Family research / history

Teuthorns emigrate to the U.S. - An introduction

Emigration - who, when, where from?
From Frankenhausen to Kiel
The emigrants´ family in Kiel
From Kiel to the U.S.
Emigrants to America and their origins (chart)
Ships from Hamburg to New York

Emigration to the U.S. - who, when, where from?

Emigration happened at first in the middle of the 19th century and then fourty years later between 1890 - 1895 and the actors came from different Teuthorn families.

From Frankenhausen to Kiel

As a descendant of the branch of Teuthorns which continued to live in Germany (-->Emil) I concentrate my description on those Teuthorns who had lived in Kiel for three generations, i.e. since 1836 when Wilhelm Günther Teuthorn, common forefather of American and German family, moved there. The exact reasons for emigration from his birth town Frankenhausen to Kiel / Dukedom of Holstein are not known. They may have consisted in the need of gaining an open field for his profession as a surgeon [1]. This is more likely than the today´s pattern of love and following marriage in Kiel.

The emigrants´family in Kiel

In July 1836 Wilhelm Günther Teuthorn became burger by the traditional procedure of swearing the burger´s oath and he entered the guild of barbers and surgeons. So he had become one of the masters who were priviliged to exercise their trade by the Guild Letter / Zunftbrief which duke Friedrich had signed in 1638. It restricted the number of masters to five. By this means a certain economical prosperity was garanteed.

His son Wilhelm Friedrich Otto Teuthorn apparently lived in poorer conditions. My grandfather Emil often mentioned his poor old parents, whom he felt obliged to support with dollars from America. Friedrich Otto worked as a barber. He had to nourish six children.

The oldest of them was Louisa/Luise who was followed by the sons Otto and William/Wilhelm, the daughters Minna and Petra and the youngest son Emil. A graphic may improve your imagination of complicated family relationship!

In the chapter of places (Orte) I give several descriptions of Kiel with emphasis on the 19th century, also an abstract in English. I recommend the (still not translated) part of town life / städtisches Leben in Kiel with illustrations of old houses of the historic Faulstraße, where the Teuthorn Family lived at that time.

From Kiel to the U.S.

Otto is said to have been the first who started the jouney. He is said to have emigrated "when Kaiser Wihelm II. came to power" [2]. But this historical event will not have been the reason for his emigration. He certainly was not a political refugee. Louisa, William, Petra and Emil followed until 1895. Minna stayed in Kiel.
When Emil emigrated in 1895 he lived together with Otto and William during his first year in Chicago. Afterwards he took an independent way. Otto stayed in Chicago and became ancestor of the actual und numerous Teuthorn families in the U.S.
Whether William did as well is not sure. His traces disappear.
The children sent dollars to support their old parents in Kiel. There exist photographs of all of them (except Petra) before they started to America, and when Emil, the 15 year old youngest brother, arrived the three brothers had temselves portrayed together in Chicago.


"As we now have found the missing link from today´s American Teuthorns back to their roots in Kiel, Germany, it will be rather interesting how the German and American Teuthorns actually live within our global but small world." When I wrote this after having started intensive family research in 2001, I missed knowing Alan, Louisa 's grandson. But I was lucky and happy that he found me by this website's information. Since his visit and our common travel trough Germany in May 2007 we got a better mutual knowlledge of living at both shores of the Atlantic. So there probably will be a commonly written Prellberg-Teuthorn Family Story at this site.

©Peter Teuthorn, 2001 / 2007

(Also see Emigrants to the U.S., a list of all known emigrants in chronological order)

[1]Wilhelm Günther was not a Dr. med. - as I had supposed earlier - but a surgeon, which at that time was not an academic profession, but a skilled trade.
[2] Wilhelm II. became Prussian King and German Kaiser exactly on June 15th. 1888. 1890 was the year when Chancellor Bismarck resigned and Wilhelm II. took direct government influence.
[3] The information is as follows:
Wilh. Teuthorn, age 20, from the state of Holstein, living in Kiel, commercial/Kaufmann, travelling on tween deck without relatives, destination New York, passengers number 01.0009, passage number A1891.0353, beginning the journey 10.10.1891, ship´s name Scandia, steamship, company: HAPAG.




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