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Volume 1 No. 2 - January 1988

Missing Link Uncovered -
Major New World Lobsinger Families
Have Common Ancestor Of Langatte, France

All of the major New World Lobsinger family groups can now be linked together and placed under a common ancestor, thanks to the detective work of Gilles Pfrunner of Lingolsheim, France and John and Dolores Schmidt of Mildmay, Ontario.

But until their information was forwarded to this newsletter, neither knew the significance of their discovery.

Joseph Lobsinger was born in 1804, and married in 1829. By 1833, he had three children all born in Langatte, France. Sometime between 1833 and 1836, he moved his family to Canada where he settled in the New Easthope Township in Ontario. His 4th child was born in 1836. About this time Joseph must have returned to France, because in 1837, he brought his younger brother Antoine over and settled him in the St. Louis, Missouri area.

Joseph returned to Canada, where his family increased in size again with the birth of three more children in 184O, 1842, and c1844. In 1848 Joseph became a Naturalized citizen of Canada, and in 1850 he made another round trip to France to bring another of his younger brothers, Michel, to the new world. Michel settled in the Belleville, Ill, area., and Joseph returned to Canada and his own family.

The connection between the Canadians and the Americans was obscured because no one on the Canadian side knew Joseph's exact birth date or the name of his wife

And after Joseph left the St. Louis area, no one in the American group ever heard of him again. The only thing he left behind was the rumor that some relatives had disappeared in Canada.

Pfrunner, a descendent of another of Joseph's brothers (Pierre), sent us information that Joseph was married in October 1829 to Marie Anne Weber.

John and Dolores Schmidt uncovered information from St Jerome's College archives that the Canadian Joseph was married to... guess who... Marie Anne Weber.

According to Pfrunner, Joseph had three children in Langatte: Jean Louis, Michel, and Joseph.

Three of the Canadian Joseph's children were reportedly born in France; Louis, Peter, and Joseph.

Dates of birth match. Parents names match. Two of the three children's names match., and the birthdate of the other matches to the day. The child called Peter in Canada should be the same as Michel of Langatte. Maybe his full name was Michel Pierre (Peter), or Pierre Michel.

Pfrunner is looking into the matter, and will try to resolve this bit of confusion, but with the matching dates and same wife's name, it is almost certain that the Canadian Joseph and the American Joseph were the same person.

Nearly all of the Lobsingers in the New World descend from one of the fam flies that began here due to the influence of Joseph, through his brothers Michael and Antoine who started the American branches of the family, or through his children Louis, Peter, Joseph, Anthony, Paul, Louise, and George, who founded branches of the Canadian family.

Actually, Louise didn't found a branch of the Lobsinger family. She married a guy named Arnold and helped him out a bunch. But that's another story.

Among the descendants of the St. Louis branch of the family is a persistent rumor that Joseph was a Count. Thanks to Mr. Pfrunner, we have also been able to chase that story back to its roots, and you can read about it elsewhere in this newsletter.

Joseph was the son of Jean Louis Lobsinger (a day laborer) and Louise Ohmer. Jean Louis Lobsinger was the son of Antoine Lobsinger and Elisabeth Muller. Antoine Lobsinger was the son of Etienne Lobsinger and Nicole Eslinger. Etienne Lobsinger was the son of Nicolas Lobsinger and Anne Marie Hoesch.

Nicolas Lobsinger was born about 167X, and died on X April 1732 in Langatte, France. This is as far back as we can trace the Lobsinger family by direct relationships.

Here's How Count Joseph Lobsinger Received His Noble Title.

There are persistent rumors that somewhere in antiquity a Lobsinger held the title of Count.

Now, a Count is a title of lesser nobility designating a companion or administrator. A Count is the French equivalent of a British Earl.

Our European correspondent from the House of Pierre (Gilles Pfrunner) reports that he may have discovered the mysterious Count and the reasons for his appointment to that lofty position.

And it isn't all that heroic, so if you just want to go on believing the romantic stories about fire breathing dragons and damsels in distress, that's fine too.

Seems that in the history of the town of Langatte, France there is a chapter relating to a long remembered parish priest, the Cure Noir.

The time is about 1770, nearing lhe final third of the reign of King Louis XIV, when the King taxed the country as a whole... and the local nobility taxed their domain... and the church taxed what was left. Everyone with title was exempt from the tax' so that left most of us commoners to pay the hills.

One way out of this situation was to marry into a better position, and Antoine Lobsinger (son of Etienne, son of Nicolas) managed to do just that. He married Elisabeth Muller, who was the niece of Cure' Nicolas Noir of Langatte.

The good Cure' managed to amass rather ample wealth during his tour as Shepherd of Langatte due to the tithe, which was at that time not a voluntary donation.

Somebody had to collect it. That somebody turned out to be good old faithful Antoine Lobsinger. (There are bureaucrats and tax collectors in everybody's family, so don't despair!)

Antoine did such a commendable job of administering the earthly domain of the curé that before long his wealth multiplied and he purchased more land and hired more servants.

The harvests were so copious that he could not stock all his produce in the presbytery, so he stored the excess in a house he owned called the "Langacker", where Antoine and his family lived.

Even then, he was forced to build another home to hold his wealth.

Antoine must have done his job well. He was richly rewarded for his efforts, and it is said that at one time, he could go from his house to the church, which is situated an eight minute walk away, without ever leaving his estate. He was administrator for Noir, and collected the tithe, religiously, so to speak.

Sometime before Noir died, he left much of his fortune to his nieces. Antoine's wife Elisabeth became a wealthy woman, and as was the custom of the times, Antoine became known as "Grof, Grof", a nickname that means, "Count, Count!"

But the fortune was largely squandered by relatives, so the story goes, and the Count did not feel himself too rich to marry off one of his daughters (Marguerite) to one of his servants.

This servant was a man called Jean Kennel who had worked in Saint Jean de Danel before coming to Langatte to work for Lobsinger.

In 1784, there followed the Cure' Noir a cure' named Michel Klein. Cure' Noir built some rooms onto the east side of the Langacker for the Cure' Klein to occupy. These rooms are still known as the "Closet". A woman named Barbe Stein who died in 1872 was still called by the nickname "Kammer Magt" which means "Closet Maid" because her mother was a servant of Elisabeth Muller Lobsinger and was the nurse of her children.

The "Langacker" eventually fell into disrepair standing between the old and the new presbytery. Over the years it was rented to tenants of all kinds from Langatte or elsewhere.

One day the old house sold at a low price to Antoine Hesse and his wife, who were very poor until they decided to strip out the old floor in the "Langacker" and discovered the hidden treasure of Cure Noir underneath it.

Or... was it treasure hidden from the Cure' Noir?? Herr Hesse and wife were not particular how it got there, but were pleased upon finding it. They sold the place and bought a good house. And thus slipped away the first known Lobsinger fortune!

This same "Langacker" home is the one reported in the last newsletter as belonging to Antoine. Mr. Pfrunner points out that Antoine lived there as the administrator of the Cure Noir. It isn't clear if Antoine ever actually owned the property.

On the lintel of a door in the home is the inscription, "Antoine Lobsinger 1806". Pfrunner speculates that Antoine's children must have added the inscription later, as Antoine died in 1803.

The name "Langacker" refers to the name of the farmland in the area.

"Count Count" Antoine Lobsinger died in 1803 under somewhat curious conditions for a man of his means.

His death certificate indicates he was found frozen to death near the farm of Sainte Croix! This farm is situated near the village of Rhodes, clear on the other side of a rather large pond used as a stock pool.

Was the Count Count done in by the cold and impoverished citizens of the territory on one of his tithe collecting excursions?

In the villages of France at the time, it was the custom to nickname the more famous or infamous of their citizens. Hence, Antoine became "Grof, Grof', and Barbe Stein was known as the "Kammer Magt". Often these nicknames became permanent titles not only belonging to the original individual, but also to his or her descendants.

The first surviving male child of "Count Count" Antoine was a fellow named Jean Louis Lobsinger who married Louise Ohmer. We can presume that custom was followed, and he carried the title of Count, although this is mere speculation.

We do know that Jean Louis' first born male child was Joseph Lobsinger, known in Langatte as "Grof Jeppel"...the Count Joseph., grandson of "Grof, Grof".

And we know he married Marie Anne Weber; brought two of his younger brothers (Michel and Antoine Jean Michel) to the area of St. Louis, Mo., and settled himself and his family near St. Agatha in Ontario, Canada.

It is from Grof Jeppel... Count Joseph Lobsinger and his two brothers ... that nearly all of us in the New World descend.

An interesting side-bar to this story is what happened to the title of "Count" after Joseph settled in Canada? Most likely, it got lost in all of the hard work of trying to survive. But suppose, for fun, the title had been carried forward through the eldest male heirs. Who would have it today?

Here's how it comes down: Joseph's firstborn male child was Ludovicus or Jean Louis, depending on whether you speak French or German. So the title would flow to the House of Louis.

Jean Louis' firstborn male child was Anthony L. Lobsinger, born March 7, 1858. So this steam engineer at the Knechted Furniture Factory in Hanover, Ontario could have claimed title as a Count.

Anthony and his wife Annie Stroeder had 7 children of their own, and the firstborn male was Michael Joseph Lobsinger,born June 15,1895.The title of Count could have fallen to him.

But instead, he worked also in the furnituue factory, married Emily Craig, and raised six or seven kids of his own, all without bragging much about his noble blood. Today, Count Michael Joseph Lobsinger lives quietly, retired, on Brunswick Street in Stratford, Ontario..

Earl Lobsinger, Michael Joseph's eldest male child died while an infant; and so the title will someday pass to Elmer Cletus Lobsinger, the first surviving male child.

Elmer Cletus Lobsinger (didn't know you were in the nobility, did you Elmer?) lives at 95 Julian Ave, in Hamilton, Ontario. He and his wife Maureen Ireland have seven children: Patricia McConnell, Mary, Margaret Turner, James, Robert, Anne, and Paul.

And so, following tradition, the title of Count will someday fall to James, the eldest male child of Elmer Cletus. James is a building superintendent in Hamilton, Ontario, and is not married. So if there are any Countesses out there, this guy's eligible...

And I guess the end of this story is that while most of the rest of us are just no-count Lobsingers, we're a pretty interesting bunch of folks!

Flaming Meteor Thunders Into Paul Lobsinger's Corn Field

There has been for years a murky legend told from father to son about a flaming meteor that crashed into the fIeld of a Lobsinger of antiquity, and that this meteorite was polished and inscribed with the name of it's finder and used as his tombstone.

The story was told by unknown relatives in years past when I was a youngster growing up in southern Florida. The names eluded me, and the places faded with time, and the story became a shallow memory of no importance.

Three or four years ago, a friend asked if I was related to the Lobsinger who was buried in the Braman (Oklahoma) cemetery. I was quite sure I was the only Lobsinger who had ever crossed the Mississippi, and assured the gentleman that he had mistaken the name.

But there it was, carved in stone: Paul Lobsinger, born 1840, died 1907. In the Braman cemetery, where one would least expect a Lobsinger. Braman is a little wide spot in the road about 15 miles west of Newkirk, Oklahoma, where I somehow ended up running a country weekly newspaper. Newkirk is only a slightly wider spot in the road. To find an isolated Lobsinger so close was a true surprise. Paul Lobsinger started me on my search through the history of the Lobsinger family, which has resulted in much of the fact and fiction found in this newsletter.

But Paul remained a mystery. Cemetery records showed only that Paul Wise of Stillwater, Ok., was paying for the perpetual care of the graves.

Wise, a bank executive, could shed little light on the origins of his grandfather Paul Lobsinger, except to say that when old Paul was farming in Illinois, a huge meteor crashed into his corn field.

Paul, with much help and equipment, dug the huge, extraordinarily heavy rock from the field and kept it as a curiosity. It took block and tackle, and a wagon to move the meteorite, but nevertheless, when Paul decided to move to Oklahoma, the rock came with him. And when Paul died, the rock was polished, Wise said, and used as his tombstone.

Thieves stole the tombstone in 195O, according toWise, so he replaced the marker with one of more conventional origins.

Paul Lobsinger was married to Katharina Otto. He was reportedly from Canada, and moved south to avoid the cold due to respiratory ailments. For a while, he farmed in Illinois, and then he moved farther south to Oklahoma, where he also farmed and dealt in horses.The home he built on the edge of Braman is still there, and still inhabited.

Paul and Katharina had at least 8 children, but only one son named Edward, who died young. Hence, the male line of Paul Lobsinger died in the dust of the Oklahoma prairie.

But they had many daughters, including a set of twins. One of these twin girls was Matilda, who became the mother of Paul Wise.

Another of Paul's daughters was a girl named Mary Ann who married a man named Franklin. Their son Oliver Franklin discovered the cure for black leg, a cattle disease. The Franklin Laboratories still produce veterinary products marketed throughout the central United States.

Other daughters of Paul and Katharina included Phoebe, Lavina, and Elizabeth. Maybe others. One daughter reportedly eloped with a city slicker from Kansas City, leaving her betrothed Braman beau behind. This caused much social furor in the metropolis of Braman at the time. But her elopement worked out well, as the young fellow she married became a wealthy commodities broker, according to the rumors.

Little else is known of Paul or his descendants. Except for the musty meteorite story, there was little to connect him to any of the rest of the Lobsingers in the country. Then John and Dolores Schmidt found his name and birthdate listed in some documents in Ontario. He was the fifth child of Count Joseph Lobsinger, and obviously the family renegade. He moved farther away and left fewer traces than any of the others. If anyone has further information on what happened to his daughters, we would be pleased to hear about them.(House of Paul)

Deaths and Funerals 

Edward Lobsinger

Edward Lobsinger died Sunday, July 26, 1987 at St. Mary's Hospital in Kitchener, Ontario. He was 78 years old, and lived at 87 King St., E., St. Clements.

Edward was a member of St. Clements Catholic Church, a member and past president of the Holy name Society, a member of St. Clements volunteer fire department for 35 years, and a former member of Wellesley Township Council. He was one of the recipients of the Wellesley Township Centennial Medal in 1967, coached minor and senior baseball and hockey in St. Clements for 50 years, was a former member of the St. Clements Community Center Board and was a veteran of the Second World War. Mr. Lobsinger was retired from the Red and White Food Markets in St. Clements.

He was the beloved husband of Kathleen (Kay) Dietrich; father of Larry and his wife Eileen, Tom and his wife Ronda, all of Waterloo, Pat MacInnis of Elmira, Neil and his wife Ginny of St. Clements and Linda and her husband Albert Woelfle of Jackson, Miss. He is also lovingly remembered by his ten grandchildren and two sisters, Mrs. Loretta Querin of Kitchener and Mrs. Irene Ottman of Hawksville.

Edward was predeceased by his parents, Catherine Stumpf and Louis Lobsinger; five brothers and two sisters. Interment was in St. Clements RC cemetery, following services at St. Clements Catholic Church. (House of Louis)

Leonard Valin

Leonard Valin, 72, died peacefully in his sleep sometime in October. Exact date of death was not reported.

Valin was the husband of Beulah McIntee of Pincher Creek, Alberta. He was a pipefitter. His wife passed away in 1981. He is survived by his motherin-law, Mrs Julietta Lobsinger McIntee, and four children, Shirley Valen Smythe, Ron Valin, Kenneth Valin, and Lorne Valin.

Details and date of the funeral service were not reported. (House of Louis)

Tinkering Firefighter Restores Old Firetruck

When Al Lobsinger was a kid at school, teachers often chided him for playing around with an alarm clock when he should have been concentrating on his studies.

Nobody's chiding the 44 year old St Catharines, Ontario, firefighter now. His expertise in sheet metal work, taking things apart and reassembling them is in great demand. Recently he carried out a tricky repair on one of the fire department's aerial ladder trucks.

But the 20 - year veteran firefighter's ingenuity is applied most often in his garage workshop at his home on Linwell Road where his most recent project is the complete restoration of a 1926 Gotfredson-Bickle fire pumper he purchased last fall.

The vehicle, thought to have gone into service in Merritton in 1926, was sold by St. Catharines at amalgamation in 1960 to Louth Township where junior firefighters used it as a training vehicle. Later it was sold to a man in Thorold, who in turn sold it to Mr. Lobsinger.

Besides the pumper, Mr. Lobsinger now owns the original brass bell from the pumper. It was presented to Merritton Fire Chief Art Tuckwell when he retired in the 1960's.

On his death, son Tom Tuckwell inherited the 65 pound bell. Later, he gave it to his brother, Ron, who married Al Lobsinger's sister.

Last Christmas, after Mr. Lobsinger had purchased the pumper, his brother-in-law and sister made the bell a welcome surprise gift. "It has to be sent away to be rechromed," he said, adding that in total there's about $5,000 worth of rechroming to be done on the pumper.

The public has already had a look at the old pumper. This fall, it was an entry in the Merritton Labor Day parade and the Pied Piper Parade.

Although the vehicle is in excellent condition, it will take another couple of years to completely refurbish it. Mr. Lobsinger, who already has all the parts he needs for the job (many of which were taken from a 1926 Gotfredson pumper original with the Scarborough Fire Department), is hoping area residents who may have oldphotographs of the old Merritton pumper will come forward and help him in faithfully reproducing the extensive gold-leaf lettering and fancy striping for which the manufacturer was so well known.

So far, Mr Lobsinger has re-done the seat and changed the differential. The pumper has to be taken apart completely and everything re-done, he says, from the six cylinder Buda motor to the wiring system and ignition. "The tricky part is going to be the dual ignition which has a distributor and a magneto which both fire spontaneously," he explained.

Mr. Lobsinger's wife, Kathleen, is just as enthusiastic about the project and proudly shows photographs of antique car restorations they've undertaken over the years. The family team includes daughter Sherry,16, and son Mark,13,who pitch in to help their dad with sanding and other duties. Mrs. Lobsinger smilingly admitted her husband has a disassembled 1964 T-Bird in the attic of the house. "Heaven only knows what else he's got in the garage attic," she added.

Restoring antique vehicles began almost as a game in 1980 when Mr. Lobsinger restored the 1964 T-Bird he bought and drove from 1966. "When I finished with that one I was looking for something to do," he said. "I bought a 1926 Ford (Model-T) roadster, then a 1927 (Model-T) coupe and later a 1946 Willys jeep."

As a member of the Historical Automobile Society of Canada, Mr. Lobsinger knows only too well the value of his antique vehicles, but he can't bring himself to sell any of them. As he explained: "There's so much of me goes into these vehicles that I just can't part with them." (House of Peter)

(Story by Tom McCarthy, St. Catharines Standard staff writer.)

Joseph G. Lobsinger Was Golden Hammer Award Winner In 50s

Some people are born with a silver spoon . Some work all their life for a gold watch. But a Golden Hammer?

Joseph G. Lobsinger, son of George William the Turnkey, spent 60 years in the hardware business, much of it in Sandborn, North Dakota. During that time he sold a lot of Estwing solid steel hammers with leather handle grips. For his efforts, he was awarded a full size 14 karat gold-plated Estwing hammer mounted on a polished, beautifully grained plaque.

J.G. Lobsinger was one fo the few qualifying to be so honored by the Estwing manufacturing Co., of Rockford, Illinois. The award was presented sometime in the 1950s, according to Dorothy (Todd) Lobsinger, wife of Joseph G's late son Raymond. She sent us a clipping from the Sandborn newspaper which recorded the event.

Joseph G died at the age of 91 in 1960. The clipping, and picture '(which unfortunately won't reproduce well enough to use here) was found among the possessions of his son Raymond, who died in 1958.

Dorothy Lobsinger now lives in Van Nuys, California, where she and Raymond moved about 1950. She has three children, Jill Sweet, Carol, and Raymond, all living in California.; and at least one grand daughter as of last count. (House of George)

Louis Lobsinger's Self Defense Video
Making Life Tough On Muggers

A woman walks to her car, fumbling in her puuse for her keys. She doesn't notice the strange man watching her and isn't even aware as another man approaches and grabs her from behind.

Too late. She struggles, tries to scream as he shoves her inside his waiting car. They disappear and the parking lot is empty now, save for her set of keys on the ground.

Sounds like the opening scene of a B-grade thriller, doesn't it? But you don't have to be in Hollywood to make a movie, and if Flushing (Michigan) resident Lou Lobsinger and his buddy Harlon Rose are writing it, that scene would play quite differently. "Techniques for Women in Self Defense" is the new video produced by Lobsinger and written by Rose. The video stars a local news anchor, plays for 30 minutes and teaches women how to turn just such a situation around.

In the Lobsinger production, the woman discourages the first potential attacker with a steady glare and the use of a technique called the "power walk," a confident stride and demeanor designed to intimidate a would-be assailant. Her second attacker at the car is dealt a quick blow by the woman, who runs to safety screaming "Fire!"-a cry that is more likely to gain attention than "Help," according to Lobsinger.

The videotape is designed to teach women several things, including the fact that the best weapon is to assume an attitude that they don't intend to become victims. The tape also shows simple self-defense maneuvers.

The tape is sold locally in several towns in Michigan, and is being marketed nationally through Thompson Distributors of Utah.. Rose is the martial arts expert in the project Lobsinger, who has a background in communications, coordinated the technical aspects of the video. Several police departments use copies of the tape in their Neighborhood Watch and other crime prevention programs.

When he's not producing video tapes, Louis Lobsinger is an insuranceman with Security First Associated Agency in Flint, Michigan. He and his wife Martha (Aguilar) have 4 children: Louis, Jr; David, Catherine, and Elizabeth. Louis is the son of Joseph Henry Lobsinger and Florence Smith., all descendants of the Canadian House of Louis

Anyone interested in procuring a copy of "Techniques forWomen in Self Defense" can contact Lou at G-3526 Miller Road, Flint Michign 48507. Phone 313 732-5800. Cost is $14.95.

It's an interesting bit of Lobsinger memorabilia, and an acclaimed documentary in its own right. Dennis R. Martin, president of the American Federation of Police calls it a tape "Every woman in America should have... for their own personal safety." (House of Louis)

Judy Lobsinger Plays Trumpet At Orange Bowl

Judy Lobsinger, daughter of Bob & SueLobsinger of Newkirk, Ok,plays trumpet with the Oklahoma University band and is to perform with the band at the Orange Bowl in Miami, Fl, on New Years Day. (House of Peter)

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