July 18, 2011

Nathan Neibaur, Strong Soul

We don't know much about Alexander Neibaur's father, but what we do know shows a strong character and unweilding will.  His greatest hour was when he stood up to Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte. 
Nathan Neibaur was a prosperous Jew.  He spoke several languages and was trained as a physician and surgeon.  Nathan Neibaur and his wife Rebecca were living within the walls of the fortress Ehrenbreitstein when their son Alexander was born in 1808.  This fort was built on the Rhine river, and at various times throughout early history, was claimed as part of France and Prussia.  Today it's part of the city of Koblentz, Germany. 

Nathan served in the French army as physician and surgeon (some say for a time as Napoleon's personal physician), but his greatest service was to Napoleon Bonaparte as a linguist and interpreter.  Years later, when Napoleon's tattered regime began to falter, the great Emperor came back to the fortress at Ehrenbreitstein and approached his old friend, Nathan Neibaur.  He offered him large sums of money and other perks to come out of retirement and work for him again.  This time as a spy. 

Nathan would not entertain the offer.  He was opposed to Napoleon's principles and his integrity wouldn't let him serve a leader with which he didn't agree.  Napoleon could conquer most of Europe, but not the determined mind of Nathan Neibaur.

Nathan Neibaur, our Jewish Grandfather, passed on this determination and integrity to his son Alexander.  Alexander embraced what he determined was right without regard to pressure from others.  Hopefully we can also claim these traits as Nathan Neibaurs' posterity.

Disclaimer:  This was written using resources available at the time of writing, in good faith.  Author is solely responsible for content.

Works Cited:

Bassett, Theda. Grandpa Neibaur was a Pioneer. Salt Lake City: Artistic Printing, 1988.

Carter, Kate. "The Jews in Early Utah, Alexander Neibaur, The Mormon." Carter, Kate. Treasures of Pioneer History. Salt Lake City, Utah: Daughters of Utah Pioneers, 1952. 333-340.

Hayward, C. Lynn. Notes from the Life of Alexander Neibaur. 30 Jan 2009 .


  1. Thanks for this wonderful information. Alexander Neibaur is my great great great grandfather. I come through the miller line and then into the Richardson line. I am intrigued by the stories of his family and migration to the US. Thanks again

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    3. Hello cousins :-) I come from the Neibaur/Miller line. Since the age spans of the generations are so varied and long it's not surprising to find relatives who are around the same age but are higher or lower on the "great great etc" chain. For example, Alexander Neibaur and Eleazer Miller are my great great great great grandfathers, and I met another cousin who's close to my age but doesn't have the same number of "greats" between herself and Alexander. I hope to attend one of the big Neibaur family reunions someday. I'm proud of our heritage and very grateful that Grandpa Neibaur wrote in his journal with such discipline. I'll bet he never imagined just how precious his writings would become. Now, if we could just find the name of Nathan Neibaur's father...

    4. @ Andrew, I am only in my 50's, early ones at that. But I appreciate that you perhaps consider my writing 'seasoned' and 'mature.' I just got involved in genealogy in my teens, so I got a head start. My best friends are at least 10 years older than myself, so I just get along well with the mature set. Glad to know you and Lori, my cousins!

  2. Thank you for posting this. Nathaniel And Alexander are great family heros of ours. Their stories have been told to us for years.

  3. Thank you for posting this. Nathaniel And Alexander are great family heros of ours. Their stories have been told to us for years.

  4. I'm happy to be names after such a great man.