The brothers John and Christian Fretz, together • with a third brother, (whose name is said to have been Mark, and who died on the voyage), emigrated from near the city of Mannheim, in the Grand Duchy of Baden, Germany, formerly known as the Palatinate, or Rheinish Prussia. They were either of German or Swiss origin, probably the former as they wrote and spoke the German language, and were connected with a distinctively German Church. On the opposite side of the Rhine in the Province of Alsace, are to this day living where they have lived for the past two or more centuries many Fretz's of an old Alsatian stock, who claim they are of German origin, "as all true Alsatians are." The province of Alsace was annexed to France in 1648, prior to that time it was always under German Dominion, and while the French language was exclusively taught in the schools, the language spoken is a German dialect, with decided variations in different localities. However, Fretz is a family residing to this day in the Canton Zurich, Switzerland, so it is possible that the family may be of Swiss origin.