Johann Kalb, baron de Kalb (also known as Jean de Kalb), was born in Hüttendorf, Bavaria, in June 1721, the son of Johann Leonard Kalb and Margarethe Seitz. He joined the French Army in the 1740s and served in the Löwendal Regiment. He earned successive promotions and, in 1763, received the Royal Order of Military Merit. De Kalb resigned in 1764, after participating in the Seven Years' War. From 1767-1768, he traveled around North America to assess residents' attitudes toward Great Britain. He returned in 1777 to assist the Continental Army in the American War of Independence, and received an appointment as major general. De Kalb died on August 19, 1780, of wounds he sustained during the Battle of Camden. He and his wife, Anna Elizabeth Emilie Van Robais, had three children: Frédéric (d. 1793), Elie (1796-1834), and Marie Anne Caroline.
Elie de Kalb married Marie Elisabeth Charlotte Signard on February 5, 1807. They had a daughter, Léonore Nicette de Kalb (b. 1811), who married Raymond Vandière de Vitrac, vicomte d'Abzac, on June 26, 1828. Marie Anne Caroline de Kalb married Jean Luc Geymuller around 1785. Their children included Rudolph Theophile and Luc. Luc Geymuller and his wife, Virginie Réné, married in 1829 and had three children: Gustave Adolphe, Pierre Adolphe, and Elisabeth Euphrasie. Following the deaths of Virginie in 1847 and Luc in 1849, Raymond de Vitrac assumed custody of the Geymuller children.
In May 1822, President James Monroe signed an act that granted the heirs of Johann de Kalb 11 tracts of land in Southern Ohio. In 1837, an attorney acting on behalf of the Geymuller family sold part of the tract to General S. Stokely without the permission of heiress Léonore Nicette de Kalb. The resulting legal case remained unresolved as of April 1856.