Every time my husband and I take a road trip across this country I think about those pioneers who crossed this country in the "prairie scooners". Traveling down the road at 70 miles an hour and covering several hundred miles a day it's hard to imagine that those pioneers traveled all day and were lucky if they made 10 miles a day. Some of my family first emigrated to this country in the 1840's from Germany a trip that took 3 1/2 months in horrible condition's in what was called steerage. Now steerage was a place in the lower portion of the ship, it was lined with long bunk type beds, down the center of the area was a long table where the passengers would eat their meals and spend most of their day. Rarely were they allowed on deck because of the danger.
I started searching for family a number of years ago and have been very fortunate to find many of them. I had a lot of partial clues that had been left in the past by family members but nothing I could call solid information. I was determined though to find where my "Watermann" family came from. Every thing I had from old census reports indicated Baden, Germany. Why that was put down I'll never know. During one of my searches I came across the ship manifest for the "Barque Siberia" and there was the name of the town that they lived. Unable to read it because of the handwriting I forwarded it to a cousin of mine in Germany. He and a friend of his determined the name - "Langenholzhausen". I was shaking at the news and quickly typed "Langenholzhausen, Germany" into my search engine. I located a web site that actually listed all the people from this town who emigrated to the United States. Lo and behold there they were, my entire family laid before me - birth dates, baptism dates, death dates, confirmation dates, who their godparents were. At long last I was reunited with my Great Great Great Grandparents - they were waiting for me - "The Ties That Bind".