The family story goes that, 3 brothers came over from Germany with the last name of Giesner. All alcoholics. Once they came ashore they went and got drunk. They then all got into a fight. One brother, Jacob, said he wanted nothing to do with them ever again and changed his name to Geesner and headed for Ohio. The other, name unknown, said he was changing his name to Gessner and headed off to a place unknown. The third brother, also with his name unknown, kept his last name and headed back to Germany. There are no specifics known, and there is a contradictory story as well. That there were only 2 brothers and they stowed away. Once they got to New Orleans, they went their separate ways, Jacob to Ohio and the other brother, name unknown, went west to Texas.

With so many unknowns, name changes and multiple stories, this family story is proving hard to solve. First place to start was when and where Jacob Geesner came to America. I located his naturalization papers which had the date and port he came into as well as where he left and his place of birth, but not his real name. He came on April 6, 1854 into the Port of New Orleans. He left from the Port of Le Havre in France on the 13th day of February, 1854 . According the document he was born around 1832, in Alsace, France.

It took looking in the 1854 ship passenger lists from New Orleans to find the Lemuel Dyer steamship that came in on April 24, from Le Havre, with a passenger of the name Jacob Geisner, born 1836 in what looks to be Bavaria but the writing is very faded. While that is very close to the Jacob I am looking for, it is not him. I have scoured hand written census reports for Alsace, France communes to no avail. Through DNA, I learned that the client is related to a Salom√© Geisner, but not sure how she connects up with Jacob. I believe that connection is the key to uncovering Jacob Geesner’s early years before coming to America.

I am hoping Y DNA testing of a male paternal descendent of Jacob can lead to more discovers. So this case is as of yet unsolved, and the investigation is ongoing.