Monday, April 23, 2012

Of the Grass.... the Delherbe story

   So we have this surname in my family, DeL'Herbe, which in French means "of the grass". What kind of name is that?  I could not find it anywhere other than in New Orleans. It would take many years of digging to find all the answers. I feel quite like a detective now after what all I have found and accomplished on this family.
  My maternal great grandmother was Edna Cecelia Delherbe born in New Orleans, La in 1888. Her parents were French and German. Her father was Mathurin Delherbe also called Matt Grass. Her mother was Margaret Buhr. This is all I had to go on at first.
   A census search in each year got me Matt Grass in 1880, and Matthew Delherbe in the rest. In the Civil War records I found a Jules Delherbe. Wow, finally a new Delherbe other than the children of Matt! Fortunately I was able to ask my great aunt if she knew this name. She said that was her great uncle.
     I tried tracing Jules Delherbe through the war records. (Thanks to footnote, what is now fold3.) His record shows him as being born in New Jersey. He was captured, and he then traded sides to the Union. During this time he used the name Jules Moulin. I thought this strange.... I did a search for Moulin in the New Orleans census and came up with one main family, and another small one in the 1860 census. Jules was able to escape and returned to his troop and once again used the name Delherbe. He is listed as one of the French who possibly used place names as a surname during the Civil War or as using his mother's name which was common.
     The Moulin name kept nagging at me. So I ordered Jules marriage certificate from Baton Rouge. On it he gave the names of his parents as Charles and Marie Delherbe. This happened to be the names of the Moulin family I found living in New Orleans in 1860. Charles and Marie Moulin living with son, Jules, Mathurin, and Charles. All the same ages as my Jules and Mathurin (Matt) Delherbe. I then notice that in the 1880 census Matt is living a few houses down from Charles and Marie Moulin.
     I then ordered Charles and Marie Moulin's marriage certificate. Marie's maiden name was Delherbe. So mystery solved, my families name was Moulin, changed to DeL'herbe or Delherbe.
After some more digging, I found that apparently Marie was arrested and brought to trial for stealing money by making a claim to be the mother of a one Charles Redcoat after the Civil War. She took his government pension, and was later caught. So perhaps this is why after 1870 even Matt used his mother's maiden name instead of Moulin.
     Marie DeL'Herbe had come to New Jersey from France in 1830, her brother Peter Delherbe and her mother stayed in New Jersey and another brother, Francois Delherbe went on to Georgia, his son Achille apparently went back to France.
     I now have been able to trace the DeL'Herbe name back to France and find the ancestor's that lived there. I have also luckily through my website, as well as other works, have found many lost cousins who we did not know existed with Delherbe family ties. Thanks to the search engines :) my last fifteen years of research and queries made it easy for cousins looking for their family ties to find me!

I would like to add that there is a branch of the family living in Chile that may be related.  I have become friends with one such Delherbe who was born in Chile and now resides in Florida. So, if you are a Delherbe from Chile and are reading this. Please feel free to comment and add any information to our family tree that you would like to share. Thanks!


  1. Hello Michelle,

    I examine Achille DELHERBE BASTIANI's origin father of Achille DELHERBE PALMA been born in 1895 in Chile.

    In this sentence which you wrote what is the name of the father-in-law(stepfather) which adopted?

    "My New Orleans family of Delherbe left only one living male to carry on the name. He however was the product of divorce in the early 1900's and was raised not knowing his family and was adopted by his stepfather"

    Thank you in advance

  2. Bonjour Dominique,

    The name of the adopted father was Martin Schuth.
    Are you connected to the Delherbe family? I have tried to find the origin of this family in France. I would love to find out more about the French Delherbe families.

  3. Good evening Michelle,

    I can later help you to find tracks of your family with France.
    I am not related to Delherbe. I just try to help voluntarily the descendants of Achille Delherbe to find who are his parents. Achille tells to be called DELHERBE BASTIANI what would mean that da mother is a young lady Bastiani. But I think that maybe Achille modified his name.
    Your Achille Delherbe would have been born in which date and when?


  4. Michelle, you say that your family arrived in America in 1839. It is little early: indeed father Jacques François died on June 6th, 1842 to Médière in the Doubs Besides his son Pierre François got married on April 25th, 1853 to Claude Françoise Blanchard: you are thus a cousin by alliance with Cyril Blanchard: his family tree is
    his e-mail is
    Claudinette is called PERNARD and not BERNARD.
    Claudinette and Jacques had 7 children from 1813 till 1831, I can find you acts and exact dates.

  5. Hello Michelle! so happy to found your blog!, some times I try to find something on the web about the origin of our last name.

    This is the part of the story that people of the family told me:

    They said that Achille Delherbe arrived to Chile, and got married with Sofia Palma Casanova, their son (another Achille) got married with somebody of last name Capurro, then their son got married with Maria Chandia, then my grandpa (René) had my dad Aquiles.

    Currently I'm in California studying, but I'll be back to Chile soon.

    I would love to know something else about the origin of the last name.

    Sorry my bad english.

    Thank you!