Searching Immigrants from Germany in USA

Dear list-members, especially those in the United States

I have a man in my family named HERMANN Heinrich Friedrich Albers, * 09.04.1893
in Neetze, Kreis L�neburg. Nds.= Lower Saxony, who lived some time in the USA at
about 1920 to 1950. He can not be found in any register of immigration, because
he should have been a ship-steward, who worked even still on sailing ships and
travelled to the USA as a worker, not as a passenger. He should have come back in
1950 for living anywhere near Bremen. At least another related named Zelle from
Bremen told me that years ago. So there is no news what he did in the time about
1920 to 1950 in the USA. What can be suggested to get some knowledge about him in
that time ? Perhaps some one has by accident already some knowledge. I am by the
way interested in bearer of the name Albers around the world, so if ...
some genealogical information on any ALBERS ... please give it to me.

Thanks for and to all in advance

       Hans Peter Albers E-mail: 320097756779-0001@t-online

Geherte Herr Albers,

The US censuses might be a good place to start. I searched the index for the 1930 census (at, a pay site) for Herman Albers age 36 or 37, and found two born in Germany. Here is the information from the images.

1. Illinois, Cook County, Chicago. [In a listing of lodgers at the Dupont Hotel]. Herman Albers, a single male age 37. Able to read and write English. Immigrated in 1928 [The date is hard to read here.] and is an alien. [That means he had not been granted citizenship. ] He spoke English. Employed as a Clerk in a Hotel. Not a veteran of a war.

2. Ohio, Cuyahoga County, Cleveland. Address 3173 W. 116 St., Herman Albers, rented home for $40/month. Had a radio. He is a 36 year old male married at the age of 25, and could read and write. Born in Germany. Immigrated 1914, Had submitted papers applying for citizenship. Spoke English. Worked as a manager in a cookie factory. Was not a veteran of a war.
His Wife was Marie, age 33, married at age 23, born in Yugoslavia. Immigrated 1900 and is still an alien. Not working. Sons John and Robert ages 9 and 6, born Germany.

If the second person is the one you seek, then you might look at the 1920 US census, or try to find the citizenship application.

Please email me directly if you need help understanding this information.


Paul Kasameyer

Hans Peter Albers wrote:

Hans Peter,

Your post concerning Albers from Neetze, Kreis Luneburg intrigues me. I
have several families who were born in the Neetze area, and belonging to
their church in Minnesota also was an Albers family----(a descendant of whom
I believe I went to school with). These church records from the White
Bear Lake and Mansfield Lutheran churches in Freeborn County, Minnesota have
been microfilmed---and are very specific. I did not copy any notes for
Albers family persons from this film, but I will check the early records for
Albers the next time I visit the Freeborn County Historical Society.
Persons I have in my notes I will list here:

Dorthea Madgalena Elisabeth Horntasch born 28 Sept 1869 in Neetze, Hannover
Johann Wilhelm Seedorf born 18 April 1885 in Neetze, Hannover
Maria Dorthea Wilhelmine Goette born 3 November 1877, Neetze Hannover
Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Seedorf born 11 Sept 1878 in Neetze, Hannover
Johann Heinrich Ellenburg born 14 April 1850 in Landrosser, Luneberg
Katherine Elisabeth Ellenberg born 19 August 1826 in Klein Sommerbeck,
Johann Heinrich Seedorf born 18 Aug 1814 in Gienau, Hannover
Heinrich Jurgen Steep born 6 Aug 1829 in Holzen, Hannover
Dorthea Wittroe born 20 Nov 1853 in Klein Sommerbeck, Hannover
Juhann Jurgen Neibuhr 23 Nov 1828 in Golleren, Hannover

Good luck with your search.


Gail Frein

Dear Hans....This might help

    Birth Date: 9 Apr 1893
    Death Date: Aug 1985
    Social Security Number: 081-01-4310
    State or Territory Where Number Was Issued: New York

    Actual Death Residence: Europe

  Death Residence Localities
    ZIP Code: XX732
Fred W. Meyer
Iowa. USA

Gail Frein wrote

and Hans Peter answered:

Your message was just wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. There is someone who is
working on a chronic of the villlage Neetze, so as I am gathering informations
about Neetze for years. It�s a jump of years in research. Thanks a lot.
                                                             Hans Peter Albers

I am so glad if any of my information can be of help. I would be most
interested in more information about Neetze, and surrounding areas. My
direct families from Hannover are Seedorf and Ellenburg. I will try to
get to the Historical Society again mid March, and check any Albers entries.

Best regards,

Gail Frein

I want to thank Hans Peter Albers for posting his query about Neetze, which
has helped me greatly in my research for my Hannover ancestors. Your
insight and explanations are invaluable. As you say---wonderful,
wonderful, wonderful.

What a time we live in, when we can correspond, and help each other through
this list.

Dear Hans Peter Albers:

In going over paper copies I have taken of some of the records for Mansfield
Lutheran Church, Minnesota I found the following:

Walter Raymond Albers geb. 1 Juni 1927, Kiester Township, Minn. bap. 12 Juni
1927 Parents: Herm. Albers and Minnie geb. Tiede.

While not positive this is your Herman Albers, I think there is a
possibility. I will try to find marriage record, and hopefully birthdate
will be recorded for Herm. Albers. Fairly sure they were married in
Mansfield, as the parish had a Reverend Tiede for some years. I also
think I went to school with grandson of this Herm. Albers.

Gail Frein

I think Paul meant this to go to the list. Thanks for sending this
information, Paul. This matches the family that belonged to the Mansfield
Lutheran Church.

I think I found this family in the 1930 US census, Minnesota, Faribault
Co., Kiester Township, District 22-18, page 7A. The father lists his
birthplace as Minnesota, which would suggest he is not the one being

it occurs to me that my German relatives from the Hannover area all had
three given names, and none of them went by the first name. Do we know
which name this person used?

Here is the information from the census.
Head of household: Herman W. Albers (could be Alben) MW 42, Married at
age 29 or 24 (That would be 1906 or 1911). born Minnesota, parents born
Germany. He is a farmer.
Wife: Wilhelmina L., 42, married at 24 or 29, born Minnesota, parents
born Germany.
Children (All born in Minnesota) Henry F., 17, Herbert F., 14, Doris R.,
11, and Walter R., age 2 and 11/12. Since data was collected April 22,
this implies his birthday is About May of 1927.

Hope this helps.

Thanks to you all three Gail Frain and Paul and Ann Kasameyer

for Information about Herman Albers from 1930 census. As the one, who is from my
family was called commonly Hermann and had the others as second names it might be
him, but that will not fit in age. Defintely is the birth-date 1893 and if it is
his already a son, he must have become father in the age of 13 or 18. Not abso-
lutely impossible, but would be in this time a seldom case. So it isn�t a pity at
all as I�m collecting all the Albers I can get, sometimes connection appears
later. has been yesterday, that I got news from a research-collegue from M-L-List
about a relative Albers from Neetze, where I hadn�t yet knowledge, where he had
gone to. Was only 35 km and about 5 generations back, but as belonging to another
"Kirchspiel", not found already. Often there is only luck which makes one come
along. So again thanks a lot. And no panic anyway, we come along point by point.

As we are at the point of lucky accidents. Maybe we come along with the Seedorfs
on another way. I tried to find out, if there are still some in Holzen today.
And there were no. So I looked how they are spread over the country in Germany.
Result there are about 520 Seedorf having a tlephon in 1995, that�s not too much
in comparision. And they are centered. First you find them in big towns as
Berlin, Hamburg, Bremen, a little colony in D�sseldorf. The most surprising
thing however is, more than 10 % of all Seedorf(f) nowadays live in one smaller
town 2o km north of Bremen in 27711 Osterholz-Scharmbeck, exactly 53 of them.
That`s a good news because the probability that there had been already research
in Seedorf-Family is very large. Maybe they have concentrated on other Seefeld
but they must be related anyway and in a family one knows, who has the documenets
of genealogical kind. So tell me, if you need some of the adresses or the 4 or 5,
which are still in the region around Holzen. I would like more to give the actuel
adresses of people directly, not going over the list.

I went again over the proceeding e-mail from 26.02 concerning Hermann Albers.
Those Albers-dates you sended Gail are those, you meant to remember they are from
Neetze, is that right ? If yes, I�m surely relationed to them. I have gathered
all entries about Albers from there and they all go back to almost one and the
same "old shepherd Hans Albers", as the parish book writer wrote down in 1732 .
So if you get contact again, you can tell these Albers, I can give them with
higmightiest probabability their anchestors up to this one back. I would
appreciate in this case to get all they have in the other direction, starting
from coming from Neetze.

Next point from other discussion about "Landwehr". I was corrected by a today�s
newspaper Article, where the "Kreisarchivar" Tetau, who is an official man of
research in Adendorf administration, just 3 km north of Luneburg. In his opinion
"Landwehr" was also an building for defense, but not a military one. They were
build around the towns, to protect the city from losses in trade. By that the
wheel-carts were forced to pass the inlets, where the taxes were taken. Think he
is right and gives the better explanation why there are such a lot of places
called "Landwehr", even if there could have been a small military gain also in
it. Thought had to correct this, also it makes no direct progress in finding
"Leadwich Dres".

Thre was the question, if the "Grundherr" is a "gent in... laird". I found the
translation "Gutsherr" for "laird". That`s something different here, and a
phenomenon of O-W-Prussia at first and is here possible, but no dominating form
of orgaisation of field-work. It means here, that a greater "Hof" with a manifold
of a normal "Hof" is in one managing hand, mostly in aristocartic possession.
There was one in Neetze since anytime, another builded in beginning 19th century.
Knowing the modern form of landpossesion it`s difficult to understand the rights
of already medieval origin still existing in 17.and 18th century. In our case in
reference to the names I gave you, it is only important to know, they couldn�t by
and sell the land as they wanted before transformations in right in the first
part of 19th century. The "Grundherr" had the right for fee, decision who was set
on it, but with deminuishing influence to the present.

Hope, I have nothing forgotten, otherwise next e-mail, getting always horror
seeing my typing errors in older mails. Promise to better me.

                                                        Hans Peter Albers

I keep jumping in here as we go along. :slight_smile: There are many people in
Germany who are named by some deriviation of the modern word
Landwehr. Lanfers, Landweh etc are among them. The concept of the
Landwehr goes way back to a time when law and order was basically in
the hands of those with the most weapons or who were the most
ruthless among society. The very concept of town development as
people settled around a Burg or castle had the same basic use. People
needed to defend themselves or have somebody do that for them. Early
medieval society came up with the idea of a social contract whereby a
man of arms would defend them in times of need and in return they
would place themselves under his rule as their liege lord. That's
really how the whole manorial system started.

Now, as to the Landwehr, this was a rural concept. A Bauerschaft or
group of farms or even a larger Flecken did not have a castle in
their mids to defend them. The Burgmannen built their homes in towns
not villages. So what were the poor villagers to do but to take
matters in their own hands and build some kind of protective wall
(dirt with a possible ditch before it) which would be manned in times
of stress by a guard or lookout who would then alarm the rest if he
saw danger approaching. The homes near the Landwehr had most of this
responsibility and their occupants came to be known by the name of
the wall. The Schützen (the modern Schützenvereine are the remnants
of this) were the home guard who would man the last defense before
their farms were sacked.

In areas were the land was close to the watertable the people built
dikes to protect them from floods but also as Landwehr structures. So
we now get the popular names of Diekmann and its various versions
from the people who lived near the dikes.

All this goes way back and little is written about as it just
happened out in the country were no one bothered to write things
down. :slight_smile:


4788 Corian Court
Naples, FL 34114
239-775-7838; 239-269-4781 (cell)

In my fathers family at least, they had the three given names. The name just before the surname was the name they went by. My father was Wilhelm Heinrich Emil Castens, He always was known as Emil or E.W. All his brothers and sister and all his uncles were the same the last name before the surname on their baptismal record became the name they were known by.

In my Grandfathers family (my mothers father) the middle name was the fathers name with an s. My great grandfather was Willm Jacobs Tammen, My grandfather was Reiner Willms Tammen, his brother and sisters who were born in Germany all had the middle name of Willms. The three born in America did not use this form of naming similiar to the patranomic. This family was from Westerholt in Ostfriesland.

Researching, Castens, Tammen, Goedecke, Decker, Averbeck, Rohrs in Hannover (state)

Yvonne Castens Prough

usually, but not always,
the other names were of the godparents that were at the church for the
not just one godparent but I have seen up to four!
also, often the minister underlined the name the child would be known as.
so as you copy those records, copy everything!
even the simple underlines might give you a clue!

The ...... schrieb:

>it occurs to me that my German relatives from the Hannover area all had
>three given names, and none of them went by the first name. Do we know
>which name this person used?

Yvonne Castens Prough schrieb:

Fred Rump schrieb:

> Next point from other discussion about "Landwehr". ...

Thanks to Fred Rump,

another example for the necessity to think a bit longer before changing an ear-
lier riped opinion. The tradeway interpretation - guiding the vehicles to the
taxpoints - seemed at first sight engaging having in mind the circumstances of a
trading place like L�neburg, but is delusive considering all the other places
named "Landwehr" out in the country. But one can state by that example that their
had been some change in use of the "Landwehrs"; in one way coming along the
centuries and second depending on the local possibilities to make other use of
it. Hans Peter Albers

I agree with Klaus and have argued the point before. We may know the
so-called Rufname of our immediate ancestors back to grandparents or
even grgrandparents but then it gets tough to guess what they were
called. Yet, German genealogy programs all request and assume that
everyone has a Rufname out of the several given names from baptism.
We really need to go by what we find in the archival records and
record whatever names we find with each document as they change quite
often. If we are lucky and a name is underlines we still don't know
if that was the name used by that person in everyday life. We are
always assuming. It is only when we find signed documents that we can
now for sure what a person used as his normal name.


PS People did not generally pick their own names. These were given to
them by their parents as they grew into adulthood. Why they would
pick the first, second or third name of the series of baptismal names
is always left to be pondered on but often it was to please or honor
a relative whose favors might be expected somewhere down the road.

4788 Corian Court
Naples, FL 34114
239-775-7838; 239-269-4781 (cell)

There is said to have been a time period when all German boy babies were
given the first name Johann. My great-grandfather was Johann Friedrich
Heinrich GANSBERG, born in 1849. In the USA he used the name "Frederick
Henry Gansberg," so this is different than the custom in the Prough family,
as described below.

It may seem that way but it never happened. Johann is simply one of
the most popular names as is John.

4788 Corian Court
Naples, FL 34114
239-775-7838; 239-269-4781 (cell)

Maureen, What about German Girls. We have a family that came from Germany.
All of the girls ffirst name started with Mary -- Mary Anne, Mary Josephine,
Mary Barbara, Mary Elizabeth, Mary Levinia. etc Nerva

Ours all started with Anna!