Across the Atlantic and Beyond!



Across the Atlantic and Beyond: The Migration of German and Swiss Immigrants to America is an attempt to explain the genealogical mysteries associated with so many immigrant families. Why are there so many different spelling changes for family names? What drove people to move around? What factors contributed to the turbulent environment so many lived in? What was life like on the move? These questions are examined through the stories of two men and their descendants as they immigrated form place to place, and with a review of other historical factors considered to have been key elements in the politically, religiously, and economically difficult times endured by so many.

Across the Atlantic and Beyond opens and closes with a family story. The first is the tale of Gerrit Hendricks(ca. 1649-1691) and three generations of his migratory descendents. The final chapter concludes by counting the tale of Jacob Marzolf (1780-1870), an American immigrant. The intermediate chapters takes the reader through a step-by-step analysis of how these family histories were derived and the motivation behind these families migratory patterns. Genealogist encounter many frustrations and difficulties in their research. Name changes, plus map and border changes, are just a couple of the problems one may encounter in researching their immigrant ancestors. As to why people move from place to place, he obvious answer is war, famine, and disease. However, the author, Charles R. Haller, digs deeper looking for a root cause, or a collection of changes which moved the political and economic landscape.

The inner chapters of this book examines events such as the development of the moveable type printing press, the Reformation as begun by Martin Luther and advent of religious sects outside of the Catholic church, as well as the effects of industrialization. Many names are encountered withing this study. “As a necessary diversion, the changes in spelling of representative Germanic names is documented through various family histories from its origin in a European country to its modern occurrence, often Anglicized, in America.” In addition to all the above, the book gives an account of transportation in and around the Rhine River. Transportation along this major thoroughfare is examined from the earliest use to the time of steamboats.


Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

List of Tables




Part 1: Gerritt Hendricks of Krisheim, Germany

Part 2: Changes in German Surnames and Personal Names

  • Hendriks and Hendricks
  • Surnames and Personal Names
  • Mechanics of Name changes
  • Heinrich Buchholtz alias Henry Pookeholes

Part 3: Changes in City and Village Names

  • City and Village Names
  • Griesheim / Krisheim / Kriegsheim
  • Old European Maps
  • Early American Maps

Part 4: Mennonites, Quakers and the Settlement of Pennsylvania

  • The Wandering Menno Simons
  • The Beginnings of English Quakerism
  • William Penn’s Travels in Europe
  • Early german Quakers: A Small Minority
  • The Frankfort Companie
  • Germantown and the Susquehanna Subscribers

Part 5: Protestantism and books: Driving Forces Behind the German Migration

  • Mainz and Gutenberg
  • Frankfurt and the Book Fair
  • Martin Luther and the Book Wars
  • The Froschauer Presses of Zurich
  • Matthaus Merian and the House of Merian
  • The Rhine Travel Guides

Part 6: The Push and the Pull

  • The German Americans
  • The Land of Wars
  • Of Kings and Queens and Lesser Nobility
  • The Rhine as a Migration Route
  • Across the Atlantic and Beyond
  • Bridging the Prairies of Kansas

Part 7: Jacob Marzolf and Alsace




Across the Atlantic and Beyond: The Migration of German and Swiss Immigrants to America is available from Family Roots Publishing; Item #: HBH0697, Price: $34.30.

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