This book is based on a series of lectures delivered by the historian H.A. (Heinrich Armin) Rattermann and published in German in Der Deutsche Pionier which Rattermann edited. Largely un-noticed or inaccessible in its original form to 21st-century genealogists, German Pioneers of Montgomery County, Ohio is now available in a copiously annotated and illustrated English edition, thanks to the efforts of German-American scholar Dr. Elfe Vallaster Dona.
The topics covered by Rattermann himself in this work include Dayton’s beginnings and various township histories, daily life and traditions among the German pioneers, Montgomery County’s small businesses, musical life of the early Germans, social clubs and singing societies, and a number of immigrant stories. Equal in importance to the lectures are the nearly fifty pages of annotations provided by Professor Dona, which, among other things, identify the parentage, geographical origins, and even dwelling houses of Rattermann’s subjects. Dona’s inclusion of historical and contemporary photographs of persons, places, and things referred to in the text also helps to bring the original lectures up to the present day. With a Foreword by Don Heinrich Tolzmann.