10 Pitfalls in "Germans to America"
  • Glazier/Filby: Germans to America. Volumes 1-66. 

  • Wilmington, DE: Scholarly Resources 1989-2000 (1850-1895)
  • 2 CD’s: Germans to America, 1850-1888 (familytreemaker.com)
  • DAD: Deutsche Auswanderer-Datenbank, Bremerhaven, 1850-1891 (http://www.deutsche-auswanderer-datenbank.de)

These publications of passenger lists omit some details:
  • a classification of passengers by ports called at during the passage is missing (according to 'Germans to America', for instance, travelers from Le Havre boarded the vessel as early as in Bremen);
  • in many cases there is no indication of a passengers´s accomodation (First Cabin, steerage = tween deck);
  • "Germans" from Russia and from Austria, for instance, are not listed whereas "Germans" from Switzerland and France are listed;
  • in volumes 1-38 (1 January 1850 – 31 May 1881) the names of those who died during the passage are not given;
  • the overall number of travelers is not indicated (Non-Germans, e.g. German-Americans were not considered).
In the editions numerous lists are not considered:

122 vessels which left European ports for New York in the period 10 July – 9 October 1851 (3 months) and carried ca. 25,000 German passengers are disregarded;
for the period 4 August 1856 to 17 January 1860, for instance, 79 passenger lists of vessels reaching Baltimore with ca. 10,000 Germans on board are not considered;
for the period 22 August to 28 November 1890, for instance, 42 passenger lists of vessels reaching New York, 23 lists of vessels reaching Boston and 11 lists of vessels arriving in New Orleans with Germans on board are not considered; 
for the period 1850 to 1871, for instance, 39 passenger lists of vessels arriving in Galveston/Texas with ca. 7.000 Germans on board are not considered.

In these editions the names of Germans in passenger lists are frequently overloooked 
particularly if these names appeare singly among Non-German names.

In these editions cities are frequently identified with the wrong German regional state 
even if the information in the original lists is correct (e.g. Berlin becomes a town in Bavaria, Wuerzburg is given as a town in Prussia and Zurich is presented as an 'unknown town in Germany' and Saxons sometimes go on a cruise to Saxony).

In the book edition those places of origin that are not indicated in the original lists, and frequently also places that are indicated in the lists are coded as 'unknown places' (000; ZZZ). In both cases the same codings are used so that even on the CD and in the DAD in to many cases, the places of origin given in the original lists are not indicated.

For this reason many users of this edition get the impression that no place of origin is given in the original list for the name of the person they are tracing.(This error is easy to identify in the book edition in lists which include codings for places as well as '000' and 'ZZZ' codings. However, there are also lists presented in the edition which Glazier/Filby have deprived of all places of origin).
These editions do not give the Hamburger Registraturen (1850-1934) as a source of information; these are important because they 
also give the places of origin of passengers who boarded vessels to America in Hamburg, even if these places were not indicated in the passenger lists. Requests can be made to: Historic Emigration Office/Elizabeth Sroka (esrokaheo@aol.com); requests relating to the period 1890-1895 should be made to the Staatsarchiv Hamburg http://www.hamburg.de/LinkToYourRoots/ welcome.htm).  

Anyone seeking information should match any information given in 'Germans to America' against the originals stored on microfilms in the National Archives in Washington, D.C.. Even if no information was found in 'Germans to America' the indices and the lists on microfilms should be checked. The microfilms are available e.g. in Washington D.C. and in Fort Wayne/Indiana, in Salt Lake City and – for the years 1820-1897 – in the library of Oldenburg University/Germany (http://www.dausa.de, click the American/British flag and „passenger lists“). At this Internet site the pitfalls in 'Germans to America' are presented as well (Buchedition/2CD/DAD).

(Antonius Holtmann, Universität, 26111 Oldenburg, Tel.: +49(0)441-798-2614/3059, Fax: +49(0)441-798-5180, 
E-Mail: dausa@uni-oldenburg.de; Internet: http://www.dausa.de)

Research Center German Emigrants in the USA: DAUSA * Prof.(pens.) Dr. Antonius Holtmann Brüderstraße 21 a -26188 Edewecht - Friedrichsfehn *Kontakt: antonius.holtmann@ewetel.net