Historical context

In the 19th century a huge migration movement captured the European continent.
People saw no future in their homeland, based e.g. on the shortness of land and food, unemployment or increasing pursuit of their political or religious beliefs.
Out of misery and despair small farmers, craftsmen, families and sometimes entire villages with a majority of their inhabitants dared the "adventure of emigration".

Destination countries like the U.S. but also Canada, Argentina, Brazil and Australia promised labor, land and rights - a mass exodus began.
Between 1821 and 1914 approximately 50 million Europeans left their homes, many of them using the emigration harbors of Bremerhaven and Hamburg.

During this period about 7-8 million Germans emigrated, primarily to the United States, to find a better life in the "New World".
Between 1850 to 1890 the Germans represented even the largest immigrant group.
Nowadays, about 60 Millions US citizens are counted as “German Americans”.

In the periods between 1832 to 1872 and 1874 to 1882, approximately 17,200 emigrants leaving the region of Emsland and Grafschaft (county) Bentheim were registered by the government agency in nearby Osnabrueck.
Including the non-recorded volumes of 1873 and the late 1880s, and adding an estimated number of unreported cases, more than 20,000 people left - only from the region  Emsland - Grafschaft Bentheim!

The main destinations of those “Emslanders” and “Bentheimers” were:

Graafschap (Michigan)
Holland (Michigan)
as well as
the region around the cities of St. Louis, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Louisville
as well as
Meppen (Illinois) ...

[To be added...]