I was told from a researcher a while ago about a forced Emigration in 3 or so villages in South-West Germany in the 19th century. From what I can remember the people were vagabonds or just general drags on the towns so they forced them to leave. If anyone could find a book or a source about this, it would be great. I believe my family may have been a part of that.

It was around the middle of the 19th Century if I could remember correctly, and some of the people involved had the surname "Zipf". And I believe it was in Baden or Wurtenburg.

  • 1
    Hi, Mike -- welcome to FH&G.SE! Your question is broad -- can you narrow down the time frame at all?
    – Jan Murphy
    Oct 30, 2014 at 21:02
  • 2
    Added as much more information as I can remember
    – Mike
    Oct 30, 2014 at 21:20

3 Answers 3


This answer provides some historical context, but does not completely answer the question.

Baden & Württemberg experienced large emigrations in the 1820s to 1850s, to Hungary (recruited by Austria-Hungary to re-settle lands recovered from the Ottomans, in the Banat and Transylvania) and to North and South America. The aftermath of the Napoleonic wars and several years of bad harvests are usually given as causes. These were not expulsions, but desperation is not exactly voluntary either (as evidenced by some of the published diary excerpts).

Some who went to Hungary became disenchanted and returned, but, having exhausted their resources were not always welcomed back: Example: "Zipf Sebastian Billigheim Krautheim 1723 IV 65 ausgewandert, kömt wieder zurück, wird der geringste Unterhalt nicht gestattet." (Kurmainzische Auswanderer nach Ungarn). However, these returnees were individuals and families, not whole villages.

Many periodical articles and books deal with these emigrations, usually from the viewpoint of the end destination or a particular individual. (Check your favourite bibliographic or library catalog site for examples). Google "Baden-Württemberg emigration" and similar search terms, for websites, some with name databases.

The Zipf surname is still heavily concentrated in southwest Germany: Geogen shows that ~10% of all the Zipf households in Germany today live in Ortenaukreis, Baden-Württemberg, with another concentration in Main-Tauber-Kreis and the neighbouring Neckar-Odenwald-Kreis.


Forced emigration did happen in Baden Germany during the early to mid 1850s. I'm currently researching two towns that sent people to America this way.

On January 2, 1855, sixty-nine people left Scherzheim, Germany, a small village set in the Upper Rhine Valley in the southwest part of the grand duchy of Baden. They faced a four thousand mile journey across the Atlantic and much uncertainty as to what lay ahead. Some embraced the opportunity of a new life, while others were bitter about being forced to leave their homeland.

Read more at http://thelost69.blogspot.com.au/

  • Thanks for your response, I will be in touch. For the case of future proofing would you add more of your insights on the forced emigration in Baden from your blog to your answer. In case your blog ever closes down.
    – Mike
    Oct 4, 2016 at 21:03

I have this surname too from a large family of cyclists in Newark, NJ. I am not sure the earliest history but can tell you that we are also linked to Baden as another of our ancestor (Conrad Kazenmeyer, clerk? of Baden) was captured on some land while hiding between Switzerland and Germany and exiled. His wife pleaded for his life and he was released but banished and I believe some had to immigrate through Canada or not be admitted to the US because of their status. Florian Zipf may have also been involved with Kazenmeyer.

  • I would guess that you are a descendant William A. Zipf married Jessie Katzenmayer. Thank you for your message! I did not know this of the Katzenmeyer's. I don't think Florian was affiliated with any Katzenmeyer's in Baden as there were none in the town he lived in. It may have been that the families met in Canada or Newark. I have found a bit more on this subject pertaining to the Zipf's. I will post my own answer when I am more sure of it but you or anyone for that matter should feel free to message me on this on Ancestry my Member Name is "MikeZipf"
    – Mike
    Aug 26, 2016 at 20:27
  • Yes also Florian and Georg J, Willie is my 2nd great grandfather tracing back that way, is yours George Jr? Well I believe many from that area may have known or known of Kazenmeyer in Europe as he was the city clerk of Konstanz and a leader on the side of the revolutionaries, so if they were a part of the uprising they might be affiliated. Kazenmeyer surrendered as a refugee and I believe was forced to immigrate through Canada. I don't know Florian's mother and father and would like more info if you have it thank you.
    – user5465
    Feb 20, 2017 at 7:09
  • Florian > Arthur (Brother of Georg J) > Florian > Paul M. Paul M is my Great Grandfather. I was in communication with one descendant of Georg J on Ancestry. The Zipf's came from a town called "Katzental" renamed "Katzenthal" which is quite far from "Konstanz". Florian (b.1812 d. 1877) mother Theresa Siegrist (b. ? d. ?) father Josef Zipf (b. 1761 d. 1820). If you want the full information email me. My email is from "gmail" and the name of the email is "michael.zipf" you can figure out the rest I'm sure.
    – Mike
    Mar 8, 2017 at 17:18

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