Drawing showing a Ulmer Schachtel With Ulm Cathedral, Wu. In Background with map showing route taken by Germans on the Danube  River on their trek to Russia in the early 1800s.

Last Updated:  23 July 2003

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Ulmer Schachtel With Ulm Cathedral, Wu. In Background

Ulm was the common gathering place where German immigrants bought fare on an "ulmer schachtel",  [also known as the "Danubian schachtel"] a wooden boat, that would transport their belongings and family eastward on the Danube River.  This is what Joseph Heights writes in his book HOMESTEADERS ON THE STEPPE p. 32: "Every available space was filled.... There was not enough room to sit or lie down... One day the passengers were scorched by the blazing heat,  the next they were drenched by sudden downpour..." "The slow voyage...irregular meals, the lack of sanitary facilities, the consumption of too much raw fruit... caused physical debility, intermittent fever, dysentery...."" 
The Pfaff family left Palatinate that was under the control of the French revolutionary armies in 1793-4  and may have used the route to Ulm and then traveled down the Danube to Belgrade which the promoters had described as being  "the land of milk and honey".  It was, also, promised the Hapsburg Emperor would protect all of them, Catholic and Protestant", give them land and a good start.  In truth,  the Hapsburg's hopes were to hammer a  new wedge of Germans between his Austrian citizens and the Turks.

Once in Belgrade,  the families were assigned land and the Pfaff families headed toward the area known as the Batschka.  On an old map the area was known as the Betskereker District.

I know nothing more than the general knowledge about the Banat settlements between 1718 and modern times.  For historical dates  see the Hubert page:

Important Historical Dates

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Alfred Hein's Photograph of Danube [Donau] Delta


If the Pfaff family didn't  begin their journey in Ulm upon the Danube River then it might have started in Regensbourg where many of the Palatinate emmigrants are recorded as having used as their own starting point.

More than likely, there was at least one ancestoral family of mine which started in Ulm... or Regensbourg.....

The book title THE EMIGRATION from GERMANY to RUSSIA in the YEARS 1763 to 1862 by Karl Stumpp on  pps. 33 to 39 holds words from diaries by people who traveled the Danube in 1817. Friedrich Schwarz, who started his travel on 26 June 1817 wrote:  "It was the day that I set out, with my wife and 9 children from Kupferzell..."  [near Oehringen-Wu] " Day 5.  "We reached Regensburg, where we had to remain aboard the boat because of the continuing rain.  We spent a miserable night because of the lack of room...."  On Aug. 5 Schwarz writes:  "...we passed through the most dangerous place on the Danube, namely the Iron Fate. The water there is in such an uproar that one naturally doubts one can get through safely.  The whole Danube at this spot is so strewn with boulders that one can see them protrude wherever the water shoots upward.  ...one heard them scraping over low rocks, so that one became fain-hearted and frighten. At 12 o'clock we landed across from the Turkish fortress of Glatuwa (Kladowa)...."  On the 2 nd of Sept. they arrived at Ismail which is near the mouth of the Danube River which flows into the Black Sea..  They would be quarantined on the  8th...  Not until 1 Nov were they loaded on wagons with their baggage and taken to Ovidiopol then on to another small village and finally Odessa on 8 Nov 1817  On the 5th of Dec, Schwarz and all  his family were taken to a hospital in Grossliebental...  It would not be until Nov that Friedrich Schwarz was  healthy and able to work to support his family..


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