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Status: Emigration from Southwest-Germany > History of the Project > Hans Glatzle about the Project's History

Hans Glatzle about the Project's History

Hans Glatzle


The creation of the term

"documentation of emigration Hans Glatzle in the Hauptstaatsarchiv Stuttgart"
(record group J 493)

Introduction

by Hans Glatzle

The origin dates back to the year 1974. As a trained bookseller, sales manager of a large factory of special purpose machines in the Stuttgart area I was asked for help by a business aquaintance from the United States. He was looking for his wife's ancestor who was a native from Württemberg.

After years of research I could accomplish a nearly doubtless result which is documented in my short survey: "Jacob Roller aus Kuppingen, Stammvater einer großen Sippe in den USA", published in June 1988 in "Süddeutsche Blätter für Familien- und Wappenkunde" Bd. 19, Heft 2, S. 68 ff. This publication caused a remarkable reaction from Mrs. Gene B. Mozley from Sidney/Ohio who was looking for her ancestors. In her thank-you letter dating from 18 July 1998 she emphasises: "You should be very proud of your accomplishment in finding these once unfamous people (i. e. the couple Jacob Roller and Maria Agnes Hammer) and putting the whole story together. I understand how difficult it was and appreciate all your efforts more than I can say. Again, congratulations on the publication of your fine article".

Not only this contributed to my further occupation with emigration. Moreover there were the visits from overseas relatives in my childhood and the continuing frequent exchange of letters with them that motivated me. Ignoring the obstacles I decided to deal intensively with emigration after my withdrawal from working life which - towards its end - had involved many world-wide business trips that resulted in many close friendships.

But the main impulse was given by comments stated in the research literature that I consulted:

  1. Max Miller, Ursachen und Ziele der schwäbischen Auswanderung, in: Württembergische Vierteljahreshefte für Landesgeschichte 42 (1936) p. 187. Note no 6 states that the author intended to deal with emigration from the former Württemberg area in the 18th century (1709-1806) in connection with an overview over the available archival material in the future. This plan was not realised.
  2. Wolfgang von Hippel, Auswanderung aus Südwestdeutschland, Stuttgart 1984 (Industrielle Welt 36), were on p. 21, note 20 it is stated that a comprehensive study on emigration from Württemberg was still missing.

Since dealing with the roots of Jacob Roller I had also been aware of these gaps.

Being an user of the archives myself I got in contact with the direction of the Hauptstaatsarchiv Stuttgart, initially with Prof. Dr. Paul Sauer, later director of the Stadtarchiv Stuttgart, who introduced me to the director Prof. Dr. Eberhard Gönner. The profound conversation with these two experts convinced me to share my recently acquired knowledge on the Roller emigration with the general genealogical research and include my experiences in research. I started working at the Hauptstaatsarchiv with a work for hire contract in May 1979. The contract was renewed regularly until mid 1998. I was working at the systematic description of all the emigration cases which were filed in different record groups and holdings of the Hauptstaatsarchiv. Starting with the files of the Ministry of the Interior I continued by consulting record groups of the archives in Ludwigsburg and Sigmaringen.

Working for decades with electromechanic data recording using the Hollerith-procedure I was striving to overcome the old-fashioned way of collecting data as card files. In 1985 the technical development had improved so far to start proceeding data electronically by a personal computer. Electronic processing rendered possible requests for places and areas the emigrants descended from, but also for destination countries and other criteria. The data collection started with the former district (Oberamt) Herrenberg in the beginning of 1986 and was tackled by Dr. Volker Trugenberger and Udo Herkert. Further information on this phase of the project is documented in an article by Volker Trugenberger "Mikrocomputer im Archiv" (in: Der Archivar Jg. 42, 1989, H. 2 / Mai, Spalte 197 ff).

On the one hand we could now enter new data on emigration that derived from recently described archival fonds directly into the database. On the other hand it was necessary to process the 45.000 card files that had been collected in the record group with the signature J 493. Starting slowly with the help of assistants, the input of the data was pushed by Dr. Stephan Molitor. He enlisted the student Rainer Klett who entered data on the basis of a work for hire contract. He finished before emigrating to the United States in 1997.

The results of my own research on emigration were appreciated regularly in the "Jahresbericht des Hauptstaatsarchivs", beginning in 1979, terminating in 1997. The pinnacle of my research was reached in 1992 when I was awarded the long-service medal (Verdienstmedaille) by the prime minister of the Land Baden-Württemberg Erwin Teufel on the occasion of the celebrations of the 40th anniversary of the Land.

By the beginning of the year 1999 I had recorded more than 50.000 emigration cases from the former dukedom/kingdom Württemberg between the beginning of the 18th and the middle of the 19th century (in single cases also from the 20th century).

I am now 83 years of age and I'm aware that this first attempt of presenting emigration data of the Land needs to be improved and extended constantly. As my time for justifying myself in cases of doubt expires I kindly ask the users to contribute to the value of the data by reporting problems and suggesting improvements.

I will entrust my personal papers on the emigration of "Jacob Roller" (e.g. 4 lever arch files with mainly English written letters) to the Hauptstaatsarchiv Stuttgart in due time. I am also willing to leave to the HStAS two further files with my correspondence about emigrants with destination Australia which includes useful information of literature and essays on the relation of the two countries.1

Göppingen, 11th January 1999

sgd. Hans Glatzle


1) The personal correspondence papers of Hans Glatzle are not collected in the Hauptstaatsarchiv Stuttgart (29.10.2014).