Friday, February 5, 2010

Moving to America

I spent hours attempting to locate documentation confirming when the Junghans brothers came to America. The microfilm at the national archives facility in Denver was an unsuccessful, tedious job. Not knowing the exact dates of travel, it's like looking for a needle in a haystack, though I did know my great grandfather Paul had come to America sometime in 1886.

In 2007 while in Vincennes, Indiana trying to locate information on one of the Junghans brothers, I was looking through a volume of "Germans to America" which are a series of books that documented immigration of Germans to the United States in the later half of the 19th century.

Otto Junghans' was 17 at the time of his arrival. (The name was misspelled as "Junghauns".)

Otto Junghans is in the 2nd column, 30th down. The ship left Bremen, Germany and arrived in New York on March 3, 1879. Otto would turn 18 less than 6 months later.

PRV indicates where the passenger came from - GR represents Germany.
VIL indicates what village the passenger came from - ZZZ represents unknown.
DES indicates the destination - USA represents the United States of America.

I know of two immigration documents online for a Paul Junghans, one indicates his age was 12 and the passengers with him were clearly not our relatives. The other document states his arrival was in 1887, one year AFTER his 1886 marriage to Wilhelminia in Milwaukee and traveling with a "Mgda Junghans; definitely not his wife.

It's easy to fall into the trap that you have found a record that belongs with your ancestor, so it helps to have confirming documentation and facts to weed out those that do not belong. Also, Paul, Otto, Karl (or Carl) are very common German names.

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