Hanover (Hannover) Emigration and Immigration

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For a comprehensive understanding of emigration and immigration records, study the article Germany Emigration and Immigration.

In the 19th and 20th century, from 1820 to 1930 Hannover (Lower Saxony) lost approx. 700.000 people due to emigration. Most of them are documented in emigration lists.

Between 1832 and 1886 the Kingdom or Provinz of Hannover lost officially 183.355 inhabitants to emigration. Most emigrated to the United States of America and Osnabrück supplied 42% of emigrants or 77.056 people. Emigration occurred in three phases. In the 1840s a crop failure initiated an emigration wave of the under stratum. After the  Civil War emigration from Hannover increased again because of the Homestead Act of 1862 promising emigrants 160 acres of farmland, practical free of cost. The last wave of emigrants to the United States was in the 1880s. The emigration from Hannover proves that gainful employment in Hannover throughout the 19th century was not very promising.

Source: LernWerkstatt Geschichte Hist. Seminar Hannover

Emigrants[edit | edit source]

The emigration records contained in the archives of Lower Saxony are being indexed. Indexes for the former administrative districts of Hannover, i.e., Osnabrück, Braunschweig, and Ostfriesland are meanwhile available in the state archives of Osnabrück, Wolfenbüttel, and Aurich. Emigrants from the former area of Schaumburg-Lippe are already documented. Similar projects have been initiated in the state archive Hannover for the former administrative districts of Hannover, Hildesheim, and Lüneburg. 

Hannover City or Kindgom of Hannover[edit | edit source]

If information about your own ancestor shows that they were from Hannover, they might have been from Hannover City or somewhere else outside the city but within the Kingdom of Hannover (surrounding the city). Use the indexes of births, marriages, and deaths at Kirchenbuchindex, 1774-1875 to determine whether they were from the city.

Emigration from the Kingdom of Hannover to Ohio [edit | edit source]

People with German ancestry were among the earliest white settlers in Ohio. Many migrated from Pennsylvania during the 1700s (Westmoreland County) or from Maryland (Fredrik County) and became settlers in Columbiana County, Ohio. These early immigrants originated from Wuerttemberg and Sachsen-Anhalt. Other early German settlers were found in Shelby County at Fort Loramie. In 1800 Germans helped found Lancaster (Fairfield County). Later, other settlers to Ohio came to help with canal constructions in the 1820s and 1830s. German communities were well represented in modern-day Columbiana, Hamilton, Stark, Portage, Jefferson, Auglaize, Perry, Fairfield and Mercer counties, Ohio. In the early 1830s large numbers of Germans began to settle in Cincinnati, especially in the Over-the-Rhine section of the city. Because of anti-German hostility, Germans tended to establish their own communities in Ohio and elsewhere.
In 1900, 204,160 native-born Germans resided in Ohio. In 1920, the number shrunk to 111,893 and by 1940 there were just over 66,000 people of German extraction in the state of Ohio. In 1980 only 9,435 Cleveland residents were native-born Germans compared to the year 1900 when approx. 40,000 of them lived in this city.
From where in Germany came the settlers? Here are some statistics:
In 1850 ¾ of all Germans who settled in the southern part of Auglaize County, Ohio came from the Landdrostei Osnabrück, Oldenburg Münsterland and from the northwest of the Regierungsbezirk Münster. 60,000 people emigrated between 1832 and 1866 from the Landdrostei Osnabrück alone. Between 1832 and 1850 3,515 people came from the villages of Ladbergen and Ostbevern.
Ostbevern immigrants settled in German Town and Fort Loramie, Glandorf (Putnam County) and Cincinnati. Emigrants from the Earldoms of Diepholz and Hoya came out of Barnstorf, Mariendrebber, Dreek and Twistringen. Also, people from the districts of Vörden, Bersenbrück can be located in Ohio.
1,500 immigrants came from Venne which today is part of Ostercappeln in the Landkreis Osnabrück, Lower Saxony, Germany. Most of these immigrants were day laborers. They earned their income by taking on work as it became available. The area around Osnabrück and Münster were economically depressed. Hence emigration was a real option for many residents.
The first organized group from Venne left Germany between 1832 and 1834. The majority went to Black Swamp, Ohio. Black Swamp was the only region not settled in Ohio in the 1830s. The swamp area was located between Wood and Sandusky counties. Also, Cincinnati and surrounds (Ankum) held a great attraction for Venne immigrants. In 1840, 8% of Cincinnati’s population was of German origin, in 1850 it was 22%. 10% of all German immigrants between 1832 and 1845 came from the Osnabrück area.
Germans built thriving communities in the urban and rural areas of Ohio. Many church buildings still stand as evidence of the German influence. A map of Lutheran Churches in 1850 of Ohio shows where most edifices had been built and therefore gives an even better clue in which Ohio counties were German settlements. Documents left behind render clues of people once participating in activities there.
In the records of the North German Lutheran Church of Cincinnati one can trace German ancestors back to their roots in Germany.

German Ohioans – Ohio History Central – A product of the Ohio Historical Society.
Ohio Immigration Records http://www.ohiogenealogy.org/imm.htm
Anne Aengenvoort. Die Auswanderung Nordwestdeutscher nach Ohio 1830-1914. Stuttgart 1999
Udo Thörner. Venne in America. The 19th century mass migration to America of Tenants and small Cottage Farmers from the Rural Village in the Region of Osnabrück. Osnabrück 2008.

Emigration from Hildesheim[edit | edit source]

The population in the German states was steadily increasing in the 19th century. Consequently, more workers were present than employment opportunities. This was especially true for bigger cities. Hildesheim was one of the cities in Hannover from which emigration occurred. The magistrate of the city issued permissions to emigrate. The officials were advised especially to regulate petitions from young men who were eligible for military service.  Male inhabitants between the ages of 20 and 27 were allowed to leave the country with only special permission. They had to be unfit for military service or had to stand bail. Releasing young men from military service needed the permission of the Landdrosteiamt (military administration).

The Family History Library houses films capturing petitions and lists of emigrants from Hildesheim to North America. These documents range from 1825 to 1913 (year 1850 is missing) and contain valuable information, such as  names, birth dates, emigration destination, date of emigration etc.

Films are available through the FamilySearch Center system and can be ordered. Film numbers are International 2063759 and 2063760.


From Nasses Dreieck, Germany to London, England[edit | edit source]

Farmhands, daylaborers and servants from the part of Hannover known as Nasses Dreieck or Elbe-Weser-Dreieck migrated from the Kingdom of Hannover in hopes of better employment to London, England. Here in the East End of London was a thriving sugar refinery industry which employed 1.200 workers (before 1850) of which 1000 were Germans from the Elbe-Weser region.

The workers of the sugar refineries were predominantly single men who were looking for better earnings and in some cases, dodged the draft. For some it was indeed possible to save up money, return home, marry and establish themselves by paying off debts.  Some even managed to become self-employed or move on to settle in the United States.

It was feasible for these men to establish themselves in London, because those who had gone before, would help them with employment and housing. There were churches and inns where a German could feel at home without really having to adopt to the local culture. Those men who decided to marry and settle in England also found German schools, hospitals and clubs to attend. Even a fire insurance company was established in their behalf which still exists today.

Names of those who were involved can be found at this website.


Zuckerbäcker in London, Meitchel Krüger stammt aus London, Vater war Zuckerbäcker, weitere Informationen zum Thema Zuckerbäckerei, auch Links 

Germany Nationwide Records Websites[edit | edit source]

  • German Emigrant Data Base,covers 1820-1939, main source: New York passenger lists beginning in 1820, supplemented by material found in Germany, ($)

U.S. and German Passenger Lists and Indexes[edit | edit source]