Eigsti Family OriginThe Eigsti family came to the America from the Munich area in Bavaria, Germany. The family of Nicholas and Barbara Augstien originates from this area, with all 11 of the children born there. It is believed the parents were born along the German French border near Strasbourg in the Alsace-Lorraine area of France. This area changed hands between Germany and France many times during the last several hundred years. When the Germans occupied the territory it was known as the Elsass-Lothringen. The family's surname in Germany was Augstien and other German family lines with this name have been noted, so it is likely that Nicholas was of German descent.
The heritage of Nicholas and Barbara is not known for sure, because of this, even though they were both believed to be born in this area of France. There were many German settlers and people of German descent living in the area at this time. Many Germans left their country through France during difficult economic times and this area was one of the gathering points.
The family went primarily by Eigstin and Eigsti in the U.S. until the name was standardized to Eigsti by all family lines in the 1880s. Numerous other name variations have been found in the early years including: Ecstance, Eckstein, Ikestein, Eigstin and Eigsty. All of these names seem to imply some phonetic spelling variation of the "german pronunciation" of the name of Augstien. These spellings often were the result of someone trying to interpret the name and put it into "English" for whatever record that was being produced.
Nicholas Eigsti died in Germany sometime before 1851 and did not accompany his family to America. Daughter Barbara Eigsti, her husband and her brother Christian Eigsti came to the U.S. in 1848. Nicholas' widow Barbara Eigsti, came to the U.S. along with the 7 remaining children in 1851.
The trip across the Atlantic was made in a small wooden vessel, which was described as an old style side wheeler. The crossing was just under 2 months, being completed in 56 days. After landing in New York, the family proceeded by rail to Chicago and then by canal to LaSalle, Illinois. The final leg of the journey was by boat to Hennepin and then by team to Bureau County, Illinois.
Barbara and various children's families resided primarily in the Morton, Tazewell County area of Illinois for the next several decades. Some members migrated to Bureau County and 2 of Barbara's children migrated to the Milford, Nebraska area in the 1880s.
Family Tree InformationNicholas and Barbara Augstien were the parents of 11 children in Munich, Bavaria, Germany. Both parents were born about 1800. Nicholas and his youngest daughter Elizabeth died there in about 1850 and 1849 respectively. Barbara and the remaining 10 children moved to the United States by 1851 and founded the Eigsti family in America.
Every person with the Eigsti surname living in the U.S. today appears to connect back to the original family. In excess of 4000 descendants of this couple have been identified.
Descendants of Nicholas and Barbara Eigsti
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Last updated May 23, 2004.