During the 1700’s many Germans migrated to Louisiana. Many of these Germans migrated as they were paid by the Company of the Indes to bring their skills and help make Louisiana a prospering colony. Germans along with Africans were bought to Louisiana to cultivate the land and become farmers. These farmers were given very little to work with and worked very long hours. The Germans along with the Africans were very prosperous. They were able to grow enough food for themselves and then provide enough food to support New Orleans who was starving at the time.
So why did the Germans become French? In my TPT activity which is part of the Unit 1A – Cultural Diffusion file, we look at two sources that identify reasons for the Germans losing their heritage and how they became more like the French. One obvious change was the German’s last names. Ancestry Magazine suggests that;
When the first Germans came to French Louisiana in 1719, most German names were changed to a French version of how the name sounded. For instance, the German name Heidel was frequently changed to Haydel or Aydel, Schecks neider became Schexnaydre, Traeger became Tregre. Notice how the “ei” becomes “ay” and the “cr” becomes re.” Names beginning with “H” also underwent a change in spelling since this letter is usually silent in French pronunciation, so that Hubre became Ouvre or Oubre. Note that when this same name is later encountered by the English, it becomes Hoover.
There are various different reason found in the sources, but this follows much more along the lines of how cultures diffuse together and become alike.