Thursday, March 31, 2016

German Immigration Records: Hamburg, New Orleans and Ellis Island

On Tuesday March 29, 2016 Genealogy Insider by Family Tree Magazine Editor Diane Haddad posted a blog about German Immigration Records. The blog provides a helpful timeline regarding those that departed from Hamburg as well as providing the link to those records on  It also got me thinking about my German connections.   

My husband’s paternal grandfather came from Hamburg to Ellis Island only two generations ago, fleeing compulsory military service in an area claimed by both Germany and Russia that today lies in Poland. His lineage is difficult to discern in the geo-political jumble from whence he came with little family memory to provide clues.  Grandpa’s journey is recorded at departure from Hamburg on April 24, 1913 and his arrival 15 days later in New York.  He settled in Michigan and was naturalized in 1931.

On my maternal side, my German ancestors came through New Orleans, records also available on  At the age of 28 my 2x great grandfather Carl C. Raiffeisen came overland, likely by train, from the Rhineland near Cologne to Antwerp, Belgium in November 1849 and sailed to New Orleans.  He then took a steam ship up the Mississippi River to Booneville where he took horse and carriage to his final destination, a farm near Cole Camp in Benton County.  Within two years he had married and established his own farm in Morgan County near Syracuse.

The National Parks Service provides a list of resources from the U.S. Government and private sources for passenger records here, many of which are free.  There are a few listed that are new to me so I am looking forward to exploring new avenues to the past.

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