Bernard John Cigrand was born on October 1, 1866, in Fredonia, Ozaukee County, Wisconsin, the son of Nicholas Cigrand and Susanne Schmit. His father, a blacksmith by trade, hailed from Bourglinster, Luxembourg. He was born there on April 30, 1831. Nicholas immigrated to the New World in 1852 arriving in New York from Antwerp, Belgium on May 6 aboard the vessel SS Koophandel together with a group of Luxembourgers. (On the passenger manifest, the name is listed as Nikolaus Zigram). Susanne Schmit, his mother, hailed from Mensdorf, Luxembourg, where she was born on November 1, 1839. Her family arrived in the USA on July 19, 1852, aboard the SS Fanny, having sailed from Antwerp, Belgium. On April 15, 1856, Nicholas Cigrand and Susan(ne) Schmit were married in Waubeka, Ozaukee County, Wisconsin. The 1880 federal census records the family as residing in Fredonia, Ozaukee County, Wisconsin and consisting of Nicholas Cigrand, blacksmith, age 49, wife Susan, age 43; daughter Anna, school teacher, age 20; son Peter, school teacher, age 19; daughter Katherine, age 15 and son Bernard, age 13. Seventeen year-old Wisconsin-born Nicholas Rodesch, of Luxembourg, is recorded as servant in the Cigrand household.
As his brother and sister, Bernard J. too became a teacher, at age fifteen, at Waubeka’s one-room StonyHillSchool. It was there that on June 14, 1885, he held the first Flag Day celebration. In 1886, he ends his teacher’s career in order to pursue the study of dentistry. He becomes an extremely successful dentist, lecturer and author. Bernard J. Cigrand, B.S., M.S., D.D.S. authors, among other books, The Story of the Great Seal of America, or Our Nation’s Mark (Cameron, Amberg & Co, Publishers, Chicago, Illinois 1903) and The Rise, Fall and Revival of Dental Prosthesis, (The Periodical Publishing Co., Chicago, Illinois, 1892). A patriotic five acts drama by Dr. Cigrand entitled Stronger than King or When Hearts Were True played at Chicago’s People’s Theatre, Leavitt and Van Buren Streets, beginning December 17, 1906, for one week. Cigrand wrote many more patriotic articles and essays.