Surname Dress, or Drefs

by Paul Morris
(Chicago, IL, USA)

I'm trying to track down where France my 2great grandfather.
The death cert and the US census uniformly say that he
was born in Alsace, France, or Germany. His name was Joseph
Dress (often Drefs in script). He was born about 1816. I
have found the Dress surname in bas Rhin censuses in only
one commune up by Wissembourg, and in a different commune
(also near Wissembourg) in a book about Alsace emigration.
If I want to confirm this information when I am over in
France/Germany, is there someplace, maybe Strassbourg where
I might be able to identify other towns where the surname
is historically found? Is Dress, by any chance unique to
Alsace, or to bas Rhin?

Thanks for your help

Paul Morris

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by: Suzele

Hi Paul,

Chances are that Dress is a misspelling.

If you have any hand written versions of his last name written in German, it's most likely that everyone has misinterpreted it.

The German cursive of the past is very different than the modern cursive form.

So I would go with Drefs or another plausible spelling.

Dreyfus is a name that is attached to Alsace although it tends to be Jewish.

Happy hunting,

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