28, 1919) at the end of World War I, it again became part of France. True to the principle of liberalism with which it had joined the French Revolution years before, the regions of Alsace and Lorraine sought to keep a large degree of autonomy and self-government, but now "within the French state." They never fully succeeded. With the rise of the Third Reich and the beginning of World War II, Alsace was again annexed to Germany in August 1940. It became part of France once again in March 1945.

Now part of France, Alsace is still politically divided into three Departments: Haut-Rhin (Upper Rhine), Bas-Rhin (Lower Rhine) and the Territory of Belfort. Grandma (Louise Huck) came from the Department of Bas-Rhin, whose capital is Strasbourg. She was born in the town of (Commune de) Auenheim, which is about 30 miles north of Strasbourg and just a few miles west of the German border. Grandpa also came from Alsace, but from Dornach, Mulhouse, in Upper Alsace about 80 miles south of Strasbourg..

Some aspects of my research:

1)...Looking for their passport recodrs, I consulted the census records (Volkszählung) for both Departements of the Rhine;
The census record for Colmar in 1866 which named people individuallly was unreadable. It included microfilms labeled "2Mi 123 to 2Mi 154. " I did not have time to check this out in Strasbourg. The Special Census of 1871 for both Departments was only a generic one. For example, in the town of Auenheim, where Grandma Louise Huck was born, there were 101 houses, 102 families, 217 males, 221 females. But no names mentioned.

2)...I looked up names in The Alsace Emigration Book by Cormelia Schrader-Muggenthaler, Closson Press (Apollo PA, 15631) 1989 and there was no mention of Hugs or Hucks migrating during the period that we are looking at, 1871-1888; however there was a Huck from Roeschwoog who emigrated to America as early as 1828;
This book is certainly not complete. Later, when going through the dossiers for passports from inhabitants of the Lower Rhine [Neider-Rhines], I came across the dossier of an Isidor Huck, son of Wendelin Huck and Beatrice Bapst, born in Roeschwoog on January 17, 1866. The request was made on January 1, 1883 in view of emigrating to "St. Louis Missouri Amerika" and granted on June 12, 1883. (re: Archives Departemental de Strasbourg, Nº 384 D 174). This Isidor was grandma's cousin, since Antoine Huck and Wendelin Huck were brothers. This Wendelin is not to be confused with another Wendelin who was Louise's brother and father of Sophie (née Huck) McNicholas.

3)...In Colmar I consulted the "List of Emigrants to America" (MS 563 for the years up to 1870 and MS 714 for the years 1871-1919) and in Strasbourg I looked up all the requests and processing of passports (Reisepass) in view of emigration (Auswanderung) for the years 1871 to 1888 (re: 384 D 161-179);
N.B. I also found the dossier for Jean Edouard Gerber, another cousin of Louise Huck (her mother was Sophie Gerber), who was from Auenheim, born on January 7, 1862. On October 12, 1877 he requested a passport for emigration to St. Louis (Departemental Archives for Strasbourg 384 D 168) and received it on September 21, 1887. This was almost a year later. So we can see that (1) the process took quite some time and (2) that there are dossiers for people from Auenheim. So where are the dossiers for grandma and her brothers and sisters? Where was the dossier for Grandpa? I can think of some possible explanations.
(1) While going through the dossiers, I came across letters to the Mayors of different towns stating that this individual was part of a group recruited by the travel agencies to emigrate to America to work on farms, in factories, mines etc. Perhaps the original dossiers were put together somewhere and are not found in the ordinary place in the archives. Perhaps the archives of these companies could yield information.
(2) Another explanation, somewhat in this same line, is that in the emigration records families are lumped together, stating: with wife or brothers or sisters or children. Perhaps many members of the same family came together (which would be more natural) and they are all in one dossier somewhere. But where? Perhaps the steamship line records could be of help here.

Contact for research:
M. André Ganter, Directeur du C.D.H.F
"Centre Départemental d'Histoire des Fa miles"
Place Saint Leger
68500 GUEBWILLER, France

N.B. From the time Alsace became part of Germany, the government kept a record called, in French today, Fichier domicilière. This was a record of each family, noting each time someone moved from the house. It would state just when any member of the family left, where he/she was going and for what reason. This could help to determine when the members left, for where and perhaps how they traveled. Check it out by writing to the Archivist in Mulhouse:
Mairie de Mulhouse
% M. le Conservateur aux Archives Municipales
4 rue des Archives
86100 Mulhouse FRANCE

N.B. FOLLOW-UP I received an answer from the Archivist in Mulhouse. He said that Dornach was not a part of Mulhouse at the time grandpa's family lived there and therefore was not part of the records kept in the city of Mulhouse. There are no records for Dornach.

More About Joseph Hüg:
Ethnicity/Relig.: Alsacien / Catholic.
Fact 1: January 24, 1888, Witnessed for marriage: Joseph Huck and.
Fact 2: Clementine Hug.
Fact 3: He was born in Dornach, a town near Mulhouse, Upper Rhine region of Alsace.
Occupation: Molder.
Residence: (in 1900) 4760 Ashland Ave. St. Louis, MO.

More About Joseph Hüg and Louise (hug) Huck:
Marriage: January 24, 1888, St. Augustin Cath Ch St. Louis, MO..40

Children of Joseph Hüg and Louise (hug) Huck are:
  1. +Marie Louise (schwoerer) Hug, b. September 17, 1888, St. Louis, MO.41, d. June 29, 1972, Hyattville, MD, buried July 3 at Ft. Lincoln cemetery.
  2. Theophile Augustin "David" Hug, b. February 24, 1891, St. Louis, MO., d. December 6, 1916, St. Louis, MO..
  3. +Sophie Antoinette (nuelle) Hug, b. April 12, 1899, St, Louis, MO (at home), d. May 27, 1974, Port Charlotte, FL. (Sacred Heart cemetery.
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