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Folse Documents & Sources
Marie Almaise Folse 1837 - 1913

Folse Family Origins & Migration

1255 Ramstein
in the Holy Roman Empire
1610 Peter Foltz
born Germany
Bef 1723 Johann Jacob Foltz Migrated to German Coast, New France 1837 Marie Almaise Folse
born Raceland LA
1854 Chauvin-Folse Marriage
at Raceland, LA

Left: Ramstein in Rhineland-Pfalz   |   Right: Foltz Migration to New World 1723
The earliest trace of our Folse family is in Ramstein, Germany prior to the German Confederation of 1814.

Ramstein-Miesenbach is a municipality in the district of Kaiserslautern in Rhineland-Palatinate in Germany.

During Roman times there was a village on the old east-west road north of the Western Palatinate swamps. Ceramic shards, coins and the remains of a Roman villa were found near "Unterschernauer" Mill thus demonstrating that people have lived in this area since Roman times.

Ramstein is first mentioned in a document dated 2 June 1215. With this document Emperor Frederic II, the grand-son of Emperor Frederic Barbarossa, gave to his knight Reinhard von Lautern the protector's rights of the Ramstein church along with its two subsidiary churches in Weilerbach and Spesbach. This knight's successor, Siegfried von Hohenecken, transferred the protectorate to the "Deutschorden" (Knights Order) in Einsiedeln.

In 1366 the knight Johannes von Ramstein lived in Ramstein. He served the counts of Veldenz and had his own court. In the 14th century Ramstein became part of the area under the Palatinate Elector.

In a document dated 18 October 1387 Ramstein was the center of the Ramstein court and administrative area. The village and the court belonged to the Lautern district. Court seals were found dated 1674 and 1774. After the invasion of the French in 1793 the court was dissolved. The Napoleonic Administrative Reform made Ramstein and Landstuhl into one mayoral district. Ramstein became its own mayoral entity in 1818.

Folse Family Arms & Name

Americanized spelling of German Volz.
Perhaps an altered spelling of English False, a nickname for a deceiver, from Old French fals, faus ‘false’.

Volz German (Völz): from the personal names Vol(k)mar or Volkmer (see Vollmer).

Americanized spelling of German Volz.
Dictionary of American Family Names, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-508137-4 at ancestry.com

Johann Jacob Foltz emigrated from Germany to German Coast, Louisiana sometime in the early 18th century - his first child Jean Baptiste Foltz was born in St Charles, Louisiana in 1735. The English and French of the area understood his name phonetically as "Folse" and in time that spelling was adopted. The Acadians actually recorded the Folse name on some documents as "Fauls" which sounds like Folse when spoken in French.

The arms shown at left are from the Ramstein-Miesenbach official web site. The photo of the scultpure below also bears the arms carved into its base.
Research has failed to discover armorial bearings for the surnames Folse. We have used the arms of the place of origin on Folse pages.

  German Coast

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The German Coast was a region of the early Louisiana settlement located above New Orleans on the Mississippi River — specifically, in St. John the Baptist, St. Charles and St. James parishes of present-day Acadiana. Its name derives from the large population of German pioneers, who were settled in 1721 by John Law, and the Company of the Indies. When the company folded in 1731, the Germans became independent land-owners.

Despite periodic flooding, hurricanes, and the rigors of frontier life, the German pioneers made a success of their settlement. Their farming endeavors provided food not only for themselves but also for New Orleans' residents. Some historians credit these German farmers with the early survival of New Orleans.

In 1768 joined with Acadians from the Cabannocé Post area to march on New Orleans and overthrow Spanish colonial governor Antonio de Ulloa. The German and Acadian settlers united again, under Spanish colonial governor Bernardo de Gálvez, to fight the British during the American Revolution.

Most of the German Coast settlers hailed from the Rhineland region of Germany and the German-speaking cantons of Switzerland, and at other places today bearing their name, Bayou des Allemands and Lac des Allemands ("Germans' Bayou" and "Germans' Lake," in French). However these areas were not solely settled by people from Germany or Acadia, in fact many of the "Germans" came from the largely German-speaking region of Alsace-Lorraine in France and some from Switzerland and Belgium.

Eventually, the Germans immigrants intermarried with the Acadians and their descendants, began to speak French, and were transformed along with the Acadians and other regional settlers into the Cajun culture. As an example, German settlers had introduced the diatonic accordion to the region, which would become a predominant instrument in Cajun music by the early 1900s.

Above: Map of Louisiana as it exists in 2007. The darker brown areas represent what is considered "Acadiana" by the parishes so identified. The gold colored parishes constitute what was known as German Coast in New France.

In French it was called Cotes des Allemands - coast of the Germans. The town of Des Allemands and Bayou Des Allemands are remnants of the area name.

[ Des Allemands is pronounced Dez-ahmm. ]

Folse Factoids

Folse Families in US Census Enumerations

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