Many people from Chur tried their luck abroad. Emigration was officially encouraged by the city of Chur. Those wishing to emigrate could submit an application to the city administration and received a support contribution. Large waves of emigration followed during extreme famines, such as in 1816/17, between 1845-1855 and 1880-1885.
Church records, official records and letters tell of arduous work, of harassment, of homesickness and struggle for survival, of the sad lot or early death of the majority of these emigrants. Some were successful and remained in their new homeland, others returned to Switzerland disappointed.
Members of the Köhl family also emigrated. To be mentioned here are
Agents of emigration businesses offered appropriate travel arrangements to those willing to leave the country. From Chur, the journey went via Basel to one of the major ports of emigration such as Le Havre or Hamburg. This trip took about 2-3 days. Then it was 8-10 days by ship across the Atlantic to New York or one of the other destination ports.