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German Genealogy


Saarland (includes parts of the Bavarian Rheinpfalz, of the southern portion of the Prussian Rheinprovinz, and of the principality of Birkenfeld [grand duchy of Oldenburg]) -

Saarland is a small state tucked into the bottom of southwest Germany bordering France, and did not become a state until 1957.  It's capital city is Saarbrücken. It is small -- about twice the size of the city of Sacramento. The main cities of Saarland are Sankt Wendel (a city from which many emigrants came, to settle in Ohio), Saarbrücken, Saarlouis, and Homburg.

An organization called the "SHS Foundation" is searching the world for people and institutions with Saarland relationships -- including the 300,000 Saarlander emigrants and their descendants. (The "SHS" stands for "Saarlanders Helping Saarlanders."

Brief History --

-The region of the Saarland was settled by Celtic tribes.
-The Celtic population mixed with the Roman immigrants.
-Roman rule ended in the 5th century when Franconians conquered the territory.
-The region was divided into territories which later became independent.
-French kings sought to incorporate all the territories on the west side of the Rhine.
-Armies of the French Revolution conquered the region in 1792 and made it part of the French Republic.
-After the defeat of Napoleon in 1815, the region was divided into three parts, most becoming part of the Prussian Rhine Province. Another part went to the Kingdom of Bavaria, and the smallest part, the village of Nohfelden, was ruled by the Duke of Oldenburg.
-The first shorts of the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1871 were fired near Saarbrücken. When the war ended, the Second German Empire was founded (1871), and the Saar region became part of it.
-In 1920, the Saargebiet was occupied by Britain and France under provisions of the Treaty of Versailles. The occupied area included portions of the Prussian Rhine Province and the Bavarian Rhenish Palatinate. The region was administered by France.
-In 1933, a number of political opponents of the Nazis fled to the Saar (it was the only part of Germany that remained under foreign occupation following World War I). Although anti-Nazi groups wanted the Saarland to remain under French administration, the Saar population was ethnically German, with strong anti-French sentiments, and so the movement failed.
-After World War II, the Saarland came under French occupation and French administration again, as the Saar Protectorate.
-In 1956, the Saar Treaty allowed the Saarland to join the Federal Republic of germany, which id did on January 1, 1957.
  • Burgert, Annette Kunselman. Pennsylvania pioneers from Wolfersweiler Parish, Saarland, Germany. [Worthington, OH] (P.O. Box 93, Worthington 43085) : AKB Publications, [c1983]  A list of 18th century emigrants from Wolfersweiler Parish, who settled in Pennsylvania; contains extensive genealogical information.
  • Mergen, Josef. Die Auswanderungen aus den ehemals preussischen Teilen des Saarlandes im 19. Jahrhundert. Saarbrücken : Saarbrücker Zeitung u. Druckerei [in Komm.] 1973-<1987> v. <1-2> Veröffentlichungen des Instituts für Landeskunde des Saarlandes; Bd. 20, <28>) Contents: 1. Voraussetzungen und Grundmerkmale – 2. Die Auswanderer. Volume 2, "Die Auswanderer," lists emigrants from the fomer Prussian sections of the Saarland. The names are arranged chronologically and grouped by locality; includes an index.
  • Saarland. Find Your German Roots.

  • SHS Foundation. The SHS Foundation (Saarlander Helping Saarlander) is a non-profit charity serving the idea of a global network for the benefit of Saarlander and friends of Saarland.