Merck Family - Random Notes

Joseph John Merck, with his wife, Katherine Cecilia Eberle, brought his family from the Ukraine to the United States in 1912. This site will contain some random notes and comments about the family background, their experiences, the places they lived, and other subjects related to that topic. No particular organization of comments or articles should be expected.

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Location: Jacksonville, Arkansas, United States

Saturday, November 25, 2006


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Monday, November 20, 2006

Village of Schoenenbourg, Bas-Rhin, Alsace

Schoenenbourg is a farming village in Alsace, eastern France. First mentioned in 1277, it was part of the Abbey of Wissembourg. A centuries old linden tree which stands before the church is said to have been planted by a young woman for her knight leaving for the Crusades and was watered by her tears. It has inspired a number of painters.

Fort Schoenenbourg, just outside the village, was the easternmost post of the famous Maginot Line built by the French as a defense against the Germans after World War I. It withstood months of heavy artillery fire in 1940 and heavy bombardment by Stukas of the German Luftwaffe. It had to withstand more than 3000 missiles in World War II, but the heavy bombardment did not produce the results the Germans hoped for. The Forts crew only surrendered after the French-German armistice was signed by the French government. The village's 18th century church was destroyed by bombardment in 1945.

It was from this village of Schoenenbourg that some of our ancestor Mercks had emigrated to settle in South Russia in the early 1800s. Other Mercks remained in this part of France and it is likely that some of their descendants still reside in the area. However, Edmund M. Merck served as a French soldier in the Franco-Prussian War and then emigrated to Freeport, Illinois, USA in 1871. His great-great-granddaughter, JoAnn Merck Meyers, has been in communication with me since June of this year and has furnished family information and photos which have helped me link the Illinois group of Mercks with our branch of the family.