pages 8 - 9
Compiled and Authored by Dr. Hanns Egon Freund

Published by
P.O. Box 184
Crystal Lake, Illinois 60014-0184
copyright 1991

Excerpts from the Foreward written by Dr. Hanns Egon Freund of Munich in January 1991 and translated by Helmut Mueller of Palatine, Illinois:

Letters sent to friends and family in the Eifel district from those who had immigrated to America encouraged what was to become one of the largest mass emigration movements in the world, rivaled only by the Irish emigration during the potato famine.  During the years 1834 to 1911, 140,000 people, almost half of the entire population of the Eifel district, left their homes forever to emigrate to America.

"Why did these emigrants leave the Eifel?  Emphatically, their motivation was not religious persecution [in contrast to the Palatines, south of the Moselle].  Rather, it was the abject poverty of the region, coupled with three consecutive years of failed crops which led, by 1840, to total deprivation and starvation.  Most of these people left because they did not want to die, although mandatory military service in the Prussian Army [three years] and other problems may have played a minor role."

Two letters are known of that greatly influenced the Eifel emigration.  Nikolaus Frett wrote a letter dated "Chicago, August 30, 1841" addressed to "the merchant Marhoffer" at Virneburg.  The letter described excellent conditions at Johnsburg, Illinois and "....emigrants from the towns of Engeln, Wanderath, Hirten, Luxem, Weiler, etc. settled in McHenry County, Illinois, especially Johnsburg."  Johann Fuchs had written previously (his letter is mentioned in Nikolaus Frett's) about Westphalia, Michigan.  "Those who followed him came from Langenfeld and the nearby towns of Langescheid, Jammelshoven and Kolverath.  German settlers in the "Holy Land" of Wisconsin originated from places such as Nitz, Drees, and Bruck."

With letters from friends and family in America as their guide, emigrants from the Eifel region settled at four major destinations:  McHenry County, Illinois, Clinton County, Michigan, eastern Wisconsin including Fond du Lac and Brown Counties, and Lorain County, Ohio.

"The original emigrant records can no longer be found and may have been destroyed during World War II.  Fortunately Dr. Joseph Scheben, an official at the records office in Adenau in the 1930's, took an interest in the old files and created his own catalog.  Dr. Scheben's files are now in the custody of the Institut Für Geschichtliche Landeskunde der Rheinlande an der Universität Bonn....The director of the Institute, Professor Dr. George Dröge, gave the author access to the files in 1982 with the understanding that the information would eventually be made available to the public."

Glossary of Terms:
mit = with
u (und) = and
m. = married
von = of
Bruder = brother
Geschw = siblings
Schwester = sister
Sohn = son
Stiefkind = stepchild
Tochter = daughter
Dates are given as day.month.year, for example 22.12.1823 is 22 December 1823


Name Vorname Auswanderungs- Gerburtsjahr Jahr d. Ziel der sonstige
ort a.d. Eifel Auswand. Auswand. Hinweise
First name Place of Origin Year of birth Year of Destination Comments
DEDERICHS Gertrud Herschbroich 22.12.1823 1868 USA m. Philipp Strack (*1815)
DEDERICHS Johann Kottenborn 1835 1842 USA Sohn von Joh. Jos. Dederichs (*1799)
DEDERICHS Johann Welcherath 1825 1842 - -
DEDERICHS Johann Jos. Kottenborn 1799 1842 USA m. Anna Kath. Gilles
DEDERICHS Johann Peter Denn 1793 1841 USA m. Anna Gertrud Gabriel
DEDERICHS Joseph Kottenborn 1838 1842 USA Sohn von Joh. Jos. Dederichs (*1799)
DEDERICHS Peter Denn 1831 1841 USA Sohn von Joh. Peter Dederichs (*1793)
DEDERICHS Peter Kottenborn 1828 1842 USA Sohn von Joh. Jos. Dederichs (*1799)
DIEDERICH Anna Ahrbach 1819 1853 Wisconsin m. Peter Gutreuter (*1817)
DIEDERICH Anna Ahrbach 25.03.1824 1867 Wisconsin m. Johann Bertram (*1836)
DIEDERICH Anna Ahrbach 29.12.1833 1867 Wisconsin m. Nikolaus Horter (*1838)
DIEDERICH Anna Retterath 14.05.1852 1862 Wisconsin Tochter von Stefan Diederich (*1828)
DIEDERICH Anna Maria Obereltz 29.09.1858 1861 Wisconsin Tochter von Peter Diederich (*1831)
DIEDERICH Anna Maria Welcherath   -  1849 USA Schwester von Joh. Diederich (Welch.)
DIEDERICH Elisabeth   -   - - - m. Peter Jos. Nett
DIEDERICH Gertrud Ahrbach 14.12.1835 1855 Ohio Tochter von Michael Diederich (*1792)
DIEDERICH Gertrud Ahrbach 1838 1845  USA Tochter von Joh. Diederich (*1812)
DIEDERICH Gertrud Retterath 06.08.1869 1871 Wisconsin Tochter von Joh. Diederich (*1829)
DIEDERICH Johann Ahrbach 1812 1845 USA m. Anna Clasen
DIEDERICH Johann Ahrbach 07.01.1830 1855 Ohio Sohn von Michael Diederich (*1792)
DIEDERICH Johann Obereltz 03.07.1856 1861 Wisconsin Sohn von Peter Diederich (*1831)
DIEDERICH Johann Retterath 18.03.1829 1871 Wisconsin m. Maria Kath. Clasen
DIEDERICH Johann Retterath 14.03.1859 1862 Wisconsin Sohn von Stefan Diederich (*1828)
DIEDERICH Johann Welcherath     - 1849 USA mit Geschw. Anna Maria u. Joseph
DIEDERICH Johann Peter Ahrbach 01.O7.1836 1859   - m. Maria Elis. Schmitz
DIEDERICH Joseph Welcherath   -  1849 USA Bruder von Joh. Diederich (Welcherath)
DIEDERICH Kath. Ahrbach 1804 1855 Wisconsin m. Wilhelm Eis (*1807)
DIEDERICH Maria Kath. Ahrbach 19.08.1832 1855 Ohio Tochter von Michael Diederich (*1792)
DIEDERICH Maria Kath. Obereltz 20 02.1840 1867 Wisconsin m. Nikolaus Josef Muller (*1837)
DIEDERICH Mathias Ahrbach 22 03.1862 1867 Wisconsin Stiefkind von Nik. Horter (*1838)
DIEDERICH Mathias Obereltz 11.10.1860 1861 Wisconsin Sohn von Peter Diederich (*1831)
DIEDERICH Mathias Ahrbach 1855 1877 - -
DIEDERICH Mathias Ahrbach - - Humphrey, Neb. ledig
DIEDERICH Matthias Retterath 23.O9.1854 1862 Wisconsin Sohn von Stefan Diederich (*1828)
DIEDERICH Matthias Retterath 01.10.1867 1871 Wisconsin Sohn von Johann Diederich (*1829)
DIEDERICH Michael Ahrbach 24.04.1792 1855 Ohio -
DIEDERICH Michael Ahrbach 1844 1845 USA Sohn von Johann Diederich (*1812)
DIEDERICH Peter Ahrbach 1840 1845 USA Sohn von Johann Diederich (*1812)
DIEDERICH Peter Obereltz 07 04.1831 1861 Wisconsin m. Kath. Schneider (*1833)
DIEDERICH Stefan Retterath 26.7.l 828 1862 Wisconsin m. Maria Kath. Gilgenbach
DIEDERICH Stephan Ahrbach 13.04.1859 1867 Wisconsin Stiefkind von Nik. Horter (*1838)
DIEDERICHS Joseph Wershofen 1813 1842 USA m. Anna Maria Gahsen (*1808)
DIEDERICHS Michel Wershofen 1842 1842 USA Sohn von Joseph Diederichs (*1808)


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