Towns Named Germantown

3.5 million people of German extraction moved to the USA mostly between 1820 and World War I. They tended to name their new USA communities Germantown. As a result, there are 18 towns in the world with this name and 17 of them are in the United States. There are 3 reasons why Germans were not typical immigrants.

Five of the new US Germantowns have already become parts of much larger cities. The American Germantown in Wisconsin has become part of Milwaukee. A community of almost 20,000 people today, Germantown, WI is still on most maps. The Germantown in Tennessee, a community of about 39,000, has merged into the city of Memphis. The population center of Germantown, OH, about 5,500 people, is destined to become part of either Dayton or Cincinnati, probably Dayton, in the near future. The Germantown in MD has already become part of Washington, DC. It’s the 3rd largest of the Germantowns with 6,395 people. The other towns named Germantown in North Carolina and New York are so small that they will probably survive in the future as Germantowns. The other towns with this name are either unincorporated or are very small in Virginia, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Louisiana, Kentucky, Iowa, and Indiana, which has many, many thriving small towns. The Germantown in Illinois is destined to remain the largest stand alone Germantown in the United States. The Germantown in Massachusetts has already been absorbed into the city of Quincy, and the Germantown in Connecticut is now part of Danbury. Many of the Germantowns that remain celebrate their heritage with festivals, usually in the autumn when German beer flows. The largest Christmas store in the world is said to be in Frankenmuth, MI.

There are 2 other reasons why Germantown rules as the official town name for those of German heritage. People of German extraction who became immigrants to the US tended to select Germanized names for their new homes, especially in Texas where New Braunfels and Fredericksburg were established in the Hill Country. I do not know why Germans favored resettlement in Texas when New Berlin was an especially hot new name in the 19th century. There are several towns named New Berlin in the USA. In fact, the New Berlin in Wisconsin is now part of Milwaukee too. The other reason why Germans didn’t call their new homes Germantown is the fact that this culture favored urban living as opposed to rural, so they chose to live in large US cities. Where I grew up Germans tended to settle in South St. Louis. It was common knowledge.

There is still a mostly German town named Frankenmuth in the state of Michigan, but the largest town to celebrate its German heritage that I have ever come across accidentally is New Ulm, MN. For some reason Germans tended to settle in the Midwest. The largest community with a German background in Missouri that we used to frequent is Hermann.

The only international town of Germans that I know about is in Australia.

Hank

About roads-rus

Since the beginning, I've had to avoid writing about the downside of travel in order to sell more than 100 articles. Just because something negative happened doesn't mean your trip was ruined. But tell that to publishers who are into 5-star cruise and tropical beach fantasies. I want to tell what happened on my way to the beach, and it may not have been all that pleasant. My number one rule of the road is...today's disaster is tomorrow's great story. My travel experiences have appeared in about twenty magazines and newspapers. I've been in all 50 states more than once and more than 50 countries. Ruth and I love to travel internationally--Japan, Canada, China, Argentina, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, etc. Within the next 2 years we will have visited all of the European countries. But our favorite destination is Australia. Ruth and I have been there 9 times. I've written a book about Australia's Outback, ALONE NEAR ALICE, which is available through both Amazon & Barnes & Noble. My first fictional work, MOVING FORWARD, GETTING NOWHERE, has recently been posted on Amazon. It's a contemporary, hopefully funny re-telling of The Odyssey. View all posts by roads-rus

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