Author Clifford Neal Smith’s fascination with German immigration records from the first half of the 19th century inspired him to transcribe many valuable but hard-to-find sources. An excellent example of Smith’s tendency to burrow in the records is this work devoted to German-speaking individuals from the Upper Alsacian region of France, an area legendary for its change in rulers.
The book itself is based on the two surviving registers of passports issued by the departmental government between 1837 and 1844 for travel outside of France. The author has culled nearly 2,000 records from the registers for persons whose destination was the U.S. Also included is a select group of emigrants whose destination was given as Hamburg or London, cities which often were intermediate destinations in unreported emigration to America. Each entry gives the name of the emigrant, age, place of birth, places of residence and destination, profession, accompanying family members, and the entry number and date from the passport register. Originally published as two separate booklets, these remarkable finds are reprinted here for the first time in many years as two books in one, each of which is preceded by an informative introduction and followed by a surname index.