An American Family History

Francois Bertrand & Catherine Hocquette

Seraing, Liège Province, Belgium
Braidwood, Will County, Illinois

Des Moines, Iowa
Chariton, Lucas County, Iowa

“Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists."
― Franklin D. Roosevelt

Seraing is French speaking town in the Liêge Province of Belgium on the Meuse River. It is in the Wallonia region. It is a center for iron and crystal manufacturing.

In the 1830s settlers began arriving in Iowa from Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Indiana, Kentucky, and Virginia. Iowa became a state in 1846.

The 1890 census materials was lost in a 1921 fire.

Francois Bertrand and Catherine Hocquette were married in Belgium on August 23, 1855.

They had three sons. Henri Joseph Bertrand was born in 1856, Samuel Francis Bertrand was born 1860, and Gilles Joseph Bertrand was born in 1863. Their sons were all born in Seraing, Liège Province, Belgium.

The Bertrand Brothers
Henry, Joseph, and Samuel Bertrand

The family immigrated to the United States in 1870 and probably lived in Braidwood, Will County, Illinois, at first. Many families from Seraing also immigrated to Braidwood. Braidwood is a coal mining town.

Francois and Catherine died before the 1880 census.

After Francois and Catherine died, their sons moved to Des Moines, Iowa.

Henry married in, 1878 in Des Moines. In 1880 he was a collier in Des Moines.

Samuel married in 1883 in Des Moines. They remained there until about 1890 and eventually they located in Warren County, Iowa.

Joseph was in White Breast Township, Warren County, Iowa. He was age 16 and was working on the L. H. Rice Farm. He married in Des Moines in 1887.

Joseph was living in Charition, Lucas County, Iowa about by 1890 and Henri was there by 1897.

Members of Joseph and Henry's families were buried together in Chariton Cemetery.

Bertrand Footstones Bertrand Headstone
The Bertrand Plot in Chariton

Illinois became a state in 1818. A large influx of American settlers came in the 1810s by the Ohio River.

Warren County, Iowa was formed in 1846. The county seat is Indianola.


Colonial Maryland
Colonial New England
Colonial Virginia & West Virginia
Quakers & Mennonites
New Jersey Baptists
German Lutherans
Watauga Settlement
Pennsylvania Pioneers
Midwest Pioneers
Jewish Immigrants

©Roberta Tuller 2020
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