German and Swiss Settlers in America, 1700s-1800s Immigration Records

The German and Swiss immigrants included in this resource mostly settled in the Carolinas, Georgia, Louisiana, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas. Among the great variety of resources collected here, you’ll find historical essays on German influence in the settlement of Texas, the great Palatine migration from the Rhineland in 1709, as well as German and Swiss migration patterns.

  • Lists of Swiss Emigrants in the Eighteenth Century to the American Colonies
    by Albert B. Faust and Gaius M. Brumbaugh
    In two volumes, this is the authoritative work on Swiss emigration to the Carolinas and Pennsylvania in the 18th century. Volume I identifies approximately 2,000 emigrants from the Canton of Zurich during the period 1734-1744. Volume II extends the scope of investigation to Bern for the years 1706 through 1795 and Basel for 1734 through 1794. Generally, you’ll find the following information about an individual included in one of these volumes: age, date of birth or baptism, names of family members, occupation, place of origin, and destination.
  • Historic Background and Annals of the Swiss and German Pioneer Settlers of Southeastern Pennsylvania, and of their Remote Ancestors
    by H. Frank Eshleman
    This work explores the background of the great sectarian movements in Germany, Switzerland, and Holland. Much of the focus is on Lancaster County genealogy and the emigration from the Palatinate in the eighteenth century. Substantial sections are devoted to lists of early settlers and biographical sketches of those who subsequently became known as Pennsylvania Germans.
  • The German Immigration into Pennsylvania Through the Port of Philadelphia from 1700 to 1775 and the Redemptioners
    by Frank R. Diffenderffer
    This important historical study deals with the background of German immigration (especially that of the Palatines). It details the causes, migration patterns, the leading figures in the movement, and the disposition of the immigrants. Much of the focus of the book is on the redemptioners, those who bound themselves to service as payment for the trip to America. It covers the types of bond servants and evaluates their role in the development of the German settlements in America.
  • List of Germans from the Palatinate who Came to England in 1709
    by John Tribbeko and George Ruperti
    This work lists nearly 2,000 heads of household who emigrated from the Palatine region of Germany to England in 1709 (most of whom continued on to America). For each, the following information is provided: occupation, age, marital status, ages of sons and daughters, and church affiliation.
  • True and Authentic Register of Persons who in the Year 1709 Journeyed from Germany to America
    by Ullrich Simmendinger
    The Simmendinger Register, as this work is called, consists of an alphabetical list of approximately 500 Palatine families who settled in or near the Mohawk Valley of New York in the year 1717. These families were the survivors of the great Palatine migration from the Rhineland in 1709. The migration took them first to England and then, in 1710, under the patronage of Queen Anne, to America. A participant in this migration, the author published this work upon his return to Germany in 1717 as a message from the colony overseas to friends and relatives back home in Germany. This is an authoritative register of pioneer Palatine families and early settlers of the Mohawk Valley.
  • Pennsylvania German Immigrants, 1709-1786 Lists Consolidated from Yearbooks of “The Pennsylvania German Folklore Society”
    by Don Yoder
    The lists compiled here set out to identify German emigrants in their homeland and in Pennsylvania. You’ll find reference to a great variety of records, including manumission records, parish registers, passports, church records, wills, and tax lists. The emigrants are frequently listed in Strassburger and Hinke’s Pennsylvania German Pioneers. Evidence of immigration such as dates of arrival and ship names were often drawn from that work. The materials often indicate causes for emigration, dates of emigration, the emigrant’s occupation, his dates of birth and marriage, place of birth and residence, and names of family members, sometimes with lines of descent for several generations. The materials cited after arrival in America generally identify the emigrant in connection with his place of settlement in southeastern Pennsylvania.
  • The Book of Names, Especially Relating to the Early Palatines and the First Settlers in the Mohawk Valley
    by Lou D. MacWethy
    Originally published in 1933, this classic work was the first to list the names of early Palatines of New York State, the original settlers of the Mohawk Valley, known as the Gateway to the West. The estimated 20,000 names are classified, combined, and arranged to enable the researcher to identify Palatine immigrants in relation to specific categories of records. Among the important lists of names are the following: The Kocherthal records of baptisms, marriages, and deaths, 1708-1719; Palatine heads of families, from Gov. Hunter’s Ration Lists, 1710-1714; Lists of Palatines in 1709 (the four London lists of emigrants from Germany, most of whom emigrated to America); Palatines remaining and newly arrived in New York, from the colonial census of 1710; Names of Palatine children apprenticed by Gov. Hunter, 1710-1714; and various lists of Palatines in the colonial militia of New York. “In few other listings will readers find such attention to detail. A very good addition to most libraries.” RQ, Reference Services Division, American Library Association (Winter 1969).
  • Early Eighteenth Century Palatine Emigration
    by Walter Allen Knittle
    This definitive work lists approximately 12,000 Palatine settlers along with the names of their family members and their dates of emigration. Generally, these individuals settled in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and the Hudson and Mohawk Valleys of New York.
  • A Collection of Upwards of Thirty Thousand Names of German, Swiss, Dutch, French and Other Immigrants in Pennsylvania from 1727 to 1776
    by Israel Daniel Rupp
    Consisting of 319 ship passenger lists, here you’ll find a listing of more than 1000 settlers who came to Pennsylvania from other states. For each, you’ll learn the name of the ship on which the individual sailed and that ship’s origin and date of arrival. This book includes an index of ships as well as a surname index.
  • The Germans of Colonial Georgia, 1733-1783
    by George F. Jones
    This is a definitive list of the German-speaking inhabitants of colonial Georgia. Composed of Salzburgers from Austria, Palatines from the southern Rhineland, Swabians from the Territory of Ulm, and Swiss, the so-called Georgia “Dutch” represented the largest ethnic group in Georgia in the mid-18th century. Today, their descendants are scattered throughout the fifty states. In this revised edition of his classic account of The Germans of Colonial Georgia, George Jones, emeritus professor of German and the preeminent authority on the German-speaking population of colonial Georgia, has compiled an alphabetical list of approximately 3,500 Germans. While information varies for each individual, often you’ll learn German-speaking region of origin, one or more dates of record in Georgia, names of family members, dates of vital events, name of vessel upon which the individual traveled, and information as to sponsor, legatee, or servant. The author eliminated the confusion that often stems from the frequently garbled versions of colonial German names by putting both the colonist’s family name and given name in the correct German form. This will make gathering additional information about an immigrant ancestor in European archives much easier. In this revised edition, Mr. Jones added many newly discovered names and clarified previous entries. The work concludes with a very helpful index to 18th-century place names of Germanic Europe.
  • German Immigrant Servant Contracts Registered at the Port of Philadelphia, 1817-1831
    by Farley Grubb
    More than forty percent of all German immigrants entering the port of Philadelphia in the early 19th century entered into servitude as a means of paying for their passage. After the servant contract was negotiated and the shipper paid, the contract was registered with the government. This register of servant contracts, one of the few existing documents that can be used to identify German immigrants for the period 1817-1831, contains a summary of the key elements in the actual contracts. This often includes servant’s name, buyer’s name, occupation, township, county and state of residence, length of servitude, and amount paid to the shipper. Altogether nearly 1,200 of these contracts were registered in the years 1817 through 1819 while only 73 entries were recorded between 1820 and 1831. Servant contracts such as those compiled here are especially useful since they cover the period of time before official passenger arrival records were kept.
  • A New Land Beckoned: German Immigration to Texas, 1844-1847
    by Chester W. Geue and Ethel H. Geue
    A compilation of original source material on the settlement of Germans in Texas from 1844 to 1847, here you will find lists of ships from Germany and the United States as well as indication of the Germans they brought to Texas. For each of the more than 4,000 individuals listed, you’ll learn age, names of accompanying family members, place of residence in Europe, and dates of departure and arrival.
  • New Homes In A New Land: German Immigration To Texas, 1847-1861
    by Ethel H. Geue
    This work is essentially a compilation of information gleaned from 105 passenger lists of ships that arrived at Galveston between the years 1847 and 1861. For each of the 5,600 individuals listed, you’ll learn age, family, residence in Europe, name of ship, date of departure from Germany, date of arrival in Texas, and name of Texas county in which the immigrant settled. In addition to the lists of immigrants, this work includes a brief history of German immigration to Texas as well as the names and descriptions of some of the Germans who were in Texas before it was a Republic. New Homes in a New Land is the sequel to the author’s A New Land Beckoned and brings the story of the German immigration to Texas up to the time of the Civil War.
  • German Immigrants: Lists of Passengers Bound From Bremen to New York, 1847-1871, With Places of Origin
    by Gary J. Zimmerman and Marion Wolfert
    In four separate books, this collection is based on National Archives passenger lists of vessels arriving at New York. It is especially valuable since the original lists of emigrants leaving Bremen were destroyed during World War II. Because this list only includes emigrants for whom specific places of origin were given, not all Bremen passengers of the 1847-1871 period are included. For each of the approximately 125,000 immigrants included, you’ll find details concerning age, date of arrival, name of ship on which they traveled, and original source material. The immigrants’ names are arranged in alphabetical order and family members are grouped together, usually under the head of household.
  • Pennsylvania German Pioneers: A Publication of the Original Lists of Arrivals in the Port of Philadelphia from 1727 to 1808
    by Ralph Beaver Strassburger
    The most complete collection of colonial passenger lists ever published, this work comprises all the original lists of persons who arrived in the port of Philadelphia between 1727 and 1808. Assembled from state archives, you’ll find the following information about each of the 38,000 immigrants referenced here: names of ships, dates of arrival, and places of origin. Since no other port maintained such extensive and continuous records, this work is foremost among compilations of its kind.
    Volume I covers the period 1727-1775 and contains 324 ship passenger lists, captains’ lists, signers of the oath of allegiance, and signers of the oath of abjuration.
    Volume II covers the period 1785-1808 and includes 182 additional lists, in many cases giving ages, occupations, and birthplaces. With 50,000 references, the index to this volume contains all names as well as their variant spellings.
  • Rhineland Emigrants: Lists of German Settlers in Colonial America
    edited by Don Yoder
    This collection of articles pertaining to the European origins of Pennsylvania German immigrants originally appeared in the magazine Pennsylvania Folklife (successor to The Pennsylvania Dutchman). Virtually all the emigrants mentioned in this work are cited with reference to church, parish, provincial records, and other records located in the archival repositories of the old Palatinate and adjoining provinces in southwest Germany. Where possible, individuals are cited again with reference to a corresponding range of Pennsylvania source materials (notably church records, wills, and tax lists). The emigrants are frequently listed in Strassburger and Hinke’s Pennsylvania German Pioneers. Evidence of immigration such as dates of arrival and ship names were often drawn from that work.
  • The Settlement of the German Coast of Louisiana and Creoles of German Descent
    by J. Hanno Deiler
    This book is a first-rate resource for researchers interested in the early German and Swiss settlers of Louisiana (and especially in the area along the Mississippi west of New Orleans known as the German Coast). The author devotes the beginning of this work to the early German families and their settlements in Louisiana. Nearly one-half of the book lists, along with genealogical notices, some 2,000 Names of German Habitants on Both Banks of the Mississippi Above New Orleans, as based on the official census of 1724, and a roster of Additional German Names Not in the [1794] Census. Included among these families, it should be noted, are Germans from Maryland and Creoles of German descent.
  • Naturalizations of Foreign Protestants in the American and West Indian Colonies
    by Montague S. Giuseppi
    Here you will find copies of all the returns of naturalizations of foreign Protestants sent from the Colonies to the Lords Commissioners for Trade and Plantations between 1740 and 1772. It refers to some 6,500 persons (mostly Germans) who were naturalized in accordance with an act of 1740. The returns are from the colonies of South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, New York, and Pennsylvania, as well as Jamaica in the West Indies. The entries generally include name, religion, town and county of residence, and date of naturalization.
  • Persons Naturalized in the Province of Pennsylvania, 1740-1773
    by John B. Linn and William H. Egle
    Most of the 3,000 individuals included in this volume were Quakers. For each, you’ll learn full name, place of residence, date of naturalization, and location of the county court and the name of the judges who conferred citizenship upon the applicants for naturalization.
  • Names of Foreigners who Took the Oath of Allegiance to the Province and State of Pennsylvania, 1727-1775
    by William Henry Egle
    This work is an exhaustive list of mostly German immigrants who arrived in Pennsylvania between 1727 through 1775 and 1786 through 1808. For the approximately 35,000 individuals included here, you’ll learn full name, name of ship, date of arrival, port of origin, and names and ages of family members.