A Marriage in the Bremen Cathedral 1820
This is still a place under CONSTRUCTION! The target is to develop
the issue of emigration & immigration, before & after, Germany
& the United States looking for the tracks of the involved PRELLBERG
& TEUTHORN families.
A simple idea
Each child has two parents, four grandparents and eight great-grandparents as a norm. Alan and Peter - the children - experience the unbelievable advantages of a global and closely connected world. Their parents' living was severely affected by World War I & World War II. They had no choice. Their grandparents embarked on their emigration vessels for purely economic needs. Their lifes were divided into the years before and the years after, in what they left behind and what they expected at their new horizons when they changed their homes. The great-grandparents stayed behind in their often poor conditions. Sometimes they were happy to receive some dollars which the lucky ones had been able to send back to them. Often letters were the only constant connection between families. Sometimes - years later - they were able to visit each other. Such travels in both directions on the Atlantic saw former steerage passengers now able to travel in cabins.
The grandparents were the heroes. They were - in our story - longshoreman Heinrich Wilhelm PRELLBERG from Bremen, cleaning woman Luise TEUTHORN from Kiel, Master sheet metal worker (Installateurmeister) Albert Wilhelm FRIESS from Tegernau/Baden and Wilhelmine KÖNIG from Iffezheim. They were the immigrating generation.
About the middle of the 19th century a shy young man of the city of Kiel asked his cousin to marry him. He was twenty-eight and the son of a town's barber and surgeon. She was twenty-five and the daughter of a country doctor for the poor people.
Several decades later the couple's youngest son Emil told his grandson by a letter from March 1953 "my parents married June 20, 1865. Probably marriage took place in the bride's home in Leck, where my grandfather Nagel's house was a more expansive place." So, in this way, we are told that the Teuthorn family's home in Kiel must have been a smaller, more modest one.
The dry facts are as follows: the Kiel barber Wilhelm Friedrich Otto TEUTHORN, born August 13, 1836 in Kiel, married Henriette Wilhelmine Fanny NAGEL, born June 19, 1840. The marriage was conducted in St. Willehad's Church in Leck on June 20, 1865.
The couple lived in Kiel. Within the next 14 years they had 6 children: Luise
in 1866, Otto in 1868, Wilhelm in 1870, Minna in 1873, Petra in 1875 and Emil
Johannes August in 1880. (See photos)
When Schleswig-Holstein became Prussian in 1866, the economic structure,
and especially ship traffic, changed decisively. Whereas Kiel had been an
important harbor within the Danish state, she now found herself at the northern
margin of Germany where the harbors of Bremen and Hamburg were dominant. This
uncomfortable situation was soon to be compensated by Prussia moving its navy
from far away eastern Danzig to Kiel in 1865. And when in 1871, Prussia managed
to unite the majority of German states to the new German Reich, the empire
- forced to compete with France and Britain - started efforts to build an
imperial navy. Consequently, Kiel was declared one of the two Reichskriegshaefen
(military harbor of the empire). This decision was followed by massive investments
in navy shipyards and naval equipment industries and, of course, also by an
explosive growth of population. This significant developement may be illustrated
by the following statistics: the population increase from 1840 (less than
9,000 inhabitants) to 1864 was 52 %; the increase from 1864 to 1900 was 243
%; and from 1890 to 1914 was about 195 %, with a final number of 225,000 inhabitants
. Within a few decades Kiel had developed from a quiet mid-sized town to a
busy modern city, a process which took more than a century in other towns.
This meant of course that Kiel swallowed surrounding villages and that downtown
Kiel was totally changed, with houses being torn down in order to broaden
streets. The peninsular town became better connected with its new suburbs
by widening the Holsten Bridge and by replacing the ferry connection over
the 'Kleiner Kiel' with a wooden bridge between Küterstraße and
Bergstraße. Unfortunately, during this period many historically valuable
buildings disappeared. (For former periods of town history see ==>>)
Economic structures changed rapidly because the navy demanded industrial production instead of the older trade and manufactured goods. So Kiel became a place of workers (72% of the population in 1907) . Within the social ranking, naval officers replaced tradesman and merchants.
It is difficult to explain why the Teuthorn youth did not seize the opportunity offered by the prosperous ship industry or related businesses. In 1890 - the first emigration - the oldest of the six children was 24, the youngest 10 years old. It seems as if the family was unable to adapt rapidly enough to the new times. Perhaps their professional pride prevented them from abandoning their traditional trade. Or it may be that the family could only afford the schooling for the traditional trades which were no longer marketable, and not for the technical or engineering professions. Furthermore, personal dignity may have prevented them from applying for manual labor jobs with one of the new industries. So the oldest boy, Otto, decided to emigrate to the United States in 1890, with the other siblings (except Minna) to follow over the years until 1895. (PT 2011, January 21)
TO BE CONTINUED
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