Sunday, July 03, 2005

German migration

I went to the June 25th discussion, "Uprooted or Transplanted? Patterns of German Immigration to Missouri," by Dr. Kamphoefner at the St. Louis County Library and left a little disappointed. Had I attended this kind of talk a few years ago I probably would have been excited and energized by his facts, but at this point I know where most of our Germans came from and he offered me little to hunt for new clues. It sure as heck didn't help with the elusive EBERT, HOLTERMANN, HUHN and LODENKAMPER families. I hope that doesn't come across as arrogant. It's not like I was there for a private consultation and he had to speak from his experience and explain the big picture to the audience, which was quite large...maybe 175 to 200. The talk was also just an hour, which was and wasn't a bad thing. I had anticipated longer, but the extra time allowed me to head upstairs to Special Collections for research. I would recommend this speaker to others, though, especially if you are new to genealogy and German research.

The surprise of the talk was that Dr. Kamphoefner was from New Melle and mentioned several names I'm familiar with from St. Charles County research. He also noted how his hometown was founded by those from Melle, Germany. This general area was the home to several of our ancestral families and it was good to hear someone speak of this. I was disappointed that Dr. Kamphoefner did not mention Buer or its connection to St. Charles City and County (opting instead to cite Menslage), but I later concluded that he may have generalized a bit and viewed the emigrants of Buer and Melle to be pretty much the same considering the proximity of the German towns.

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