The Great German Triangle Of the Midwest – A Second Angle

The Great German Triangle Of the Midwest – A Second Angle

March 31, 2017


As a result of the 19th-century German immigration to the United States, St. Louis, Missouri, along with Milwaukee, Wisconsin  and Cincinnati, Ohio became known as the great “German triangle” of the Midwest.  See my other Postings on this subject by clicking  

The Great “German Triangle” of the Midwest July 27, 2015


The Great “German Triangle” of the Midwest – A German Perspective – Programs by Astrid Adler on tour from Germany    June 27, 2018

Vicki’s note – from a book summary in that shows a German-American community on the eve of World War I in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  Look for other aids on German Ancestry genealogy searches on the BLOG’s tab “Genealogy Links and Electronic Helps”. 

As a result of the 19th-century German immigration to the United States, St. Louis, Missouri, along with Milwaukee and Cincinnati, became known as the great “German triangle” of the Midwest.

We have several books at the Beloit Public Library on German Genealogy, in part thanks to the generous financial gifts from the German Interest Group in Janesville, Wisconsin.   

gig wi

The purpose of the German Interest Group – Wisconsin (GIG) is to educate and support our members with their German genealogical research. The GIG sponsors monthly evening meetings with speakers and an annual workshop.

Meetings are the first Monday of each month at 7 p.m. at St. Mark Lutheran Church, 2921 Mount Zion Avenue, Janesville. No meetings are held in January, July, or September.

Please Note:  GIG does not do any research for others

I will be purchasing  “Wisconsin’s German Element: J. H. A. Lacher’s Introductory History”   for the Library.  That book is at

I will not be adding a different book – another part of the German Triangle,  “The German Element in St. Louis”   It is also edited by Dr. Don Heinrich Tolzmann.  You can read about it in the Post, “The Great German Triangle of the Midwest.”


Wisconsin’s German Element:

J. H. A. Lacher’s Introductory History

Don Heinrich Tolzmann, editor

The German element of the United States refers to all immigrants and their offspring from Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and other German-speaking areas of Europe. Today, Wisconsin represents one of our “Germanest” states, with no less that 55 percent of its population claiming German origin.

During the great auswanderung of Germans to America of the mid-nineteenth century, hundreds of thousands of these emigrants lost no time in finding their way to Wisconsin and the other four states carved out of the Old Northwest Territory, often seeking a railroad connection to the midwest immediately upon disembarking at their port of entry. This phenomenon practically ensures that today’s German element is able to trace its origins in Wisconsin as far back as 150 years.

J. H. A. Lacher’s treatise on the German element of Wisconsin, originally published by a division of the Steuben Society of America in 1925, is still the standard introduction to its subject. It has now been edited for re-publication by German-American authority DR Don Heinrich Tolzmann.

The first section of the work focuses on Wisconsin’s rich German religious establishment: Catholics, Lutherans, German Evangelical Synod, German Reformed, Evangelical Association, Liberals and Jews, and it gives the names and places of origin and settlement of pioneering clergymen and other immigrants in the various denominations.

Section Two looks at representative German-Americans and their vocations in Wisconsin, with emphasis upon agriculture, art, education, temperance, business, music, cuisine, medicine, and the bar.

One of the keys to Germans’ assimilation in America was the ease with which they were able to transplant various social and cultural institutions in the building of a German-American identity in their adopted homeland. This is borne out in the third section of the book, which homes in upon Wisconsin German politics, the German press, sports, thrift, men of letters, German place names and patronymics, and the impact of World War I.

Genealogists will find references to some 750 German surnames at the back of this volume, while persons seeking to do further research into Wisconsin German history or genealogy should consult the selective bibliography at the back of the book, which has been updated by the editor.

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