The German American Family Album
by Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler | Oxford University Press, 1996
here to order this book.
Every American family that has German ancestors and is interested in the lives
and experiences of those who came to settle in the United States should have this book.
It can be enjoyed by all ages.
Many people may misunderstand the title and conclude that this is a
book about one German-American family. Quite the opposite, this book tells stories of many
different families who emigrated from Germany to America, settling in different places
across the nation.
Their stories are told through photograps and through excerpts from
letters and diaries that capture vividly their experiences as settlers in a new land. You
can put yourself in the shoes of craftsmen, farmers, miners, and mothers and fathers
who made new lives for their families.
Places in the Book
|German immigrants to America were attracted to
locations where other Germans had already settled. Many of these areas took on a decidedly
German flavor, with Milwaukee, Wisconsin, being one of the most
noteworthy. German art and culture was so strong, the city became known as the
Not surprisingly, then, Milwaukee appears often
in the German American Family Album, both in photographs and in stories. The
chapter called "Putting Down Roots" begins with a large photo of a
German-American family enjoying summer in the backyard of their Milwaukee home, for
Other cities with large German communities included New York,
Chicago, Cincinnati, St. Louis and Baltimore -- and they are in the book at well.
So too are the rural areas settled by Germans who sought the chance
to own their own farm or to own more land than they had in Europe. Midwest states
such as Iowa, Kansas, North and South Dakota, Minnesota, and Texas appear often in the
book's chapter on farming and homesteading and on adventures in the west. [One
German-American town that chould well have been in the book, but isn't, is New Holstein, Wisconsin.]
on the American Frontier: The Wagners in Texas and Illinois
Sections of the Book
The German American Family Album is organized into six
chapters with a total of 23 sections. The chapters cover topics such why
people decided to leave, what the voyage was like, where they landed, what jobs the men
found, women's work and much more.
|The chapters in the Album include:
· The Old Country
· Going to America
· Ports of Entry
· A New Life
· Putting Down Roots
· Part of America
Among the sections
are "The Decision to Leave," "Finding a Place to Live,"
"Adventures in the West," "Communities," and "Women's Work."
Proud: A German American Family in Indiana
The book also contains a German-American timeline from 1683,
when 13 German families led by Franz Daniel Pastorius arrived in Philadelphia through
1983, the tercentenary celebration of German-Americans.
People in the Book
Many of the individuals and families in the book are courageous,
hard- working yet ordinary people who crossed the Atlantic to build new lives in America.
However, the book also highlights a number of famous Americans of German ancestry. For
Dwight David Eisenhower, World War II general and U.S. President,
whose ancestor, Hans Nicholas Eisenhaur, arrived in 1741 from the Platinate region of
Molly Pitcher, whose real name was Molly Ludwig, was the daughter of
German immigrants. She gained fame during the Revolutionary War by fighting beside her
husband in battle.
John Jacob Astor, immigrant from
Waldorf in the Germany Rhineland, who built a fortune in the fur trade and New York real
Edward Stratemeyer, a son of a German immigrant to
California, and his daughter Harriet who -- under pseudonyms -- each created enormously
popular series of books for young people with heroes and heroines such as Tom Swift, the
Bobbsey Twins, the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew.
Drew 75th Anniversary Box Set
And others such as Carl Schurz, politician and newspaper
publisher; Walter Reuther, labor leader; and Dennis Franz, popular actor today.
Learn More about German-Americans
Continue exploring German-American
history and heritage, and see where Germans settled in the United States.