Mecklenburg-Schwerin Emigration and Immigration
Between 1850 and 1890, Mecklenburg with a population of only 420,000 people had some 148,000 people emigrate, the majority to the United States. Most of these emigrants were peasants, struggling in poverty, looking for opportunities for a better life.
To lose workers through emigration would be detrimental to the Mecklenburg economy. Therefore, the Mecklenburg rulers tried to prohibit migration and emigration of their people as early as 1760. In spite of all banning, emigration flourished among serfs especially, who often fled to neighboring Prussia to escape pressing labor and often tyrannical manor lords.
In 1820 serfdom was abolished in Mecklenburg, however, the feared wave of emigration did not occur immediately, because most workers of the land sought the stability of the conventional life style. Starting in 1848 emigration became more of an option, usually an expression of dissatisfaction. The government again, tried to circumvent the trend by making available small farms. However, the news from emigrants already established held a greater lure. People opted for emigration because they saw no other way in obtaining land or a future for their children. Advertisements looking for skilled workers and promises of alluring wages, gave some people the impetus to cross the Atlantic.
Following are some emigration details for the parish Buchholz (Schwaan). The parish consists of the villages Ziesendorf, Nienhusen, Fahrenholz, Großbölkow, Wahrstorf, Hucksdorf, Brookhusen, Benitz and Buchholz itself.
Between 1850 and 1880 approx. 22 people emigrated. The family names are: Schmidt, Godemann, Scharf, Jaeger, Ziems, Beckmann, Friedrichs, Pless, Karsten, Edler and Cordes.
The number of emigrants is uncertain. The family names are: Stoll, Völkner, Pless, Wittenberg, Karnatz.
Between 1850 and 1880 approx. 370 people emigrated, in the 1850s = 137 persons, in the 1860s = 233, in the 1870s and 1880s just a few. The family names are: Bannier, Behrens, Schwanbeck, Barten, Stoll, Benik, Roth, Willert, Thilke, Wehland, Hildebrandt, Ladewig, Vorbeck, Hucksdorf, Vohls, Bünger, Neetz and Wier.
Between 1853 and 1880 approx. 90 perople emigrated. The family names are: Severin, Brandt, Kaeding, Frohbeck, Armending, Karsten, Oldag, Bünger, Rehfeldt, Behrens and Ziems.
Between 1850 and 1880 approx. 42 people emigrated. The family names are: Brandt, Biemann, Boldt, Völker, Fust, Stoll, Heinrich, Köpke, Hintze, Schuhmacher, Harder, Papenhagen.
15 people emigrated in the 1860s. Their family names are: Stoll, Beese, Warbelau and Benning
The carpenter Johann J.P. Wollenberg emigrated in 1872.
Between 1850 and 1880 approx. 32 persons emigrated. Their family names are: Kossow, Kracht, Husholler, Lübow, Jürgens, Benning, Schröder, Wiermeyer, Köhlhagen, Eggert, Gärber, Höewedt, Pimoco, Peters, Behrens, Bermit, Woittenberg, Krull.
Between 1850 and 1880 approx. 58 persons emigrated. Their names are: Kernappel, Priess, Laesch, Knopp, Bielfeldt, Dahlmann, Lüthens, Lang, Harms, Qualmann, Haase, Wittenberg, Boldt.
Between 1850 and 1880 approx. 53 persons emigrated. The family names are: Bade, Barten, Plagemann, Kempcke, Mau, Schtür, Metzner, Lageburch, Vick, Schmidt, Koepcke, Christen, Kelling, Fien, Dankert, Lehmkohl, Ples, Niekrenz, Bramur, Geitmann, Gallenberg, Hintze, Scheeld, Schwanbeer, Krohn, Rohde.
Suleiman, Ali. Über die Auswanderung aus dem ländlichen Raum in Mecklenburg im vorigen Jahrhundert.
Most Mecklenburg emigrants left through the port of Hamburg. The port of Hamburg maintained records of departures starting in 1850. These departure records are called the Hamburg passenger lists. The records of Hamburg have been microfilmed and are available in the collection of the Family History Library. The records are also available online at ancestry.com
Emigrants were required to request permission from the government to leave. There are some emigration records available at the following address:
There are emigrants listed in Archiv für Sippenforschung by Karl Schomaker. Die Auswanderung aus Mecklenburg, speziell im 19. Jahrhundert pages 260-266 and 337-340 available in the Family History Library, call number 943 B2as yr. 27-28.