Do you have ancestors from Hesse? Are you still looking for their exact place of residence before they left? Then looking at the Auswanderer-Nachweise (statements of emigration) from the Hessian State Archive in Darmstadt might give you a lead on where to search. And they’re available online!
Call to Creditors, Church Books and other Governmental Files
Before World War 2, two genealogists started searching different sources and collecting information on emigrants. One genealogist was Walter Möller who searched the so called Ediktladungen (call to creditors, legal term: publishing notice). After 1821, an Ediktladung was issued when the emigrant had declared his will to emigrate in front of the provincial government. The creditors then had three months’ time to stake out their claim. First after these three months the emigrant was allowed to leave. Walter Möller then set up index cards. This collection today is called Auswanderungskartei Walter Möller.
The other genealogist was the Pastor Ernst Wagner who worked with church books and other governmental files.
Many of these governmental files were destroyed in World War 2 so often this is the only information that survived. Today, these statements are still updated by archivists whenever information is found.
However, these “only” are index cards with names and the town of origin. There are no files attached to it. But if you once have the town of origin, you will be able to search the church records in this very place. Also you should know that this collection is far from being complete, you might not get lucky. Should your ancestors have left before 1821, they will not be listed either.
How to Find The Collection
The signature for this Auswanderungsnachweise is R 21 B and unfortunately it is a bit hard to find. I will now show you how to get there.
1) Go to https://arcinsys.hessen.de/arcinsys/start.action?request_locale=en which is the archival information system Hessen.
2) Then choose Staatsarchive from the menu on the left.
3) Then click on HStAD Hessisches Staatsarchiv Darmstadt – Navigator.
4) Move down to the letter -R -and click on Sammlungen und Karteien.
5) Scroll down to HStAD R21.
6) Click on Navigator.
7) Click on Navigator again at HStAD, R21 B Findkartien und Datenbanken: Auswanderer-Nachweise.
8) You will then see this page and can click at the letter needed.
9) You will get information like the following.
This is the information listed:
- first name,
- place of origin,
- date of emigration,
- emigration to,
- remarks for example passport, or port or if there are family members following.
These statements of emigration might be important for those of you who do now know the exact place their family emigrated from. So don’t miss this free opportunity to check for your ancestors from Hesse!
All images ©Land Hessen, Hessisches Landesarchiv, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv
Do you want to learn more about how to find out more about your German ancestors? Watch our webinar Finding Your Ancestors’ German Hometown! at Legacy Family Tree Webinars!