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German Genealogy

Westfalen / Westphalia

(Provinz / Province) [Presently in Nordrhein-Westfalen]

Some basic facts about Westphalia: (from Uncapher, Wendy K. and Linda M. Herrick. German Maps & Facts for Genealogy. Janesville, Wisconsin: Origins Books, 2002)

  • Size: 7,797 square miles (compared to Massachusetts at 7,826 square miles)

  • Population: 1855 - 1,527,252; 1871 - 1,775,175; 1875 - 1,905,697 (972,742 males and 932,955 females)

  • Dominant Religion: Slightly more Catholics (1871 - Evangelical - 806,464; Catholic - 949,188; Other 2,334; Jewish - 17,245; and Non-Christian - 14

  • Since 1949 part of: Nordrhein-Westfalen

  • Formerly: Province of Prussia

  • Prussian: 1815-1947

  • Principal crops: grains, buckwheat, potatoes, fruit, hemp, flax, sugar beets

  • Livestock: pigs, horses, cattle, goats

  • Industry: Westphalian hams, iron and steel, coal, glass, textiles, paper

  • Minerals: coal, iron ore, zinc, lead, pyrites, copper, quicksilver, marble, slate

  • Rivers: Weser, Lippe, Ems, Vechte, Ruhr, Lenne, Möhne, Sieg, Eder


  • Amerikaauswanderer aus den Ämtern Bünde, Rödinghausen, Kirchlengern und Gohfeld-Mennighüffen im 19. Jahrhundert / herausgegeben und verlegt vom Kreisheimatverein Herford. Herford : Der Verein, [1990] 192 p. (Wittekindsland ; Heft 3) A list of 19th emigrants to America from Kreis Herford; arrangement is by town then year of emigration, with a name index. Many settled in the Middle West.
  • Amerikanetz  Netzwerk westfälische Amerika-Auswanderung seit dem 19. Jahrhundert. Network Westphalian Emigration to America since the 19th century. A loose yet comprehensive network of individuals combing their work on the Westphalian emigration. Many links; also access to databases.
  • Auf nach Amerika! : Beiträge zur Amerika-Auswanderung des 19. Jahrhunderts aus dem Paderborner Land und zur Wiederbelebung der historischen Beziehungen im 20. Jahrhundert / herausgegeben vom Deutsch-Amerikanischen Freundeskreis Paderborn-Belleville e.V. in Zusammenarbeit mit dem Stadtarchiv Paderborn durch Ellen Rost, Otmar Allendorf, Rolf-Dietrich Müller. Paderborn : Bonifatius, 1994-<c1999 > Volume 1, pages 126 to 191, lists emigrants from the city of Paderborn. Volume 2 lists emigrants from the counties of Büren and Paderborn. The arrangement in both volumes is by year of emigration, with a personal name index.
  • Auswandererliste Rheinenser. Emigrants from Rheine, Westfalen.
  • Buer, Westfalen.
  • Emigrants from Kreis Meschede and Kreis Olpe (Westfalen) to the USA

  • Emigrants to America from Herford, Hiddenhausen, and Vlotho in the nineteenth century. Herford : Kreisheimatverein Herford, c1989. 192 p. : ill. ; 24 cm. (Wittekindsland ; v. 2)  Nineteenth century emigrants from three towns in Westphalia.
  • Großeneder Auswanderer. List of 19th century emigrants from the village of Grosseneder in Nordrhein-Westfalen.

  • Hegensdorfer Auswanderer 1824-1893. List of emigrants from the village of Hegensdorf in Nordrhein-Westfalen. Also includes the nearby village of Keddinghausen.

  • Heimliche Auswanderung [Secret Emigration] aus 15 Orten (709 Personen)
    A list of 709 people who emigrated from the Eastern part of Westfalen (today Nordrhein-Westfalen). These emigrants are from the following towns: Auenhausen, Borgentreich, Borgholz, Buehne, Dalhausen, Drankhausen, Manrode, Muddenhagen, Natingen, Natzungen, Ossendorf, Rothe, Sandebeck, Scherfede. Note: this webpage loads very slowly as it is almost 1 mb in size.
  • Index of Some Surnames of Windheim Parish (includes the villages of Windheim, Ilse, Joessen, Haevern, Rosenhagen, Neuenknick, Seelenfeld & Doehren)

  • Let's go to America! : the path of emigrants from Eastern Westphalia to the USA / [translated by William George]. Löhne : H. Brackmann, [1986?]  Lists of emigrants are arranged by town; contains a name index.
  • List of 19th Century Emigrants from Alstätte (Alstaette), Westphalia to Cincinnati & Ohio. This village is now part of Ahaus.

  • Müller, Friedrich, Westfälische Auswanderer im 19. Jarhundert (Auswanderung aus dem Regierungsbezirk Müster, 1. Teil 1803-1850) (FHL 943.4256 D25b v. 22-24)
  • Müller, Friedrich, Westfälische Auswanderer im 19. Jahrhundert (Auswanderung aus dem Regierungs-bezirk Münster, 2 Teil) (FHL 943.56 D25b v. 38-39)
  • Müller, Friedrich, Westfälische Auswanderer im 19. Jharhundert (Auswanderung aus dem Regierungs-bezirk Minden -- heimlich Auswanderung, 1814-1900) (FHL 943.56 D25b v. 47-48)
  • Regional Emigration Lists (Nordrhein-Westfalen). Links to lists of emigrants from the area of modern-day Nordrhein-Westfalen.
  • Riechmann, Wolfgang. Vivat Amerika : Auswanderung aus dem Kreis Minden 1816-1933 / Wolfgang Riechmann. Minden : Mindener Geschichtsverein, 1993. 637 p. (Mindener Beiträge ; 25) Summary in English. A revision of the author's thesis (doctoral)–Münster, 1991, originally presented under title: Auswanderung aus dem Kreis Minden 1816-1933. A list of approximately 12,000 emigrants from the Minden area, from the mid-18th century up to 1933, appears on pages 351 to 603.
  • Sauerländer Arbeitskreise für Familienforschung - PDF files that can be downloaded with vital records for the following towns: Endorf, Eslohe, Hellefeld, Kallenhardt, Schönholthausen, Schliprüthen & Stockum
  • Smith, Clifford Neal. Immigrants to America (mainly Wisconsin) from the former Recklinghausen district (Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany) around the middle of the nineteenth century. McNeal, Ariz. : Westland Publications, 1983. iv, 28 p. (German-American genealogical research monograph, ISSN 0094-7806 ; no. 15)  Alphabetical list of emigrants from the Recklinghausen district, many of whom settled in Wisconsin.
  • Wehdem Evangelical Church Records (includes the villages of Wehdem, Oppendorf, Westrup & Oppenwehe)

  • Westfälisch Auswanderer in 19. Jahrhundert.  In Beiträge zur Westfälischen Familienforschung. Münster, Aschendorff. Volumes 22-24 in one volume (1964-1966); volumes 38-39 in one volume (1980-1981); volumes 47-48 (1989-1990). Emigrants from Westphalia during the 19th century. Volumes 22-24 list emigrants from the Münster region from 1803 to 1850; volumes 38-39, emigrants (those with permission to leave) from the Minden region from 1816 to 1900; volumes 47-48, emigrants (those without permission) from the Minden region from 1814 to1900.
  • Wittekindsland -- Beiträge zur Geschichte, Kultur und Natur des Kreises Herford (FHL 943.56 H2w).
  • Westphalia - a brief history