11 Replies Latest reply on Mar 11, 2021 9:07 AM by Cara Jensen

    Seeking port & ship when family members arrived in America

    Scott Henselman Newbie

      Where to start when all I know are the names and approximate year when the family arrived in America between 1853-1854?  I have the family names of Henselman and Miller, coming over on the same ship from Germany in 1853-54.  I only know the date from 1870 census records that show that one of my relatives was born at sea and I extrapolated the date. I do not know which port either. Where do I start? I think I need a list of ships at each port for the time period in each port.  Then I need to go over each ships list of passengers and if not found at that port, go to the next port. Is this it?

        • Re: Seeking port & ship when family members arrived in America
          Susannah Brooks Navigator

          Ancestry.com has probably the most complete index for passenger arrivals at all US ports.  Familysearch.org also has many arrivals indexed.  Unfortunately if your ancestors arrived in the port of Baltimore, many of those records from the 1850's no longer exist.

          If you want to give us the names of your immigrant ancestors and where they lived in the US, one of us could help you look for their arrival.

          1 person found this helpful
            • Re: Seeking port & ship when family members arrived in America
              Scott Henselman Newbie

              Hi Susannah,


              I replied a minute ago and found now that I can reply to this directly.


              To confirm now. I am looking for immigration records for the Johannes and Monika Miller family, or just specifically Franziska Miller if she used her maiden name. Best guess is she came over in 1853 or 54.


              Also looking for John Hesse Henselman immigration records.


              This includes debarkation/embarkation of ships.  .  I wish I could send a jar of my home made Oregon Wild Blackberry , low sugar, award winning jam to you. But I also understand privacy issues.  You can google me and I will come up in Medford.


              You are so very helpful.



            • Re: Seeking port & ship when family members arrived in America
              Alice Lane Pioneer

              Hi Scott

              Welcome to History Hub

              Hope the following are helpful.

              Alice Lane

              Research Volunteer


              Familysearch.org is a free website, you just need to register to use.

              I found these on family search.

              Peter Henselman, "United States Germans to America Index, 1850-1897" (familysearch.org)

              Elizabeth Henselman, "United States Germans to America Index, 1850-1897" (familysearch.org)



              Peter Henselman, "New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1891" (familysearch.org)

                Found a Muller family. Could be Miller's  on same ship as Henselman's

                • Re: Seeking port & ship when family members arrived in America
                  Scott Henselman Newbie

                  Hi Alice,


                  I have found that the mother of Franziska Miler is Monika Miller.


                  Monika was Married to Johannes Miller.


                  Franziska Miller, the daughter. married a Henselman., most likely in Germany and they migrated together in 1853 or 1854.


                  I have Franziska's birth info and it all matches.  A son was born, according to a 1870 census in Covington Indiana, William Henselman, at sea in 1853-54, which is the way we have a date of immigration area. The 1860 census says he was born in Connecticut. I wonder if there is a port there that they came in on?


                  It appears that Peter was married to Elizabeth and we .


                  Now we do not have a match.


                  I and my family really do appreciate all your help.


                  Now we are looking for those immigration records both from Germany and arrival in America.


                  We also have no information on William Henselman, as he drops off with no info after the 1870 census.


                  Thanks again and have a blessed day.


                  Scott Henselman

                • Re: Seeking port & ship when family members arrived in America
                  Scott Henselman Newbie

                  Wow, really cool that others have looked at my question. Now for  what I do know:


                  1860 Covington Indiana census of an entire Miller family has one person, Francis  Hanzelman with two children, William age 7 that was born at sea, according to a later census.  My relative is the other child, John Hesse Henselman, age 3.


                  The different name spelling may be due to oral intake by census worker.


                  That tells me they were migrating in 1853 or maybe 1854.


                  Where the father is in 1860 I do not know, but oral history says he was also John Hesse Henselman or Heintzelman. The oral history may have the wrong spelling. And his name may not be John.


                  They were all listed as coming from Wirtenberg, (Wurttenburg) Germany. That fits and may be how the middle name of Hesse came about, as this is in the Hesse area of Germany.


                  I also found a marriage license, also in Covington where Francis remarried, later in 1860.


                  From her death certificate I found that the city she was born was  Dunnigan or something close, hard to read.


                  So the easiest thing might be to follow is the Miller family of Covington.  Did a pregnant Francis  and her husband migrate with the rest of her family or did one or the other follow.


                  The head of the Miller family is John and his wife is spelled Monika in Census, but Monica in the death certificate.


                  Best info says I an looking for a John and Francis Henselman that migrated to America from Wurttenburg Germany in 1853 or maybe 1854, to live in Covington Indiana.


                  This is where I am stuck.


                  Any help is much appreciated.

                    • Re: Seeking port & ship when family members arrived in America
                      Susannah Brooks Navigator

                      Franziska Muller was born in Dunningen Wurrtemberg and baptized in the Catholic Church.

                      Name:Franziska Miller
                      Baptism Age:0
                      Birth Date:1. Nov 1829 (1 Nov 1829)
                      Baptism Date:1. Nov 1829 (1 Nov 1829)
                      Baptism Place:Katholisch, Dunningen, Schwarzwaldkreis, Wuerttemberg
                      Residence Place:Dunningen, Schwarzwaldkreis, Wuerttemberg
                      Father:Johannes Miller
                      Mother:Monika Miller

                      I did not find a marriage for her in the Dunningen Catholic Church records. 

                      I also did not find the arrival of any of the people, who were born in Germany, who were listed in the household of John Muller in 1860. 

                      You may want to contact the Catholic Church(es) that existed in Covington IN in the late 1850's to see if they have a burial record for Franziska's husband. 

                      Wurttemberg and Hesse were two separate kingdoms prior to the unification of Germany in the early 1870's.

                      1 person found this helpful
                    • Re: Seeking port & ship when family members arrived in America
                      Scott Henselman Newbie

                      Hi Susannah,


                      Fantastic information.


                      What you verified from my sources:


                      Birth date

                      birth city and county



                      New information:


                      Her birth name is spelled differently.

                      Correct spelling of locations

                      She was baptized, where and when.

                      Her birth mothers' correct spelling

                      Her birth Fathers' correct spelling.

                      Her parents were Catholic


                      I do not know what specific record you found this.  If it was info on micro, then fine.  I hope you can send me the actual document or at least the source page copy.


                      I have been told that to show that it is a confirmed piece of the info pie, I need documents that support my research.


                      May I ask: Was this from a specific search engine, such as Familysearch, which I belong to or Ancestory.com?


                      If Ancestory.com then I may join and I assume that I need the world version to do research in Germany.


                      If you wish help me to look further, I understand that the Henselman Family was Protestant.


                      I am so thankful to you for this information and am enjoying the search and detective work.


                      If I am bothering you, point me in the direction so i can continue the search for info such as info about her parents and more.


                      I am confused by the many references to Muller instead of Miller. The Miller name came out on many records that I have but do not know anything of a Muller family.


                      What an I missing?


                      So now I am looking for info on arrivals in America of the Miller Family and the Henselman Family. Also records of them leaving Germany.  Years are 1853-54.


                      I will check with Connecticut to see if I can get a birth record of William.


                      I found that birth/death records in Indiana start after 1860 and so no info there on family.  Starting the search in Newspapers in Covington for any references to the Millers or Henselman family.


                      Is it possible in that day and age to divorce?  I have no record of the death of John Hesse Henselman.  I have a good amount the info on his son, John Hesse , but no birth date.


                      I did find lots of info on other John Henselmans about that time living in other areas.  So maybe he did not die and they divorced between 1857 and 1860. I have  not found a perfect match, but so little is known about him.  For all I know, his name is not even John or Henselman?


                      I have not pursued that direction fully yet.  I am assuming that he died.


                      Thanks again for the information that you provided.  It gives me hope that now I have an anchor family in Germany to look further into.


                      It is the Henselman side that I will work on now.


                      I can not stress enough how much you r help has meant to our family and me.  Thank you!


                      Scott Henselman

                        • Re: Seeking port & ship when family members arrived in America
                          Susannah Brooks Navigator

                          I initially found the record as copied on Ancestry.com, but the Catholic records from Dunningen, Württemberg are indexed on familysearch.org.  Johannes Müller and Maria Monika Müller had 12 children, of which Franziska was the oldest.  This should link to my search of the Catholic records from Dunningen where I just entered the surname Muller (various records surprisingly are listed Miller, which is an English name) and then entered Johannes Muller as father and Monika Muller as mother.  Muller Search Results (familysearch.org)  Once the Family History Centers re-open, you will be able to go to your local one to view digital versions of the original records, which will contain additional information.  The Catholic Church records for Dunningen go back to 1643, so you should be able to trace the family back as far back as they were in that town.  The original records will show where a person was born, so it will be possible to jump to another town if they came from elsewhere.

                          Müller is the German word for the occupation of miller. I was surprised to see "Miller" in German records.  It may be because the priest was using the Latin version of the name (same as English).  I assume the family anglicized the name when they arrived in the US. 

                          Although I did not find the surnames Henzelman or Hesse in Catholic records for Dunningen, both surnames are common in other towns in the Diocese of Rottenburg-Stuttgart.

                          I certainly could be wrong, but I do not think the birthplace for William in the 1860 census is Conn.  I think it is Com. (his parents or grandparents having told the census taker he was born coming here).

                          Divorce certainly was possible in the late 1850's, but death would be a much more common reason for Franziska's husband disappearing.  There is a chance they were not married in Germany, because prior to the 1860's poor people were not permitted to marry in many German kingdoms, but that did not stop people from living together as families.

                        • Re: Seeking port & ship when family members arrived in America
                          Alice Lane Pioneer


                          Ewing Family Tree John Conrad HANSELMAN (sandcastles.net)

                          They have it listed that John Hanselman had 14 Children.


                          Found family tree on FamilySearch.org. John Hanselman Born At sea

                          Jhn Hanselman, "United States Census, 1900" — FamilySearch.org


                          from the family tree........John's first wife was Hattie/Haddie Summers (may not have been  married} had two children

                          Bessie Mae born 1890 and Arthur Frank born 1891


                          Second wife was Frances Wilkey


                          .John Conrad Hanselman (1868-1946) - Find A Grave Memorial


                          Alice Lane

                            • Re: Seeking port & ship when family members arrived in America
                              Scott Henselman Newbie

                              Hi Alice,


                              I do appreciate your help.


                              However the Hanselman name does not work with any dates that I have.


                              I have children info on the marriage between John Hesse Henselman and Francis (Franziska) Miller (Mueller) that follows all the way to me.


                              But my work on Henselman stops when they came over in 1854.


                              Susannah Brooks was able to trace back her roots in Germany.  But no luck on the Henselman side.


                              Variation of the name Henselman has limited results for a birth around the time Francis was born of 1829.


                              Don't know where to go from here on that search for Henselman in Germany.


                              Thanks for all your help.


                              Scott Henselman

                            • Re: Seeking port & ship when family members arrived in America
                              Cara Jensen Tracker

                              Dear Mr. Henselman,


                              Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


                              We located the database titled Germans to America Passenger Data File, 1850 - 1897 in the Access to Archival Databases (AAD) that may be searched for records of your family members.

                              To locate the arrival date, ship name, and port of departure information associated with an individual passenger record, please search the Manifest Header Data File in AAD using the manifest identification number listed in the passenger record. Please refer to the FAQs for more details.


                              We suggest that you review these Genealogy: Passenger Arrival List Research Tips  and NARA’s page on Immigration Records for suggestions on how to locate immigration information for your family members.  There are numerous ways that individuals could enter the United States from Europe such as on a ship that arrived at various coastal ports or over land from Canada, etc. Ship passenger arrival lists were a requirement beginning in 1820, but that does not guarantee that person was recorded or that the list still exists. Many of the passenger lists have been digitized and are name-searchable online using Ancestry and FamilySearch.  There may be a fee for using Ancestry. Instead, you may wish to contact your local library. Many library systems subscribe to these sites, making them free for patrons.


                              In addition, the unofficial web pages Searching Various Ports of Arrival for Free in One Step, TheShipsList: Passengers, Ships, Shipwrecks, Transcribed Ships ManifestsDeparting from Germany and Ships Passenger Lists by Year of Arrival may be useful in locating passenger lists.


                              We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your family research!