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German American Family Album
A Book Review

Read our

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The German
American Family




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German Milwaukee:
Its History ~

Its Recipes


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German immigration to the Minnesota
river valley frontier,
1852- 1865


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German Chicago Revisted (Images
of America)


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In Search of Your German Roots. The Complete Guide
to Tracing Ancestors in Germanic Areas
of Europe


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Books, Software
& More


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Genealogist's Guide
to Discovering Your

Germanic Ancestors


The German American Family Album
by Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler | Oxford University Press, 1996
Click 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 German Athens.

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 example.

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.]

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Germans in

(Ethnic Series)


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German Pioneers
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."  

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Justly 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 example:

Dwight David Eisenhower, World War II general and U.S. President, whose ancestor, Hans Nicholas Eisenhaur, arrived in 1741 from the Platinate region of Germany.

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 estate.

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.

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Nancy 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.

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Then and Now

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2007 Calenda


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Art Poster Print:  Milwaukee, City of, 1873


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The Making of


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Cream City

Stories of
Milwaukee's Past


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Books, Software
& More


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German Immigrants (Immigration to the
United States)


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German-American Names


Historic Milwaukee     [ Top ]

Milwaukee Guide to history, genealogy, culture, historic buildings, people

Historic Milwaukee Photos from the Journal Sentinal Online with five archive pages:
  Archive 1: with one of Old City Hall
  Archive 2: Schlitz Palm Garden and more
  Archive 3: one of 4th & Chestnut, 1860s
  Archive 4: includes one of a three-masted
   schooner on the Milwaukee River, 1885
  Archive 5: photos of early stores

Historic Milwaukee Postcards: search the Bliffert Postcard Collection or browse its 400 cards including this sample:
  Val Blatz Brewing Co.
  Cathedral Square

  City Hall in the 1867 and 1909 versions
  City Hall in the 1900-1907 era
  Deutscher Club, 1905, now Wisconsin Club
  Germania Building
  Grand Avenue
, east from 11th, 1914
  Juneau Monument, Juneau Park

Astor Hotel - its history

Milwaukee Genealogy   [ Top ]

Links to the Past for Milwaukee:  a major source for genealogy and history with a wealth of resources such as early  census indexes and the 1848-1849 City Directory

Milwaukee Genealogical Society

Milwaukee County Historical Society and the building that houses the MCHS and details on the county's area historical societies

Famous people with burials at Milwaukee's renowned  Forest Home Cemetery

Other Genealogy Resources   [ Top ]

Family Research Tips & Tools including an index to our growing series of Finding Family for Free segments, reviewing remarkable resources that help you discover your ancestors

Brick Wall Genealogy Solutions: guide to helpful advice for times when you run into a dead end in your research and need new ideas and strategies to keep making progress.

Genealogy Resources: links to many of the most helpful online resources for family history research, many available free, and including a section on getting started in genealogy

Relative Musings:  our blog on genealogy and family history research, including the growing number of Finding Family for Free entries.

Genealogy Products    [ Top ]

Visit our Genealogy Shop for family history and genealogy books, software and other products today. Check out the sections for German genealogy, Irish genealogy and much more.

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Germans in


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German-American Urban Culture: Writers & Theaters in Early Milwaukee


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They Came to Wisconsin (New Badger History)


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A Student's Guide to
German American Genealogy


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The Family Tree
Problem Solver:
Proven Methods
for Scaling the
Inevitable Brick Wall


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Tracking Down
Your Ancestors

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Jewish Milwaukee
(Images of America)


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, Wisconsin
(Images of America)


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Finding Your German Ancestors : A

Beginner's Guide

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many biographies
History of
City and County
(Volume III)


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Cream City
Chronicles: Stories

of Milwaukee's Past


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