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Parish of Constants Switzerland & Heckbert surname
Posted by: Carole McCracken (ID *****5891) Date: July 23, 2012 at 11:21:27
  of 9012


My 4th great grandfather was Edward HECKBERT. He enlisted with the British military as a foreign recruit in 1806. I have a copy of his attestation papers (recorded at the time of his enlistment), and his place of birth was listed as Parish of "Constants" Switzerland. However, he enlisted through a recruiting officer in Bremen Germany. I would like to find out more about him but have no idea where to start my search.

In 1806, he was 23 years old and was listed as a "student". I wonder if he might have been a university student. He remained with the British military until 1819 when he deserted in Halifax Nova Scotia Canada. At that time, he was Pay Master Sergeant, so he must have been reasonably educated. I always thought he was born in Germany, as he married a German girl in Halifax Nova Scotia in 1816 and his son (my GG grandpa) spoke with a German accent.

I know there is a city of Konstanz Germany and also a Lake Constance. I believe Konstanz was noted for the universities located there. I am wondering if anybody knows anything about the "Parish of Constants Switzerland". I do think he was born in Switzerland about 1783, not Germany, based on the attestation papers. His surname was spelled as HECKBERT at the time he enlisted and all throughout his military career(and the spelling continues that way today here in Canada).

I did find one other HECKBERT record from the Nova Scotia Archives from the same time period when Edward was in the military there. There was a ROSINA REBECCA HECKBERT who married in Halifax Nova Scotia in 1818. I don't know her age, but she married another soldier in the same Regiment as Edward Heckbert. I assume she might have been around 16 to 18 years old at the time of her marriage, so she might have been the daughter of Edward Heckbert, possibly born in Switzerland or Germany before he enlisted with the military in 1806.

Any hints where I should start my search would be really appreciated. I would love to know where he was born, and who his parents were. When he married in Halifax Nova Scotia in 1816, he was listed as being widowed. I don't know anything about his first marriage though - perhaps he had been married in Switzerland or Germany at a young age and enlisted with the British army after his wife died! In Nova Scotia, his religion was listed as Church of England (Anglican religion) but that might have been because the military chapel in Halifax was Anglican. I would like to learn more about Rosina Heckbert too, but I have no information on when or where she was actually born or how she might be related to Edward Heckbert.


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