On my maternal side of my family, we have the Germans. The largest flow of German immigration to America occurred between 1820 and World War I, during which time nearly six million Germans immigrated to the United States. From 1840 to 1880, they were the largest group of immigrants.
My German family, settled in the Ohio Valley, in the Dayton area. Pennsylvania has the largest population of German-Americans in the U.S. and is home to one of the group's original settlements, Germantown (Philadelphia), founded in 1683 and the birthplace of the American antislavery movement in 1688, as well as the revolutionary Battle of Germantown.
Some left the Old World in response to the many historical events in Europe over the last two centuries. Most Germans came to the United States seeking economic opportunities or religious or political freedom.
My family were Catholics - very strict Catholics and forbade the intermarriage with a non-catholic. My German grandfather was Catholic. My dutch-Irish grandmother was Protestant. They married, but his family members would not attend and years later, refused to acknowledge my uncle and my mother as part of their German family because my Grandmother refused to baptise them, in the Catholic Church. OUCH! Now that must have been the reason, to not inter-marry with Protestants. I can't help but think, how many came to America to escape religious persecution, yet once here, was intolerant of others who were non-Catholics.
Germans in Dayton, Ohio
Located northeast of downtown Dayton, Old North Dayton sits between the Great Miami and Mad rivers. Its main routes are Troy, Brandt, Valley, Stanley, Leo and Chapel Streets. I have many from the Hasenstab branch, that actually lived on Troy, Valley, Leo and Chapel Streets. It's a trip to google earth, and see how many homes are still standing today. There is a Hasenstab St. I am trying to find out the history of that. It still exists there today.
German immigrants were the first to settle in the neighborhood, then known as 'Texas' or 'Parma'. Around the turn of the century, central European immigrants, predominately Poles, Hungarians, Lithuanians and Germans, moved in as laborers and gave the neighborhoods its unique ethnic flavor represented by ethnic Roman Catholic churches, and cultural festivals.
I don't hold it against any of them -it was their ethnic and religious culture at the time. I do believe it has made my search for the Hasenstab family even harder. A few years ago, a distant cousin from the Hasenstab line, contacted me. She did not know that my mother existed and when she asked an older cousin who was now in her 90's - she refused to talk about it. The cousin later broke off communication with me. What was THAT all about?
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