South Brazilian Family Trees Search
Heinrich Wilhelm Volkmann Welcome

This site contains genealogical data I have been collecting since around 1990. It began with the reserach about my German ancestores, but today with the family growth it encompasses also many Portuguese and Swedish families.

The Main tree contains my research results and includes 8274 individuals belonging to 2841 families. Some common surnames are Heuser, Bencke (Behncke), Schmitt, Augustin, Barth, Klamt, Volkmann, Immich, Diefenthaeler, Textor and Spier. For more details on surnames please visit this page and for additional data on the database visit the statistics page.

Most of the German immigrants came to Brazil in the 19th century, mainly from Hunsrück, Pommern and Hessen. At the beginning they established mainly in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazilian's southmost state, around cities like São Leopoldo, Santa Cruz do Sul and Venâncio Aires. The places that appear in the database may be visualized with help of this world map.

Additionally the site contains two other trees, (Benckes tree and Diefenthaelers tree). These trees contain the Brazilian descendants of two couples of immigrants and are authored and maintained by other researchers. Notice that one specific person may appear in more than one tree. To navigate to one of these trees please use one of the links at the left or the 'Tree' menu that appear at the top each page.

If you have any additional information on the families that appear in this database, I would appreciate if you could send me an e-mail.

Latest News

2020 - When I started this site in 2004, I chose the name "German-Brazilian Family Trees", since the focus of my research was my ancestors, all of whom came from German-speaking regions. However, with the growth of the family, I also started to research portuguese, swedish and italian families. For this reason, I changed the title of the site to "South Brazilian Family Trees" that best describes its content.

2017-2019 - In recent years a great number of genealogical documents such as birth, baptism, marriage and death records, or passenger lists of immigrant ships was digitized and published on the Web. This enabled me to verify, correct and supplement data I already had. For many cases, document snippets relevant to my search have been added to the corresponding people pages.

26 Nov 2016 - The site is now more mobile friendly. The pages will automatically adapt themselves when displayed on smartphones.

Sep 2016 - There are several historic maps, in addition to the maps already contained in the site. These historic maps are overlayed directly on a Google map. Each historic map has a slider that allows you to adjust its transparency. With this, it is possible to observe the correspondence between current and former geographical units. Notice that this correspondence is not perfect. In some cases, the old maps are not very accurate and in other cases, it was not possible to find a correspondence between the old map and the current one, due to changes in the geography of the place. These maps can be accessed through the Media > Old maps menu entry, available in every page.

27 Out 2015 - We have now new data about the German ancestors of Petronella Marckart Schmitt, one of the German immigrants that came 1825 to São Leopoldo. Thanks to Tobias Kraft, Lutheran Pastor of Bechenheim, Hessen, who has provided this data.

2013-2015 - As the family grows, the database also grows! Additionally to the German immigrants to Brazil that we already had, we now have a large number of immigrants from Sweden and Portugal.

27 Jun 2013 - There are two new ways of accessing data in this site. You may browse the places stored in the database directly on a world map. This works for the "Heuser" database only. For the case you know the name of a place or a person but not the exact spelling, you may now perform a similarity search. To access these options use the "Find->Place Map" and "Find->Words search" menu entries.

05 May 2013 - Today I had an important breakthrough in my research. I was able to find the German ancestors of the Diefenthaeler immigrants that came to Brazil in 1825. For the help I would like to thank to Rodrigo Trespach and to the researchers that publish their data in the Gedbas database.

22 Oct 2011 - Walter Lay from Germany has corrected the birth place of Heinrich Peter Müller one of my wife's ancestors. With the help of Walter I was able to advance several generationrs in Germany.

09 Jan 2011 - The database was expanded with the ancestors and descendants of Henrique Desjardins. Thank you to Roberto Ertel that provided me with data compiled by Cezar Desjardins, one of Henriques descendants.

29 Dec 2010 - Details and pictures of the descendendant of Carl Herwarth von Schwerin were entered. Thanks to Hugo Schwerin Secco for providing me with the data.

18 Oct 2010 - Due to the research done by Gretel Bauermann, from Solingen, Germany, that kindly provided us with her data, I was able to advance a few generations more in Germany. The database was expanded with the ancestors of Karl Wilhelm Iserhard. Many thanks to Gretel Bauermann

20 Jun 2010 - I was able to advance a few generations of the ancestors of the immigrant Johann Jakob Ruppenthal that arrived in 1861. There were several Ruppenthal immigrants, some of them well documented, but for my branch I had no data in Germany. Many thanks to Heinz Schmidt a fellow genealogist that provided me with the sources in the Hunsrück region.

Opening pages of this site
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About the author Benckes tree
Contact Diefenthaelers tree
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