I spent 5 years in Western Kansas. Common names were something like Finkenbinder, Schwartzfeger etc.
There was a large cemetery in Garden City. Walking through it one would see that the graves before 1900 had names from the British Isles. After that it became more and more German.
Although they were German they had migrated from Russia.
Yes. Catherine the great invited Germans to settle along the Volga River, and promised exemption from military service. A couple of generations later, the Russians instituted a draft with service requirements of 20 years. Basically slavery. Whole villages got up and walked away, to a port hundreds of miles away.
My mothers people are Volga Germans who settled in Western Kansas.
I suspect that the chief reason why Germans supplanted English immigrants as the largest ethnic group in the US was that Britain had many different colonies for British settlers to choose to go to, without having to make the emotional break of becoming a foreigner. Germans didn’t really have a choice, although I believe many also settled in Argentina and Brazil, not that it saved them from their inevitable destiny of turning into one of a multitude of dysfunctional backwaters thanks to the dominant hispanic/latin culture.