The Project


Historical context

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Heritage - Tourism

In the 19th century, more than 20,000 people emigrated from the region Emsland / Grafschaft (county) Bentheim, situated in the Northwestern part of Germany, to the United States of America. In the beginning, a close contact between the “Old” and the “New World” was established, mostly by writing letters. Over the years and decades, the relationship broke more and more.
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.
This database currently contains information on about 15,000 emigrants from the region Emsland / Grafschaft (county) Bentheim, partly supplemented with information on their families.
Further research will update the database continuously. [more]
Your ancestors emigrated from the region Emsland – Grafschaft (county) Bentheim but are not covered by our database yet?
You want to get to know the homeland of your German ancestors in person?
Images and media coverage can be found here.
This website would like to revive this connection and will provide data and tools to enable interested people on both sides of the “salt-water curtain” doing research and taking up contact again or for the first time. [more]
You found some basis information on them, but want to know more about their life and history in Germany?

We do all necessary research for you! [more]
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". [more]
Historical and present-day maps can be found here.
Selected books concerning the topic can be found here.
Links on related websites can be found here.


Notes on used sources can be found here.
You are interested in where their were baptized, where they married, where they lived?

We develop fitting programs for groups and individuals in the historical emigration area of the Emsland – Grafschaft (county) Bentheim and the accordant departure harbors (Hamburg, Bremerhaven)
. [more]