Martin Kornmeyer’s Path to Transplanting his Family in America

It was time to leave Radolfzell am Bodensee. With one last stop in Böhringen for more photo opportunities for Liz we left our roots behind as had Martin Kornmeyer and made our own way to the Rhine River in Basel Switzerland.

We now know that Martin did not even begin his trip to emigrate to North America until 1850. The audit was completed in May 1850. Trains had not made their way to Radolfzell until 1868, so Martin may have taken a carriage over the Mountains to Freiburg on the Rhine or followed the river past Schaffhausen and the Rhine Falls to take a boat down the Rhine, or possibly they took a coach all the way overland north to Mannheim Germany.

Advertisement in old German Newspaper courteous Radolfzell city Archives

The advertisement above is similar to many that could be found in the city newspapers in the mid 1800’s.This is for a travel agent out of Mannheim that for a fee would provide passage from Mannheim to the port city of Rotterdam and then booked passage on a ship to New York. Mannheim is about 170 miles overland north of Böhringen. If this was their agent maybe they traveled by coach to Stuttgart and then over the mountains to Karlsuhe then down the Rhine to Mannheim. But remember Martin was traveling with seven children ranging from Teresa the oldest at 15 to Matilda who was only 4 years old. Did Rosa Jackle travel with them as a maid from Böhringen to help with the children? What was the catalyst that prompted Martin to liquidate everything and travel almost halfway around the world to start again with such a large family?

Our group would not be able to answer these questions but we were going to travel a route the Kornmeyer family may have taken and see the historical spots along the way that may have played a part in their journey. In our trusty rental van we travel the smaller roads out of Böhringen to Schaffhausen where we crossed over into Switzerland and followed the Rhine to Basel. Our hotel was near the center of old town and very near the main train station, tram and bus stops. It should have been easy enough to spot but we must have gone around that block at least 6 times before we spotted it. That block included the very busy central plaza where all the trams converged in front of the main train station. a location we would come to appreciate but found stressful while looking for our hotel.

Our stay in Basel was an overnight stay. We were to return the car/van to the Basel International airport then make our way to the Viking cruise ship. It was a logistic puzzle. Get our luggage to the boat, the van to the airport and return to town to get everyone to the boat on time. The cruise company said there were three possible places our boat could dock and it would be determined by the dock master when the boat arrived. That made me a little anxious since they were on both sides of the river and not in walking distance to each other. If we had not been on our own prior to our arrival in Basel the cruise line would have taken care of our getting to the boat. I was trying to look at this as another adventure. We had decided we would do all that the next day prior to our scheduled 3 pm arrival time at the boat. That left the rest of the day for seeing Basel and making a trial run to the primary dock location via the local tram system.

Day 5 was sorting out who was going to the airport with Roy to return the van and what time we were meeting to get to the boat. With that all sorted we headed out.

Our understanding was that arrival at the boat would be sorting out luggage and becoming familiar with the boat itself. We were happy to learn that a free excursion to old town Basel was available prior to dinner on board and the planned departure from Basel. Most of us decided on doing the tour and had another opportunity to see and learn more of the history of Basel.

My next post will be on our cruise down the beautiful Rhine.Thanks for visiting here on my blog. I really look forward to seeing your comments below.