‘Reiners/Knoben Family Chronicle!’

“Each of us has been warmed by fires we did not build.

Each of us has been nourished by wells we did not dig!”  Author Unknown


My mother, Anna ‘Gertrude’ Hensgens-Monlezun, was German on both sides! During the years I lived away from Louisiana, she would send and I would file away a plethora of informational treasures! During the month of November 1995 we visited with Father Charles Zaunbrecher as he ‘spoke a word’ of his prodigious work tracking and researching the Pioneer German Families of Roberts Cove, LA  while on his annual trips to Germany. This providential visit planted a seed in my ‘heritage memory vineyard!’ My mother had organized the first family reunion for her siblings in 1984 in Lake Arthur, LA for she, as Father Zaunbrecher,  had a keen sense for family gatherings as well an aforementioned familial instinct for tracking and,  as received, stashed it all away!


Mom died in November of 2000. Her people have become my people in a different and profound way for I have gratefully moved more fully and humbly into my generational place, as my father died in 1985.  (Lee Joseph Monlezun was of French Basque ancestry/click ‘Monlezun/Peterson Family Chronicle’)


I, eighth generation Reiners, feel privileged and humbled to tract and record this compendium of my German lineage in gratefulness and reverence to:  1) those who have gone before, 2) those who are here today, and 3) for those who will come after who will pray for us until the ‘The Grand Reunion’ commencing eternal life in The Light!


This compendium is dedicated to Reverend Charles Zaunbrecher.  In the beginning he gathered it all for us! More gathering has been generously tilled by Lawrence Aloysius and

Mary Magdalene Reiners-Cramer to whom I am heartily grateful!!



Theodor Reiners  born 19 May 1722 in Braunsrath, Germany- died 09 May 1778

married: 25 November 1745 Johanna Boverat b. 17 December 1721- d. 02 November 1773 daughter of Johann Boverat and Franziska Lintgens

We have been prayed forward since 1722!



Anton Reiners (b. 30 Nov 1755- Braunsrath, Germany- d. 13 Jun 1813)

m:  26 September 1780 Maria Magdalena Bohnen  (b. 24 Nov 1740 Selsten- d. 14 Apr 1815) daughter of Leonard Bohnen from Selsten and Ida Simons from Braunsrath



Franz Johann Reiners (b. 19 Jan 1784  Selsten- d. 09 Jan 1861 Selsten)

 m:  23 February 1808 in Schierwaldenrath Maria Katharina Jansen b. 11 Oct 1784- d. 06 Feb 1847 daughter of Matthias and Maria Katherina Jansen



Peter 'Leonard' Reiners  b. 05 May 1816 - d. 02 Jul 1870 in Selsten

m:  10 June 1847  Katherina Gertrude Mertens b.1811, Brebe-  d. 22 Nov 1856




Franz Anton Reiners b. 03 July 1846 Braunsrath, Germany- d. 1907 in Roberts Cove, LA

son of Peter Leonard Reiners and Katherina Gertrude Mertens m:  30 June 1872

Maria Veronika Knoben b. 17 October 1847 in Selsten – d. 1928 in Roberts Cove, LA daughter of Lambert Arnold Knoben b.17 September 1811-d. 19 January 1904 and Anna Maria Mechtilde Oidtmann 1812- 11 March 1901.


Wonderful Notation: “Ship records of the S.S. Mississippi, a freighter that sailed from the port of Antwerp, Belgium, by way of Liverpool, England and Havana, Cuba indicate that Franz Anton, 33 year of age, and his wife Maria Veronika Knoben, 32, along with their two children, Peter Joseph age 7 and William Joseph age 5, boarded the freighter, the SS Mississippi, in Liverpool, England to begin their five week journey across the Atlantic to America and Roberts Cove, LA”


CHILDREN of Franz Anton and Maria ‘Veronika’ Knoben-Reiners    

1. PETER JOSEPH REINERS (1874-1936) and Anna Helena Berken (1880-1968)

2. WILLIAM JOSEPH REINERS (1876-1930) and Maria Elizabeth Scheufens  (1884 -1940)  

3. Peter ‘Anton’ Ohlenforst (1878-1944) and CATHERINE ‘JOSEPHA’ REINERS


4. Joseph Hensgens (1885-1959) and Anna ‘Gertrude’ Reiners (1885-1969)

5. Arnold Joseph Scheufens (1886-1967) and MARIA CATHERINE REINERS  (1889-1966)




CHILDREN of Joseph and Anna Gertrude Reiners-Hensgens:

  1. CHRISTIAN JOSEPH HENSGENS (1908-1972) and Mary Elizabeth Thevis


  1. Pirmin Hubert Habetz (1911-1970) and CATHERINE ‘FRANCES’ HENSGENS


  1. JOSEPHA REGINA HENSGENS (1909-1909, 2 ½ months)
  2. CONRAD LEO HENSGENS (1920-1987) and Mary Catherine Theunissen (1922-2012)
  3. Lee Joseph Monlezun (1917-1985) and ANNA ‘GERTRUDE’ HENSGENS (1921-2000)
  4. Herman Lawrence Berken (1921-1996) and BARBARA ‘LEONA’ HENSGENS (1924-
  5. NICHOLAS ANTHONY HENSGENS (1925-1999) Gloria Theresa Deshotels


  1. Guy Gregoire Gauthreaux (1926-2014) and CLARICE JEANETTE HENSGENS (1929-)












The Definitive Book … a Must-read:

“A History of the Germans of Roberts Cove, LA 1880-2007

Reinhart Kondert


With genealogical materials by

Lawrence Aloyious Sr. and Mary Magdalene Reiners-Cramer


Foreward by

Fr. Keith L. Vincent


Center for Louisiana Studies

University of Louisiana at Lafayette, LA


To the descendants of Roberts Cove’s founding fathers:

Their history has enriched us all.


Table of Contents




Chapter 1:  From Geilenkirchen to Acadian Parish

Chapter 11:  The Establishment of Economic and Religious Security, 1882-1900


Chapter 111:  The Golden Age of Roberts Cove, 1900-1917


Chapter IV:  World War 1 and Its Aftermath, 1917-1956


Chapter V:  The Revival of the Ethnic and Historical Consciousness of Roberts Cove (1950s to the Present)


Chapter VI:  Recent Developments, 1987-2007








Very interesting reading, profound and beautiful conceptual writing…

 “All cultures have some concept similar to the saints. It is most likely part of the human psyche and imagination to recognize in certain people some special quality that singles them out from others, some blessing of divine power and grace that connects them to the realm of spirit. People everywhere have created ritual and ceremony to honor the memory of those special human beings in the belief that they have not faded into oblivion. The ancestral past is still alive in the present age. Our ancestors are still with us.


The Christian saints are our ancestors in several ways. Many lived in the same regions that our families are from, so there conceivably could be, unbeknownst to us, actual bloodlines with some of them. As members of a culture heavily influenced by Christianity, we can recognize and appreciate the saints’ efforts to put

into practice the values, beliefs, and attitudes that Jesus taught two thousand years ago and that have continued to make sense over the years, even as the times changed and continue to change. Our heritage, whether familial or cultural, includes these men and women.”