My Great Grandfather, Joseph F. Kohl was born in Austria in 1860. Sometime in his life, he moved to America where his wife Vincencia Puhair gave birth to their child Frank James Kohl. I was wondering if anyone would have any information on what immigration was like from Austria.

Would they have arrived at Ellis Island as many other immigrants did or was there a different way?

Also, does anyone have any information on Joseph F. Kohl and his immigration or family?

  • Welcome to G&FH SE! As a new user be sure to take the Tour to learn about our focussed Q&A format which is quite different from bulletin boards, discussion forums and other Q&A sites you may be used to. Please try to ask a single focussed question. In this question I think you should ask only about how you can learn about immigration to the US by Austrians, and then in a separate question you could ask about Joseph F. Kohl specifically. Perhaps that question could be about seeking an immigration or naturalization record for him.
    – PolyGeo
    Commented May 25, 2019 at 23:01
  • 1
    Hi, welcome to G&FH.SE! Your question asking if we have information on Joseph F. Kohl and family is not a good fit for this site. "I want any information" is a goal, not a research question, and asking "does anyone have any information" narrows the pool of people who might already be researching this family. As PolyGeo says, it might be best to write a second question and ask specifically about Joseph F. Kohl and family. Asking for research strategies -- "How can I find information?" is a better fit for our site.
    – Jan Murphy
    Commented Nov 6, 2019 at 20:52
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    When you write your new question, please tell us how you found or know the information you already have. For more suggestions on how to write a good question see: Crafting an Irresistible Research Question
    – Jan Murphy
    Commented Nov 6, 2019 at 20:54

1 Answer 1


Some more information might be helpful. I was able to find a census of 1900 from the state of Conneticut that might contain your great grandfather with his wife and their 7 children including a Frank who later married a Jessie. If that sounds familiar to you then your great grandfather might have immigrated in 1887.

People crossed the Atlantic Ocean mostly by steam ship at that time. There were several companies that were offering to transport goods and passengers between various European ports in Germany, Netherlands, England, Italy and the United States. Most people arrived via New York, but there were a few other ports. Arrivals in New York are quite well documented and are also available online so if you are not able to find something there then the names might have been spelled differently by the ship or immigration officials or they might have arrived via a different port.

I found a "Josefe Kohl" which might or might not be your great grandfather who arrived in 1888 in Baltimore, Maryland.

If you want to know how travelling on a steam ship was then you might consult e.g. Wikipedia about steam ships or about the different shipping lines e.g. the Hamburg America Line. Generally it was like that that on such a steam ship there was a lot of freight on it and a lot of different passengers. There were only few cabins and much more "third class" rooms for several persons. I imagine it to be crowded but it could be also a bit luxurious if you were able to pay for it which most people weren't able to do.

Regarding the maiden name of your great grandmother I assume that you spell it how it sounds so the German writing of it might be "Vinzenzia Pucher". Did your great grandfather happen to work in mining or related jobs? I'm asking because there was an Austrian area with mining where the industry collapsed at the end of the 19th century which caused quite some people to emigrate to the US.

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