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home.gif (868 bytes)  Emslanders to the American Mid-West
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* Niedersachsen in blue

A Brief Description of Emsland

Emsland is a Landkreis in the Regierungsbezirk Weser-Ems in the Land Niedersachsen in northwest Germany. As a governmental unit, Landkreis Emsland came into being August 1, 1977 during a reorganization of districts within Germany. It did not exist before that time in the same form. Emsland extends from Papenburg in the north to Salzbergen in the south, with the Dutch border forming much of it's western boundary. The eastern boundary runs roughly from Esterwegen in the north to Schapen in the south, and then SW to Salzbergen.

Today's Emsland covers roughly the same territory as the combined Kreise (Kreis = district) of  Lingen, Meppen, Aschendorf and Huemmling under Prussian rule which dates from 1866. Before that, the area had been part of the Kingdom of Hannover and made up of the Aemter (Amt = district) Lingen, Freren, Meppen, Haseluenne, Aschendorf and Huemmling. Before that the area was briefly under Napoleon's rule as part of France. And prior to Napoleon and his secularization of the German states, the northern two-thirds (roughly) of present-day Emsland belonged to the Bishop of Muenster. It made up a large part of that Bishop's land in northern Germany called Niederstift Muenster  The southern portion of Emsland was, at that same time, mostly part of Grafschaft Lingen whose history was quite separate from that of the territory belonging to the Bishop of Muenster. Along the western border of Grafschaft Lingen was a strip of land, also belonging to the Bishop, which connected his northern land holdings, Niederstift Muenster, with his land to the south in Westfalen, Oberstift Muenster. That corridor of land belonged to Oberstift Muenster and contained the parishes of Schepsdorf, Emsbueren and Salzbergen.

Emigrants who came from the area now known as Emsland were predominantly Catholic. Therefore, most of the church records consulted while doing research for this project belong to Catholic parishes.

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Comments or additional information concerning
emigrants listed on this website can be sent to Barbara Salibi.
Contact info is at the bottom of Home page.