Bevaix Temple - © Nicolas Junod 2019
Born on January 13, 1813 in Bevaix, Henri François is the son of Henri Meiller and Sophie Cornu. His ancestors Meiller go back to Jehannod Meiller, first of the name found, around 1500.
While a 1847 decree changed the spelling of the surname from MEILLER to MELLIER, Henri-François and his descendants kept the old spelling.
He was married on 6 May 1836 in Bevaix with Rosalie Renaud, born January 10, 1813 in Mulhouse, daughter of François and Nicole née Thiébaud.
After giving birth to 8 children, 3 of whom died in the first months of their lives, Rosalie dies at the delivery of her last child on December 10, 1844 in Cortaillod.
Henri-François remarried on 16 June 1845 in Serrières with Pauline Henriette née Martin, born in June 1821 in Peseux, daughter of Charles and Marie née Quinche. They will have 13 children including 3 dead in the first months of their life.
Initially teacher of the burgher's orphans of La Neuveville, Henri François was appointed teacher at Bevaix on November 22, 1847.
He arrived in America on March 4, 1854 with his wife and nine children. It was a long and difficult journey including 58 days of sea-crossing.
They first went to Chicago and traveled the rest of the way with oxen, settling in the small town of Berry, Wisconsin, on a 160-acre farm bought from Lorris Junod.
Their first task was to cut logs to build a house. A lot of work for a big house with two floors. It is still inhabited today, even if it has been remodeled over time.
I am in contact with the descendants of Henri-François in the USA