Direct ancestors who came to Germany or its predecessor states from other European countries. There have been at least 16 separate immigration events (counting couples arriving together as one event), including seven from Switzerland, and nine from other European countries:

From Switzerland to the Kraichgau area, mid to late 17th century (7 separate families)

Wülser (Wilser), Heinrich, born around 1647 at Linn/Bernerbiet, Aargau, Switzerland, oo 1669 Margaretha Dürrmann at Münzesheim, died 2.1.1733 Münzesheim

Stamm, Martin, born around 1658 at Schleitheim, Schaffhausen, Switzerland, oo 1682 Anna Frick (whose parents also came from CH) at Elsenz.

Hockenberger, Hartmann, born around 1660 at Seehe, Bern, Switzerland, married 1688 Anna Magdalena Wirth at Elsenz, Baden.

Frick, Rudolph *1634 from Knonau, Zurich, Switzerland, and his wife Schleipfer, Kunigunde, born 1635 in Rifferswil, Zurich, settled at Elsenz, Baden.

Kaiser, Jakob, and his wife NN, Apollonia, both born around 1601 at Mühlbach, Bern, Switzerland, came to Baden. Their son Hans Adam Kaiser was born at Hüffenhardt, and all three of them died at Elsenz.

Bär, Heinrich born 1643 Oberrifferswil, Zurich, CH, died 1682 Elsenz. His daughter Katharina Bär was born at Oberrifferswil around 1677, married at Elsenz in 1706

Winterle, Johannes born ca. 1638 Buch, Zurich, CH, oo 1671 Oberacker, Kraichgau


From France, Belgium, Italy, Hungary, or unknown

(sorted chronologically backwards)

Bonnedame / Bodang, Johannes. Born around 1700-1710, he settled in the Palatinate, near Landau. The family name, which degenerated to Bodang may have come from France.

Hust, Heinrich. Born around 1700-1710, he settled in the Palatinate, near Landau. The name is extremely rare in Germany, but in France there was a line of Comtes d'Hust, one of whom may have fled to Germany at one point.

Linard Jacque / Leonhard Jacob. Presumably born around 1650, he arrived in Fachbach on the river Lahn in the 1670s. New ironworks were built there from 1671 onwards by the Mariotte family from Verviers, Wallonia, and they brought skilled workers to the site, presumably from places in Wallonia where they had other ironworks. He was village mayor of Fachbach 1697-1701.

Ebner, Johann Jacob. Born 1646, teacher at the Lateinschule (grammar school) Trarbach, died 1726 Alterkülz. Two independent sources (the Weiss chronicles and the school archives) say his family came from Hungary during the 30-years war.

della Strada, Johannes. Family oral tradition has it that the founder of the Strada line came from Capri in the late 17th century, and worked as a gardener at Schloß Oranienstein, Diez. We now have a documented Johannes de Lastrada whom we believe to be that immigrant, though the gardener may have been in a different generation. This Johannes de Lastrada married Elisabeth Hemmler from Elspe at Wetzlar in 1681, they had 6 children baptised there between 1682 and 1691. In the marriage entry and in one of the baptisms, it is noted that the father of the family is Italian.

Caspers, Hans, born early 17th century, and described as a "welsch" (i.e. foreign) shoemaker at Horn. His son Johann was born in 1644 at Argenthal.

Schuster, Hans, died 1664, another "Welsch" shoemaker at Simmern.

Dammi, Hans. Immigrated (from France?) in 1597, settled at Kirn as a cotton weaver. In 1598 he married Elisabeth, the widow of Urban Welsch.

Johann Dopheide = Jean d'Oppède ? The Dopheide descendants believe that the first carrier of this unique name in Germany, a Johann Dopheide showing up around 1535 in the Bielefeld area, was in fact Jean d’Oppède (*ca.1515), son of the baron Jean Maynier d’Oppède (1495-1558) from the town of Oppède in Provence, who was married to Louise de Vintimille. I understand there is no hard evidence that Johann Dopheide and Jean d’Oppède were in fact the same person, but if the story were true, I could add dozens of French ancestors to my family tree (in fact so many that the numbering system would become impractical. The male line of the Mayniers alone goes back over several centuries, to a first mention in the 11th century, while the ancestry of Louise de Vintimille goes back to Guido (Guy I) Guerra, comte de Vintimille (954), marquis des Alpes-Maritimes et seigneur de Lunigiana et de Garfagnana (see this Wikipedia entry).



Siblings of our direct ancestors who left Germany

Children of Karl Düsselmann (1841-1927) — 3 out of 7 left the country:
→ son Karl from first marriage to Maria Schledorn emigrated to USA;
→ daughter Elise ended up in the Netherlands by marriage:
Elise (1876-1944) oo Otto Finkensieper, Alkmaar, NL. three children:
1. Otto (1906-?), Theologician
2. Kurt (1907-?), merchant at Scheveningen
3. Benjamin (1910-?) merchant at Scheveningen;
→ son Wilhelm (1878-19??) and his wife Hedwig emigrated to the USA in 1924.
Their only child, Willi, became a medical doctor and remained childless.

To USA, early 20th century:
Heinrich Hermann, 1878-19?? , son of Regina Imig (1849-1900), grandson of Wilhelm Imig and Regina Katharina Strack. Upholsterer, emigrated to USA, married there.

To North America, ca. 1845:
Johannetha Weiß, 1809-1879, third child of the teacher Christian Gottlieb Weiß, married Friedrich Dick from Monzingen, reported to have set sail for America with “a stable full of children.” (Possibly because of the famine of 1845/46 triggered by potato blight.)

To Brazil, early 19th century:
Maria Katharina Weiß, born in 1786 as the last child of the village mayor Johann Gottlieb Weiß. According to the Weiß chronicles, she married a parson called Ried from Schauern (Hochwald) and went off to Rio de Janeiro. In fact she married Georg Philipp Rieth (1784-1843), and they emigrated together with their two sons Philipp Christian Gottlieb (*1811) and Johann Friedrich (*1814) in 1829, arriving in São Leopoldo on 25.5.1829. Both sons married within the community of German migrants from the Hunsrück. They had eleven children each and lots of grandchildren, so there are many descendants of the migrants in Southern Brazil to this day. Read more about this.

Klundt family to Odessa (then Russia, now Ukraine), and then to the US:
Johannes Klundt * 1759 Wollmesheim and his wife Eva Katharina Hust emigrated to Rohrbach, Odessa district after 1797. Lots of Klundt descendants remained there (or returned to Germany in the 20th century). Johannes's grandson Heinrich Klundt died in Russia, but his widow emigrated with her children to the US.

Swiss migrants moving on to America, 1730:
Johann Konrad Stamm, son of Martin Stamm and grandson of Rudolph Frick and Kunigunde Schleipfer (all Swiss immigrants, as shown above) ~ Elsenz 20.10.1686, emigrated to America on the "Alexander and Anne", oath on 5.9.1730. There are a vast number of descendants in the US.



  • Last known ancestors

  • Migrants

  • Familien Chronik der Familie Weiss (a previous write-up, from 1891)

  • Other documents






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