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Few port of departure records in Germany exist for the first fifty years of the 19th century. Nor is there a published collection of passenger lists equivalent to Pennsylvania German Pioneers, Strassburger and Hinke's remarkable work for the 18th century. Faced with these obstacles to the discovery of ancestral links between Old and New Worlds from 1800 to 1860, Germany immigration authority, Clifford Neal Smith, among other things, spent a number of years ferreting out surrogate passenger information from the periodical literature.
Before his death, Smith transcribed the genealogical contents published between 1869 and 1877 in Volumes 1 through 9 of Der Deutsche Pioniere, a monthly magazine issued by the Deutsche Pioniereverein (Union of German Pioneers) founded in Cincinnati, Ohio. (The magazine continued to be published until 1887.) Mr Smith's transcriptions, which were arranged by magazine volume and thereunder in alphabetical order of surname, were originally published in four volumes (issued in six parts) between 1984 and 1991. For the researcher's convenience the component booklets are reprinted here in one volume with six distinct parts.
The author provides the following particulars on each German-American pioneer: name, place of origin in Germany, town or county of residence, reference to the original source, and biographical data provided in the original notice. While most of the early entries pertain to Germanic inhabitants of Ohio, later issues of Der Deutsche Pioniere refer to deceased persons living in Kentucky and neighboring states. By the same token, as genealogy took on greater and greater importance in the magazine, the biographical notes became more copious, providing more information about an individual's life and his/her family members. Taken as a whole, this work provides the German-American researcher with valuable data concerning several thousand individuals whose whereabouts in Germany and the New World might otherwise go unnoticed.