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).

Tombstone Tuesday : Rev. Ottomar & Agnes Ernestine (Buenger) Fuerbringer

Rev. Ottomar & Agnes Ernestine (Buenger) Fuerbringer grave marker, St. Lorenz Lutheran Cemetery, Frankenmuth, Michigan.
Rev. Ottomar & Agnes Ernestine (Buenger) Fuerbringer grave marker, St. Lorenz Lutheran Cemetery, Frankenmuth, Michigan.
Rev. Ottomar & Agnes Ernestine (Buenger) Fuerbringer, grave marker inscription, St. Lorenz Lutheran Cemetery, Frankenmuth, Michigan.
Rev. Ottomar & Agnes Ernestine (Buenger) Fuerbringer, grave marker inscription, St. Lorenz Lutheran Cemetery, Frankenmuth, Michigan.

This week’s post remembers Reverend Ottomar Fuerbringer (30 June 1810-12 July 1892), a man likely responsible for marrying and baptizing some of your Frankenmuth ancestors. He was the third pastor at St. Lorenz Lutheran Church serving from 1858 until his death. During his career he married over 250 couples, baptized more than 1,600 children, confirmed over 1,000, and performed the burial rites at over 470 funerals.[1] He married Agnes Ernestine Buenger (23 July 1819-15 January 1895) on 18 October 1842 in St. Louis, Missouri.[2] Her first husband, Otto Hermann Walther, was brother to C. F. W. Walther who served as the first president of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod.[3]

“On the 12th of July 1892, the Lord called His faithful servant, Ottomar
Fuerbringer, to his reward in heaven. At 4:00 o’clock in the morning the church
bells were tolled to proclaim the sad news of his death to the congregation. On
the 14th of July his mortal remains were taken to the old cemetery to the place
[where] the altar of the second church had been, where they were laid to rest…”[4]

…..

[1] “Rev. Otto Fuerbringer,” obituary, Saginaw (Michigan) Evening News, 13 July 1892, p. 3, col. 3; digital images, GenealogyBank (http://www.genealogybank.com : accessed 31 January 2014), Historic Newspapers.

[2] St. Louis, Missouri, Marriage Records, Ottomar Furbringer [sic]-Agnes Ernestine Walther, 18 October 1842; digital images, Ancestry.com, Missouri Marriage Records, 1805-2002 (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 01 February 2014). The officiant performing the marriage was Rev. C. F. W. Walther, brother-in-law to Agnes.

[3] “C.F.W. (Carl Ferdinand Wilhelm) Walther (1811-1887) Papers, c.1828-1887,” finding aid, Concordia Historical Institute, St. Louis, Missouri, (http://www.lutheranhistory.org : accessed 30 January 2014), Archives & Manuscripts Collections.

“Ottomar Fuerbringer (1810-1892) Collection, 1810-1992;” finding aid, Concordia Historical Institute, St. Louis, Missouri, (http://www.lutheranhistory.org : accessed 30 January 2014), Archives & Manuscripts Collections.

[4] Robert E. Erickson, History of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Following Counties of Michigan: Wayne, Oakland, Bay, Midland, Monroe, Macomb, St. Clair, Saginaw, Gladwin, Clare, Huron, Sanilac, Tuscola, Lapeer, Ingham, Jackson, Shiawasee, Genesee, Calhoun, Lenawee, Hillsdale, Branch, And Presque Isle (Detroit: Robert E. Erickson, 1924), 162.