Emphasis is so often placed upon the brave immigrants who made the hard choice to leave home and go to the “New World.” Those of us that are descended from these courageous individuals are grateful, and study them in tribute. But what about those left behind?
While preparing illustrations for a Family Book (a present to my relatives for our upcoming reunion), I ask this question. Though my direct ancestor Sebastian made the hard choice, so did 3/4 of the young people from his town in the 1850’s. (It seems most of those who remained behind were married daughters, thus taking on new surnames.)
Like most European families of before the 20th century, the Sebastians were rooted in a small cluster of neighboring villages. With records going back to progenitor Simon Sebastian, born about 1670, he was a farmer in Unterreichenbach. Most of his descendants joined the nearby Oberöwisheim community. They remained a small family there for a hundred years, but then something happened.
In the 1760’s the high infant mortality rate of over 60% dropped significantly. They were having similar numbers of children, but more survived. They stayed, and grew, another hundred years in Oberöwisheim. But then came an exodus to the New World, and hence, my burning question:
Who remained in Germany with the surname of Sebastian?
I am looking specifically for what happened to:
Johann Michael Sebastian, 1760-? born in Oberöwisheim and married about 1790, to Maria Appolonia Kohler, born in 1765, Elpersdorf, Ansibach
They married inOberöwisheim but must have left, for they don’t appear in any of the subsequent listings in databases I source.
Does anyone have information of finding these wayward Sebastians?
Thank you in advance for your help. Also, please contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And, do let me know if there is something I can help you with via information or graphics.
—Always inspired, Liane
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Liane Sebastian wears an editor’s hat, designer’s coat, and artist’s shoes.