The Family Tree German Genealogy Guide: How to Trace Your Germanic Ancestry in Europe
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Follow your family tree back to its roots in Bavaria, Baden, Prussia, Hesse, Saxony, Wurttemburg and beyond. This in-depth genealogy guide will walk you step by step through the exciting journey of researching your German heritage, whether your ancestors came from lands now in modern-day Germany or other German-speaking areas of Europe, including Austria, Switzerland, and enclaves across Eastern Europe.
In this book, you'll learn how to:
- Retrace your German immigrant ancestors' voyage from Europe to America.
- Pinpoint the precise place in Europe your ancestors came from.
- Uncover birth, marriage, death, church, census, court, military, and other records documenting your ancestors' lives.
- Access German records of your family from your own hometown.
- Decipher German-language records, including unfamiliar German script.
- Understand German names and naming patterns that offer research clues.
You'll also find maps, timelines, sample records and resource lists throughout the book for quick and easy reference. Whether you're just beginning your family tree or a longtime genealogy researcher, the Family Tree German Genealogy Guide will help you conquer the unique challenges of German research and uncover your ancestors' stories.
a dozen times! That makes the odds very good that you could be researching in the wrong village, even if the name matches your records. Just as there are ways to distinguish your ancestor from another person with the same name, there are ways to distinguish villages of the same name. You’ll need to do this before you start researching any particular village. Sometimes the record you find will give further clarification by linking the village name to that of a larger town or another “geographic
aware of are so-called Hofname (translated as either “farm names” or “house names”). This happened most often when a farm owner’s daughter inherited the land and her husband took on the farm name as his own. Children born prior to the inheritance were baptized under the father’s original surname, then changed their names later; those born after the inheritance used the farm name from birth. The Hofname surnames were most common in the border area between the German states of Niedersachsen (Lower
register. Of course, there were also different circumstances in America that create differences between German and American records. As noted in chapter two, there was a shortage of ordained clergy in America and as a result, the German-speaking people often turned to others, including tradesmen at times, for leadership of their congregations. Some of these men were less educated than others and at times that reflected in the quality of their handwriting and quantity of their record keeping. The
U.S. census (which has gathered information on every individual from 1850 onward, making it the number-one “go-to” record group in American genealogy), the records of censuses taken by German states include only statistical summaries and, therefore, are of little genealogical use (with important exceptions to be noted later). COURT RECORDS Your ancestors didn’t need to be litigious souls to get their affairs into court. Many local court situations developed as a matter of daily life in
II German military personnel may have service records at Bundesarchiv–Zentralnachweisstelle, Abteigarten 6, 52076 Aachen or Deutsche Dienststelle (WASt) Eichborndamm 179, D-13403 Berlin. Again use the sample letter in the appendices to request records from these archives. German military cemetery listings for World Wars I and II can be found online at