terrebonne parish

The Fandal family of Gibson

Frederick “Fritz” Fandal immigrated from Germany and become a major landowner in the Gibson area.Though he eventually moved to New Orleans, he’s buried in Gibson.

When I think about the founding families of Gibson in Terrebonne Parish (yes, I’ve been on quite the Gibson tear lately), a few names come to mind: Sick, Walther and Fandal. They were the major landowners in the days after the Civil War. In fact, a lot of the homes that stand today in Gibson are on parcels of land cut from those families’ original holdings.

The Fandals started with Frederick “Fritz” Fandal, who immigrated from Germany and somehow found his way to a tiny swamp town in Louisiana. Supposedly, he invested the profits from hunting alligators into buying property. Eventually, he started a lumber mill and fathered a dozen children. Today, there’s still a street named for him in Gibson although it’s misspelled as Fandall.

Half a century after his death, Fandal’s story was retold in a local newspaper article about his great-great grandson’s tragic death. You can read it below.

This appeared in the Morgan City newspaper in 1969.

5 thoughts on “The Fandal family of Gibson”

      1. Fritz Fandal was also my great great grandfather. He was born in Westfalen, Prussia, German Empire. He emigrated to the US in 1852 with his family. I have been able to find a copy of the ships manifest listing his father, mother and one sister but have not been able to find any documentation on his arrival or for his brother Peter. Ship was the Richard Alsop, it left Antwerp Belgium on 20 July 1852 & arrived in New York on 27 August 1852.

        The story that has been handed down is that the family travelled from New York to Pennsylvania then down the Ohio & Mississippi River’s to New Orleans. On the way downriver his father Petri died of yellow fever and was buried on a sandbar near Cairo, Illinois leaving Fritz to take care of his mother & younger siblings.

        I would love to get my hands on documentation showing Fritz arrival. My guess is that he was on the Richard Alsop but not listed. My understanding is that prior to 1855 immigration documentation was a copy of the shipping manifest, no official government documentation.

      2. No, I haven’t been able to find his naturalization papers but I really haven’t been looking for them. I’m still trying to figure out if he was on the same ship as his father or on another ship.

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