The Suevia

“Before we boarded the ship, a priest blessed us all and wished us good luck.  We knew we needed it, for the next weeks were not very pleasant.”  These are the words spoken by Joseph M. Linenberger as he and his family, along with others, were preparing to leave Europe for America in August of 1878.  In “Grandfather’s Story”1 he describes the trip over the Atlantic to America.  “When we were ready to get on the ship many of our group were scared of the big water – the sea – and refused to go into the ship.  After talking to them, they realized they could not go back.  Our first day on the ship went by very quietly…after leaving the English coast there was dancing, and all kinds of games.  We all enjoyed ourselves.  I spent most of my time looking over the big sea.  About four days passed when a storm blew up.  Everyone was screaming.  The ship pitched and rolled and cracked.  It seemed as if the boat was going to fall apart.”

The Suevia left Hamburg, Germany, for New York on July 19, 1876.  On board were the following families from Obermounjou, Russia:2

            LEIKER-Michael, Catherina, Marianne, Anton.

            LEIKER-Rosalie, Joseph, Nicolaus, Anna.

            LEIKER-Jacob, Anna, Conrad (son), Agnse (wife), Heinrich, Catherina, Jacob, Michael, Aloisia, Agnes, Catherine.

            RUPP-Jacob, Margretha, Michael, Agnes…Margretha (Mother).

            RUPP-Anton, Maria, Alexander, Joseph, Caicilia, Maria, Anna, Rosina.

            RUPP-Casperina, Margretha, Casper, Agnes.

[All of these people settled in Ellis County, Kansas.]


1 Grandfather’s Story, by Helen L. Hall, is a translation of the 629 page German manuscript written by Joseph M. Linenberger in 1902.

2 The passenger lists appear in “Work Paper No. 10 of the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia” dated Dec. 1972.  These lists were prepared by Gewn B. Pritzkau, from the microfilmed copies of the Hamburg Shipping lists on file at the Genealogical Society Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

[This article was first published in The Ellis County Star on March 14, 1974]