German/Prussian Ancestors immigrated to USA from Belgium - help tracing them from Prussia to Belgium?

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This is regarding my 3rd great-grandparents: Wilhelm Friedrich Paske and Auguste Mittelstaedt, and their son (my 2nd great grandfather) Hermann August Paskey.  All three of them arrived in the USA aboard the SS Vaderland at the Port of Philadelphia on 17 Oct 1883.  The ship sailed out of Antwerp the same year. I'm hoping to find some kind of arrival record for them in Antwerp, Belgium. I would think they would have sailed from the Northern part of Prussia, likely Brandenburg area, as Wilhelm Friedrich Paske/Paskey/Paeske was from Neumark. By finding any kind of documentation, I hope this will give me clues as to where they left from, what dates, and maybe I can find out where they were living in Prussia/Germany because we have nothing on them prior to their immigration to the United States. I only recently found the spelling variants of Paeske and Paske.  Our entire lives our family had known only the spelling of Paskey, and I found that they spelled their names Paske on the ship log and immigration documents. In addition to Hermann, they also sailed with children Emilie, Carl, and Wilhelm (or William) Jr. I appreciate any assistance anyone can provide! Thank you!
WikiTree profile: William Paske
in Genealogy Help by Sarah Sterling G2G2 (2.8k points)
Is the birthdate certain? There was a Wilhelm Friedrich born December 1843 to Michael and Dorothe in Libbehne
I do not know. The birthdate we have is based on his gravestone and obituary here in Wisconsin. Thank you so much for this information!

1 Answer

+3 votes
Best answer
Is there any information on them where they lived in the US and died as to where they came from, any relatives who have said where they came from in their information?  Location is key to finding relatives in the old country.  

Brandenburg is near Berlin so they would probably have taken the train to Antwerp as trains were running at the time.  There maybe German records of transit, papers needed to leave Germany?  If the origin of GranowArneswalde is where they came from I believe that that is now in Poland but there still would have been trains at the time.

There are church records, if I have this correct
by Lynn L G2G6 Mach 7 (78.0k points)
selected by Dieter Lewerenz
Hi Lynn!

After arrival at the Port of Philadelphia they settled in Wisconsin and lived mainly in Waupun, WI, but always in Dodge County. They were Lutherans and attended Immanuel Lutheran Church In Waupun, WI (they were and their descendents continue to be prominent Church members). Almost everyone in the family is buried in Forest Mound Cemetery in Waupun. This family had been a brick wall, however, by uncovering the change in spelling from Paskey to Paske in our Lutheran church records, I was able to find their arrival record from Antwerp to Philadelphia.

I had repeatedly looked in FamilySearch for other info, but was unable to come up with anything. Our church records indicated Wilhelm was from Neumark, otherwise I would be completely lost.

Would the spelling Paeske on the travel records just found for me have been spelled Pæske at that time? I only know a few words in German, so that is a weakness of mine in doing research.


Sounds like you are pulling things together,  a's and e's seem to get mixed up alot in records.  Happy venturing.

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