Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Johann de Kalb Family Legal Documents, 1848-1856

Finding aid created by
Erin Platte and Meg Hixon, November 2012

Summary Information
Title: Johann de Kalb family legal documents
Creator: United States. District Court (Ohio : Southern District)
Inclusive dates: 1848-1856
Extent: 7 items
Abstract:
This collection is comprised of 7 items related to a legal dispute over lands in Ohio belonging to the heirs of Johann De Kalb, baron de Kalb, a French military officer who served with Continental Army forces during the American Revolution. De Kalb's granddaughter, Léonore Nicette de Kalb, became involved in a lawsuit after the sale of a tract of land without her knowledge or consent.
Language: The material is in English and French
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site: www.clements.umich.edu


Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

1998. M-4011.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.

Copyright:

Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information:

Cataloging funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This collection has been processed according to minimal processing procedures and may be revised, expanded, or updated in the future.

Preferred Citation:

Johann de Kalb Family Legal Documents, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


Arrangement

The collection is arranged chronologically.


Biography

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.


Collection Scope and Content Note

This collection is comprised of 7 items related to a legal dispute over lands in Ohio belonging to the heirs of Johann de Kalb, baron de Kalb, a French military officer who served with Continental Army forces during the American Revolution. De Kalb's granddaughter, Léonore Nicette de Kalb, became involved in a lawsuit after the sale of a tract of land without her knowledge or consent.

The collection contains 3 copied documents from French archives: a marriage certificate for Elie de Kalb and Marie Elisabeth Charlotte Signard, Léonore Nicette de Kalb's birth certificate, and a marriage certificate for Léonore Nicette de Kalb and Raymond Vandière de Vitrac, Vicomte d'Abzac. Two letters concern the testimony of Johann de Kalb's heirs, and the lawsuit's purpose and history. The latter is Léonore de Kalb's personal plea to the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio (April 7, 1856). Copies of two testimonies are accompanied by letters authorizing Charles L. Fleischmann to collect depositions from Léonore de Kalb and her husband. In their sworn statements, de Kalb and d'Abzac provided genealogical information about Johann de Kalb, his military service, and his descendants.

Subject Terms

    Subjects:
    • De Kalb, Johann, 1721-1780.
    • Inheritance and succession.
    • Real property--Ohio.
    Contributors:
    • Abzac, Raymond Vandière de Vitrac, Vicomte d'.
    • De Kalb, Léonore Nicette.
    • Fleischmann, Charles L.
    Genre Terms:
    • Birth certificates.
    • Estate administration records.
    • Letters (correspondence)
    • Marriage certificates.
    • Testimonies.
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Box   14, Small Collections  
    Johann De Kalb family legal documents [series]
    Folder   10  
     May 27, 1848-April 7, 1856
    Additional Descriptive Data
    Related Materials

    This collection arrived at the Clements Library with the Tadeusz Kościuszko family legal documents.

    Bibliography

    "Johann Kalb." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online Academic Edition. Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2012.

    Williams, Max R. "Kalb, Johann." American National Biography Online. Oxford University Press, 2000.