Special Inventory German Emigrants

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Special inventory '"Emigrants"' German NLA Archives

Niedersachsen Germany Special inventory Emigrants Click "Show associated objects" to view actual list of individual names of emigrants

Kingdom of Hanover 1814-1866
or go here Category: Schindler-204

The goal of this project is to ...expand knowledge of one of the great German migrations from Lower Saxony to the USA, Australia and other countries in the 1800's. The emigration movement reached its first peak in the German-speaking area in the 19th century. The main reason for mass emigration from this area of Germany is the lack of economic opportunity along with political upheaval and increase opportunities abroad.

The reason I have created this category is because of a recent discovery of immigrants from the German state of Niedersachsen that appears to include many economically depressed families which the local municipalities could no longer support. The US or "Amerika" welcomed immigrants to populate vast areas of the "New World", as did Australia. Especially needed were human resources for our growing industries and expansion.

The persons or profiles on this archive range from the days of when part of Germany was part of the Roman Empire through when the residents of Hannover (today called Niedersachsen) were part of Prussia. This list will continually change as I enter names from the Niedersachsen, German archives. I expect there are approximately 90,000 names listed on the 1,049 page list. Currently profiles created total approximately 3,000.

Please follow this link to see individual profies as they are entered: Schindler-204

As my ancestor's were miners in Germany I created a page that is a history of mining in the Harz mountains near Clausthal/Zellerfeld in the Goslar district of Niedersachsen (Lower Saxony), Germany written by Maren Dieke. Clausthal und St. Andreasberg im Oberharz By Maren Dieke

I am Michael Schindler.

  • ABOUT THE NLA ARCHIVES--- Niedersachsen Land Archives

Arcinsys Niedersachsen and Bremen – the archival information system of the Niedersachsen Federal State Archives and the State Archive Bremen and other archives in Niedersachsen and Bremen. Developed in cooperation with the Federal State of Hessen. It is a common system for users and employees and it covers the full range of offers and functions of the archives.

Without registration you can find information on archived records and View digital copies. The website has an English translation built in for non-German speaking researchers. For registered users you can save archival items to personal memo list. Submit requests for access at archives. Order archival items for access. List ordered and accessed archival items.

NOTE: If you have German roots look around and you should be able to find an archive that has a treasure of information on either a Church records website or a separate National website. More resources in English are available every day. The main Wikitree resource should always be the Germany Project on Wikitree. The number of resources there are too numerous to mention here as that source has links that have links and is almost endless. Germany Project Resources

Here is a link to another Wikitree page focusing on a similar topic in Australia that may interest anyone reading this page called Prussian Settlement in Australia: [Prussian Settllement in Australia] Thanks for your visit.

Another link to a story about what life was like for an emigrant on board and in the steerage compartment of one of these ships: [Immigrant's Voyage in Steerage]

Thanks! (updated (4/18/2023) Mike Schindler Schindler-204

Memories: 2
Enter a personal reminiscence or story.
I just came accross a good source of information about the German naming convention of other items of interest to anyone doing research in regards to German emigrants.

A short sample of what is written there: It should be noted at this point, that German people adopted the practice of giving multiple first names. Generally, the last name was the child’s personal name. Any names in front of this were to honour an ancestor or godparent. Hence the patriarch Heinrich Julius Wilhelm MAY was called Wilhelm. Early records show his name as Julius Wilhelm and he married as such; Heinrich appears to have been added after he arrived in South Australia, for whatever reason. The rule that the last name was the personal name did not always apply and Johanne Christiane Wilhelmine MAY was in fact called by her first name, Johanne. I will attempt to simplify the situation by underlying the name that I know or assume was the personal name. To further complicate matters, when the full name was written by German people the last baptismal name was sometimes bought to the front.

posted 18 Oct 2021 by Michael Schindler   [thank Michael]
Thanks Mike. I will need a few years to catch up with biographies you have posted.
posted 23 Nov 2020 by Steve Thomas   [thank Steve]
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Why did Germans immigrat to Australia?

Follow this link to a story written by Rene Vollmer to find the answer:

HARZ to Adelaide And a paragraph or two here: Harz to Adelaide: 1848-1854 FROM THE HARZ MOUNTAINS (KINGDOM OF HANOVER) TO ADELAIDE AND BEYOND: GOVERNMENT-SPONSORED EMIGRATION 1848-1854 by Renate Vollmer South Australian Genealogist 20:2 (April 1993) Germans have emigrated to South Australia ever since the first settlements were established in 1836. The best-known group of early German immigrants - Lutherans from Prussia - arrived only two years after the founding of the colony, and, continued throughout the century, several hundred Germans arriving every year 1. However, with the exception of the Prussian Lutherans and a few distinguished individuals, little is known about most of those German emigrants. In the middle of the 19th century, large numbers of emigrants (from the Harz mountains in the Kingdon of Hanover) arrived in Adelaide - 1100 alone between March 1849 and January 1855. How did this sudden influx of Germans from one particular region come about? In 1848, the Ministry of Finance in Hanover and the local authorities in the Harz had decided that in order to improve the economic situation of the region, emigrations should be encouraged 2. South Australia was picked as the most promising location for several reasons: - The predominant industry in the Harz had always been mining. By the late 18th century, the government-owned mines experienced economic dificulties, mostly due to falling prices for metals. Futhermore, the mine shafts had reached great depth, which made raising the ore expensive. By the middle of the 19th century everybody expected the mines to close within the next decade or two. - Not only had the actual mining process become difficult and costly, some special working conditions had developed in the region over the centuries. For example, miners were generally not discharged, even if less work was available. Free medical attention, unemployment benefits and pensions for retired miners, their widows and for orphans made mining in the Harz costly, even though the sum paid each individual was very small. Futhermore, the population rose from 25,008 in 1825 to 30,173 in 1846 - an increase of more than 20% - leading to higher expenses in poor relief etc.3

As I continue to enter profile names it is quite apparent that another reason many emigrated was to avoid millitary service as the Archive Emigration records mention they left without permission and did not complete their enlistment when called.

posted by Michael Schindler
edited by Michael Schindler
A common job description found in the emigrant files is listed as a pocharbeiter. A direct translation is not easy to find. poch meaning pound or stamp (for one variant. So, Pochwerk, or a Poch, is a stamping machine, and the worker (arbeiter) is one who does the work using the stamping machine.

Go to this German wikipedia page to read the full description of this work, and why it was important. a Paragraph or two copied here. A Pochwerk or a Poche , also known as a stamping mechanism, shock mechanism, percussion mechanism or Pocherich, was a machine used to crush ore . [1] Stamp mills were mostly integrated into the smelters and iron hammers . [2] The technical director of a stamping mill was Pochsteiger called. [3] A permit from the mining authority was required to operate a stamping mill. [1] Stamp mills were also used in other stamping mills , such as oil mills , tinder mills , bone mills ,Blue ink mills and powder mills used. The raw ore from the ore mines had to be processed before being smelted . [4] Some ores had such a low metal content that you first had to smash them in order to be able to process them further. Such low-grade ores were referred to as throbbing. [5] Depending on the grain size achieved, the respective punching process was called coarse pounding, Rösch pounding or fine pounding. With coarse punching, grain sizes between four and eight millimeters are achieved, with Röschpochen the grain sizes were two millimeters and with fine punching one millimeter. [6]The resulting crushed ore was known as punching flour or punching stuff. If the punching flour was sharp-edged, it was called the crunchy witness ; if it was only slightly rough, it was called the mild witness . If the pounder did not pay close attention to the pounding process and the ore was pounded too long, the ore particles were crushed into fine flakes. These platelets could not be used for further processing because they floated on the water and were washed away. Such particles were said to be “the ore has been knocked to death”. [7]

posted by Michael Schindler
Thanks for this explanation Michael. I could not translate pocharbeiter. I would now translate it as mill operator.

Stamping mills are still important machines. I assume they were the main method to crush ore to release metals in the Nineteenth Century. This is particularly relevant in South Australia. The young British province was close to financial ruin until the discovery of copper in 1842 at Kapunda which claims to be Australia's oldest mining town. Stamp mills were used in gold mining in the Adelaide Hills in the 1880s.

posted by Steve Thomas
edited by Steve Thomas
Thanks for commenting. Guess I would suggest using Ore so people don't think of milling flour etc. But there are many job descriptions that come up from those days that no longer translate. I have to go to German wikipedia ( help sometimes or one of my friends that speak German.

Hope things going well over there.

posted by Michael Schindler
I agree with you. 'Ore mill operator' seems clumsy, but it is worth clarification that this is not a flour mill.
posted by Steve Thomas
From a recent G2G post about marriages I found this website for German research and this article on marriages.

German Genealogy Marriage Customs, Laws and Records The many formerly independent kingdoms, duchies, and other small and large entities that made up the German Empire, led to variations and customs relating to marriage. In addition, in the 18th and 19th centuries marriage laws were passed to limit population growth in the lower classes. This led to more out-of-wedlock births and an increase in emigration. The prospective couple had to submit proof of property and employment income sufficient to guarantee that they would not need public assistance in the future. Hessen-Nassau and Bavaria had the most restrictive laws. A 1722 law in Wuerttemberg specified the minimum age for marriage as 25 years for men and 22 years of women. A 1822 Ducal decree in Hessen-Nassau had the minimum ages as 22 and 18 years.

Some common customs and requirements in marriage included:

Prescribed rituals for engagements, such as the bride's family being required to buy certain quantities of alcoholic beverages from the local tavern. Requirement of parental permission for first marriages. If the parents were deceased, the county court gave permission. Marriage usually took place in the bride's home town. Dispensations were required for those related by blood up to the fourth degree and for marrying outside of one's religious denomination. The intent to marry was proclaimed 2-3 times in each person's home town/parish of residence and/or birth. Dispensations for a price could be obtained if the couple already had a child or were planning to emigrate. If either party was a serf tied to the land, the lord of the land had to given his permission to marry. Special permission to remarry were often required if a person was divorced. Divorces were usually granted by the court, and partners sometimes were denied the privilege to remarry for a number of years. Soldiers could not marry until they were discharged, and after posting a large bond that would support survivors if he was killed. This led to many couples living together and bearing children before marriage. Journeymen had to complete their traveling training before receiving permission to marry. They often married girls in the town where they received their training. Marriage records may include proof of property ownership and income, copies of parental permission, birth/baptismal certificates, and military discharge papers. In some instances, the marriage permission files may include guardianship records for illegitimate and orphaned children giving the child's name, birth date, birth place, parents, guardian, and details concerning financial arrangements. A town council could deny permission to marry, and the whole process could be repeated several times.

Wedding contracts regulated everything that was brought into the marriage -- both possessions and children from previous relationships -- as well as what was to become of them in case one of the spouses died. These contracts are a good indication of a family's social standing because they included such things as requirements for children to be raised in the Christian faith and how much money they had for food and clothes.

To find these records, check first with the state archive for the area in which your ancestors lived. Also check local town or community archives and genealogical societies for these and other unique records.

posted by Michael Schindler
Another item I am finding as I enter these names into the wikitree database is the large number of men who decided to emigrate to other countries to avoid military service. It appears it must have been mandatory and the consequences for not joining in to fight the 7 weeks war or Austo/Prussia war were heavy.

It appears that these men just headed to Bremen and jumped on the first ship to where ever it was going.

posted by Michael Schindler
In entering names from the recent list of Auswanderers as part of this project I noticed so many Ahrens names emigrating from Germany I decided to do a search to see if these were Jewish families. I cannot tell for certain about the names I have found, but here is an answer to a search I have done. Link to follow as to where I found this information

AHRENS, AHRENZ Surnames derive from one of many different origins. Sometimes there may be more than one explanation for the same name. This family name is a toponymic (derived from a geographic name of a town, city, region or country). Surnames that are based on place names do not always testify to direct origin from that place, but may indicate an indirect relation between the name-bearer or his ancestors and the place, such as birth place, temporary residence, trade, or family-relatives. There are several German towns with which Ahrens could be associated, among them Arnstein in lower Franconia, north west Bavaria; Arnsdorf in Saxony; Arnsberg in Westphalia; Ahrensburg in Schleswig Holstein; and Arendsee in Saxony. As a Jewish name, Ahrens is also one of the German equivalents of the Hebrew Ben Aharon, that is "Aaron's son" Aaron/Aharon, son of Amram and Jochebed, of the tribe of Levi, was the elder brother of Moses. He was the first high priest of the Jews, and the ancestor of the Cohanim. Numerous personal and family names are linked to Aaron, spokesman and aide of Moses, among them Aron, Aren, Oren, Horn, Goren, Oron and Baron.

Distinguished bearers of the Jewish family name Ahrens include the 20th century American attorney Burton Joel Ahrens.

posted by Michael Schindler
edited by Michael Schindler
If you have ever wanted to know more about what it was like for the immigrants on board one of the ships from Europe to the US or Australia or others, read this:'s_Voyage_in_Steerage%2C_1888-1 A Sham Immigrant's Voyage in Steerage - 1888

These is a condensed, excerpted example of a multi-page account (link below) of traveling in steerage in 1888. It covers a phase of immigration midway between the terrible conditions of the "Middle Passage" in 1840-50, when disease often ran riot in the packed ship in a forty-day crossing, and the conditions just before the great war, in 1910-13, when agents of rival British and German lines were combing Europe for passengers for their newer, faster, bigger ships with ten times greater the third-class capacity which allowed for polyglot passenger lists, whole villages boarding a single ship.

Follow the link to read the full story.

posted by Michael Schindler
Here is a website you may be interested to explore if you have German roots. This is the German Emigration Museum in Bremerhaven, Germany.

Explore what you can on here, but if you ever get the chance and you travel to Europe, consider this to be a "place in History" to explore before your return trip.

posted by Michael Schindler

Permission to this post has been received as long as it is used for non-commercial purposes and author credit is given Internet: Filename: GERMNAME.HTM

Date: Written: 18 Aug 1995 Published Online: 2 Oct 1996 Last Updated: 23 Feb 2006

Author: Charles F. Kerchner, Jr. 3765 Chris Drive Emmaus PA 18049-1544 USA

Subj: 18th Century Pennsylvania German Naming Customs & Patterns


Notice: Copyright (1995-2003) Charles F. Kerchner, Jr. All Right Reserved. Establishing links to this page is encouraged and permitted. But, reuse or reprinting it in it's entirety or in part in other websites, or in any other media or publication, without my permission, is not permitted. Printing a hard copy of this report for your own personal, non-commercial use is permitted. Please notify me of any copyright violations of this material you may be aware of. Thank you.

1. At baptism, if two given names were given to the child, the first given name was a spiritual, saint's name. The second given name was the secular or call name, i.e., "rufnamen", which is the name the person was known by, both within the family and to the rest of the world. This custom was originally adopted in Germanic and other regions in Europe from Roman Catholic tradition and continued by the Protestants in their baptismal naming customs. The immigrants from these areas brought the custom with them to Pennsylvania. The spiritual name, usually to honor a favorite saint, was used repeatedly and was usually given to all the children of that family of the same gender. Thus the boys would be Johan Adam Kerchner, Johan George Kerchner, etc., or Philip Peter Kerchner, Philip Jacob Kerchner, etc. Girls would be named Anna Barbara Kerchner, Anna Margaret Kerchner, etc., or Maria Elizabeth Kerchner, Maria Catherine Kerchner, etc. But after baptism, these people would not be known as John, Philip, Anna, or Maria, respectively. They would instead be known by what we would think of now as their middle name, which was their secular name. Thus these people would be known respectively as Adam, George, Peter, Jacob, Barbara, Margaret, Elizabeth, and Catherine in legal and secular records. For males, the saint's name Johan or John for Saint John was particularly heavily used by many German families, but also Saint George was used by some families for male children. The child's secular name was really John, if and only if, at baptism he was named only John, usually spelled as Johannes, with no second given name. The name John spelled as Johannes is rarely seen spelled as Johannes as a spiritual name, i.e., you rarely will see the name at baptism recorded as Johannes Adam Kerchner, etc. It is generally always found spelled as Johan or Johann when used as a spiritual name. Thus, you find the spiritual name of John recorded as Johan Adam Kerchner or Johann Adam Kerchner, not Johannes Adam Kerchner. Many researchers, new to German names, who find a baptism of an individual with a name such as Johan Adam Kerchner, thus mistakenly spend a lot of time looking for a John Kerchner, in legal and census records, when he was known after baptism, to the secular world, as Adam Kerchner. Also when reading county histories, etc., especially those written by individuals in the 20th century, and the author is referring to someone as John Kerchner, and you are not looking for a John Kerchner, but the history sounds otherwise familiar, further research may turn up that this person was really not a John Kerchner, but instead was someone else such as a Johan George Kerchner. You would thus find all his 18th century records recorded under the name George Kerchner and not John Kerchner and therefore after checking the data and correlating the facts you may find this is really a story about your missing George Kerchner. FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE REST OF THE STORY

posted by Michael Schindler
edited by Michael Schindler
Replied on G2G
posted by Michael Schindler
There's a good discussion about this subject in Note particularly the comments by Helmut Jungschaffer and Melanie Paul.

It's important to note that Wikitree does not prohibit putting more than one name in the Proper First Name data entry field. I've started putting at least 2 names in that field. For the German ancestors I'm tempted to put all the names in that entry field and not include a middle name.

This helps sort out who-is-who when you look at a category page and see a long list such as Johann Schmidt.

posted by Steve Thomas
edited by Steve Thomas
Probably a good idea for many reasons. And add any clarification needed in the Bio.
posted by Michael Schindler
[1] Children of Poor Immigrants Rise,

Regardless of where they come from I just found an interesting story online. The key paragraph that caught my eye was: Immigration to the United States has consistently offered a route to escape poverty — if not for poor immigrants themselves, then for their sons. The story is fairly long so only those into this topic need read further. Follow the link if you wish.

posted by Michael Schindler
Today I realized after communication with a German researcher that my characterization of the families and children on the list attached to this free space profile is totally incorrect, and probably derogatory. So I am going to change the name of the group by removing the word "Orphan".

So the new name will be "Special Inventory Emigrants to USA" to better reflect the individuals and their reason for resettlement in Amerika (misspelled on purpose because that is how it is spelled in Germany)

posted by Michael Schindler
Replied on G2G
posted by Michael Schindler

"FREE-SPACE-PROFILE" Special inventory "Emigrants" German NLA HA SF Auswanderer is German for Emigrant Link to this page for the story below. Above is the link for the detailed immigrant file.

History of creator Emigration or emigration means leaving the home country permanently. The emigrants leave their homeland either voluntarily or forcibly for economic, religious, political or personal reasons. Such migration movements have been repeated over the centuries with varying degrees of intensity. In addition to the neighboring European countries, immigration countries have increasingly become non-European areas (North and South America, Australia) since the end of the 17th and early 18th centuries. The emigration movement reached its first peak in the German-speaking area in the 19th century. Hamburg, Bremen and especially Bremerhaven become central overseas emigration ports. The main reason for mass emigration is the economic development in the German states. After 1880 there was yet another major wave of emigration, primarily to the United States of America, which however no longer reached the strength of the previous emigration movement. In the first half of the 20th century, the motives for leaving the German Reich were the First World War, inflation in the 1920s and the socio-political effects of National Socialism between 1933 and 1945 (especially the persecution of the Jewish population). The German Emigration Center in Bremerhaven, which has been open to anyone interested since August 2005 as a newly established museum on "emigration", vividly devotes itself to this topic in various facets and periods. Custodial history In the run-up to that from June 1, 2000 to October 31, 2000 Under the motto "People, Nature and Technology - A New World is Coming" in the world exhibition EXPO 2000 taking place in Hanover, the idea arose to search for information about emigrants in the archives of the main state archive in Hanover and to use a special inventory to "emigrate" the data obtained to capture. Archive holdings were evaluated in various project phases. The focus of this evaluation was on emigration overseas in the 19th century. 10 positions are evaluated to collect data on emigration (see the following example). The archive holdings of the main state archive in Hanover, which may contain corresponding data about emigrants, include those of the district courts (archive holdings group Hann. 72 and Hann. 172), the offices (archive holdings group Hann. 74), the rural droste (archive holdings group Hann. 80) and the Counties / district offices (archive inventory group Hann. 174). In addition, suitable information was searched for in archive holdings from the Bergarchiv in Clausthal-Zellerfeld. Due to limited financial and human resources, it was not possible to evaluate all the archive holdings in question. Use of the special inventory "Emigrants" For use, please note that only the data on emigration are included in the special inventory "Emigrants". The original title of the file in the associated archive inventory differs from this (see the example below).

Example for the signature Hann. 72 Osterode No. 222

Title in the archive stock "District Court Osterode": Guardianship book for the district of Osterode Contains: Förste, Nienstädt, Eisdorf

Title / dates in the special inventory "Emigrants" Name, first name, origin: Töpperwien, August, Förste Birthday / age: March 5, 1831, died November 26, 1859 Occupation / status: Parents: Töpperwien, Jacob, Ackermann Mitauswanderer: Faith: Destination (country / place): America Date of emigration / registration: before November 26, 1859 Financial situation: Other: Entry in the Easter or guardianship book [main no. 136] reads: "Since the pupil died on November 26, 1859 in America, this No. will be canceled in the future."

Status: 2006Finding aids EDP-Findbuch (2006) Further information (funds)

Archivist in charge Petra Diestelmann (2006) Access The archive material can be viewed in the Lower Saxony State Archives in Hanover, taking into account compliance with protection and blocking periods in accordance with Section 5 of the Lower Saxony Archive Act (NArchG).

posted by Michael Schindler
edited by Michael Schindler