Tuesday, November 5, 2013


While visiting Munich on my Austria/Germany trip, my cousin's wife Susanne gave me a copy of the above document.  I brought the document home and did some research.  Hamburg-America Line was a transatlantic shipping enterprise established in Hamburg, Germany in 1847.   Did my German ancestors use one of their ships to immigrate to the United States in the late 1800's?

The SS Imperator was launched on 23 May 1912 and began its maiden voyage from Cuxhaven to New York in June of 1913.  Both the Imperator and the Vaterland were in service before World War I.  The Vaterland was caught in port in Hoboken, New Jersey at the outbreak of World War I and was interned by the US.  The Vaterland was seized, renamed the "Leviathan" after war was declared on Germany in 1917 and served as a troop ship. The Imperator was handed over to the allies as war reparations to Britain and sold to the Cunard Line.

My great grandfather Peter Joseph Nebgen did immigrate to the US in 1888 but he wasn't aboard a ship from this shipping line.  So, I still need to find the connection (if there is one) between PJ Nebgen and Hamburg-America Line.

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