State Archive Nuremberg: 19th Century Emigrants
Central Franconia to North America
These records are a combination of two indexes of family names which were compiled in the State Archive of Central Franconia (or Mittel Franken) at Nuremberg. As a Sesquicentennial gift, the City of Gunzenhausen sent this information to its sister city of Frankenmuth, Michigan. Frankenmuth Historical Association staff & volunteers translated the information and compiled these charts. If Frankenmuth Historical’s staff was able to determine where in N. America the settler arrived, that information and a reference were given (set off by: [ ]). When the records were received, it was stated that transcript errors had occurred and so every attempt was made to not increase the problem during translation. If there are any questions regarding accuracy, researchers should request to see the originals in Germany and for this reason will need the reference and the archive’s address (there is a fee for the service):
Staatsarchiv Nuernberg (State Archive of Central Franconia)
90 408 Nuernberg
Telephone (from U.S.A.): 011-49-911-35 74 37
or -35 75 01
(if calling from within Germany, 0911-35 74 37)
A. “Emigrants from Central Franconia 1837-1874”: This is the first of the two indexes at the State Archives and was compiled from newspapers whose purpose was to announce the intention of the applicants to emigrate. Anyone who had claims against these applicants had to report the fact to their county office within a fortnight. If no claims were made and if the applicants had paid their taxes as well as other obligations to church and state, they were given their passports with a visa of the provincial administration, thus dismissing them from all duties to the King of Bavaria. It is important to note that the date of publication was not the date of their actual emigration (some people changed their plans), but it may be an indication of the year they left. Also, if someone wanted to emigrate prior to the fortnight (or before their financial affairs were settled), they had to name a sponsor from their home village. Anyone who emigrated legally would post a listing in one of these newspapers. Illegal emigrants were not listed for obvious reasons, although a few who were already in America, subsequently asked for permission to be released from their Bavarian citizenship (“Nachtraegliche Auswanderungsgenehmigung”). Most emigrants from the City of Nuremberg were listed separately in the City Archive of Nuremberg, Department C 7 (1811-1871), and are not in this list.
1. The original book (1837-1854) was compiled from an official newspaper, “Intelligenzblatt fuer Mittelfranken” (abbreviated “Intellig.Bl.f.Mfr.”) The remainder of the reference is the: year, part (Beilage), number, column and date of publication).
2. After 1854 the newspaper title was, “Kreis-Amtsblatt fuer Mittelfranken” (abbreviated “Krs.A.Bl.f.Mfr.”) The remainder of the reference is: year, Part (Beilage), number, column and date of publication.
3. A few listings are from a newspaper from the area just east of Nuremberg: Boten von Altdorf (1837-1870). Frankenmuth Historical received this information from another source.
B. The second index was a card file, compiled by the State Archive of Nuremberg after 1980. The cards refer to records collected as part of the emigration procedure . . . A person applied to their county office for permission to emigrate, giving their reason (such as bad ecomical prospects). There were warned of the perils of emigration, especially that involving travel to N. America. If they insisted on emigrating, they were told to produce several documents and testimonials (village tax receipts, church receipts, baptism document, property list, proof of ability to pay passage, and sometimes proof that they had a valid ticket from a reliable agent). They also had to testify that they had no criminal record and were honorable subjects. All these documents were bound into a file and deposited in the local county archive. Later these files were either thrown away or handed over to the State Archive. On these records, “Abgabe” (abbreviated “Abg.”) refers to the year of the transfer to the State Archive in Nuremberg.
1. “K.d.I.” is the abbreviation for “Kammer des Inneren” (Chamber of the Interior), a department of the provincial administration. In Mittel Franken, this was located in Ansbach and was abbreviated, “Reg.v.Mfr.K.d.I.”. As an example, if one wished to see copies of the papers of Mathias Abelein, one would order them from the State Archive in Nuremberg, refering to, “Reg.v.Mfr.KdI Abg.1932, Titulus Ia, Nr.57740/I” (the reference listed for that record).
2. Other files can be inspected if you write the county from which the emigrant came. For example, if one wanted a copy of Walburga Abele’s records, they would give the reference, “LRA Eichstaett, Abgabe1981, Nr.676/1/4”. If one wanted a copy of Joh. Jakob Ackermann’s records they would give the reference, “BA Ansbach, Abgabe1930, Nr.427/441” (the reference listed for that record). In these cases, the cities of Eichstaett and Ansbach are the administrative centers (what we call county seats).
In the “Hometown” column, the second town listed is one of the following types of administrative towns. Unless noted, they are the “Landgericht” of the first town listed in that column. For example: Anna Maria Abel was from Elbersroth whose Landgericht is Feuchtwangen; Elbersroth LG. Feuchtwangen was translated as Elbersroth by Feuchtwangen. If someone was from a town that was a Landgericht, this was indicated by the abbreviation “(LG.)” after the name of the town. A city magistrate (“Stadt”) was indicated by “city”.
A little history is necessary to understand how the various administrative areas were organized. In 1803-1806, Bavaria almost doubled in territory thanks to Napoleon and, by his grace, became a Kingdom in 1806. After 1815, the new state was divided into “Landgerichte” and “Kreise”.
a. A “Landgericht” (abbreviated LG.) was a small county, whose head was “Seiner Gnaden der Herr Landrichter” (His Grace, the County Judge). This man was not only the judge in a lower court, but he was also the head of the state administration. The abbreviation “Lg.ä.O.” stands for County & Court of the Old Order as compared to “Landgericht juengerer Ordnung” (the Court of the younger order).
In the Central Franconia area, there are places where “Herrschaftsgericht” is used instead of “Landgericht ä.O.”: Schillingsfuerst (the family of the princes of Hohenlohe-Schillingsfuerst), Ellingen (near Weissenburg: the family of the prince of Wrede), and Oettingen (the families of the princes/counts of Oettingen, etc.) are three Herschaftsgerichte. The term refers to the fact that members of these families had semi-sovereign rights over the residents, especially in regard to administration and the lower court. The princes lost their privileges in the revolution of 1848.
b. The word “Kreis” has been used in two different senses during the last 200 years.
* When the new Kingdom of Bavaria was organised after 1806, it was divided into 15 “Kreise” or departments, each one named after a river, according to the French Imperial model. The Mittel Franken area was named the “Rezatkreis”, with the capital of Ansbach (the newspaper, “Intelligenzblatt fuer den Rezat-Kreis” or “Intellig.Bl.f.d.Rezat-Kreis”, refers to this division).
*In 1819 the Kingdom was reorganized into 8 “Kreise”, but the name of the area was still “Rezatkreis”.
*In 1837, King Ludwig I dropped the river names and named the provinces: Oberbayern, Niederbayern, Oberpfalz, Schwaben, Oberfranken, Mittelfranken and Unterfranken. The 8th province, the Pfalz with Speyer and Kaiserslautern, was west of the Rhine. These seven provinces still exist, today, under the name of “Regierungsbezirke”. The administrative staff at Ansbach is called “(Bezirks-) Regierung von Mittelfranken” (the administration of the province of Central Franconia or Mittel Franken). The 8th province, the Pfalz, fell into the French Zone of Occupation in 1845 and the French later incorporated it into the new State of Rheinland-Pfalz.
*In 1938, the name “Landkreis” was introduced to replace the name “Bezirksamt” (abbreviated BA). Both names mean something like an American county. Each Bezirksamt had 1 to 3 lower courts (Amtsgerichte) with an “Amtsrichter” the judge at its head. To add to the confusion, the court of appeals was called “Landgericht”. The office of the Landkreis is called the “Landsratsamt”, and is abbreviated LRA.
*In 1972 many were incorporated into larger counties, such as Weissenburg-Gunzenhausen at Weissenburg, or the Landkreis Ansbach, which incorporated the cities of Dinkelsbuehl and Rothenburg o.d.T. In a similar manner, many small, independent villages were incorporated into nearby cities (Frickenfelden, Aha, Gnotzheim and Wald were incorporated into the City of Gunzenhausen). Other small villages were combined into large communities or “Gemeinden” (Haundorf now includes Graefensteinberg, Laubenzedel and a dozen other villages).
The card files were compiled under the administration of Dr. Fridolin Sollender and Dr. Otto Puchner of the Gesellschaft fuer Familienforschung in Franken e.V. (GFF). A list format was produced by Lydia Thumann and Berta Winter of the Staatarchivs. Siegfried Rein of the City of Gunzenhausen organized the record books and researched the English language introduction. Mary Nuechterlein and Carol Cline, of Frankenmuth Historical Association, translated and compiled these books into the database which is reproduced here.
Stadtarchiv Nuremberg (Archives of the City of Nuremberg)
90 317 Nuernberg
Telephone: 231 27 70
(In Department C 7, many emigrants from the City of Nuremberg are registered.)
Gesellschaft fuer Familienforschung in Franken e.V. (Franconian Genealogy Society)
Archivstrasse 17, 90 408 Nuernberg, Germany
Telephone: 35 89 39
(This is a private association in the same
building as the State Archives. They cooperate with the State Archives. Their rooms are open to the public
Wednesday afternoons 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.)
These records are based on information in the State Archive of Central Franconia (or Mittel Franken) at Nuremberg. As a Sesquicentennial gift, the city of Gunzenhausen sent this information to its sister city of Frankenmuth, Michigan. Frankenmuth Historical Assn. translated the information, compiled these charts and, when possible, added a location & reference as to where in N. America the settler arrived (set off by: [ ]). If there are any questions regarding accuracy, researchers should request to see copies of the original records in Germany and for this reason will need the reference and the archive’s address (there is a fee):
Staatsarchiv Nuernberg (State Archive of Central Franconia)
90 408 Nuernberg
A Very Short Explanation of Reference Abbreviations
(a fuller explanation can be found in the first issue of this series, Volume 29 Issue 3):
Intelligenzblatt fuer Mittelfranken (abbreviated “Intellig.Bl.f.Mfr.”), Kreis-Amtsblatt fuer Mittelfranken (“Krs.A.Bl.f.Mfr.”), Intelligenzblatt fuer den Rezat-Kreis (“Intellig.Bl.f.d.Rezat-Kreis”), and Boten von Altdorf are official newspapers in which prospective legal emigrants published the fact that they were leaving Germany. The remainder of the reference is: the year, part (Beilage), number, column, and date of publication (the month is usually in Roman numerals).
“Reg.v.Mfr.K.d.I.” is the abbreviation for “Regierung von Mittel Franken Kammer des Inneren” (Chamber of the Interior for Central Franconia, located in Ansbach), a department of the provincial administration. If one wished to see copies of the papers of Mathias Abelein, one would order them from the State Archive in Nuremberg, refering to, “Reg.v.Mfr.KdI, Abg.1932, Titulus Ia, Nr.57740/I” (the reference listed for that record). “Abgabe” (abbreviated “Abg.”) refers to the year records were transfered to the State Archive in Nuremberg.
Other references indicate the administrative town near the emigrant’s home (see the first issue for a fuller explanation of the various terms). If one wanted a copy of Walburga Abele’s records, they would give the reference for that record: “LRA Eichstaett, Abgabe1981, Nr.676/1/4” (LRA=the office of the “Landkreis”, called the “Landsratsamt”, in this case the city of Eichstaett) . If one wanted a copy of Joh. Jakob Ackermann’s records they would give the reference for that record: “BA Ansbach, Abgabe1930, Nr.427/441” (BA=”Bezirksamt”, in this case the city of Ansbach). “Herrschaftsgericht”, “Gericht- & Polizeibehoerde” and “Lg.ä.O.” are other terms for types of administrative towns. In the “Hometown” column, the second town listed is one of these types of administrative towns. Unless noted, it is the “Landgericht” (LG.) of the first town listed in that column.