Most German and Swiss emigrants to the New World during the middle of the 19th century left from the Port of Bremen. Sadly, those lists were destroyed during the final year of World War II. The lists that have survived from this period pertain to the port of Hamburg and are in the custody of the Hamburg police authorities. (For the early years of this migration, the original Hamburg lists do not exist; instead, researchers must rely on transcriptions made by police clerks in large bound registers.)
Working from microfilm copies of the Hamburg police lists, Clifford Neal Smith has here reconstructed the identities of about 7,000 Hamburg passengers whose names were found among 60 separate lists for the year 1850. For each entry the compiler provides the following information: passenger’s surname, given name, occupation, birthplace, and reference number from the police register. The lists themselves were published originally as the first three Parts of this volume, each of which concluded with a surname index. The fourth and final Part contains the author’s supplemental notes on the emigrants’ places of originâ€”a heroic effort on the part of Mr. Smith to differentiate among the 1,750 places of origin mentioned in the police lists. Since the original lists do not distinguish among villages of the same name, the author provides his own alphabetical listing of every place name from eastern and central Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Austria, and Hungary from which an emigrant may have originatedâ€”complete with latitude and longitude coordinates.
Supported by Introductory comments, lists of abbreviations, and lists of sources, this scarce consolidation is a must for anyone whose ancestor might have left from Hamburg in 1850.
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