A Pioneering Kin: The Mog, Eckardt, Fohl, and Noegel Families of Wisconsin

Sheboygan Falls, WI: Sheboygan County Historical Research Center, 2015

This book offers a historical portrait of the four immigrant families who constitute my ancestry. It traces their origins back to 16th century Germany and Luxembourg and charts the changing fortunes and historical circumstances that encouraged them to immigrate to America in the early 19th century. The four families were among the earliest settlers in Wisconsin, lived among Native American tribes, and sought to negotiate their own cultures in a new and rapidly changing Wisconsin. The book provides a good deal of genealogical data that will allow it to serve as a reference work. In addition, I contextualize the immigrant experience of these families by offering separate chapters on 1) the specific European towns from which they came, 2) the historical reasons why they immigrated, 3) how and when they got to America, 4) their experiences upon arrival, 5) anti-Germanism, 6) why they chose Wisconsin, 7) the land they purchased, 8) and the tensions brought about by changing notions of family, religion, and community. I also offer an introductory word on the nature of genealogical research for the non-initiate. Closing the book are the four genealogical studies of these families and a brief conclusion.