In 1866 my ancestors, the recently married Adolph Johann Grotelueschen (34) and Anna Catherine Loseke (17!), left Grossenkneten in the province of Oldenburg in 1866. At that time that area was part of the kingdom of Prussia, specifically what looks what was formerly the Duchy (territory) of Prussia (formerly eastern Prussia, as western/Royal Prussia was made a Polish province in the late 1400s), the first ever Protestant state. (On a side note, I started researching the history of Protestantism as founded by German monk Martin Luther, as I was raised Lutheran, and am kinda disturbed to read Luther’s ideas/writings about Jews and how they were revived by the Nazis during WWII.) Anyway, it looks like Adolph skipped town right around the Austro-Prussian war, also called the German Civil War, maybe to avoid service but more probably to take advantage of the Homestead Act in America recently signed into law by Abraham Lincoln, which gave 160 acres of farmland to new settlers. Adolph and Anna were two of 560 people who sailed the steampship Ericsson to New York, and took a train to Omaha, NE, and then a horse+carriage to Columbus to settle land (that I grew up on) next to Adolph’s friend from Germany, Johann Loseke, who had been homesteading there since 1858.
The house I grew up in, from what I can see, was built in the late 1800s about a half-mile from where Adolph Grotelueschen built his home, or the opposite end of the entire land my family farmed.
That’s my surname. The other piece of the puzzle, from what it looks like I’ve found (have to consult my Grandma on this one) is my mom’s side, the Luchsingers. Luchsinger is a Swiss name, and it looks like Franz Luchsinger immigrated from Switzerland to nearby Colfax County in 1873 and settled in my Platte County in 1880, I think only a few miles from Adolph. My grandfather, Frank Luchsinger, was born to Frank Luchsinger, who I’m guessing was son of Franz. This I must verify.