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Old 11-07-2013, 08:25 PM
 
Location: Shaw.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
Colonial German immigration to PA was mostly from southern Germany, as far as south as into Switzerland.
The big area was the Palitinate. Though I'm sure sense then, Germans have come from everywhere.
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Old 11-08-2013, 06:13 AM
 
Location: "Daytonnati"
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The colonial era immigrants came from, mostly, the Palatinate (Pfalz in german) and the Kraichgau area of Baden (the northern parts of Baden adjacent to the Palatinate).

This is sort of obscured by the Moravians and Amish, who didnt come from this particular part of German but became very well known due to their distinctive folkways and religous practices.

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After the colonial, t depends. Certain areas recieved immigrants from certain parts of Germany.

For example there is a large rural area north of Dayton that has a substantial German Catholic settlement. The ancestors of this community came from only two rural counties in what used to be the dutchy of Oldenburg (the counties of Kloppenburg and Vechta), in northwest Germany.

Other areas (particularly urban areas) may have recieved more of a mix.
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Old 11-08-2013, 06:25 AM
 
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Out on the Great Plains, a lot of Germans were actually descended from Germans who migrated to Russia and the Ukraine in the 1700's and left when the Russians started to impose military service and such on them. So they ended up moving mostly to the Great Plains in Kansas, Colorado, Nebraska, and the Dakotas. Before they moved to Russia though I don't know where they came from. It probably depends on the group since they were split in Russia into Catholic, Lutheran, and Mennonite groups.
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Old 11-08-2013, 06:41 AM
 
Location: "Daytonnati"
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^
there's an interesting aspect of migration there, which one finds elsewhere in Eastern Europe.

I (and probably others) mentioned the Pfalz & Baden as source regions for the early wave of German colonization. Nearby is Swabia, or Schwaben. Around the same time as Germans were leaving the Pflaz to colonize America Germans were leaving Swabia to colonize the Danube Basin as it was being conquered from the Turks by the Austrian emporers. Apparently this region had been largely depopulated under the centuries of Turkish rule was sort of a willderness/frontier area, akin to our frontier.

So there was this big German diaspora both to the New World and to quasi-frontier areas in eastern Europe...and during the same time frame (1600s and 1700s)!

This adds a new spin or perspective on the dispersion of German-speakers from their homeland.
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Old 11-08-2013, 08:50 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
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As others have noted, they really came from all over. It does seem though that later German immigration to the U.S. (from 1860 to 1920 or so) tended to skew considerably more Southern German/Catholic in cities, and more Northern German/Protestant in rural areas.
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Old 11-08-2013, 09:17 AM
 
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Most people claiming to be german-americans have large ancestries frmo other countries (British Isles and Ireland for example). Its like the poles from CHicago, you see a group of Polish-Americans and real Polish people and they look nothing alike.
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Old 11-08-2013, 09:41 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
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My German ancestors immigrated from just outside of Munich, in Lower Bavaria. Also, Switzerland (Zurich).

Both families were a bit unusual because they immigrated here very early - the first set in the 1640s and the second set in the early 1700s - I think the 1720s.
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Old 11-08-2013, 10:20 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenbay33 View Post
Out on the Great Plains, a lot of Germans were actually descended from Germans who migrated to Russia and the Ukraine in the 1700's and left when the Russians started to impose military service and such on them. So they ended up moving mostly to the Great Plains in Kansas, Colorado, Nebraska, and the Dakotas. Before they moved to Russia though I don't know where they came from. It probably depends on the group since they were split in Russia into Catholic, Lutheran, and Mennonite groups.
There's descendents of those Germans from Russia in Oregon as well. I know several people who have Volga German ancestors.

The Volga Germans in Portland, Oregon

There was also Bavarian settlers in the area and in the Willamette Valley. Mt. Angel is a town founded by both Swiss and Bavarians that still has a huge giant Oktoberfest.


On my own family side, the oldest ancestor we could find on American soil was a German preacher who came over from Hesse way back around 1700 to Virginia and married a Indian woman. He was before the initial first big wave of German Colonial settlers in that era even.
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Old 11-08-2013, 10:44 AM
 
Location: Florida and New England
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German emigration to America (and Canada) happened, as noted up-thread, in waves. And the geographic part of the US to which they emigrated largely depended on the historical moment -- around the US Revolutionary period, most Germans stayed in the eastern US. Later, immigration picked up into the Appalachian and Ohio Valleys. And in the late 19th century, they came to the plains and prairie states.

A large group of immigrants arrived in the central US starting in the 1850s and continuing until the 1880s. Many of these immigrants came from Baden, Wuerttemberg, and Bavaria -- in Germany it's referred to as "die grosse Umsiedlung" (or sometimes Aussiedlung). The 1848 upheavals within Germany caused a lot of economic turmoil, resulting in some of this emigration. The US civil war slowed the tide, but it resumed strongly after 1865.

The Germans who had emigrated to the east, like the Volga Germans, started to leave the Soviet Union after the Bolsheviks took control and especially during the Stalin purges. The last of them left with the retreating Nazis in 1943.
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Old 11-09-2013, 06:46 PM
Status: "Nobody's right if everybody's wrong" (set 26 days ago)
 
Location: New Albany, Indiana (Greater Louisville)
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Mine were all from the Palatinate Region other than two who came from the German speaking part of Switzerland. They all arrived in America in the 1700s at Pennsylvania, moved south into North Carolina, and then into Kentucky (by then ethnically mixed) I'm only 10% or so German though.
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