Many of the Danube Swabian immigrants from Austria-Hungary learned of the economic opportunities available to them in the Americas through the efforts of steamship and railroad companies. Agents were sent and advertisements were circulated all across Europe enticing would-be immigrants to believe that the Americas were virtual lands of opportunity. The major steamship companies like Red Star, Cunard White Star and the Hamburg-America Line played a significant role in this regard. Railroad companies exaggerated the employment opportunities that were available; the steam ship lines charged rock bottom fares to attract passengers and the various governments offered incentives to homestead on undeveloped land. In addition to these factors there was the industrial expansion taking place throughout the Americas especially the manufacturing of steel and iron products in the United States in particular which was entering an economic boom time at the turn of the century, followed by mining, lumber, coal, pulp and paper. Beginning in the 1890s approximately 200,000 immigrants left for the Americas from Austria-Hungary annually for over the next twenty years, and a large proportion of them were Danube Swabians.
It is the intention of this DVHH site to provide information, encourage historical and genealogical research and to explore those original destinations and the situations in which these pioneer Danube Swabians lived to provide a postscript to their early years that mark the beginnings for the next phase of our history. We invite you to join in the discovery, exploration and research of the various destinations with our Archivists or share some destinations of which we are currently unaware.