I am trying to find the birthplace of my 2g-grandfather, Johann Schwarz (later "John Schwartz") whose headstone in Louisiana indicates that he was "A native of Eilingen, Prussia", born April 13, 1829.
I have been unable to find a place name with that spelling, but I did come across a query from someone looking for "Eilingen Riedisheim Germany". After arriving to America, Johann married a woman from Niederhausen, Baden, about 60km (35 mi) north of Riedisheim, Alsace (across the Rhine).
Johann arrived in America in about 1854 and lived in southern Louisiana (in St. Mary Parish and in New Orleans), where he married newly arrived Franziska Förstl (sometimes spelled "Foerstel" among many other misspellings), of Niederhausen (baptized Catholic). Johann and Franziska had two sons born in New Orleans, Joseph Schwartz and John Nicholas Schwartz. I believe that Franziska had cousins in Alsace and Franziska had a cousin of Johann's age from Niederhausen, Valentin Ibert, who married Anna Maria Bliekast, b. 1823 in Alsace.
Johann might have been acquainted with Paul Zylicz, of Prussia, who was living with Johann's family in Louisiana at the time of the 1870 census, a few week's after Johann's death.
I have prepared this map, http://goo.gl/maps/MP78i
, which lists plausible places and unlikely places with similar names (e.g. unlikely to have been considered a part of Prussia in 1829).
I have also referred to this map of the shifting boundaries of Prussia (http://bit.ly/10dkq4S
), which suggests that Alsace is an unlikely place for my ancestor's birth in Prussia, but the other query of "Eilingen, Riedisheim" and Johann's in-laws across the Rhein suggest this possibility (and I have no leads in any other direction).
His was a very popular name at the time, providing many plausible possibilities, but I have found no record before 1859 (index of his naturalization) that is more than plausible.