The Families' and People's History of Mestlin
Emigration from Mestlin
Mecklenburg in the past century
When, after the abolition of serfdom in 1820/21, the solicitude duty of the landowners was also abolished, the whole rural population became poorer and poorer. For many it was impossible to get the vital "Hüsung" (dwelling). Fritz Reuter described the situation at that time in his book "Kein Hüsung" (No Dwelling). The following poem is also by him:
Und Keiner will uns Hüsung gewen?
(And noone will give us dwelling?
Despite of the most economical way of life, the rural population would never have had the chance to buy their own land - the dream of each land laborer. They remained socially and economically dependant for the entire time of their life. On the other side there were the fertile lands of North America, anybody could become a landowner there for very little money.
Around the middle until the end of the 19th century, many people chose to rather have an insecure future in the known surroundings of their home country Mecklenburg. Their economical and political dependance and absence of perspectives hardly left them a choice. Almost every third person from Mecklenburg left their home country, almost 90 % of them came from rural places.
Travelling via Hamburg many tried their luck in America. It was a hurting farewell, usually for ever.
"Abschied der Auswanderer" (Farewell of the Emigrants) is the name of the drawing by the painter from Mecklenburg Rudolf Suhrlandt (1781 - 1862) which is now in the State museum in Schwerin. The wrench of a farewell scene, departure of friends, relatives, from the home country, does not need any comments.
But which fate awaited the immigrants in America? John Brinckmann (* 1814 Rostock, + 1870 Güstrow), one of the most famous Low German poets, emigrated to America in 1839, but returned after two and a half years. He then wrote in his "Fastelabendpredigt für Johann, de nah Amerika furt will":
A marvellous work is that by the teacher from Mecklenburg Johanness Gillhoff (1861 - 1930): "Jürjakob Swehn, der Amerikafahrer". In 1917, the book was published in Berlin and became a bestseller. The book documents the life of a day laborer from Mecklenburg and his emigration to America.
Time table of the emigration
(taken from: Mecklenburg Magazin 1990)
On the trails of emigrants from Mestlin
The first trails of emigrants from Mestlin can be found in the church book. Very often one finds comments like: emigrated to America in 18.. . A few examples:
In order to emigrate "officially", one had to turn in a request at the
The documents belonging to that request can now be found in the Landeshauptarchiv in Schwerin. After a successful processing of the request, an emigration consense was granted or a dismissal-document was issued.
The following "emigration requests" are from Mestlin and Ruest:
================================================================== Alphabetical register of the requests for emigration-consenses from 1826 till the end of 1843 ================================================================== Eickelberg, day-laborer, Mestlin 1419.1437 Glien, Gust, day-laborer, Mestlin 1371.1380 ================================================================== Alphabetical register of the requests for emigration-consenses from 1844 till the end of 1853 ================================================================== Eickelberg, day-laborer, near Mestlin 1419.1437 ================================================================== Alphabetical register of the requests for emigration-consenses from 1854 till the end of 1857 ================================================================== Krüger, "Statthalter" near Mestlin 133.163 Knüttel Johann day-laborer, Ruest 1106 Freitag, shepherd, Mestlin 28.36 Gierahn, day-laborer, Mestlin 707.804 Possehl, day-laborer, Mestlin 24.36 Sternberg day-laborer, Mestlin 24.36 Soltwedel day-laborer, Mestlin 24.36 Westphal day-laborer, Mestlin 24.36 Eggert, Johann day-laborer, Mestlin KA Dobbertin 797.804 Soltwedel, day-laborer, Mestlin 24.36 Westphal, day-laborer, Mestlin 24.36 ================================================================== Alphabetical register of the requests for emigration-consenses requests after VO on the 15.4.1857 ================================================================== Cords, Carl Joh. Fr. Th. hereditary peasent, Ruest 803 Cords, Joh. farmhand Ruest 1304 Köster, Friedr Carl Theodor farmhand Mestlin 1435.1442 Cords, Dorothea unw Mestlin 1858 Kröger, Friedr Joh Th Martin Ruest 1956 Kröger (Krüger), Friedr farmhand Mestlin 1984 Cords, Friedr Joh Chrn farmhand Mestlin 1984 Köster, heinr Friedr Ludw Mestlin 1991 Dolge, Joach Joh Chr farmhand Mestlin 985 Weltzin, Carl, farmhand Mestlin 1117 ================================================================== Alphabetical register of the requests for emigration-consenses from 1858 till the end of 1861 ================================================================== Garling, Joh Fr Heinr, tailor Mestlin 1801.1814 Garling, Joach day-laborer Ruest KA Dobbertin 1885 Gollenbohm, Marie unw Ruest, KA Dobbertin 1045 ================================================================== Alphabetical register of the requests for emigration-consenses from 1862 till the end of 1865 ================================================================== Cords, Joh Carl Chr, day-laborer Ruest KA Dobbertin ================================================================== Alphabetical register of the requests for emigration-consenses from 1865 till the end of 1868 ================================================================== Käupcke, Marie Dor Soph, unw Mestlin 1753 Dolge, Sophie, unw Mestlin 1710 Garling, Joach. Heinr., farmhand Mestlin 1710 Garling, Joach., day-laborer Vimfow, 5945 Garling, Caroline Dorothea Sophie 6153 Nehls, Joh., farmhand Kl. Pritz 1769 Juncker, Friederike Joh Chr Emma Ernest, unw Mestlin 2839 Simon, Auguste Friederike Joh, unw Mestlin 3447 Soltwedel, Friederike Marie Dor., unw Vimfow 2838 Westphal, Christoph Carl Heinr., farmhand Mestlin, KA Dobbertin 420 ================================================================== Alphabetical register of the requests for emigration-consenses from 1869 till the end of 1872 ================================================================== Behrens, Fr. Carl Th., day-laborer Mestlin, (1869) 693 Krüger, Carl Joach, day-laborer Mestlin (1869) 693 Kröger, Louise, unw Mestlin (1869) 718 Cords, Dorothee Carol Fredrike, unw with son from Ruest (1869) 1076 Cords, Wilhelmine Sophie Friederike Carol, unw Ruest (1870) 2580 Detherding, MArie Sophie Johanne, unw Mestlin (1871) 3636 Garling, Carl Joh Fr, Ruest 4213 Soltwedel, Joach, day-laborer Vimfow 18 Soltwedel, Friedr, farmhand Mestlin 3470 ================================================================== Alphabetical register of the requests for emigration-consenses from 1873 till the end of 1882 ================================================================== Köster, Fr C? Th, farmhand Mestlin KA Dobbertin (1873) 1322 Kröger, Carl farmhand Mestlin (1873) Cords, Dor unbeg Ruest (1875) 2238 Cords, C. Radum? Ruest KA Dobbertin (1881) 3555 Kröger, G. H. F., Arbm Dinnies, A Sternberg (1882) 4826 Dolge, Joh Joach Friedr, day-laborer Mestlin with family (1873) 610 Detherding, Caroline u Dorothea ..? Mestlin KA Dobbertin (1873) 1039 Detherding, J Arb m F Mestlin KA Dobbertin (1874) 2006 Ebert, Joach Johann Martin , Mestlin (1873) 412 Henkrosh?, Friedr Heinr Wilh farmhand Mestlin (1873) 56 Schmidt, C. F. H? farmhand Mestlin, KA Dobbertin (1882) 4990 Ullerich, Ludw Mestlin (1873) 98 Wahls, Joh Friedr Carl m F, day-laborer Mestlin KA Dobbertin (1873) 610 Weltzin, A?, unbegeb with child, Mühlenhof, KA Dobbertin (1875) 2344 Willmann J, Arb m F, Mühlenhof KA Dobbertin (1882) 5150.5443 ================================================================== Alphabetical register of the requests for emigration-consenses from 1883 till the end of 1914 ================================================================== Kröger, Arb m F Ruest, KA Dobbertin (1883) 92 Köbcke, Arb m F Mestlin, KA Dobbertin (1883) 475 Kröger, Arbm m F Mestlin, KA Dobbertin (1884) 1453 Cords, farmhand Mestlin, KA Dobbertin (1884) 1453 Köster, day-laborer m F Mestlin, KA Dobbertin (1884) 1532 Käupcke, unbeg Ruest, KA Dobbertin (1884) 1738 Cords, Arbm m F Ruest, KA Dobbertin (1885) 2035 Cords, Erbp.sohn Ruest KA Dobbertin (1887) 2890 Cords, Carl Forstarb m F Mestlin, KA Dobbertin (1888) 3069 Kröger, widow n=82e Quaak with 2 Sons Mestlin, KA Dobbertin (1888) 3069 Kröger, Carl, farmhand Mestlin (1893) 4236 Duncker, Arb m F Mestlin, KA Dobbertin (1884) 1453 Ebert, unbeg Mestlin, KA Dobbertin (1885) 2120 Garling, Tgl m F Garden, KA Dobbertin (1884) 1328 Gaedt, unbeg Ruest KA Dobbertin (1884) 1672 Garling, D unbeg RumKogel, KA Dobbertin (1884) 2094 Hengrofs, Tgl m F Ruest KA Dobbertin (18884) 1558 Luckmann, Arb m F Mestlin, KA Dobbertin (1884) 1453 Praefke, Carl Tgl m F Mestlin KA Dobbertin (1887) 3063 Rohde, unbeg Ruest KA Dobbertin (1884) 1698 Schwanck, Hofgänger Mestlin, KA Dobbertin (1885) 2146 Stamer, Tgl Mestlin KA Dobbertin (1885) 2246 Soltwird, Joh, Deputatknecht Mestlin (1889) 3253 Weltzin, Tgl m F Vimfow, KA Dobbertin (1883) 229.237 Weltzin, Arb Mestlin, KA Dobbertin (1883) 498.557
aus Mestlin, Klosteramt Dobbertin im hiesigen Grossherzogtum, die zum Zwecke seiner (ihrer) beabsichtigen Auswanderung nach Amerika erbetene
Entlassung aus dem Mecklenburg - Schwerinschen Unterthanen - Verbande bewilligt ist. Gegenwärtige Entlassungs - Urkunde bewirkt mit dem Zeitpunkte
der Aushaendigung den Verlust der Eigenschaft als Mecklenburgischer Unterthan.
nach Amerika auszuwandern beabsichtigt,
Connections with the old Home
A letter that has reached Mecklenburg from the New World iss being read on the painting. Very interesting are also the letters, that have been sent from Mecklenburg to America. In the following, three letters are quoted that have been sent to America in 1858, 1860 and 1862 (the descendants of the adressee gave their permission to publish them).
People from Mecklenburg in America
In the letter from 1860 is written:
... Nobody else emigrated from Ruest, but Joachim Garling who lives in Frauenwille...
It has to be called: Francesville. Francesville lies in the Indiana County Pulaski. This county is the new home for many people from Mestlin and Ruest. The map of this area still shows trails of the immigrants: there are ditches called
Tiede, Malchow, Duncker, Weltzen, Stein, ... .
The classes in the schools are being given in German, the divine service in the church is being held in German. Even the churchbook of the St. James United Church of Christ in Beaver Township, five miles East of Francesville, Indiana is similar to the one from Messtlin. The church constitution is being signed in 1878 by:
Johann Schumacher, Joachim Wendt, Joachim Garling, Ernest Richter, Christ Schmalfeld, Fredrick Kruger, Christ Kurz, Fredrick Scholz, Herman Busch, Christ Sommer, Joachim Malcho, Joachim Westphal, Johann Heims, Carl Tiede, Fredrick Stein, Carl Heims, Carl Schlemand, Johann Kopke, Joachim Jentz, Johann Schultz, Johann Garling, Henry Kruger, Friedrick Garling, ...
Does a marriage have to be held in English, because the bride doesn't understand German, it was noted in the church book.
In the book: "People of Pulaski County Indiana 1983" there are biographies of pioneers of the settlement. It is written there, for example:
Joachim Johann (Joe) Garling was the first of the Garling family to emigrate from Germany to settle in Pulaski County, making a home in Beaver Township. He had been born September 9, 1926, in Mestlin, Mecklenburg - Schwerin, Germany. ...
It is exactly the same J. J. Garling whose birth entry had been shown above. In the book, the life of J. J. Garling, that of his family and that of many other generations until modern times is being described (see picture above on the left: "Mr. Garling cultivating corn").
In contrast to German graveyards, the grave stones of American graveyards remained much longer. On grave stones on some grave yards of Pulaski
County there can be found many names of people from Mestlin and Ruest. The photograph above is the grave stone of Joseph Garling, born on July 10th, in
1826 in Mestlin - died on December 16th, in 1893 in Francesville on the St. John's grave yard near Medaryville, Indiana.
Further information about emigration you can get at the website www.routes.de