Luxembourg settlements

While Luxembourg emigration during the 19th century was essentially a continuous phenomenon, 3 major waves can nevertheless be distinguished. Coming from a poor undevelopped agrarian county, the immigrants' destinations were the rural areas, especially the Midwestern states.
They settled in areas which, at that time, were opened for settlement. Thus the chronology of immigration clearly documents the move towards the west. Settlers of the second and third emigration waves came, of course, directly from the Grand Duchy, but also from Luxembourg settlements located further east in the States, which had been populated by an earlier immigration wave and where the second generation followed Horace Greeley's famous:"Go west, young man.."

First wave of emigration from 1830 until the mid 1840'

Western New York:

Sheldon, Wyoming Co., New Oregon, Erie Co.


New Riegel and Alvada, Seneca Co. The Luxembourg village inhabitants of Meysembourg, pressed by their landlord, emigrated collectively to New Riegel. Kirby, Wyandot Co.


New Riegel Seneca County OH © Photo by Jean ENSCH (1983)


Second wave of emigration from 1846-1860, with a high in the bad harvest year 1854


Chicago is the only city where Luxembourgers settled in larger numbers. But even there they did not populate the downtown metropolitan area, but settled the then rural communities north of Chicago, on the ridge (St Henry's parish church) , where many worked as gardeners and operated green houses like in Rogers Park, Rosehill, Evanston, Niles Center now Skokie.
Aurora in Kane County.


St. Henry's parish church
St. Henry's parish church © Photo by Jean ENSCH (1983)


Eastern Wisconsin:

especially Ozaukee County: Port Washington, Belgium, Lake Church, Holy Cross, Dacada.

Missisippi Valley :

Elba, Rollingstone and Oak Ridge, Winona Co, MN, Wabasha, Minnieska, Wabasha Co. MN. La Crosse and St. Joseph, La Crosse Co., WI


Eastern Iowa:

Jackson Co: St. Donatus, Springbrook, Bellevue, St. Catherine Dubuque Co: Dubuque, Luxemburg , Holy Cross, Cascade, Worthington


Luxembourg Iowa 1972
Luxembourg Iowa 1972


Third wave of emigration from 1860 to 1900 with a slowing down during the civil war and a high peak in the 80'

North and southeastern Minnesota:

Hastings, Vermillion, Dakota Co., Bellechester, Luxemburg, Stearns County, Caledonia, Houston Co.,

the Dakotas:

Alexandria, Hanson Co. SD, White Lake SD

Western Iowa

St. Joseph, Algona, Kossuth Co., Gilbertville

and the other states west of the Mississippi :

Bellwood, NE, David City, Roseland NE, Juniata NE