I am seeking advice on likely locations to search for my BRUSS family in what was the Province of Pomerania, Prussia. I have narrowed my search to this area based on the family occupations of sailor and shipbuilder plus the large migration of Germans from Pomerania to Buffalo, New York, in 1839 and 1843, with some going on to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and to farmland north of the city.
Here are the key facts: Freidrich or Frederick BRUSS was born in the early 1800s in Prussia. In the early 1830s, he came to New York with his wife [name unknown] and his son Augustus F. Bruss. It is possible that a son William or Wilhelm also came with the family. Two more sons, Martin F. and John were born in New York in the 1833 to 1838 time period, location unknown. I have not found the family in online immigration databases and the 1840 Census yields nothing for this family.
In 1842, the family came to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Augustus F. Bruss was born 27 December 1830, in Germany, according to his death certificate. In the 1860 and 1870 Census records, he is shown as born in Prussia. In the 1880 Census, he and his parents are recorded as born in Germany.
The tradition in the BRUSS family was that all the sons became sailors in their teenage years and were apprenticed as ship carpenters and caulkers. They took up those occupations as adults. Family history says that Frederick BRUSS was a sailor on the Atlantic Ocean at some point.
Thus it seems likely that my BRUSS family came from one of the port cities of northern Prussia that had shipyards. As Mecklenburg was not part of Prussia, I believe that I should focus on the Province of Pomerania and locations such Stralsund, Greifswald, Stettin and Cammin. These locations also were among the origin areas of Old Lutherans who came to Buffalo, NY, and Milwaukee, WI.
Do these locations make sense? Are there other locations that should be on my list? The family later adopted the English spelling Bruce for the surname. I would welcome information about Bruss families in Pomerania and advice on how to continue my research for these ancestors. Thank you. Barbara
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