Reichsstadt Rottweil
(Baden-Württemberg, Germany)
by Theo Engeser, Villingendorf, and Martin Dilger, Berlin

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Emigration from the Territory of the Reichsstadt Rottweil

The emigration and the respective destinations of from this area are studied quite differently. We will give first a few more general statements.

The area was not a region of emigration movements until the end of the 18th century. However, afterwards a considerable portion of the population emigrated to other parts of Europe and/or the United States.

The territory of the Reichsstadt Rottweil was extremely hardly hit by the 30-year war in Germany when it lost about half or even two-third of its population. In the 17th century even many people from Switzerland immigrated into the depopulated region.

Emigration from the territory started in the late 18th century mainly to "Hungaria" (at that time much larger than present-day Hungaria) and to a minor extent to southern Russia. In the midth of the 19th emigration the United States began which became virtually a flood. About 10 to 15% of the population emigrated, mostly poorer people that often sustained on the welfare. To some of them the voyage to the United States was paid by the authorities, just to get "rid" of them, to express it harshly.

Whereas the emigration to "Hungaria" is fairly well studied (e.g. Hacker), the extent of the emigration to the US is very poorly investigated. In Villingendorf for example there exists an "emigration list" (of "all" emigrants to "foreign" countries) which, however, actually registers only about half of the emigrants. Much more complete are the church registers. However, it is very time consuming to look through the several hundreds of pages of family records to find out all the emigrants, and even the church records are incomplete as some examples have shown. Moreover, with the exception of one case, it is unknown to which destination in the United States the emigrants departed and on which ship. It is certainly a deficit in German History that on local level the extent of the emigration to the US is hardly investigated.

However, in near future it should be possible to combine these lists of emigrants, with ship records and immigrations dates. For local researchers it is almost impossible to locate these people (and their descendants) in America. We would like to share what we know about the emigration from this area of Germany in exchange for information about the whereabouts of the emigrants.

We hope that the information you will find here will be soon of some interest for you.

As a first step to a bigger database we have emigration data from Zepfenhan, put at our disposal by Rose Schiller, for which we thank her much.

Theo Engeser,
Villingendorf 1998
Arrow upHome Arrow leftBack Arrow rightForward Martin Dilger,
Berlin 2002, 2005