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Martin Boerner Leaves Germany for America

September 12, 2011

In 1888, 29 year old Prince Wilhelm became Kaiser Wilhelm II, leader of Germany. He has been remembered in history as an emotionally unstable person and a leader who was driven more by ego than care for the people of Germany. Martin Boerner, 22 years old when Kaiser Wilhelm took charge, was serving in the German army. He did not like the tone of the new leader and was concerned about the course the Kaiser was on–one that led to World War I. Nine years later, Martin discerned it was time to leave Germany and join his brother, Bartle, who had already immigrated to Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

The Southwark, the ship on which Martin Boerner sailed to New York.

According to the passenger list of the ship, The Southwark, Martin was a farmer who bought his own ticket for the United States and had more than $30 with him for the journey. The ship left Antwerp on November 21, 1897 and arrived in New York on December 1, 1897. There he was processed through Ellis Island before leaving to join his brother.

Martin was married at the time and left his wife, Katharina, and their three young sons behind in Gaulsheim, Germany. Those sons, Johann, Jakob, and Karl joined their mother two years later on a journey to the United States to join Martin.

From → Boerner/Storch

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