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Old 07-10-2013, 01:42 PM
 
Location: NH and lovin' it!
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Don't forget Prussia. My grandfather served in the Prussian Army over a century ago, but was considered German when he immigrated to the US.
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Old 07-10-2013, 03:58 PM
 
Location: Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoanD'Arc View Post
Don't forget Prussia. My grandfather served in the Prussian Army over a century ago, but was considered German when he immigrated to the US.
Prussia became part of the unified German Empire in 1871. That's why he would have been considered German.

Unification of Germany - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 07-10-2013, 06:02 PM
 
Location: NH and lovin' it!
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Originally Posted by cdnirene View Post
Prussia became part of the unified German Empire in 1871. That's why he would have been considered German.

Unification of Germany - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Thanks! I really need to get back to this genealogy stuff! lol
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Old 07-10-2013, 08:05 PM
 
Location: Tucson, AZ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gardener34 View Post
My spouse and I have relatives from Germany to America (to Wisconsin and IL respectively). Both from Schwerin Mecklenburg and Vorpommern. Seems to have been a common place for many to have come from.
Early Americans from Germany came from the Palatines I believe. I have that ancestry too.
This is a good link regarding research in the Pommern region: eMecklenburg - Informationssystem zur Familienforschung in Mecklenburg
gardener, my father's grandparents were immigants from Grabow, Mecklenburg. Mecklenburg lost about 10 percent of it's population to emigration in the period 1870-1900, and many of them came to the USA. I visited the town of Grabow last year while on a visit to Berlin.

If you can read German, here is the town's website:
Stadt Grabow - Home

Grabow is southeast of Schwerin, which was the capital of the Dutchy of Schwerin Meclenberg before it became part of a unified Germany in 1871. Grabow's population today is about 5000, fewer people than when Germany was re-unified in 1991. Many people left to find better paying jobs in larger cities, especially in what used to be called West Germany.

Grabow is on the main rail line from Berlin to Hamburg, about 90 minutes west of Berlin and about an hour east of Hamburg. Because of the proximity to Hamburg, it was relatively easy for Mecklenburgers to reach that big port to board the steamships of Hamburg America Line in the 19th century. My great grandmother Emily was alone and 19 years old when she boarded the steamship Lessing in Hamburg, arriving in New York City on July 28, 1881. This was before the Ellis Island Immigration station existed, so she did not pass thru there.

Today Grabow is a town that looks little changed from when my great grandparents left in the late 19th century. It was too small to be a target of WW2 bombing, and most of the battles of WW2 were further west or further east. It was behind the Iron Curtain in East Germany (GDR) during the Cold War era, and little commercial development occurred. You can see a few small cooperative factories that were set up in that era, but are now closed. There is a small Soviet Army cemetary in town with a few dozen graves and some granite markers, but that is about the only visible sign of the former USSR military presence that was in the area for nearly 50 years.
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Old 07-10-2013, 08:22 PM
 
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Baden-Wurttemberg
There's a very good ebook out there by Arthur Singletary, who took over his father's own research after he died (Singletarys and Herrens, for the most part, though I believe more family names are covered). I found it here, I think: http://www.singletaryherrin.com/book/. The Herren line is supposedly descended from Herrenalb, near Baden. I contacted Arthur via Ancestry.com before I got it because I wasn't certain about his sources, but from what I understand and have read myself, the research is sound -- many genealogists use it to link lines, etc. It's written very well, and though I can't recall exactly where most of them ended up, that "Baden" reference perked up my ears -- it's thought they made a stop through Ulster and picked up some Irish genes before coming to the colonies, but some came straight through, and many settled as far south as NC and GA. They started moving toward the Midwest about 100 years later, but they were early settlers. Naturally, NY, ME/MA (before they were separate states) and CT were big areas to hitch their horses, but many moved farther south to DE and even NC and GA. I was really surprised to find German roots in the south.

Also, I agree with the other poster re: the two "Psychic Roots" books by Henry Z. Jones. They're fun to read, and you might even come across your own lines in the many stories he collected from professional genealogists and hobbyists. He focuses on the Palatines for the most part, but it forks off into many different trails and is a treasure when you need a break from research. Good luck!
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Old 07-11-2013, 02:46 PM
 
Location: St. Louis
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I forget where I read it, but I did read once that there were so many German immigrants in Missouri at one time that it almost became a German speaking state. I'm from MO and I'm half German but a lot of our ancestors also went to Texas.
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Old 07-11-2013, 02:49 PM
 
Location: somewhere in the Kona coffee fields
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Originally Posted by bjh View Post
Germany now, Germany then. No, wait! There was no Germany, ...
You are right, it's more precise to refer to "German speaking" people.
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Old 07-11-2013, 05:41 PM
bjh
Status: "Having fun." (set 17 hours ago)
 
Location: Memphis - home of the king
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KaraBenNemsi View Post
You are right, it's more precise to refer to "German speaking" people.
True. Some may think their ancestors came from Germany due to family surnames, but they may have originated from Austria, Switzerland, western Czech republic, maybe some other places.
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Old 07-11-2013, 08:31 PM
 
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My German lines immigrated in the 2nd half of the 1800's. They came from all over what is now Germany - Guestrow -[Meklenburg-Schwerin/Prussia]; the Nahe towns[Rhineland Palatinate]; even Leszno[Lissa and Prussian at the time] in Poland. Though a small contingent went to Iowa[?], most came to and stayed in New York - some moving upstate but most staying still in the city. They moved to Brooklyn soon after the bridge was built, then farther out Long Island.
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Old 07-11-2013, 10:08 PM
 
Location: New Mexico
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Pommern (or Pomerania) was part of Prussia but much of it is now the Baltic coast of Poland. My family came from the village of Kerschkow in Kreis Lauenburg on the eastern side of Pommern not too far from Danzig (now Gdansk).
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