Welcome to the Wendish Research Exchange's WendBlogs section. Here you will read the musings and advice from one of several Wendish Blogmeisters whom have generously volunteered their time to participate. Please recognize that responses to your comments may or may not be forthcoming, but you are certainly encouraged to comment.


Background Information.

Tag Cloud





Latest Comments

Roger Hendreschke… (Nebraska Wends): Robert Hendreschke was my Great Grandfather and I believe Gottfried Nowka May also be my Great Grand…
Marsha Ridenhour (Nebraska Wends): Gottfried Nowka is my ancestor. Family lore as to why they left the Cottbus area was to avoid conscr…
Weldon Mersiovsky… (Nebraska Wends): Hi Kathy, Please read Bill Biar’s Blog (Stockwendish) the article titled “Alias – Genannt – AKA- A…
Kathy Schaefer (Nebraska Wends): As mentioned above, my grandmother was Ida Koinzan, daughter of Frederick Koinzan and Anna Marie Koc…
Andrew Hinton (Identifying Wends…): My Great Great Grandfather came from Germany in 1880-1890s his last name was Patz not a German sound…
Dan (Death on the Iris…): Regarding Kilian’s “Finally on the 26th of September we left Liverpool, leaving the sick behind in t…


XML: RSS Feed 
XML: Atom Feed 

« Johann Kilian as Fath… | Home | Warda by George Niels… »

Two Routes to Liverpool by George Nielsen

Monday 16 March 2015 at 05:51 am.

This article appeared in the April 2011 Newsletter of the Texas Wendish Heritage Society of Serbin, Texas. (www.texaswendish.org)

On September 4, 1854, when the main body of Wendish migrants boarded the train at Bautzen, they did so without their pastor, Johann Kilian. Because someone lodged a charge against Kilian for inciting a person to emigrate, the Royal Prussian Circuit Court at Rothenburg prohibited him from leaving the country until the matter was settled. The Texas-bound Wends arrived at Hamburg on September 5 and remained there for five days as arrangements were made for the journey across the North Sea. Finally, on September 10,most of the group boarded the steamship Hamburg, that departed before dawn, and on September 13 the remaining five families boarded the Hammonia and departed. The Hamburg reached Grimsby, England, near Hull, at about 8:00 in the evening. The Hammonia arrived of course, three days later. They boarded trains, which took them across England to Liverpool. There they would wait until September 26 when the Ben Nevis sailed westward.

After the legal issue was resolved, Kilian, along with his wife, his sister-in-law, Hana Groeschel, and his two-year-old son Gerhard boarded the train for Hamburg. They boarded the train on September 13, and traveling day and night they arrived at Hamburg on September 14, about the same time the main group arrived at Liverpool. Instead of waiting for the next steamship, Kilian accepted some advice and decided that he could make up for lost time by immediately taking the train west to Belgium and to enter England at Dover. They boarded the train at Hamburg and made it to Cologne and then to Aachen with no difficulty. The problems began when he reached the little border town of Verviers where Belgium customs officials checked the passports and luggage. No sooner had the train resumed speed did Kilian realized that his passport had not been returned to him. They reached Mecheln late that afternoon and in the confusion at the station, Kilian boarded the train for Gent, but his family was on the train for Brussels. After a long night of worry at Gent (September 15) Kilian received help from a local person who found the family at Antwerp, where they had spent the night. They were all reunited in Gent on September 16. Obtaining the passport was not as easy and more days were lost waiting for the shipment of the passport from Verviers to Gent. They finally made it to the port of Ostende on September 18 and crossed the channel, reaching Dover at 2 o'clock in the morning of September 19. From Dover they traveled by train through London and arrived at Liverpool on September 20. Instead of gaining time, Kilian lost time and if cholera had not delayed the departure of the Ben Nevis, Kilian would not have crossed the Atlantic with the group.

The top line on the map shows the route of the Wends and the lower line shows the route of the Kilian family.

No comments

(optional field)
(optional field)
In order to reduce spamming of our blogs, we ask you to first correctly answer this question. Automated spamming will fail to respond correctly, and their comment will be disallowed.

Comment moderation is enabled on this site. This means that your comment will not be visible until it has been approved by an editor.

Remember personal info?
Small print: All html tags except <b> and <i> will be removed from your comment. You can make links by just typing the url or mail-address.