Saturday, August 11, 2012

Surname Saturday- Conrad


The orange trees of Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana is what my grandmother always said was the reason her German family came to live in the south. She said that when they came down the Mississippi River and her great grandfather saw those trees he knew he was home. The family later owned and operated an orange plantation in the parish and the Conrad family became a well known  prominent family of the time.

Jacob Conrad along with his wife Catherine and their five children immigrated from Germany before 1838. According to the eldest daughter Catherine Conrad Menge, they came in through New York, with the intention of going to Louisiana where Jacob had bought land, but first they went to Ohio, where they had my great great grandmother, Margaret Conrad Booth Wiese. They next moved on to Mount Pleasant, Missouri. According to Catherine the family traveled the country in a Prairie Schooner, before finally settling in Plaquemines Parish, La.

Jacob and Catherine Conrad

  • Frederick Conrad born 1823, Germany
  • Catherine Conrad born January 1824, Germany married Anton Menge
  • Sophia Conrad born 1829, Germany
  • George P. Conrad born 1831, Germany
  • John Conrad born 1835, Germany
  • Margaret A. Conrad born December 29, 1838, Ohio 
  • Barbara Conrad 
  • Mary Conrad
Catherine Conrad married Anton Menge who was a famous inventor of his time. His son would go on to also be a famous inventor, as well as a very good friend of Thomas Edison. I was lucky enough to come across a history book which gave details of the life of John Frederick Menge, where he gave his mother's account of her families immigration.

1 comment:

  1. My great grandfather (Conrad Menge) is the son of Anton and Catherine Conrad Menge. He and his brother (J. Fred) did indeed become friends of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford and in fact, they took Thomas Edison and his wife Mina on their honeymoon trip on one of their steamboats. Conrad later moved his family to Dearborn, Michigan, at the urging of Henry Ford. Mr. Ford particularly enjoyed Conrad's fiddle playing. In Dearborn, Conrad worked at Ford's Greenfield Village demonstrating his skills in caning furniture. My great uncle (Conrad Shands Menge)worked as an engineer with Ford Motor Co. and my grandfather (W. Sidney Menge) worked with Ford as a toolmaker, returning to his home in Florida in 1950 where he owned a business and lived until his death. Brothers Conrad Shands Menge and Dr. Joseph Wilmer Menge also returned to Fort Myers upon their retirement. Thanks for this site. I can't wait to share it with my children.

    Marcy Menge Leisure