An Exciting New Meyer Orts- Gazetteer Website is Now Available for Online Your German Research.

A new Meyers Orts- website is now available to search at http://www.meyersgaz.org/index.aspx. We’ve been using a free site of the imaged German gazetteer at the Ancestry.com for the last several years, and will continue to do so. However, the new site allows things we were not able to do before.

The user can enter the name of any place found in Meyers Orts- and with one click get the Meyers Orts- entry, with an English translation of critical portions including:

  • what type of place it is,
  • the Kingdom or State,
  • the Regierungsbezirk,
  • where the Bezirksamt (district office) is found,
  • where the Amtsgericht (lower district court) is found,
  • where the Bezirkskommando (district military command) is found,
  • where the Standesamt (civil registration office) is located,
  • and church information.

The home page includes a map, which when clicked on changes to an historic map from the David Rumsey collection.

By clicking on the ecclesiastical tab, the user gets a list of churches and the distances (in miles) to them. When I searched for churches near Kriegsfeld (where my ancestor is from), I found that churches within a 20-mile radius are listed, including 13 Jewish congregations! Two hundred-nineteen places are listed (with links) that include churches. The columns are for Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, and “Other.”

Another exciting feature is the social tab. You can enter your email address and surnames of interest for any given place. If someone else is searching the entry for that place and clicks on the social tab, they will see your entry. I added the surname MEITZLER for Kreigsfeld, and DAMM for Albisheim.

Although the items listed above are extracted in translated form, the site doesn’t attempt to translate the full entry for any given place, so you still need to spend the time to do that. You’ll still need to read gothic German to get all the info found in the entry.

Meyers_Orts-_Kriegfeld_scrren_shot_570pw

Do you need help in reading the full Meyers Orts- entry? Consider purchasing Faye Dearden’s Understanding Meyers Orts – Translating Guide For The Directory Of The Towns And Places Of The German Empire.

Trace Your German Roots Online, A Complete Guide to German Genealogy Websites

Trace-Your-German-Roots-Online-300pw

My good friend, Jim Beidler, just wrote a new book for us titled Trace Your German Roots Online, A Complete Guide to German Genealogy Websites. I got a few hours to read the volume, and I’m recommending it to anyone doing German genealogy research.

Jim knows how to write – and write so we can all understand the topic. This brand new book, focusing specifically on online research tools for German genealogy, features step-by-step guides to accessing online resources. I spend a lot of time on German research and I found resources mentioned, and in some cases detailed, that I didn’t know existed.

Click here to order.

The following is from the Table of Contents:

INTRODUCTION

PART ONE: GERMAN GENEALOGY BASICS

CHAPTER 1 BEGINNING YOUR GERMAN RESEARCH Kick-start your genealogical journey with this chapter’s information about the basics of German research and the Bundesrepublik Deutschland.

CHAPTER 2 RESEARCHING GERMAN GENEALOGY ON THE INTERNET Learn the dos and don’ts of online German genealogy. This chapter will outline key Web resources and help you set realistic expectations for your research.

CHAPTER 3 UNTANGLING GERMAN PLACE NAMES AND SURNAMES Decode your ancestors’ garbled name and place of origin with these translation tools and keys to understanding botched German spelling and phonetics.

PART TWO: TOP GERMAN GENEALOGY WEBSITES

CHAPTER 4 FAMILYSEARCH.ORG: THE LARGEST FREE GENEALOGY WEBSITE Explore the Internet’s largest free resource for family records. This chapter unpacks the more than 50 million German records housed by FamilySearch.org.

CHAPTER 5 ANCESTRY.COM: THE ULTIMATE ÜBER-SITE Pinpoint your ancestors’ records in the vast collection of databases held by Ancestry.com and its a affiliate sites. This chapter unpacks what the world’s largest genealogy website can do for you.

CHAPTER 6 GENEALOGY.NET: TWO WEBSITES IN ONE Discover what the German (Genealogy.net) and English (GenWiki) versions of this valuable resource can offer you.

CHAPTER 7 MYHERITAGE: A FOREST OF FAMILY TREES Scour MyHeritage’s vast collection of family trees for information about your own German ancestors.

CHAPTER 8 ARCHION: PROTESTANT CHURCH RECORDS GALORE Master Archion’s invaluable collection of Protestant church records from across modern Germany.

PART THREE: ANSWERS TO YOUR RESEARCH QUESTIONS

CHAPTER 9 HOW DO I IDENTIFY MY ANCESTORS’ PLACE OF ORIGIN? Trace your ancestors to the homeland. This chapter contains passenger lists and emigration databases that will help you follow your family to the old country.

CHAPTER 10 WHERE ELSE CAN I ACCESS CHURCH RECORDS? Seek out even more birth, marriage, and death records created by your ancestors’
place of worship with the resources in this chapter.

CHAPTER 11 HOW DO I CONTACT PEOPLE AND PLACES IN GERMANY? Reach out to researchers on the other side of the Atlantic. This chapter gives you tips for contacting professional genealogists, heads of archives, and even long-lost relatives in Germany.

CHAPTER 12 WHAT ORGANIZATIONS AND ARCHIVES CAN HELP MY RESEARCH? Obtain key records left behind by your ancestors and learn more about their lives through German archives and historical and genealogical societies. This chapter details how and where to search and write for more information.

CHAPTER 13 HOW CAN SOCIAL MEDIA SITES HELP? Delve into the world of likes and hashtags with this guide to using social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter in your German research.

CHAPTER 14 WHAT ELSE SHOULD I ADD TO MY TOOLBOX? Broaden your research horizons with these resources you might not have thought to check.

APPENDIX A MAPS

APPENDIX B WEBSITE INDEX

INDEX

Trace Your German Roots Online, A Complete Guide to German Genealogy Websites; by James M Beidler; Paperback; 238 pp; 7×9; Published: 2016; ISBN: 9781440345180; illustrations; Item # FNW13 Click on the link to order.

The Reviews Are In. German Census Records 1816-1916 Gets Raves

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What a happy ending! After all these years, family historians are no longer discouraged by futile searches into that formerly hidden and unorganized body of German censuses. Let’s sit back and listen to the cheers –from both sides of the water!
Shirley J. Riemer, author of “German Research Companion” and editor of “Der Blumenbaum”

Dr. Minert’s stupendous work has opened up a new world for German researchers.  No longer must one lament that census records are inaccessible or even “non-existent.”   He has made census records known and accessible.  All German genealogists should have this book and make it a standard reference in their research. Dr. Fritz Juengling, Research Specialist, Family History Library

This is truly a groundbreaking work! Roger Minert refutes the conventional knowledge that censuses were not taken in most German lands, with numerous examples proving that they do exist. He not only describes censuses taken in the German Empire, state by state, but gives pointers on where to obtain them. This opens a whole new realm to explore. Ernest L. Thode, author and lecturer in Germanic family history

Das Werk macht Historiker wie Genealogen auf vielfach völlig unbekannte Quellen aufmerksam, die zwischen 1816 und 1916 für das gesamte spätere Gebiet des ehemaligen Deutschen Reiches (1871 – 1916) und davor abdecken. Mit anderen Worten die Zeit nach dem Wiener Kongress bis zur Mitte des Ersten Weltkrieges. Ein unglaublich wertvoller Schatz für die Forschungen des 19. und 20. Jahrhunderts. Roger Minert führt ein in die historische Entwicklung und Gestalt der Volkszählungsakten. Roger Minert hat damit Neuland betreten, das er sich angeschickt hat, zu vermessen. Ein großer Schritt für die Genealogie in Deutschland. Er gibt damit Anstoß und ermutigt, diese Quellen auszuwerten und Interessierten zugänglich zu machen.“ Dirk Weissleder, Vorsitzender der Deutschen Arbeitsgemeinschaft genealogischer Verbände e. V. (DAGV) [Translation below]

This book draws the attention of historians and genealogists to almost totally unknown resources. This is an amazing treasure for research in the German Empire in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Roger Minert introduces researchers to the development and nature of census records and he encourages us to seek out and utilize those records. This is a gigantic step for genealogy in Germany. Dirk Weissleder, President of the Federation of German Genealogy Societies

Click Here to see the announcement I made several weeks ago. Click Here to Order

New FamilySearch Collections Update: May 9, 2016

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A variety of small collection updates this week including Ecuador Catholic Church Records 1565‐2011, Germany Prussia East Prussia Königsberg Funeral Sermons 1597‐1794, Guam Judicial Land Obituaries and Census Records 1712‐2000, Ontario District Marriage Registers 1801‐1858, and can you believe, Zimbabwe Death notices 1904‐1976! See the table below for other additions this week.

COLLECTION – INDEXED RECORDS – DIGITAL RECORDS – COMMENTS

Ecuador Catholic Church Records 1565‐2011 – 206,594 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Germany Mecklenburg‐Schwerin Census 1867 – 3 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Germany Prussia East Prussia Königsberg Funeral Sermons 1597‐1794 – 0 – 31,607 – New browsable image collection
Ontario District Marriage Registers 1801‐1858 – 0 – 2,738 – New browsable image collection
Zimbabwe Death notices 1904‐1976 – 10,358 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

United States Databases
Montana Meagher County Records 1866‐2012 – 1,030 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Texas World War I Records 1917‐1920 – 6,271 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Guam Judicial Land Obituaries and Census Records 1712‐2000 – 22,418 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

German Census Records 1816-1916 – A Groundbreaking New Genealogy Resource

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I need to first make a sincere apology. For years I have been telling people that there were very few German censuses taken – with a small number of exceptions. I didn’t know what I was talking about. I guess I could make the excuse that I didn’t know what I didn’t know, but I learned years ago that excuses aren’t worth anything. Actually, many German censuses were taken, some as early as the 1700s, but with most starting in 1816. And yes – many are accessible to researchers today.

After wondering for several years why American researchers know very little about German census records, my good friend, Dr. Roger Minert, found an opportunity to live in Europe for six months to investigate them. He was sure that many existed, but he could find very little information about them. While in Europe, he learned that even German researchers know very little about their census records! How could such a potentially important resource be lost to obscurity? In a new book, researchers can now learn where and when German census records were compiled, as well as why and how. The author also describes state by state the content of the census records and explains how surviving census documents can be located. This is groundbreaking information, of enormous value to anyone researching their German roots.

Would you like additional information about your family in old country? The information found in the parish registers is key to your research, but there’s often even more family information to be found in the German census records.

German Census Records, 1816-1916: The When, Where, and How of a Valuable Genealogical Resource is available and now shipping.

Note – this book is also available in a hardbound edition. Click on this link to be directed to that page at the FPRC website.

The following Table of Contents is found in the volume:

  • Acknowledgements
  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1: A History of Census Records in the German States
  • Chapter 2: The Census of 1867: The Great Transition
  • Chapter 3: Census Records during the German Empire 1871-1918
  • Chapter 4: Census Records in the German States from 1816 to 1864
  • Chapter 5: Anhalt
  • Chapter 6: Baden
  • Chapter 7: Bayern [Bavaria]
  • Chapter 8: Brandenburg
  • Chapter 9: Braunschweig [Brunswick]
  • Chapter 10: Bremen (Hansestadt Bremen)
  • Chapter 11: Elsaß-Lothringen {Alsace-Lorraine]
  • Chapter 12: Hamburg (Hansestadt Hamburg)
  • Chapter 13: Hannover [Hanover]
  • Chapter 14: Hessen [Hesse]
  • Chapter 15: Hessen-Nassau [Hesse-Nassau]
  • Chapter 16: Hohenzollern
  • Chapter 17: Lippe
  • Chapter 18: Lübeck (Hansestadt Lübeck) [Luebeck]
  • Chapter 19: Mecklenburg-Schwerin
  • Chapter 20: Mecklenburg-Strelitz
  • Chapter 21: Oldenburg
  • Chapter 22: Ostpreußen [East Prussia]
  • Chapter 23: Pommern [Pomerania]
  • Chapter 24: Posen
  • Chapter 25: Reuß älterer Linie [Reuss Elder Line]
  • Chapter 26: Reuß jüngere Linie [Reuss Younger Line]
  • Chapter 27: Rheinprovinz [Rhineland Province]
  • Chapter 28: Sachsen-Altenburg [Saxe-Altenburg]
  • Chapter 29: Sachsen-Meiningen [Saxe-Meiningen]
  • Chapter 30: Königreich Sachsen [Kingdom of Saxony]
  • Chapter 31: Sachsen-Meiningen [Saxe-Meiningen]
  • Chapter 32: Provinz Sachsen [Province of Saxony]
  • Chapter 33: Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach [Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach]
  • Chapter 34: Schaumburg-Lippe
  • Chapter 35: Schlesian [Silesia]
  • Chapter 36: Schleswig-Holstein
  • Chapter 37: Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt
  • Chapter 38: Schwarzburg-Sondershausen
  • Chapter 39: Waldeck
  • Chapter 40: Westfalen [Westphalia]
  • Chapter 41: Westpreußen [West Prussia]
  • Chapter 42: Württemberg [Wuerttemberg]
  • Chapter 43: German Census Records from 1816-1916: What Do We Know Now?
  • Chapter 44: Conclusions
  • Appendix A: Writing to Archives in Germany, France, and Poland
  • Appendix B: Conducting Census Research in Archives in Germany, France and Poland
  • Appendix C: Interesting Documents Relating to German Census Campaigns
  • Appendix D: The States of Germany in 1871
  • Bibliography
  • Index

German Census Records, 1816-1916: The When, Where, and How of a Valuable Genealogical Resource; by Roger P Minert, Ph.D., A.G.; 2016; 260 pp; 8.5×11; Softbound; ISBN: 9781628590777; Item #: FR0650

Map Guide To German Parish Registers Vol. 55 – Province Of Silesia lII, RB Oppeln – Now Shipping

Silesia-III-Front-Cover-250pw

We picked up Volume 55 of the German Map Guide series at the bindery today – March 2, 2016. This volume includes a total of 1632 places – mostly towns, found in the Kingdom of Prussia, Province of Silesia, Regierungsbezirk Oppeln. This book also includes a master index to Volumes 53 through 55, which covers all of Silesia. Written in English by Kevan Hansen, this volume was principally written to help family historians resolve where their family may have gone to church – and left vital records behind that may be seen today. This is the fifty-fifth of a series covering all of Germany. In many cases, even the smallest places are listed in this series – some with as little population as one person! These places are as of about 1870. If the place existed prior to that date, it will most likely be listed. If the place was named after that date, the chances drop.

The final volumes of the Map Guide to German Parish Registers series will all deal with large and free cities of the German Empire. The “cities” books will be published as time permits in 2016 and 2017. We are currently compiling a volume on Homburg, which became part of the Bavarian Palatinate (Pfalz) in 1815. The format of the city volumes will be very much like Volume 23 on the City of Berlin.

Each volumes of the series does the following:

  • Identifies the parish where an ancestor worshipped based on where they lived.
  • Gives the FHL microfilm number for the family’s parish records.
  • Identifies nearly every city, town, and place that included residents.
  • Visually identifies church parishes for Lutherans & Catholics in each district.
  • Identifies adjoining parishes in case an ancestor attended an alternate parish.
  • Aids in area searches, particularly across district or regional borders.
  • Provides visual identification of search areas in which to look for a family.
  • Helps in determining proximity of one area to another.
  • Aids in determining reasonable distances of travel from one area to another.
  • Identifies population centers in each parish.
  • Identifies archives, repositories, and other resources.
  • Aids in identification of the location of minority religions.

Map Guide To German Parish Registers Vol. 55 – Kingdom Of Prussia, Province Of Silesia lII, Regierungsbezirk Oppeln, with full index of included towns, by Kevan Hansen, 212 pp

German Map Guide Volume 55 – Soft Cover (Item #FR0109):

ISBN-13: 978-1-62859-067-8 ISBN-10: 162859067X

German Map Guide Volume 55 – Hard Cover (Item #FR0110):

ISBN-13: 978-1-62859-068-5 ISBN-10: 1628590688

Library of Congress Control Number: 2015950405

The following places are found in this volume.

  • Achthuben
  • Adamowitz
  • Albrechtsdorf
  • Albrechtsthal
  • Alt Berun
  • Alt Budkowitz
  • Alt Chechlau
  • Altdorf
  • Alt Dubensko
  • Altendorf
  • Altenstein
  • Altewalde
  • Alt Gleiwitz
  • Alt Grottkau
  • Althammer
  • Alt Karmunkau
  • Alt Kosel
  • Alt Kuttendorf
  • Alt Patschkau
  • Alt Poppelau
  • Alt Repten
  • Alt Rosenberg
  • Alt Schalkowitz
  • Altstadt
  • Alt Tarnowitz
  • Alt Tschapel
  • Alt Ujest
  • Alt Wiendorf
  • Alt Wilmsdorf
  • Altzülz
  • Amaliengrund
  • Anhalt
  • Annaberg
  • Antonia
  • Antonienhof
  • Antonienhütte
  • Antoschowitz
  • Arnoldsdorf
  • Arnsdorf
  • Auchwitz
  • Autischkau
  • Babinitz
  • Babitz
  • Badewitz
  • Baingow
  • Balzarowitz
  • Bankau
  • Baranowitz
  • Bärenhof
  • Barglowka
  • Barkow
  • Barlowka
  • Basau
  • Baucke
  • Bauerwitz
  • Baumgarten
  • Bauschweitz
  • Bechau
  • Beigwitz
  • Beinkowitz
  • Belk
  • Belkawe
  • Belschnitz
  • Beneschau
  • Berndau
  • Berthelschütz
  • Berun
  • Beuthen
  • Biadacz
  • Continue reading “Map Guide To German Parish Registers Vol. 55 – Province Of Silesia lII, RB Oppeln – Now Shipping”

Silesia II German Map Guide Now Shipping

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Family Roots Publishing printed and bound the second Silesia volume of the Map Guide to German Parish Registers series this last week. This book is volume 54 of the series. The softbound books are now shipping and the hardbound volumes will ship in about a week. This volume covers RB Breslau, while volumes I (in print) and III will cover Liegnitz and Oppeln respectively. Over the last decade, I’ve received dozens of calls from folks anxious to get their hands on the Silesia Map Guides. Well, the books are finally coming available. The following is a detailed explanation of what the book is, and how it can help genealogists.

Published by Family Roots Publishing Company, Volume 54 of the German Map Guide series was published in January of 2016. This volume includes a total of 2074 places – mostly towns, found in the Kingdom of Prussia, Province of Silesia, Regierungsbezirk Breslau. This book also includes a master index to Volumes 53 through 55, which covers all of Silesia. Written in English by Kevan Hansen, the volume was principally written to help family historians resolve where their family may have gone to church – and left vital records behind that may be seen today. This is the fifty-fourth of a series covering all of Germany. The series is still in production. In many cases, even the smallest places are listed in this series – some with as little population as one person! These places are as of about 1870. If the place existed prior to that date, it will most likely be listed. If the place was named after that date, the chances drop.

To order this volume in Soft Cover, click here or on the illustration.

To order this volume in Hard Cover, click here.

Each volumes of the series does the following:

  • Identifies the parish where an ancestor worshipped based on where they lived.
  • Gives the FHL microfilm number for the family’s parish records.
  • Identifies nearly every city, town, and place that included residents.
  • Visually identifies church parishes for Lutherans & Catholics in each district.
  • Identifies adjoining parishes in case an ancestor attended an alternate parish.
  • Aids in area searches, particularly across district or regional borders.
  • Provides visual identification of search areas in which to look for a family.
  • Helps in determining proximity of one area to another.
  • Aids in determining reasonable distances of travel from one area to another.
  • Identifies population centers in each parish.
  • Identifies archives, repositories, and other resources.
  • Aids in identification of the location of minority religions.

Silesia-Place-Name-Index--Cover-50pw

Note – anyone doing research in Silesia parish registers will find the Silesia Place Name Indexes: Identifying Place Names Using Alphabetical And Reverse Alphabetical Indexes helpful. It’s key to reading hard-to-decipher place names found in the parish registers. Click on the above link to check it out.

Map Guide To German Parish Registers Vol. 54 – Kingdom Of Prussia, Province Of Silesia lI, Regierungsbezirk Breslau, with full index of included towns, by Kevan Hansen, 242 pp

German Map Guide Volume 54 – Soft Cover (Item #FR0107):

ISBN-13: 978-1-62859-065-4 ISBN-10: 1628590653

Library of Congress Control Number: 2015950405

The following places are found in this volume.

  • Adelsbach
  • Agnesfeld
  • Akreschfronze
  • Albendorf
  • Albrechtshof
  • Alexanderwitz
  • Algersdorf
  • Allerheiligen
  • Altaltmannsdorf
  • Altbatzdorf
  • Alt Ellguth
  • Altenau
  • Altenburg
  • Alt Festenberg
  • Alt Gandau
  • Alt Guhrau
  • Althain
  • Alt Hammer
  • Alt Hammer-Goschütz
  • Alt Hammer-Militsch
  • Altheide
  • Alt Heinrichau
  • Althof
  • Althofdürr
  • Althofnass
  • Alt Jauernick
  • Alt Köln
  • Alt Lässig
  • Alt Liebichau
  • Alt Lomnitz
  • Alt Neu Heidau
  • Alt Raudten
  • Alt Reissbach
  • Alt Schliesa
  • Altstadt
  • Alt Waltersdorf
  • Alt Wansen
  • Altwasser
  • Alt Weistritz
  • Altwilmsdorf
  • Alt Wohlau
  • Alzenau
  • Amalienthal
  • Annenthal
  • Arnoldsmühle
  • Arnsdorf
  • Aspenau
  • Auras
  • Austen
  • Bachreitz
  • Bachwitz
  • Backen
  • Bahra
  • Baitzen
  • Baldowitz
  • Banau
  • Bankau
  • Bankwitz
  • Bärdorf
  • Bärengrund
  • Barottwitz
  • Bärsdorf
  • Bartkerey
  • Bartnig
  • Bartschdorf
  • Continue reading “Silesia II German Map Guide Now Shipping”

New FamilySearch Database Collections Update for January 4, 2016

The following is from FamilySearch:

FamilySearch Logo 2014

This week showcases sizable additions to collections for Italy L’Aquila Civil Registration (State Archive) 1809-1865 1911-1943, and Italy Udine Civil Registration (State Archive) 1806-1815 1871-1911, Colombia Catholic Church Records 1576-2014 and, South Africa Netherdutch Reformed Church Registers (Pretoria Archive) 1838- 1991. Find these and more by following the links below.

COLLECTION – INDEXED RECORDS – DIGITAL RECORDS – COMMENTS

Austria Upper Austria Catholic Church Records 1581-1919 – 39,213 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

Colombia Catholic Church Records 1576-2014 – 1,355,484 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

Germany Baden Church Book Duplicates 1800-1870 – 27,020 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

Italy L’Aquila Civil Registration (State Archive) 1809-1865 1911-1943 – 63,630 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

Italy Udine Civil Registration (State Archive) 1806-1815 1871-1911 – 252,037 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

South Africa Netherdutch Reformed Church Registers (Pretoria Archive) 1838- 1991 – 0 – 140,942 – New browsable image collection.

BillionGraves Index – 283,072 – 283,072 – Added indexed records and images to an existing collection.

United States Databases
Alaska Vital Records 1816-1959 – 57,479 – 77,968 – New indexed records and images collection.

New Hampshire Death Records 1654-1947 – 0 – 1,460 – Added images to an existing collection.

New FamilySearch Database Collections as of December 6, 2015

The following is from FamilySearch:

FamilySearch Logo 2014

There were 18 new, free historic record collections added or updated this week at FamilySearch.org. Some highlights include the Australia New South Wales Census 1891, Connecticut District Court Naturalization Indexes 1851-1992, United States GenealogyBank Obituaries 1980-2014 with nearly 15 million new records, Massachusetts Revolutionary War Index Cards to Muster Rolls 1775-1783, North Carolina Estate Files 1663-1979, Brazil Rio de Janeiro Immigration Cards 1900-1965, Germany Hesse Frankfurt Civil Registration Deaths Indexes 1928-1978,and Italy Taranto Civil Registration (State Archive) 1809-1926. Explore these and many others by following the links below.

COLLECTION – INDEXED RECORDS – DIGITAL RECORDS – COMMENTS

Australia New South Wales Census 1891 – 326,076 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Australia Tasmania Miscellaneous Records 1829-1961 – 88,059 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Brazil Rio de Janeiro Immigration Cards 1900-1965 – 2,213,292 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Colombia Catholic Church Records 1576-2014 – 0 – 403,033 – Added images to an existing collection
Germany Hesse Frankfurt Civil Registration Deaths Indexes 1928-1978 – 567,031 – 16,700 – New indexed records and images collection
Italy Taranto Civil Registration (State Archive) 1809-1926 – 220,095 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Manitoba Probate Records 1871-1930 – 51,868 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Switzerland Bern Civil Registration 1792-1876 – 16,590 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

UNITED STATES DATABASES
Connecticut District Court Naturalization Indexes 1851-1992 – 261,034 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Hawaii Index to Filipino Passengers Arriving at Honolulu 1900-1952 – 137,926 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Massachusetts Revolutionary War Index Cards to Muster Rolls 1775-1783 – 0 – 641,406 – New browsable image collection.
North Carolina Estate Files 1663-1979 – 25,757 – 580,366 – Added indexed records and images to an existing collection
Ohio Passenger and Crew Lists arriving at Ashtabula and Conneaut 1952-1974 – 85,006 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Ohio Trumbull County Records 1795-2010 – 0 – 133,347 – Added images to an existing collection
Wisconsin Crew Lists of Ship Arrivals 1925-1956 – 4,352 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Wisconsin Crew Lists of Vessels Arriving at Manitowoc 1925-1956 – 4,231 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Wisconsin Milwaukee Passenger and Crew Lists 1922-1963 – 66,627 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
United States GenealogyBank Obituaries 1980-2014 – 0 – 14,934,757 – Added images to an existing collection

Help Us Publish More Free Records Online
Searchable historical records are made available on FamilySearch.org through the help of thousands of online volunteers worldwide. These volunteers transcribe (or index) information from digital copies of handwritten records to make them easily searchable online. More volunteers are always needed (particularly those who can read foreign languages) to keep pace with the large number of digital images being published weekly online on FamilySearch.org. Learn how you can volunteer to help provide free access to the world’s historical genealogical records online at FamilySearch.org/Indexing.

About FamilySearch International
FamilySearch is the largest genealogy organization in the world. FamilySearch is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch and its predecessors have been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources for free at FamilySearch.org or through more than 4,600 family history centers in 132 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Volumes 1 thru 52 of Map Guide to German Parish Registers on Sale for 25% Off!

German-Map-Guide-Illustration

To celebrate the Christmas Season, Family Roots Publishing Co. is offering all individual soft cover German Map Guide books, Volumes 1 through 52 at 25% off! That makes them just $26.21 per book (reg. $34.95). This sale now runs through Tuesday, December 22, 2015. Note that “sets” of the books are not included in this sale.

The reduced price promotion does not include the new Silesia volumes, one of which recently came into print, with two more due out in the next month.

Written in English by Kevan Hansen, the volumes were principally written to help family historians resolve where their family may have gone to church – and left vital records behind that may be seen today. The series is still in production. In many cases, even the smallest places are listed in this series – some with as little population as one person! These places are as of about 1870. If the place existed prior to that date, it will most likely be listed. If the place was named after that date, the chances drop.

The online description of each book includes an index listing every town found in that book. To search across the entire database for any particular German town, Click here, enter the name of the town in the Search Box, click on “Description Only,” and then click Search. Note that many town names can be found in multiple books, as there are often multiple towns by any paricular name.

Each volume of the series does the following:

 

  • Identifies the parish where an ancestor worshipped based on where they lived.
  • Gives the FHL microfilm number for the family’s parish records.
  • Identifies nearly every city, town, and place that included residents.
  • Visually identifies church parishes for Lutherans & Catholics in each district.
  • Identifies adjoining parishes in case an ancestor attended an alternate parish.
  • Aids in area searches, particularly across district or regional borders.
  • Provides visual identification of search areas in which to look for a family.
  • Helps in determining proximity of one area to another.
  • Aids in determining reasonable distances of travel from one area to another.
  • Identifies population centers in each parish.
  • Identifies archives, repositories, and other resources.
  • Aids in identification of the location of minority religions. 

Books covering the following old German states are now available: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Family Roots Publishing Co. is offering all soft cover volumes of the Map Guide to German Parish Registers, Volumes 1 through 52 at 25% off! That makes them just $26.21 per book (reg. $34.95). This sale ends at midnight PST December 22, 2015.

New FamilySearch Database Collections Update for November 9, 2015

The following is from FamilySearch:

FamilySearch Logo 2014

Ecuador Catholic Church Records 1565-2011, United Kingdom World War I Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps Records 1917- 1920, Spain Province of Barcelona Municipal Records 1387-1986, Italy Forlì-Cesena Forlì Civil Registration (State Archive) 1800-1815 1866-1930, and Philippines Manila Civil Registration 1899-1984 have large additions this week. To browse these collections and more, follow the links below.

COLLECTION – INDEXED RECORDS – DIGITAL RECORDS – COMMENTS

Brazil Santa Catarina Catholic Church Records 1714-1977 – 95,057 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Delaware Vital Records 1650-1974 – 0 – 7,214 – Added images to an existing collection
Ecuador Catholic Church Records 1565-2011 – 252,478 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Germany Prussia Westphalia Minden Miscellaneous Collections from the Municipal Archives 1574-1902 – 36,352 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Iowa County Death Records 1880-1992 – 39,508 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Italy Forlì-Cesena Forlì Civil Registration (State Archive) 1800-1815 1866-1930 – 0 – 2,090,185 – New browsable image collection.
Italy Imperia Ventimiglia Civil Registration (State Archive) 1806-1913 – 0 – 20,576 – New browsable image collection.
New Zealand Auckland Albertland Index 1862-1962 – 10,779 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
New Zealand Auckland Port Albert Membership Lists and Minutes from the Church of Christ 1875-1926 – 0 – 108 – New browsable image collection.
Nova Scotia Delayed Births 1837-1904 – 72,693 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Peru Puno Civil Registration 1890-2005 – 25,353 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Philippines Civil Registration (Archives Division) 1902-1945 – 0 – 185 – Added images to an existing collection
Philippines Manila Civil Registration 1899-1984 – 1,813,161 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Spain Province of Barcelona Municipal Records 1387-1986 – 0 – 104,684 – Added images to an existing collection
United Kingdom World War I Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps Records 1917-1920 – 155,933 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Washington Seattle Passenger and Crew Lists of Airplanes 1947-1954 – 44,407 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

Help Us Publish More Free Records Online
Searchable historical records are made available on FamilySearch.org through the help of thousands of online volunteers worldwide. These volunteers transcribe (or index) information from digital copies of handwritten records to make them easily searchable online. More volunteers are always needed (particularly those who can read foreign languages) to keep pace with the large number of digital images being published weekly online on FamilySearch.org. Learn how you can volunteer to help provide free access to the world’s historical genealogical records online at FamilySearch.org/Indexing.

About FamilySearch International
FamilySearch is the largest genealogy organization in the world. FamilySearch is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch and its predecessors have been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources for free at FamilySearch.org or through more than 4,883 family history centers in 132 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Silesia I – RB Liegnitz – Map Guide to German Parish Registers – Now Shipping

Silesia-I-SB-Front-Cover_350pw

Family Roots Publishing printed and bound the first Silesia volume of the Map Guide to German Parish Registers series this week. This book is volume 53 of the series. The softbound books are now shipping and the hardbound volumes will ship by the first of the week. This volume covers RB Liegnitz, while volumes II and III will cover Breslau and Oppeln respectively. We’re hoping to have those two volumes in print before Christmas. Over the last decade, I’ve received dozens of calls from folks anxious to get their hands on the Silesia Map Guides. Well, the books are finally coming available. The following is a detailed explanation of what the book is, and how it can help genealogists.

Published by Family Roots Publishing Company, Volume 53 of the German Map Guide series was published in mid-October of 2015. This volume includes a total of 1588 places – mostly towns, found in the Kingdom of Prussia, Province of Silesia, Regierungsbezirk Liegnitz. This book also includes a master index to Volumes 53 through 55, which covers all of Silesia. Written in English by Kevan Hansen, the volume was principally written to help family historians resolve where their family may have gone to church – and left vital records behind that may be seen today. This is the fifty-third of a series covering all of Germany. The series is still in production. In many cases, even the smallest places are listed in this series – some with as little population as one person! These places are as of about 1870. If the place existed prior to that date, it will most likely be listed. If the place was named after that date, the chances drop.

Each volumes of the series does the following:

  • Identifies the parish where an ancestor worshipped based on where they lived.
  • Gives the FHL microfilm number for the family’s parish records.
  • Identifies nearly every city, town, and place that included residents.
  • Visually identifies church parishes for Lutherans & Catholics in each district.
  • Identifies adjoining parishes in case an ancestor attended an alternate parish.
  • Aids in area searches, particularly across district or regional borders.
  • Provides visual identification of search areas in which to look for a family.
  • Helps in determining proximity of one area to another.
  • Aids in determining reasonable distances of travel from one area to another.
  • Identifies population centers in each parish.
  • Identifies archives, repositories, and other resources.
  • Aids in identification of the location of minority religions.

Map Guide To German Parish Registers Vol. 53 – Kingdom Of Prussia, Province Of Silesia I, Regierungsbezirk Liegnitz, with full index of included towns, by Kevan Hansen, 213 pp

German Map Guide Volume 53 – Soft Cover (Item #FR0105):

ISBN-13: 978-1-62859-063-0 ISBN-10: 1628590637

Library of Congress Control Number: 2015950405

The following places are found in this volume.

All Alphabetical & Reverse German Place Name Indexes Are Now Back in Print & 15% off thru Sept. 19, 2015

Roger Minert’s invaluable Alphabetical & Reverse German Place Name Indexes slowly began going out of print earlier this year. Family Roots Publishing contracted to update the books, adding new covers, and doing minor editorial work on the books, some of which were over a decade old. The project is now finished and FRPC is making all 21 volumes available at 15% off through Monday, October 19, 2015.

What really makes these Place Name Indexes stand out from a typical gazetteer is that they index the town both in alphabetical order and in reverse alphabetical order. Anyone who has done any research in the German parish registers has run across instances where they can read the last letters of a place (such as: place of birth, previous residence, place of marriage, etc.), but the first or second letters are illegible, making the place-name impossible to decipher. Roger’s indexes take care of that problem.

I’ve used Roger’s Reverse Indexes since he first came out with them, and wouldn’t attempt to do research in German parish registers without them. In many cases I’m able to make out the end letter of a place found in the records – but not the initial letter or two. These books quickly take care of that issue. Years ago, prior to Roger’s Indexes, I had the name of a city right in front of me, but couldn’t make it out. The first letter of the word was a mess. My friend, Kevan Hansen, having many more years experience reading German than I, was able to work out what the word was – and it took my research back another generation into Hesse – not the Pfalz where the record was found. If I’d had these indexes available to me, I’d have been able to make that leap myself. So, okay – I no longer have any excuses!

The German reverse alphabetical indexes are key to doing research in the parish registers of the German states. The Reverse Alphabetical Index allows the researcher to determine the name of a town when the first part of the name (whether one or more letters) is missing. This is a common problem caused by torn or moldy pages, ink-blots, tight bindings, poor microfilm quality, etc. By using this index, the researcher can also determine the official spelling for towns when variant spellings occur in old records. The book includes a regular alphabetical index of all the towns in the province as well as regular and reverse alphabetical listings of the German kingdoms, duchies, principalities, counties, rivers, mountain ranges, and other geopolitical and topographical entities.

The following “Identifying Place Names Using Alphabetical and Reverse Alphabetical Indexes” Published by Family Roots Publishing, are now in print. This completes the series.

    Alsace-Lorraine-50pw

  • Alsace-Lorraine Place Name Indexes
  • Indexing over 6,350 Alsace-Lorraine place names.

    The Reverse Alphabetical Index allows the researcher to determine the name of a town when the first part of the name (whether one or more letters) is illegible or missing. An Alphabetical index of all places is included.
    Baden-Place-Name-Indexes-Cover-Front-50pw

  • Baden Place Name Indexes
  • Indexing over 2050 Baden place names.
    The Reverse Alphabetical Index allows the researcher to determine the name of a town when the first part of the name (whether one or more letters) is illegible or missing. An Alphabetical index of all places is included.
    Bavaria-Cover-Front-50pw

  • Bavaria Place Name Indexes
  • Indexing over 29,300 Bavaria place names.

    The Reverse Alphabetical Index allows the researcher to determine the name of a town when the first part of the name (whether one or more letters) is illegible or missing. An Alphabetical index of all places is included.
    Brandenburg-cover-front-50pw

  • Brandenburg Place Name Indexes
  • Indexing over 5,900 Brandenburg place names.

    The Reverse Alphabetical Index allows the researcher to determine the name of a town when the first part of the name (whether one or more letters) is illegible or missing. An Alphabetical index of all places is included.
    Braunschweig,-Oldenburg,-Thuringia-Erfurt-Cover-Front_50pw

  • Braunschweig/Oldenburg/Thuringia Place Name Indexes
  • Indexing over 1550 Braunschweig, 3050 Oldenburg, and 1400 Thuringia place names.

    The Reverse Alphabetical Index allows the researcher to determine the name of a town when the first part of the name (whether one or more letters) is illegible or missing. An Alphabetical index of all places is included.
    East-Prussia-Front-Cover-50pw

  • East Prussia Place Name Indexes
  • Indexing over 8,450 East Prussia place names.

    The Reverse Alphabetical Index allows the researcher to determine the name of a town when the first part of the name (whether one or more letters) is illegible or missing. An Alphabetical index of all places is included.
    Hanover-Place-Names-Cover-Front-50pw

  • Hanover Place Name Indexes
  • Indexing over 8250 Hanover place names.

    The Reverse Alphabetical Index allows the researcher to determine the name of a town when the first part of the name (whether one or more letters) is illegible or missing. An Alphabetical index of all places is included.
    Hesse-Final-Cover-50pw

  • Hesse Place Name Indexes
  • Indexing over 1750 Hesse place names.

    The Reverse Alphabetical Index allows the researcher to determine the name of a town when the first part of the name (whether one or more letters) is illegible or missing. An Alphabetical index of all places is included.
    Hesse-Nassau-Cover-Front-50pw

  • Hesse-Nassau Place Name Indexes
  • Indexing over 4,200 Hesse-Nassau place names.

    The Reverse Alphabetical Index allows the researcher to determine the name of a town when the first part of the name (whether one or more letters) is illegible or missing. An Alphabetical index of all places is included.
    Mecklenburg-Final-Cover-50pw

  • Mecklenburg Place Name Indexes
  • Indexing over 2,950 Mecklenburg place names.

    The Reverse Alphabetical Index allows the researcher to determine the name of a town when the first part of the name (whether one or more letters) is illegible or missing. An Alphabetical index of all places is included.
    Palatinate-Front-Cover-50pw

  • Palatinate Place Name Indexes
  • Indexing over 1,650 Palatinate place names.
    The Reverse Alphabetical Index allows the researcher to determine the name of a town when the first part of the name (whether one or more letters) is illegible or missing. An Alphabetical index of all places is included.
    Palatinate-Front-Cover-50pw

  • PDF EBook: Palatinate Place Name Indexes
  • Indexing over 1,650 Palatinate (Pfalz) place names.

    This Reverse Alphabetical Index is in the form of a PDF ebook. It allows the researcher to determine the name of a town when the first part of the name (whether one or more letters) is illegible or missing. An Alphabetical index of all places is included.
    Pomerania-Final-Cover-50pw

  • Pomerania Place Name Indexes
  • Indexing over 7,000 Pomerania place names.

    The Reverse Alphabetical Index allows the researcher to determine the name of a town when the first part of the name (whether one or more letters) is illegible or missing. An Alphabetical index of all places is included.
    Posen-cover-front-50pw

  • Posen Place Name Indexes
  • Indexing over 5,750 Posen place names.

    The Reverse Alphabetical Index allows the researcher to determine the name of a town when the first part of the name (whether one or more letters) is illegible or missing. An Alphabetical index of all places is included.
    Rhineland-Front-Cover-50pw

  • Rhineland Place Name Indexes
  • Indexing over 4,950 Rhineland place names.

    The Reverse Alphabetical Index allows the researcher to determine the name of a town when the first part of the name (whether one or more letters) is illegible or missing. An Alphabetical index of all places is included.
    Saxony_Kingdom_of_50pw

  • Kingdom of Saxony Place Name Indexes
  • Indexing over 3,650 Kingdom of Saxony place names.

    The Reverse Alphabetical Index allows the researcher to determine the name of a town when the first part of the name (whether one or more letters) is illegible or missing. An Alphabetical index of all places is included.
    Pr-of-Saxony-Front-Cover-50pw

  • Province of Saxony Place Name Indexes
  • Indexing over 4,950 Province of Saxony place names.

    The Reverse Alphabetical Index allows the researcher to determine the name of a town when the first part of the name (whether one or more letters) is illegible or missing. An Alphabetical index of all places is included.
    Schleswig-Hostein-Cover-50pw

  • Schleswig-Holstein (with Bremen/Hamburg/Lübeck) Place Name Indexes
  • Indexing over 6,750 Schleswig-Holstein, Bremen, Hamburg, and Lübeck place names.

    The Reverse Alphabetical Index allows the researcher to determine the name of a town when the first part of the name (whether one or more letters) is illegible or missing. An Alphabetical index of all places is included.
    Silesia-Place-Names-Cover-Front-50pw

  • Silesia Place Name Indexes
  • Indexing over 8,350 Silesia place names.

    The Reverse Alphabetical Index allows the researcher to determine the name of a town when the first part of the name (whether one or more letters) is illegible or missing. An Alphabetical index of all places is included.
    West-Prussia-Front-Cover_50pw

  • West Prussia Place Name Indexes
  • Indexing over 5,100 West Prussia place names.

    The Reverse Alphabetical Index allows the researcher to determine the name of a town when the first part of the name (whether one or more letters) is illegible or missing. An Alphabetical index of all places is included.
    Westphalia-Place-Names-Cover-Front-50pw

  • Westphalia (with Hohenzollern/Lippe/Schaumberg-Lippe/Waldeck) Place Name Indexes
  • Indexing over 7,050 Westphalia, Hohenzollern, Lippe-Schaumberg, and Lippe-Waldeck place names.

    The Reverse Alphabetical Index allows the researcher to determine the name of a town when the first part of the name (whether one or more letters) is illegible or missing. An Alphabetical index of all places is included.
    Württemberg-Front-Cover-50pw

  • Württemburg Place Name Indexes
  • Indexing over 7,250 Württemburg place names.

The Reverse Alphabetical Index allows the researcher to determine the name of a town when the first part of the name (whether one or more letters) is illegible or missing. An Alphabetical index of all places is included.

Other Books By Roger Minert:

New FamilySearch Database Collections – September 28, 2015

The following is from FamilySearch:

FamilySearch Logo 2014

Generous updates for Colombia, France, Honduras, Italy, Spain, and the US (Passport applications, Mississippi and Georgia to note a few)! Many other domestic and international updates like England Warwickshire Parish Registers 1535-1984, Nicaragua Civil Registration 1809-2013, and Belgium East Flanders Civil Registration 1541-1912. See the following full list.

COLLECTION – INDEXED RECORD – DIGITAL RECORD – COMMENTS

Bahamas Civil Registration 1850-1959 – 34,858 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Barbados Church Records 1637-1887 – 67,852 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Belgium East Flanders Civil Registration 1541-1912 – 81,691 – 3,570 – Added indexed records and images to an existing collection
Canada Prince Edward Island Death Card Index 1721-1905 – 16,778 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Canada Quebec Federation of Genealogical Societies Family Origins 1621-1865 (Web-Linking) – 5,996 – 0 – New indexed records collection
Chile Cemetery Records 1821-2013 – 0 – 65,853 – Added images to an existing collection
Colombia Catholic Church Records 1600-2014 – 0 – 301,994 – Added images to an existing collection
England Warwickshire Parish Registers 1535-1984 – 0 – 55,896 – Added images to an existing collection
France Dordogne Censuses 1876 – 499,219 – 10,250 – New indexed records and images collection
France Haute-Garonne Toulouse Censuses 1830-1831 – 31,145 – 608 – New indexed records and images collection
Germany Prussia Brandenburg and Posen Church Book Duplicates 1794-1874 – 151,802 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Honduras Catholic Church Records 1633-1978 – 700,756 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Italy Udine Civil Registration (State Archive) 1806-1815 1871-1911 – 0 – 1,072,113 – Added images to an existing collection
Nicaragua Civil Registration 1809-2013 – 140,930 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Peru Puno Civil Registration 1890-2005 – 172,315 – 4,944 – Added images to an existing collection
Philippines La Union Diocese of San Fernando de La Union 1801-1984 – 0 – 3,192 – Added images to an existing collection
South Carolina Confederate Home Records 1909-1958 – 6,149 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Spain Province of Barcelona Municipal Records 1387-1950 – 0 – 764 – Added images to an existing collection
Spain Province of Barcelona Municipal Records 1387-1986 – 435,547 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

UNITED STATES DATABASES
Georgia Deaths 1914-1927 – 0 – 336,900 – Added images to an existing collection
Illinois Northern District Petitions for Naturalization 1906-1994 – 0 – 206,207 – Added images to an existing collection
Louisiana Orleans Parish Vital Records 1910 1960 – 17,605 – 1,383 – Added indexed records and images to an existing collection
Massachusetts Town Clerk Vital and Town Records 1626-2001 – 0 – 254,638 – Added images to an existing collection
Mississippi Enumeration of Educable Children 1850-1892; 1908-1957 – 7,153,911 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Missouri County Marriage, Naturalization and Court Records 1800-1991 – 0 – 5,386 – Added images to an existing collection
Missouri State and Territorial Census Records 1732-1933 – 0 – 161 – Added images to an existing collection
Utah Death Certificates 1904-1964 – 69,621 – 13,456 – Added indexed records and images to an existing collection
United States Passport Applications 1795-1925 – 1,008,828 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

Help Us Publish More Free Records Online
Searchable historical records are made available on FamilySearch.org through the help of thousands of online volunteers worldwide. These volunteers transcribe (or index) information from digital copies of handwritten records to make them easily searchable online. More volunteers are always needed (particularly those who can read foreign languages) to keep pace with the large number of digital images being published weekly online on FamilySearch.org. Learn how you can volunteer to help provide free access to the world’s historical genealogical records online at FamilySearch.org/Indexing.

About FamilySearch International
FamilySearch is the largest genealogy organization in the world. FamilySearch is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch and its predecessors have been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources for free at FamilySearch.org or through more than 4,600 family history centers in 132 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The Results of WWI & WWII on German-America

German-America-250pw

I ran across an article posted at the New York Times website titled Whatever Happened to German America? Having German-American ancestry myself, I was drawn to the article, which laid out a case for why the ethnic German communities in America have all but disappeared. Much of the blame was laid on WWI. I concur with the writer’s assessment.

Let me give one quick example.

In 1975, Patty and I bought 50 acres, complete with an old farmhouse, from Alfred and Edward Keating just outside Orting, Washington. In researching the Keating family, we found that family surname was actually Kötting, and had been Americanized to Koeting before 1900. By the time America entered WWI, the Koeting name was no longer being used, and the name was now Keating. As anti-German sentiments rose, Fred Kötting – Keoting – Keating found it much easier to adapt the name, than to use an obviously German surname. World War I changed the once proud German-American community forever. World War II changed it even more. Following is a teaser from the New York Times article.

Berlin — WHAT is America’s largest national ethnic group? If you said English, Italian or Mexican, you’re wrong. Today some 46 million Americans can claim German ancestry. The difference is, very few of them do.

Indeed, aside from Oktoberfest, German culture has largely disappeared from the American landscape. What happened?

At the turn of the last century, Germans were the predominant ethnic group in the United States — some eight million people, out of a population of 76 million. New York City had one of the world’s largest German-speaking populations, trailing only Berlin and Vienna, with about a quarter of its 3.4 million people conversing auf Deutsch. Entire communities, spreading from northern Wisconsin to rural Texas, consisted almost exclusively of German immigrants and their children.

Read the full article.