German Emigration Notices

German government-sponsored newspapers often carried notices of intention to emigrate. These notices include the name of the emigrant, his or her place of residency, and occupation or status. Sometimes they contain additional information on the emigrant’s family. More and more German newspapers are being digitized and placed online.

1845_emigration_Intelligenzblatt
1845 German newspaper emigration notices of several of the original settlers of Frankenmuth, Michigan.[1] Their town of origin as well as occupations or statuses are given.
This notice from 1845 contains the names and additional information on several of the original settlers of Frankenmuth, Michigan who came from Roßtall, Bavaria. It lists Martin Haspel, master weaver, with his wife and one child; Johann List, single journeyman carpenter; Johann Leonhard Bernthal (my second great-grandfather), single journeyman weaver; Johann Bierlein, single tenant farmer’s son; Kunigunda Bernthal, single wagon-maker’s daughter; and Anna Margaretha Walther, single ropemaker’s daughter.

Stern_1847_emigration_notice
1847 German newspaper emigration notice including the Johann Michael and Anna Sophia (Stern) Stern family of Brombach, Mittelfranken, Bavaria.[2] This notice provides the maiden names of the women emigrating with their husbands.
Another notice from 1847 includes the family of Johann Michael Stern (my third great-grandfather). It provides his residency as Brombach. It also provides the full name of his wife, including her maiden name. It states that Johann Michael was a Gütler, or smallholder/farmer, and that he was emigrating with his wife and four children.

Gugel_1859_emigration
1859 German newspaper emigration notice for the Georg Gugel family.[3] This notice provides full names and the birthdates of Georg’s children.
This notice for the Georg Gugel family who immigrated to Frankenmuth in 1859 is particularly valuable as it lists the full names of all of his children who are emigrating, as well as their birthdates.

Several websites include some of these newspapers where the emigration notices can be found including Google Books, Internet Archive, and Bavarica for papers specifically from Bavaria, Germany. These government-sponsored newspapers are usually titled “Intelligenzblatt” or “Amtsblatt.” Searching for one of these titles plus a locality (such as “Mittelfranken”) will return several results. Searching with the surname of interest may or may not return results; optical character recognition (OCR) is not perfect, and in my experience, even less-so with the Fraktur font used in these publications.

A helpful and amazing finding-aid for emigration notices published in newspapers in Mittelfranken, or Central Franconia, Bavaria from 1837-1874 was produced by the City of Gunzenhausen, Germany. Staff of the Frankenmuth Historical Association translated and compiled the information they provided. The finding-aid is published on the Saginaw (Michigan) Genealogy Society, Inc.’s website. This index includes not only immigrants to Frankenmuth and the surrounding Franconian colonies but throughout North America. Included in the index are the emigrant’s name, status and/or occupation, place of residency in Bavaria, North American destination when known, possible additional information on the emigrant’s birth or family, and, importantly, a reference to the newspaper where the notice can be found.

German newspapers are a great source of information on one’s ancestor’s immigration to North America, particularly when ships’ manifests can not be located or are extant. Emigration notices may hold the key to the ancestor’s village or town of origin, as well.

Reference Notes:

1. Königlich Bayerisches Intelligenzblatt für Mittelfranken: 1845 (Ansbach, Bayern: Brügel, 1845), 26 February 1845, cols. 361 & 62, item no. 8; digital images, Google Books (https://books.google.com : accessed 13 February 2016).

2. Königlich Bayerisches Intelligenzblatt für Mittelfranken (Ansbach, Bayern: Brügel, 1847), 24 February 1847, cols. 331 & 32, item no. 8; digital images, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Bavarica (http://bavarica.digitale-sammlungen.de : accessed 13 February 2016).

3. Königlich Bayerisches Kreis-Amtsblatte von Mittelfranken 1859 (Ansbach, Bayern: Brügel, 1859), no. 4, 15 January 1859, cols. 60 & 61, item no. 5; digital images, Bayerische StattsBibliothek, Bavarica (http://bavarica.digitale-sammlungen.de : accessed 17 February 2016).

Old News Beat : The Best of the Local News, 100 Years Ago

March 2014

Gera News : Sleigh Ride

Last Friday the teacher and school children of Dist. No 3, had a sleigh ride to Saginaw. They left at 8 o’clock and came in time to go to the Farmer’s Institute in the [Auditorium]. They say many things: silos, little chickens, apples, potatoes, corn, separators, automobiles, sewing machines, seed and so forth.
ALMA MEYER
(One of the children).[1]

WANTED

An experienced man to work on farm, one that can speek [sic] both English and German, and is good at handling horses. To be hired either by the week or month. Good wages. Gottfried J. Hubinger, Frankenmuth, Mich.[2]

Bridgeport Doings

Bridgeport has been described as the worst hell-hole in – – (no need to fill in the blank) each one can do that for himself. We sometimes wonder if hell-holes are not a condition of the mind. If we had a few more boosters in Bridgeport, and not so many people coming into town, looking down the back alley, and then rendering a verdict as to conditions, perhaps more people might seek our home town. Surely there is good most anywhere (if we are looking for it) and no one need come to Bridgeport to find all the evils that are known to all communities. [3]

Local Happenings

The annual meeting of the Union Cheese company was well attended by the stockholders. After hearing the happenings of the year, which were read by John Nuechterlein, Secretary. C. Schwartzkopf, manager and salesman read his yearly report, which showed that 2,583,709 lbs. of milk were received at the factory, of which 262,686 lbs. of cheese was made and the total amount received for cheese was $36,340.11, besides $1073.14 worth of whey cream was sold, which showed a total amount received for 1914, cheese and cream, was $37,413.25. Officers were elected as follows: President, Steven Knoll; Treasurer, Fred Nuechterlein; Secretary, John Nuechterlein; Trustees, John Bierlein, Geo. Bierlein, Leo. Grueber, Geo. Nuechterlein; Carl Schwartzkopf was reappointed Manager and Salesman, and Wm. Bluemlein Cheesemaker.[4]

Sources

[1]”Gera News,” The Frankenmuth (Michigan) News, 05 March 1914, p. 1, col. 4; digital images, The Frankenmuth Archives (http://www.frankenmutharchives.org : accessed 12 March 2014).

[2]”Local Happenings,” The Frankenmuth (Michigan) News, 12 March 1914, p. 4, col. 1; digital images, The Frankenmuth Archives (http://www.frankenmutharchives.org : accessed 12 March 2014).

[3]”Bridgeport Doings,” The Frankenmuth (Michigan) News, 26 March 1914, p. 1, col. 2; digital images, The Frankenmuth Archives (http://www.frankenmutharchives.org : accessed 12 March 2014).

[4]”Local Happenings,” The Frankenmuth (Michigan) News, 12 March 1914, p. 4, col. 1; digital images, The Frankenmuth Archives (http://www.frankenmutharchives.org : accessed 12
March 2014).

Tombstone Tuesday : Johann & Kunigunde (Bierlein) Bernthal

Johann & Kunigunde (Bierlein) Bernthal grave marker, St. Lorenz Lutheran Cemetery, Frankenmuth, Michigan.
Johann & Kunigunde (Bierlein) Bernthal grave marker, St. Lorenz Lutheran Cemetery, Frankenmuth, Michigan.

Johann Bernthal (07 April 1820-02 May 1905) was the oldest child of Georg Martin & Anna Barbara (Bloß) Bernthal. He was brother to Johann Leonhard Bernthal and Cunnigunda (Bernthal) Weber. His headstone is shared with his wife Kunigunde (Bierlein) (28 June 1827-07 August 1899). He came to Frankenmuth from Bavaria in 1846 with the second group of settlers which included his parents, the rest of his siblings, and his wife. Johann and Kunigunde married in Germany, along with several other couples bound for Frankenmuth, prior to their departure for America.

Johann Bernthal grave marker inscription, St. Lorenz Lutheran Cemetery, Frankenmuth, Michigan.
Johann Bernthal grave marker inscription, St. Lorenz Lutheran Cemetery, Frankenmuth, Michigan.
Kunigunde (Bierlein) Bernthal grave marker inscription, St. Lorenz Lutheran Cemetery, Frankenmuth, Michigan.
Kunigunde (Bierlein) Bernthal grave marker inscription, St. Lorenz Lutheran Cemetery, Frankenmuth, Michigan.