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semissouri gal

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Lutheran Immigrants from Venne, Germany to America
Posted: Dec 30, 2009 9:57 PM
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During research of my husband's family name, Büning, I met the historian and genealogist Udo Thörner from Venne, Germany who had spent his life building on the genealogical research of Pastor Ludwig Stueve from St. Walburgis Evangelical Lutheran Church, Venne (Osnabrück region, Northwest Germany). In 1874, Pastor Stueve had recorded the names of 637 families and individuals who had emigrated from Venne to America beginning in the 1830s.

From his eventual database of over 2000 emigrants, with details gathered from primary sources--private, church, and civil records--in Germany and in the United States, Thörner compiled a comprehensive study of this extensive emigration of the Venne area, publishing the English version of his book, Venne in America, nine months prior to his untimely death in July 2009.

In his 322-page work, Venne in America, Thörner details the Causes of Emigration, describing the demographics of the population between 1830 and 1900, the years of most migrations from Venne and surrounding towns. He describes the situations of land owners, small cottage farmers, and of the tenants (Heuerlings). Thörner shows the major influence of the Lutheran Church on the immigrant families. The second section, "The Voyage," concerns the emigration agents and the difficulties of the ocean voyage. The longest section covers the Settlements in Pennsylvania; New York; Cincinnati, Ohio; and major settlements in Indiana; Venedy, Illinois; Iowa; and Missouri. Throughout the book, Thörner describes many individual families' lives in Germany and in America, their occupations, their church life, illnesses and deaths, and reasons for migration. The final section lists over 2000 emigrants themselves, including spouse, birth dates, immigration year, and destination.

Venne in America provides historians and genealogists documented vital statistics of ancestors, but also the stories behind their lives and of their immigration to a new world. The paperback book can be ordered from the distributor for $32 ($28 + $4 postage): The Hamilton County Chapter of Ohio Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 15865, Cincinnati, Ohio 45215.