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The editor of the Luxembourg Gazette, a newspaper printed in Dubuque, Iowa, was a man by the name of Nicholas Gonner. Mr. Gonner was born January 8th, 1835, in Pfaffenthal, a suburb of Luembourg City. He emigrated to the United States in 1866. His family, wife Marie Anne Dittlinger and their 3 children, settled in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Two more children were born there. They went to Dubuque, Iowa in 1872 where he took over the editorship of the Luxembourger Gazette, which was considered the most extensive newspaper of Luxembourgers in the U.S. He also published a book called Luxembourgers in the New World which a Harvard historian characterized 80 years later as the best study of early years of Luxembourger immigration.

Mr. Gonner passed away in 1892 at the age of 57 years old. He left quite a legacy of his writings. Two volumes were edited by Jean Ensch and Jean-Claude Muller, along with Robert E. Owens. They are titled the Red Star Line, Antwerpen-New York, Volume I and Volume II. Many researchers have referred to the information translated into English. Nicholas Gonner is buried in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Dubuque, Iowa, his tombstone features the coat of arms of the Grand Duchy.


Two members of the Luxembourg Heritage Society of Northwest Iowa are in the process of translating news articles that appeared in the Luxembourger Gazette. For our benefit they kindly offered to send us articles that pertained to families or places here in northwest Iowa and beyond. Hope you will enjoy reading these and perhaps recognize an ancestor or two. We are very grateful for the work they are doing and sharing it with us.

Rene Daubenfeld, Surre, LUX, is well known throughout many places in the Midwest and bringing his groups here. He began bringing Luxembourgers interested in finding their descendants, cousins, etc. to this area. Some were interested in his travel destinations. We met his assistant, Julie Jochum from Bellevue, Iowa, who has coordinated his travels here for many years. We appreciate them sharing with us!

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