Unlocking Our Heritage

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Dieler Reveals Our Past

Reading J. Hanno Deiler at Hahnville High School, Nancy Tregre Wilson told her father, “We are German, not French.” “But how can that be,” he remarked, “I read my prayers in French.”

J. Hanno Deiler
J. Hanno Deiler (1849–1909). Photo courtesy of the Historic New Orleans Collection

J. Hanno Deiler (1849–1909) was born in Bavaria, Germany, was educated and taught in German schools, and emigrated to the U.S. in 1872.

He settled in New Orleans, becoming principal of a German school. He later was appointed a professor of German at the University of Louisiana (Tulane).

His most notable work was published in 1909, The Settlement of the German Coast of Louisiana and the Creoles of German Descent, which uncovered historical information lost for almost two centuries.

Deiler, a linguist, was able to determine that many descendants of the German Coast settlers were for the most part German and not French.

He was interred in Greenwood Cemetery, New Orleans.

This text is copyright © material by Marilyn Richoux, Joan Becnel and Suzanne Friloux, from St. Charles Parish, Louisiana: A Pictorial History, 2010.

Further Reading

Settlement of the German Coast of Louisiana and The Creoles of German Descent
By J. Hanno Deiler

The German Coast During the Colonial Era 1722-1803
By Helmut Blume
Translated, Edited and Annotated by Ellen C. Merrill