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PRE WORLD WAR I MIGRATION PATTERNS OF BANAT GERMANS

TO NORTH AMERICA

By David Dreyer and Anton Kraemer

Copyright 2002, 2003

 

 

INTRODUCTION   1

DEVELOPMENT OF THE BANAT  2

MIGRATION DATA   4

THE MIGRATION PROCESS  5

MIGRATION AND RETURN MIGRATION RATES  9

MIGRATION PATTERNS AND CHAIN MIGRATION   14

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS  23

REFERENCES  23

 

INTRODUCTION

 

Studies on turn-of-the century European migration to America often center around the size of return rates to places of origin and the related ideas of linkage and chain migration.  The terms “linkage’ and “chain migration” are used to express the idea that a European locality is linked to a New World locality through migration.  Linkage arises because immigrants from a given European locality tended to concentrate in a given North American locality.  This effect resulted from the tendency of relatives and friends to follow one another abroad sequentially to the same American locality, so that not only towns, but neighborhoods and even families were divided on both sides of the Atlantic.  The concentration of friends and relatives in a New World locality resulted in the creation of a community which mimicked in many ways the place of European origin.

 

Newspaper subscriptions, mail, the constant arrival of further new migrants and the return of others back to their home village kept the linked communities well informed about events and conditions in their respective twin.  Residents in the European locality were generally knowledgeable on living conditions and employment prospects in the New World linked locality.  Returnees who had worked in America for a few a years could give first hand accounts of conditions in the American locality.

 

Previous studies on these aspects of immigration generally depended on analysis of national migration statistics or anecdotal accounts (1).  Few systematic studies on a micro-level, e.g. a village level have been published (1).

 

This work considers some general aspects of migration of ethnic Germans from the Pre World War I Hungarian province of the Banat and, in more detail, the migration of Donauschwab immigrants from six of these Banat villages.

 

The basis of this study is a database of more then 25,000 passenger ship abstracts of Banaters now available on the Internet.  The term Banaters is used in this work to describe the descendants of ethnic German settlers recruited by the Habsburgs to colonize the Hungarian province of the Banat.

 

DEVELOPMENT OF THE BANAT

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After the failure of the second Turkish siege of Vienna in 1683 the Austrian government launched a campaign to clear the Turks from the Southern approaches to Austria.  These campaigns resulted in the expulsion of the Turks from the Great Hungarian Plain and eventually, under Prinz Eugen, capture of the Fortress of Belgrade.  When the Habsburgs conquered the Banat from the Turks in 1716 it was a swampy, depopulated waste land (2).

 

Under the Habsburgs the Banat was administratively established as property of the Crown.  Among the various ethnic groups which the Austrian Crown recruited to settle in the Banat were Germans who came largely from the Upper Rhein Basin.  This settlement period extended from 1722 to 1787.  In order to avoid ethnic conflicts and simplify language differences the Habsburg authorities, tended to settle the various ethnic groups separately each in their own villages.  At a staggering cost in lives, these German colonists built the villages and roads, drained the swamps and under difficult conditions eventually converted the Banat with its rich soils to the most productive agricultural region of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire. 

 

These German colonists introduced, by the standards of the time, advanced agricultural techniques into a backward SE Europe.  When the Banat was recovered from the Turks, the sparse indigenous population of Serbs and Romanians largely existed on a precarious, pastoral, subsistence basis.  In the following two centuries the Donauschwabs readily adopted new agricultural techniques, crops and methods as they became available.

 

To a large degree these German settlers were culturally and linguistically isolated in the ethnic mix of Serbs, Hungarians, Romanians, and others found in the Banat.  The Banaters possessed a distinctive dialect, a common heritage and the tradition of trekking from the Rhine valley to the marchs of the Great Hungarian Plain in SE Europe where Christian faced Islam across a wild borderland.  Except for the Banat Military Frontier (3), Austria turned the administration of the Banat over to Hungary in 1778.  Over a period of almost two centuries the cohesive Banaters were able to maintain their language and folkways in spite of increasingly heavy-handed Magyaration pressures from the Hungarian Government.  By the end of the 19th century the descendants of these German Donauschwabs constituted a sizable minority of the Banat population.  The numbers of Banat Germans, with their high birth rate grew, until by the end of the 19th century they found themselves without further farmland for an expanding agrarian population. 

 

The Banaters initially followed a hereditary system of primogeniture so that the oldest son inherited the farm and younger sons who wished to farm had to find farms through purchase or marriage.  For the land proud agrarian Banaters the possession of farmland carried with it the highest prestige.  After the Revolutions of 1849 the system of primogeniture was suspended and estates were divided among all the children.  This system resulted in the division of estates so that by 1900 most farms were split up to the point that it was difficult to support a family on the fragmented land holdings.

 

Beginning just after the turn of the century this agricultural population of Banaters began to look towards North America as a place to find temporary employment.  Banaters were also caught up in the “America Fever” which infected Central Eastern Europe at this time.  The U. S. was considered as a land of unlimited possibilities.  Migration to North America from Hungary tended to be greatest from the peripheral counties surrounding the core of Royal Hungary.  These counties were often inhabited largely by ethnic minorities.  Puskas (4) argues that those migrating were more likely to be from an area which had a tradition of migration for local seasonal, usually harvest, work.  This practice of seasonal migration does not appear to apply to the  Germans from the “rich Torontal and Bacs-Bodrog” counties of the Banat where there was no tradition of seasonal migration but where overseas migration spread faster than among those from less mobile and more economically conservative villages.

 

With relatively cheap transatlantic fares, many saw a few years in America with its profitable employment prospects as an opportunity to earn funds to establish themselves with a more secure future in their ancestral village.  Others left with the view, at the outset, of creating a new life in America.  The prospects for a better life were promising since wages were about 4 times higher in America than in Hungary.  Moreover, industrial employment in America was year round compared to seasonal employment as farm laborers in the Banat.

 

MIGRATION DATA

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U. S. passenger ship records contain much data of value in migration studies (5, 6).  Their use in studies of this kind, however, is difficult because of the massive size of the record base as well as the tedious and time consuming process of culling out the desired data.

 

For this study more than 25,000 passenger ship entries of Banaters have been extracted from the U. S. passenger ship records.  This database is available on the Internet at;

 

http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~banatdata/DDB/HomePage.htm

 

When wives and kids are considered, this database contains about 50,000 people, about half of all Banaters who immigrated to America.  Donauschwabs tend to stand out in the passenger ship records because they were Hungarian by nationality but ethnically German.  Not all Banat localities were extracted in this study.  The database contains all entries from about 100 German villages in the Banat.  Entries have been systematically extracted for the Baltimore records 1892-1912.  Only Nord Deutscher Lloyd (NDL) ships out of Bremen discharged passengers in Baltimore.  The New York records have been systematically abstracted for four years, 1903, 1905-1907.  In addition, some New York entries for other years are included as microfilm became incidentally available.  For statistical purposes the data given in Tables I and II are based on these data.  Subsequently, after the Ellis Island website, containing images of New York records, 1892-1914, became available further entries were added to the database from this source.  These later entries are not included for the purposes of calculating comparison migration rates among the various villages because of the biased way in which the Ellis Island data had to be collected.

 

The passenger ship abstracts include age, ship, date of arrival, place of origin and who the emigrant was going to join at their destination.  Only indicated relatives at place of origin or destination were included in the abstracts.  If those at the destination were simply friends or acquaintances this was not recorded in the abstracts.  If the migrant was previously in America this was also indicated.  A previous residence in the U. S. can be assumed to be the same as the current destination unless indicated otherwise.  If the last residence was different from the place of birth (given in the records starting September 1906) this was so indicated.   Knowing the port, date of arrival and name of the ship it is possible to verify any given entry from microfilm of records available from the National Archives or better the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.

 

The software used to record the abstracted data was created by Peter Alan Schmidt, Knoxville, Tenn. and allowed various sorting options.  This software had the advantage of allowing the insertion of notes and other miscellaneous data in the entries.  Additional annotated data included with the entries is set off in brackets to indicate that it is not part of the original passenger ship record but come from other sources, usually family books for the village. 

 

Entries for Banaters whose destination was to the Banat colony of South Western North Dakota (7, 8) are, for the most part not included in this database. These have been collected elsewhere in a separate database (8).  Since this colony consisted, at best, of only 600 families the effect on the analysis which follows is minimal.  The conditions under which the ND Banat community was established were not typical either in time and/or place relative to the major Banat settlements in large industrial cities of North America.

 

THE MIGRATION PROCESS

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By 1900 migration from Eastern Europe was a well organized process(9, 10).  One could book passage in the local village from a representative of a travel agency.  These local representatives were usually innkeepers, priests or school teachers.  The main travel agency in the Banat was the Missler Agency which had a close working relationship with NDL.  The Missler Agency had offices in Major Eastern European cites, including Temeswar.  The trip from the Banat, by railroad, to the port of departure was coordinated so that it minimized the time at the port of departure waiting for the ship to sail but was sufficient for health checks and other necessary tasks.  It was possible to book passage, purchase and prepay for all tickets to a final destination in North American through the Missler Agency.

 

The data on the ship manifest for emigrants was collected by the travel agency at the time of booking.  This data was forwarded on to the shipping company in advance of departure.  It was then used to make up the manifest in the offices of the shipping line at the port of departure.

 

Banaters tended to favor Bremen as a departure port.  NDL had a good reputation for well coordinated departures, dependability and the fair treatment of emigrants.  Departures from Bremen to New York were twice a week, later increased to three times a week.  At this time, a passport was not required for departures from North Sea ports.

 

Initially, the Hungarian Government hoped to see an independent Hungarian-American line established which would transport emigrants via the Adriatic port of Fiume to NY.  When this proved to be impractical the Government then tried to make arrangements with German members of the Nord-Atlantischer Dampferlinen Verband or better know as the “Continental Pool”.  In turn, these negotiations collapsed, when the principals could not agree.  Finally an agreement was arrived at with Cunard Lines.  In June of 1904 the Hungarian government signed an agreement with Cunard shipping lines giving them exclusive rights to transport emigrants from Fiume to New York.  To help funnel emigrants through Fiume the Hungarian National railways gave a fare reduction to groups of 10 or more passengers.  Initially, in the Fall of 1904, Cunard did not have enough capacity so that emigrants had to wait for days and weeks in Fiume for passage.

 

This effort by the Hungarian government to divert emigrants from the North Sea ports through Fiume precipitated a fare war in the summer of 1904.  Ticket prices of the German members of the Continental Pool, Hamburg-Amerikanisch Packetfahrt Actien Gesellschaft (HAPAG) and NDL dropped from 250 crowns to as low as 90 crowns.  These low fares helped trigger the increased migration rates of 1905-1907.  The Hungarian government only gave passports and departure permits to emigrants leaving from Fiume.  The application of intense economic and diplomatic pressure by the Continental Pool members eventually thwarted the efforts of Hungary and Cunard to monopolize the transport of Hungarian nationals from Hungary via Fiume.  Agreement was reached with the Continental Pool for a significant number of Hungarian nationals to travel on Pool ships so that 38% more Hungarian emigrants left on NDL ships alone than on Cunard Line ships. 

 

Nevertheless, the opening of the Adriatic, Fiume to New York route had a profound effect on emigrant traffic from North Sea ports.  The relative distribution of Banaters from various departure ports for the years 1903, 1905, 1906 and 1907 is illustrated in Figure 1. 

 

The domination of NDL and the port of Bremen in the transport of Banaters in 1903 before opening of the Fiume route is striking.  By 1906 and 1907 departures from Fiume were the same proportion as from Bremen.  For Banaters, Hamburg played a minor roll with Antwerp and Rotterdam as bit players.  NDL ships departing from Bremen disembarked passengers in either New York or Baltimore.  However, Cunard ships from Fiume, as well as Holland-American Line ships from Rotterdam, Red Star Line ships from Antwerp and HAPAG ships disembarked passengers only in New York.

 

 

Figure 1

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DEPARTURE PORTS OF BANATERS IN 1905

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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Immigration from the Banat to America dropped dramatically after October of 1907 when the financial panic of 1907 set in.  Based on 1906 traffic NDL and HAPAG had prepared for a massive flow of migrants in 1907 by a large increase in their shipping capacity.  By the end of 1907 much of this increased tonnage sat idle when departures dropped precipitously.  This dramatic drop in emigration traffic is a clear indication of the short time lag required for news to be relayed back to Europe regarding changing employment prospects in North America.

 

MIGRATION AND RETURN MIGRATION RATES

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Although most Banaters would have preferred agricultural employment few had the capital to go into farming under New World conditions or the commitment to the time span necessary to engage in successful farming operations.   Industrial employment with its relatively high wages and year round occupation drew them to major urban centers.

 

The first Banat settlement in North America of about 600 families occurred in SW ND starting in 1892.  This relatively small agricultural colony does not fit the settlement pattern exhibited by the more than 100,000 Banaters who arrived after the turn of the century and are outside the scope of this study.  The later Banat emigrants, for the most part, settled in major American cities and followed industrial rather than agricultural employment.

 

Chain migration is characterized by the linking of specific towns, neighborhoods as well as families on both sides of the Atlantic (1, 17).  The idea of chain migration is supported by extensive anecdotal evidence but only limited statistical evidence on a micro level.

 

This chain migration created a bond between an old world locality and a North American locality which was reinforced by the rapid feedback to Europe of changing employment prospects, living conditions, family news etc. by letter or word of mouth by returning migrants from the North American locality.  This resulted in the recruitment of friends and relatives to a given locality in America.  The process was aided by the support of those already established whether individually or through support organizations, immigrant aid societies in helping newcomers to become oriented and established..  The widespread use of prepaid tickets sent to relatives from America also tended to funnel new arrivals into the linked locality. 

 

The distribution of Banaters from some selected villages and their corresponding concentrations in North American localities are given in Table I.

 

TABLE I.  DESTINATIONS OF BANATERS FROM SOME SELECTED LOCALITIES, 1892-1912 BASED ON U. S. PASSENGER SHIP RECORDS

LOCALITY

(1900 population)

ENTRIES

No (%)

TO A GIVEN LOCALITY

Alexanderhausen (1929)

142

98 (69%)

Philadelphia

Bakowa (2075)

99

69 (70%)

Milwaukee

Billed (4566)

478

177 (36%)

New Brunswick NJ

 

 

144 (30%)

Cincinnati

Bogarosch (2919)

479

354 (66%)

Philadelphia/Pottstown

Busiasch (1045)

109

80 (71%)

Milwaukee/Cudahy

Etschka

45

21 (43%)

Louisville

Fibisch (2013)

67

43 (65%)

Mansfield Ohio

Franzfeld

82

73 (86%)

Mansfield Ohio

Gertiansoch (2765)

464

244 (53%)

Cincinnati

Glogon

223

119 (53%)

Los Angeles

 

 

44 (20%)

Canada via U. S. ports

Gottlob (2286)

227

190 (84%)

Philadelphia

Gross Jetscha (3095)

421

249 (59%)

Philadelphia

Liebling (4169)

281

145 (51%)

Harrisburg Penn

Mercydorf (1839)

351

305 (87%)

NY/College Point

Mollydorf (1202)

263

131 (50%)

Catasauqua Penn

Neupanat (2185)

218

116 (53%)

Chicago

 

 

44 (20%)

Oregon/Washington

Offsenitza

157

75 (47%)

St Paul

Perjamosch (5612)

596

247 (41%)

Cincinnati

Sackelhausen (4134)

645

459 (71%)

St Louis

Seultour

152

109 (72%)

Chicago

St Georgen (1576)

255

89 (35%)

St Louis

St Hubert

230

138 (60%)

Chicago

 

The tendency of Banaters from given locality to settle in a given North American locality is strikingly illustrated by the settlement of Franzfelders in Mansfield Ohio.  Clearly in term of “linkage” Franzfeld is closely linked with Mansfield.  The settlement of 84% of Gottlob emigrants in Philadelphia constitutes another remarkable case.  Other linkages are obvious from the examples given in Table I. 

 

With several exceptions, for example Karlsdorfers, Banaters avoided the steel mill and mining towns favored by other Hungarian emigrants.  Other noteworthy settlements are the high proportion of Glogon emigrants who settled in Los Angeles (18), a locality not favored in this time period by those from other Banat localities, and the relatively small but still significant number of Neupanaters who settled in the Willamette valley in Oregon and nearby coastal regions of Washington.

 

Of course, all these arrivals from linked villages were emerged in the larger local German-American community.  Nevertheless, the long lists of Banat village associations that one could cite in these German-American communities is testimony to the cohesiveness and numbers of those from a single Banat locality relocated to a given American locality and illustrates how the Banaters as a group could set up social structures apart from the Reichsdeutsch or other Volksdeutsch groups.

 

Family books covering all church book (KB) records up to the year ca 2000 are available for six Banat localities(see Table II)(11-16).  With the data from these church books one can match individuals in the passenger ship records with the birth, marriage and death records of the village of origin.  For those cases in which migrants in the passenger ship records have been matched with the entries in the corresponding family books, the details have been entered in the notes part of the database.  This additional data has been set off in brackets to indicate that it is not part of the passenger ship records (see website).

 

It was possible to match around 80% of those in the passenger ship records with KB data from the village of origin.  These matches range from 73% for Klein Jetscha to 86% for Perjamosch (see Table II).  The failure to match the remaining 15-20% must be ascribed to a number of different reasons.  Most obvious is corruption of the surname spelling either when the passenger ship records were created or in a misreading of the name through difficult handwriting.  The often quoted myth that difficult surnames were changed by American immigration authorities is clearly not true.  No surnames were changed by immigration authorities.

 

TABLE II.  RETURN MIGRATION RATES FOR SELECTED BANAT LOCALITIES

LOCALITY (population)

ENTRIES

MATCHED(%)

RETURNED(%)

Alexanderhausen(1929)

190

148 (78%)

31 (16%)

Billed(4566)

629

466 (74%)

108 (17%)

Klein Jetscha(1528)

119

87 (73%)

30 (24%)

Liebling(4169)

294

247 (84%)

102 (35%)

Perjamosch(5612)

729

619 (85%)

120 (16%)

Ulmbach(2300)

170

139 (82%)

45 (26%)

 

Another factor which accounts for the failure to find matches between village records and passenger lists is the fact that some emigrants have given inaccurate information on their place of birth.  This is easily illustrated in the cases of migrants from Giseladorf and Josefsdorf.  These two villages were established in 1882 by relocation of frequently flooded villages on the lower Bega.  In time, through internal migration, these villages were inhabited by families from all over the Banat.  A striking number of immigrants from these two villages who were born before 1882 gave their place of birth as Giseladorf or Josefsdorf, clearly an impossibility.  Surely some migrants from other Banat localities similarly gave their birth place as a locality that they were closely associated with or had lived in, perhaps for an extended periods, but were not born in the place indicated nor had any event occurred in their lives which required an entry in the KBs.  Other cases of misleading birthplaces could be cited for those localities where it has not been possible to match immigrants with data in family books.  In many cases for which it was not possible to make a match the individual nevertheless had a surname which was readily associated with that locality.  No match could be made in a few cases where there was more than one person with the same name born in the same time period.

 

With the aid of family books for Banat localities one can determine the number of immigrants who appear in both the passenger ship records and the death records for that locality.  From these results one can calculate the return rate of immigrants to these Banat villages (17).  These values are given in Table II.  These return rates varied considerably from village to village ranging from a low of 16-17 % for Billed, Alexanderhausen and Perjamosch to a high of 40% for Liebling.

 

Based on the 1900 Hungarian census (Table II) one can calculate the minimum migration rates from Banat villages.  These numbers are, of course, low because some NY data for 1904 and 1908-1914 is lacking.  These are all years of relatively low migration to America compared to the peak years of 1905-1907. 

 

For Billed the 466 matched entries account for 696 inhabitants, 10% of the 1900 population.  The 21% return rate will be more than made up by the years not abstracted.  In a similar fashion the 618 matched Perjamosch entries contain 773 inhabitants leading to a 14% population loss. 

 

Although it is not possible to search the Ellis Island Internet web site systematically for all immigrants from a single village, it is obvious that after 1907 a relatively larger proportion of immigrants, especially those with families were making their second or third trip from the Banat to North America.  In addition, there were many who were returning to America after making a visit to the home village.  Many of these had small children who were born in America and have obviously been taken back to the Banat to visit grandparents and other relatives.  The ability to make these return visits speaks well for the degree of prosperity Banaters achieved in America.

 

The numbers of those making multiple trips to America are given in Table III for some selected villages.  These numbers are substantially lower than the numbers cited by Puskas (23%) for Hungarian immigrants as a whole. 

 

Not unexpectedly there was a large increase in those making a second or third trip to America in the later records.  About 6% of entries before 1908 were emigrants making a second trip to America.  After 1907 this figure jumps to 26% for those from Gross Jetscha and 34% for those from Sackelhausen.  Included in this multi-trans Atlantic crossing figure are those who are returning from making a visit to parents and relatives as well as those who have returned to gather up wives and kids who had previously remained and/or to dispose of house and property before returning permanently to settle in America.

 

TABLE III.   NUMBERS OF BANATERS MAKING MULTIPLE TRIPS TO AMERICA

LOCALITY

NO. OF ENTRIES

NO. MAKING SECOND TRIP

Alexanderhausen

190

17 (9%)

Billed

629

42 (6%)

Gross Jetscha

615

64 (10%)

Perjamosch

729

46 (6%)

Sackelhausen

843

101 (12%)

 

One can generally distinguish those returning to the Banat for a visit or to set their affairs in order from those who had returned with the intention of reestablishing themselves in their village of origin and when their attempts to readjust to their old environment failed, they gathered up their families, returning to settle in America for good.  The former group, visitors and those who needed to tidy up their lives return to America again within a year of their arrival.  The latter group which failed to readjust often had a gap of 2-4 years and sometimes even longer between their initial arrival and their later remigration to America. 

 

MIGRATION PATTERNS AND CHAIN MIGRATION

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The migration process from various Banat villages was not uniform.  Many Banat localities had their own individual, distinctive migration patterns.  The most pronounced aspects of this effect is the non-uniform settlement patterns in North American contained in the idea of linkage (Table I).  However, differences are apparent in other subtle ways as well.

 

If migration through departure ports followed the ratios given in Figure 1 then one might expect the bulk of departures for any given village to go largely through Bremen and Fiume with lesser numbers through Hamburg and a trickle via Antwerp and Rotterdam.  Some of the more pronounced exceptions are given in Table IV.

 

TABLE IV.  RELATIVE NUMBERS

LEAVING FROM INDICATED DEPARTURE PORTS

LOCALITY

DEPARTURE PORTS

NUMBER OF ENTRIES (%)

Alexanderhausen

Hamburg

68 (52%)

 

Fiume

33 (25%)

 

Bremen

30 (23%)

Bogarosch

Hamburg

268 (62%)

 

Bremen

72 (16%)

 

Rotterdam

58 (13%)

 

Fiume

34 (8%)

Glogowatz

Fiume

247 (58%)

 

Hamburg

107 (25%)

 

Trieste

70 (16%)

Karlsdorf

Antwerp

68 (39%)

 

Fiume

64 (36%)

 

Bremen

44 (25%)

Mercydorf

Hamburg

138 (42%)

 

Fiume

125 (39%)

 

Bremen

65 (20%)

Pardan

Hamburg

108 (44%)

 

Bremen

86 (42%)

 

Fiume

49 (20%)

Sackelhausen

Bremen

399 (64%)

 

Le Havre

90 (14%)

 

Fiume

53 (8%)

 

Hamburg

53 (8%)

 

Antwerp

29 (5%)

Warjasch

Hamburg

173 (61%)

 

Bremen

70 (25%)

 

Fiume

40 (14%)

Zichydorf

Antwerp

70 (64%)

 

Bremen

39 (36%)

 

An abnormally high proportion of Alexanderhauseners, Bogaroschers, Mercydorfers, Pardaners and Warjaschers left via Hamburg.  On the other hand, Zichydorfers and Karlsdorfers tended to travel on Red Star line departing from Antwerp, while an exceptionally high proportion of Bogaroschers left via Rotterdam.  A remarkable high number of Sackelhauseners left from Le Havre, a port little used by Banaters from other localities.  Few Glogowatzers left via Bremen, instead favoring Fiume and Trieste.  Clearly many villages had a characteristic and preferred route which emigrants followed to North America and which differed significantly from that of other places.  Obviously the concept of chain migration extended down to the level that migrants tended to follow one another to the New World even along the same pathway.

 

Since the Baltimore records were extracted systematically for the years 1892-1912, it is possible to plot the arrivals by year for a given village and arrive at a migration profile for that village.  This profile is not uniform from village to village but some general comments can be made.  Migration for almost all Banat localities before 1903 was very small.  There was a big jump in 1903 and a fall off in 1904 followed by large increases in 1905-1907.  Following 1907 the migration rate continued at relatively low levels up to WW I.  This seesaw effect is particularly noticeable with Stefansfeld, Gertiansoch, Deutsch Zerne, Sackelhausen and Hatzfeld (see Figure 2).

 

Figure 2

 

The migration decrease after the economic downturn leading to the panic of 1907 is striking.  Less clear is the reason for the low rates in 1904 relative to 1903 and 1905 for many localities.  There appears to be no unusual economic or political upheavals or dislocations to account for this relatively low rate in 1904.  Since many migrants depended on prepaid tickets sent home by relatives in America, this suggests that it took a year for the first wave of 1903 migrants to establish themselves and save the necessary funds to bring families and relatives to join them.  Several other villages, for example, Gr Jetscha and Tschakowa, showed a more flat but continuous rates of departures (Figure 3).

 

Figure 3

 

During the Balkan wars and just before the outbreak of World War I the issuing of emigrant permits for men subject to call up was suspended.  Exceptions for this age group were tied to the payment of a tax.  These measures are reflected in the profile of migrants.  The pre 1907 preponderance of single young men among the migrants shifted to single women and family groups.

 

A close reading of the abstracts for several villages allows one to pick out a chain of individuals who sponsored subsequent emigrants.  During the abstraction phase of this work it was only practical to record a sponsoring relative given in the final destination.  With a few exceptions, friends and acquaintances were not recorded.  Nevertheless, using the data recorded it is possible to construct several lengthy migration chains.  Three examples are given in Figures 4-6.  Undoubtedly further inspection of the data would yield further examples.  The example of Friedrich Egler from Sackelhausen (Fig. 4) illustrates the influence of a single individual, a “pioneer migrant” who facilitated and sponsored the migration process for many following migrants.  Once started, the process became self-sustaining through a network of letters, returnees, travel accounts and prepaid tickets sent from America.

 

 

Figure 4.--Sackelhausen:  Example of chain migration

 

Egler Barbara

1 Jul 1902

 

à

Egler Friedrich

Brother

24 Sep 1902

 

à

Egler Anna

wife

3 Dec 1902

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Egler Jacob

Nephew

14 Mar 1903

 

à

? Holzinger Johann

bro-in-law

9 Dec 1906

 

à

Holzinger Kath

Wife

5 Jan 1907

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picher(Bucher) Friedrich

Friend

15 Mar 1903

 

à

 

 

à

Bergauer Anna

sister-in-law

21 Sep 1904

 

à

Reinbold Peter

nephew

5 Feb 1909

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Egler Anna

Niece

14 Mar 1903

 

à

Plesz Elisabeth

Cousin

5 Apr 1905

 

 

Humel Wilhelm

Cousin

30 Jan 1905

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Schaeffel Josef

Friend

14 Apr 1903

 

à

Schaeffel Anna

Wife

22 Sep 1904

 

 

Schimmer Nikolaus

Cousin

30 Jan 1905

 

à

Schimmer Peter

Brother

22 May 1906

 

à

Schimmer Anna

Wife

12 Oct 1907

 

 

 

 

 

Gier Gertrud

Niece

24 Sep 1903

 

 

Wagner Andreas

bro-in-law

30 Jan 1905

 

 

Bucher Georg

Brother

19 Dec 1905

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Parentz Peter

Friend

9 Feb 1904

 

 

Enger Peter

bro-in-law

5 Oct 1905

 

Bergauer Nikolaus

Cousin

4 Apr 1910

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mueller Margaret

Cousin

20 Jan 1905

 

 

Schaeffel Johann

Brother

14 May 1906

 

 

Bucher Margaret

Mother

7 May 1912

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mueller Mathias

Cousin

20 Jan 1905

 

 

Mueller Mathias

Father

26 Sep 1907

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hummel Nikolaus

Uncle

30 Jan 1905

 

 

Hummel Jacob

Brother

28 Aug 1907

 

à

Hummel Anna

Wife

12 Sep 1907

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Egler Barbara

Niece

12 Feb 1905

 

 

Hummel Barbara

Niece

20 Mar 1907

 

 

Hummel Susanna

Sister

7 May 1911

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Schneider Friedrich

Cousin

20 Feb1905

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hummel Eva

Friend

28 Oct 1905

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Egler Mathias

Nephew

9 Feb 1907

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Figure 5.--Perjamosch:   Example of chain migration

 

Furbacher Josef

29 May 1903

 

à

Furbacker Karl

Brother

27 Aug 190

3

à

Drucker Elisabeth

Neice

21 Oct 1903

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heinz Maria

step sister

31 Dec 1903

 

à

Henz Johann

Brother

9 Feb 1907

 

 

 

 

 

Furbacher Karl

Son

31 Dec 1904

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hollerbach Mathias

Nephew

29 Mar 1906

 

à

Hollerbach Adam

Brother

3 Nov 1907

 

 

 

Figure 6--Billed:  Example of Chain Migration

 

Bakesz Franz

1901

 

à

 

Bakes Elisabeth

Sister

9 May 1902

 

 

 

 

 

Gebel Mathias

cousin

9 May 1902

 

à

Gebel Susanna

Sister

30 May 1903

 

 

 

Klein Anna

Cousin

9 May 1902

 

 

 

 

 

Ramacher Johann

Cousin

9 May 1902

 

 

 

 

 

Braun Katharine

sister-in-law

13 Dec 1902

 

 

 

 

 

Minich Anton

bro-in-law

30 May 1903

 

 

 

 

 

Seibert Elisabeth

Cousin

30 May 1903

 

 

 

 

 

Bakes Mathias

brother

14 Nov 1907

 

 

 

 

 

Laub Elisabeth

Cousin

14 Nov 1907

 

 

 

 

 

The family books available on Banat locations, with the exception of Ulmbach and Liebling have all been written on a group of relatively prosperous and closely related villages in the Banater Heide, the rich agricultural area to the west of Temeswar.  In the Southwestern Banat were a group of daughter villages sited in the floodplain of the lower Bega and Temesch rivers.  These villages were established from 1795 up to 1872 through internal Banat migration.  Although also located on rich alluvial soils, crops were often lost and villages damaged or even totally destroyed through frequent flooding when the protective dikes were breached.  The inhabitants of these villages led a difficult existence.  Among these frequently flooded villages are Ernsthausen, Rudolfsgnad, Sigmundfeld, Deutsch Etschka, Klek and Setschan.  During the course of this work we have particularly looked for evidence in the migration data which would differentiate these frequently flood places from those of the more prosperous Heide.  At this time, we have been unable to distinguish any differences in the migration patterns of these daughter villages from their more prosperous parent localities.

 

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

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This document is Published in the FEEFHS Journal X, 115 (2002)

 

The authors are indebted to Peter Alan Schmidt, Knoxville, Tenn. for creating custom software for recording passenger ship abstractions, as well as his efforts with the installation and maintenance of the website for presentation of the data.  We are also indebted to Susan Clarkson for helpful comments on the manuscript.

 

REFERENCES

 

1. Veroli, R. J. and Sinke, S. M., Eds, “A Century of European Migration 1830-1930”, 1991, Univ of Ill Press and references cited therein.

 

2. Engelmann, Nikolaus, “The Banat Germans” Translated by John Michels, 1987, Univ of Mary Press, Bismarck.

 

3. Roth, E., “Die planmessig angelegten siedlungen im Deutschen Banater militaergrenbezirk 1765-1821”, Muenchen 1988.

 

4. Puskas, Julianna, “From Hungary to the U. S., 1880-1914”, Budapest 1982.

 

5. No author, “Immigrant and Passenger Arrivals”, Catalog of National Archives Microfilm Publications.  National Archives Trust Fund Board, Washington DC 1983.

 

6. “Morton-Allan Directory of European Passenger Steamship Arrivals”, Baltimore 1987.

 

7. Michel, J. M., “North Dakota Pioneers from the BanatUniv of Mary Press, Bismarck, 1992.

 

8. Dreyer, David, Banat Family History Series, Vol 1, “Family History Research for North Dakota Pioneers from the Banat”, Self published, 2001.

 

9. Hoerder, Dirk, Journal of American Ethnic History, Fall 1993, p 68.

 

10. Just, Michael, Auswanderung und Schiffahrtsinteressen, Stuttgart 1992 p 32.

 

11. Schuch, Helene, “Alexanderhausen im Banat 1833-2000”, 2001.

 

12. Wikete, Hans, “Ortssippenbuch Billed 1765-2000”, 3 Vols, 2000.

 

13. Giel, Dietmar, “Kleinjetscha im Banat 1772-2000”, Karlsruhe 2001.

 

14. Moehler, Johann, “Ortssippenbuch Liebling im Banat”.

 

15. Kraemer, Anton, “Perjamosch and Perjamosch-Haulik im Banat”, 2 Vols., 2000.

 

16. Kraemer, Anton, “Ulmbach-Neupetsch im Banat”, 2 Vols., 1994.

 

17. Wymann, M, “Round-Trip to America”, 1993, Cornell Univ Press and references cited therein.

 

18. The concentration of Glogoners in Los Angeles has been previously noted, Hans Tipre Deutsch-Ungarischer Familien-Kalender, 1934, p 73.

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