Author Topic: German immigrants  (Read 1555 times)

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German immigrants
« on: October 07, 2015, 05:11:51 PM »
One of my hobbies is genealogy.   While I am bit of a Heinz 57 like most Americans, learning how my ancestors arrived here has become one of my passions.  One of the things that I find is neat when I read old immigration and census data is that German immigrants did not claim Germany as their country of origin.  They usually claimed their duchy.  For example, some of my ancestors claimed Hessen as their country of origin, and they gave that answer every time that they were asked until the turn of the century when claiming Germany became the standard for anyone arriving here from one of the German states.   

With that said, can we really refer to men who brought lager brewing to America as German brew masters?  I bet that they did not think of themselves as German brew masters.  I bet that they thought of themselves as Bavarian, Bremen, Hessen, fill in the blank duchy brew masters.

Offline Stevie

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Re: German immigrants
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2015, 05:51:12 PM »
Heritage and nationalism was a big deal for them back then. In those days people didn't travel and somebody from Hessen might as well have been French to a Bavarian. Same goes for the UK, the Scots I know are Scottish first.

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: German immigrants
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2015, 05:52:40 PM »
All of my life my family talked about being Germans on my dad's side (Leininger), French on my mom's side (Volentine). Then a couple years ago I did some digging and found out my Great Great Granfather came here from the ancesotial home of Menchhoffen... France. But its only been in France since the 1600s, except for a short time in the 40s. My understanding is that the common language is German and has been for all that time.

Anyway, I wonder too. The area that my GGGrandfather settled, he called German Town, Ohio. I think the town is called something else now. But clearly he must have identified as German, even though his home was in France.

It seems like brewers tend to refer to German beer styles by region though, and that the term German refers to all of those. So it stands to reason that if someone claims to brew German beer, they probably mean they brew more than one of those regional styles. Kind of like saying you brew British beers, might imply you brew English, Irish and Scottish
« Last Edit: October 07, 2015, 05:55:53 PM by klickitat jim »

Offline pete b

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Re: German immigrants
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2015, 05:57:56 PM »
The Holy Roman Empire was neither Holy, Roman, nor an Empire. This is as good a chance as any to say that.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: German immigrants
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2015, 06:11:11 PM »
My older sister is the genealogist in the family. On my dad's side they came from the state of Baden in 1847, when there was quite a bit of social and political unrest in that region. Germany did not exist until 1871, so they were from Baden. The family mythology was that they came from Baden Baden, but it was really a small town west of Heidelburg. The name was Renkert, and there are still Renkerts in that town in Germany. The next generation was Renkert, then it changed to Rankert. For some time I thought the name was changed at Ellis Island, but that was not established until 1892. So it was the county clerk spelling it differently, or a family feud.

My mom's side was from Alsace, which went back and forth between Germany and France.

Last July my sister wanted to take a cheek swab, I said sure, as she was paying. Her DNA results were interesting. Mine was more so. 72% British Isles, I have more British DNA than the average British person. The rest was Western Europe. France, Germany and the Low Countries. A little from Spain(?), and just a little Scandanavian.  Go figure. Of course there were a few waves of Germanic tribes that went through England, so some of my ancestry would be a positive for England.

« Last Edit: October 07, 2015, 06:12:57 PM by hopfenundmalz »
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: German immigrants
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2015, 06:22:43 PM »
Kind of like saying you brew British beers, might imply you brew English, Irish and Scottish

If you told me you brewed British beers, I would not assume Irish or Scottish beers were included.
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: German immigrants
« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2015, 06:30:44 PM »
Kind of like saying you brew British beers, might imply you brew English, Irish and Scottish

If you told me you brewed British beers, I would not assume Irish or Scottish beers were included.
An old gent in a pub explained it as:
There is England, Great Britain = England, Scotland, and Wales, the U.K. = GB + N. Ireland.

Yeah, we talk of  Scottish and British beers.


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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: German immigrants
« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2015, 06:38:09 PM »
Kind of like saying you brew British beers, might imply you brew English, Irish and Scottish

If you told me you brewed British beers, I would not assume Irish or Scottish beers were included.
An old gent in a pub explained it as:
There is England, Great Britain = England, Scotland, and Wales, the U.K. = GB + N. Ireland.

Yeah, we talk of  Scottish and British beers.

I'm guessing that pub was in England.
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline Stevie

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Re: German immigrants
« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2015, 06:41:48 PM »
The video below explains the UK very well. His channel also has interesting videos on voting systems and loads of others on the UK. He is an Anglophile American Expat.

http://youtu.be/rNu8XDBSn10

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Re: German immigrants
« Reply #9 on: October 07, 2015, 06:46:02 PM »
Coming back to the topic, I have no idea from where in Germany my ancestors originate.

They wound up in Northern Wisconsin, though.

And, if I had a duchy I'd pass it on the left hand side.
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline Stevie

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Re: German immigrants
« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2015, 06:53:17 PM »
What else is mind boggling is that some of the "Old World" countries are younger than the US as far as their modern incarnations go. Before that they were loose groupings of nations and city states.

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: German immigrants
« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2015, 06:55:09 PM »
Kind of like saying you brew British beers, might imply you brew English, Irish and Scottish

If you told me you brewed British beers, I would not assume Irish or Scottish beers were included.
An old gent in a pub explained it as:
There is England, Great Britain = England, Scotland, and Wales, the U.K. = GB + N. Ireland.

Yeah, we talk of  Scottish and British beers.

I'm guessing that pub was in England.
The Flask in Hampstead. It was St. George day.
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: German immigrants
« Reply #12 on: October 07, 2015, 06:57:29 PM »
Coming back to the topic, I have no idea from where in Germany my ancestors originate.

They wound up in Northern Wisconsin, though.

And, if I had a duchy I'd pass it on the left hand side.
Brilliant!

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Re: German immigrants
« Reply #13 on: October 07, 2015, 07:01:00 PM »
On my dad's side they came from the state of Baden in 1847, when there was quite a bit of social and political unrest in that region.

Huh.  My German roots on my dad's side trace back to Baden as well, around the same time I think.  I'll have to check on the city.  Names were Dosch and Kruse.  Possibly Weber but then that would have been changed at some point.  My mom's side is pretty much all British.
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Re: German immigrants
« Reply #14 on: October 07, 2015, 07:10:36 PM »
The really interesting part with genealogy or DNA analysis is how blurry all the lines get at times.  Even if you get DNA analysis, they are only estimating anyway.  For example, the Roman Empire controlled so much that no matter what your ancestors claimed their nationality as, you may find a lot of 'Italian' DNA.