My new novel The Loyalist is based on the life of my great-great-great-great-grandfather, Michael Eisan (c.1730-1833). He was born Michael Greissen-Frein in the Palatine area of what is now Germany, an area called Pfalz in German. Nothing is known about his early days– exactly where he was born or who his parents were. One thing that can be conjectured is that he couldn’t read or write very well since the education system in Germany was slapdash and haphazard in those days.
The first thing we know for sure about Michael is that he joined an emigration scheme in 1763. A man with the improbable name of Count von Stumpel, who had served with the British Army in driving the Acadians from their homeland in Nova Scotia, was given land there. He found about 400 Germans willing to pay a subscription to settle his land and defend it from the natives, and Michael was one of them.
Presumably, they sailed down the Rhine River to Amsterdam past the many beautiful castles on their way to the ocean and the ships that were supposed to take them to the New World. In 2015, my sister Margo and I took a trip on the paddle-wheeler Goethe from Koblenz to Mainz and saw some of the sights he would have seen on that voyage.
Edeana and Margo in front of the fountain in Koblenz in 2015.
You can read more about Michael Eisan (nee Greissen-Frein) in my book The Loyalist, available at https://www.amazon.com/Loyalist-Edeana-Malcolm/dp/0987974785 as well as on order at bookstores. Or come to my book launch at First Metropolitan United Church, 932 Balmoral, Victoria, BC at 7pm on September 12 to get an autographed copy..