Researching in Germany, Second Edition – 20% Off Thru Christmas 2017

Are you considering a research trip to Germany? Or any of the German language speaking countries, for that matter… If so, this book is for you! Written primarily by Shirley J. Riemer, with the assistance of Roger Minert and Susan Sirrine, Researching in Germany, A Handbook for Your Visit to the Homeland of Your Ancestors, Second Edition is the genealogist’s guide to German research travel. The book is loaded with the information that you need for a successful trip.

FRPC cut a deal with the publisher to have a special print run for Christmas 2017 sales – allowing us to run a reduced price sale for the first time ever! The books are 20% off. Regularly $19, they are just $15.20 through Christmas, December 25, 2017. Better yet – buy the Research in Germany Bundle of this volume, bundled with Heritage Travel, Tips, Tricks & Strategies – and get 30% Off! Reg. $28.95, the Research in Germany Bundle is on sale for just $20.27! (+$5.50 p&h) Click here to order. This offer only runs through Christmas, so order now.

The first edition was printed on September 11, 2001, and was very popular. The second edition, published in 2013, covers topics that travelers today find useful – including technology advances, and can help the 21st-century researcher in many ways. Collectively, the authors have made more than 30 trips to Germany – even living there for a while.

The book is nicely laid out, with many illustrations, tables, lists, and maps. If you’re even thinking of going to Germany, you must have this book!

The following is from the Table of Contents:

Chapter One: Preparing for your visit to the land of your ancestors
Reasons and goals for the trip
Identifying the ancestral home
Locating the records you need
Gaining access to the records you need
Hiring a local expert to assist you
Deciding when to make your research trip to Germany
Acquiring a Passport
Making your travel plans
… Air Travel
… Car rentals for travel in Germany
… Trains
Documents, literature, and equipment needed for conducting family history research in Germany
… Documents and printed materials to prepare for the trip.
… Computer preparations
Non-researching materials to collect and organize before leaving home.
… The log
… Letter of Introduction
German Handshake Packet
Preparing to use your debit card in Europe
Preparing to enter a German-language environment
Gifts to take along
Luggage selection
Packing Your Suitcase

Chapter Two: Getting around the land of your ancestors
Landing at the airport in Germany
You and your money in Germany
… Need cash?
… Credit Cards
… Traveler’s Checks
… Hints for Handling money in Germany
Living between time zones
Rental cars
… Picking up your rental car
… Pointers on driving in Germany
… Driving on the Autobahn
… Other driving pointers
… Driving regulations in European countries
… Parking your rental car
… Bicycles
Traveling by rail in Germany
… The German railroad “alphabet game”
… Train information
… Train reservations
… Validating a rail pass
… Handling luggage
… Conveniences on board
… Which is your stop>
… Before leaving the train station
Taking a taxi
Using other public transportation
Tourist information
… Finding a room
… Gathering local information
… Checking out Antiquariat
Sleeping accommodations in Germany
… Rooms in private houses
… The Gasthaus, the Gasthof, and the Pension
… Vacation Apartments
… Hotels
Restaurants in Germany
… Water: A problem for Americans
Telling time in Europe
Post office services in Germany
… Basic services and products
… Shipping extra items
… Filling out postal forms
Telecommunication in Germany
… Public telephones
… Private telephones
… Other communication options
Dealing with emergencies

Chapter Three: Conducting family history research in the land of your ancestors
Research at specific locations in Germany
… The parish church
… Regional church archives
… Other church-owned research venues
… Civil record venues
… City archives
… County archives
… State and national archives
… Family History Societies
… Family history centers
Private researchers
Other research venues
Visiting relatives
The Heimatmuseum
Research in other German-language regions of Europe
… Alsace-Lorriane, France (Elsass-Lothringen)
… Austria (Österreich)
… Bohemia and Moravia, Czech Republic (Böhmen und Mähren)
… Liechtenstein
… Luxembourg
… Poland
… Slovenia (Slowenien, Slovenija)
… Switzerland (Schweiz)
Research facilities in Europe: seven examples
… Estorf, Germany: Estorf Lutheran Church
… Hannover, Germany: Landskirchenamt, kirchenbuchamt
… Basel, Switzerland: Staatsarchiv des Kantons Basel-Stadt
… Vienna, Austria: Zur Allerheiligsten Dreifaltigkelt
… Graz, Austria: Diözesanarchiv
… Plzen, Czech Republic: Statni Oblastni Archiv
… Ljubljana, Slovenia: Nadskofiiski Archiv
Record-keeping and documentation

Chapter Four: Enjoying yourself in the land of your ancestors

Where to go and what to do
Taking pictures in Germany
Shopping in Germany

Chapter Five: After the trip
Returning home
Annotated Bibliography

A. English-German vocabulary
B. German-English vocabulary
C. Vital records vocabulary
D. Reading German handwritten documents
E. Letters to Germany in preparation for your trip
F. Computer translations
G. Archives games

Useful Addresses

Researching in Germany, A Handbook for Your Visit to the Homeland of Your Ancestors, 2nd Edition; by Roger P. Minert, Shirley J. Riemer, and Susan E. Sirrine; Published 2013; x+271 pp; Soft Cover; Item # M0028; Reg. $19; On sale for $15.20 thru December 25, 2017. Click on the link to order.

Get 30% off by purchasing the Research in Germany Bundle. Reg. $28.95, the bundle is on sale for just $20.27! (+$5.50 p&h) Click here to order.

Heritage Travel: Tips, Tricks & Strategies – 20% Off Thru Dec 25

A short time ago, Lisa A. Alzo and Christine Woodcock wrote a new booklet for Moorshead Magazines entitled: Tracing Your Ancestors – Heritage Travel: Tips, Tricks & Strategies. After reading a PDF review copy, I purchased 10 cases of them to offer to my readers. All genealogists travel at one point or another – some of us more than others. This guide will assist anyone who wishes to plan a trip. Whether doing a genealogy road trip stateside or a trip abroad to your ancestral homeland, this booklet will help you in planning the perfect journey. Written by two experienced genealogy professionals, writers, and travelers, you’re sure to get ideas and tips that you hadn’t even thought about before.

The following is from the Table of Contents, and will give you a pretty good idea of what to expect from the book:

  • Ten Things to know Before You Go: Lisa offer ten suggestions to make the most of your ancestral journey.
  • Awesome Apps for Travelers!: Lisa gives an overview of 17 useful heritage travel tools and apps.
  • Preparing For a Genealogy Trip: Christine says being prepared is the key to a successful journey.
  • Preparation Checklist: Christine recommends a comprehensive list of to-dos to consider before you depart on your journey
  • Preparation Checklist: Christine Woodcock Says being prepared is the key to a successful journey.
  • Speaking Your Ancestor’s Language: Lisa A. Alzo offer tips for conquering colloquialisms and communicating with cousins during a heritage trip.
  • Build An Itinerary in Trello!: Lisa A. Alzo discusses how Trello can help you organize your genealogy and writing projects.
  • Journal Your Journey: Christine Woodcock recommends keeping a journal of your genealogical travel experiences.
  • Meeting Family – Making Memories: Lisa A. Alzo share how to find and make the most of chance encounters with newly found relatives.
  • Immersion Genealogy: Lisa A. Alzo share her thoughts on a more complete way to explore your ancestry.
  • Social History Museums: Christine Woodcock shows how to put your ancestors’ lives into perspective.
  • Expert Guidance: Lisa A. Alzo offers tips on how to hire a tour guide for your trip.
  • Food, Family and Folklore: Lisa A. Alzo shares tips for planning a dream trip to your ancestral homeland.
  • Visiting Cemeteries: Christine Woodcock offers guidance on how to prepare for a visit to your ancestor’s gravesite.
  • After the Tour: Christine Woodcock shares tips on what to do with all that information you collect while on your trip to your ancestral homeland.

Order Tracing Your Ancestors – Heritage Travel: Tips, Tricks & Strategies; by Lisa A. Alzo and Christine Woodcock by clicking on the link. Printed 2017; 66 pp; Soft Cover, Saddle Stapled; ISBN: 978-1-926510-07-1; Item #: MM027; Reg. $9.95 – on sale for $7.96 (+ $4.50 p&h) through December 25.

Ancestry Tourism

Carl Tiedt standing in front of the home his great-grandparents owned in Bergen, Germany, before they emigrated to America in 1883. He doesn’t know why they left.
Carl Tiedt standing in front of the home his great-grandparents owned in Bergen, Germany, before they emigrated to America in 1883. He doesn’t know why they left.

The following excerpt is from an article posted in the July 29, 2016 edition of the New York Times. Written by Amy Zipkin, the article delves into the experiences of those of us who are motivated to travel in search of our ancestor’s residences. It’s a great read.

In April, Sheila Albert, 78, a retired psychotherapist from Santa Rosa, Calif., and her niece, Terry Pew, who is 60, found themselves standing in front of the ruins of a stone house in Ireland where Ms. Albert believes her great-great-grandmother once lived.

“I felt like I came home,” she said.

Ms. Albert, whose ancestors emigrated to the United States during the potato famine of the late 1840s, found the house with the help of a genealogy and touring company called My Ireland Family Heritage, which arranged a two-day tour. It was not the first time the two women had pursued their roots: In 2014, they took a weeklong car trip through Minnesota and Wisconsin, where they toured cemeteries researching their family tree.

America is a nation of immigrants, and as many people age they grow interested in tracing their family heritage and group traditions back to their origins.

Read the full article.

Family Roots Publishing Partners With Heritage Journeys

Patty and I have been involved with genealogy tourism since 1985, having sponsored the annual the Salt Lake Christmas Tour since that time. We have often considered sponsoring other tours, both inside and outside of the the United States. However, we’ve always been too busy to add anything else to our plate.

One of the key professional genealogists who works with us at the Christmas Tour is Stan Lindaas. The man is a fantastic genealogist, and I always enjoy working with him. Well – this last year Stan put together a program called Heritage Journeys. He is now leading small groups to their ancestral homeland. The tours are specifically designed to allow genealogists to visit the very places where their ancestors lived, worked, and played.

Click on the illustration below. Take a look at the video by clicking on the right-arrow, and get all excited. Make this the year that you go home. Contact Heritage Journeys today!


Ellis Island Still Closed After Suffering 59 Million $ in Damage Due to Hurricane Sandy

The following excerpt is from an article by Seth Berkman published in the January 2, 2012 Jewish Daily Forward.

Ellis Island, the historic point of arrival in the United States for more than 12 million European immigrants, has been closed since Hurricane Sandy hit New York Harbor on October 29, and the damage to its museum and other landmark structures will cost millions in repair expenses and lost income.

The National Park Service, which manages the Statue of Liberty National Monument, of which Ellis Island is a part, estimates that the damage to Ellis and Liberty Islands from Sandy will cost $59 million to repair.
Meanwhile, the Islands lose income with each day they are closed.

“We’re missing major revenue streams,” said Peg Zitko, vice president of public relations for the The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, a private not-for-profit group that helps support the national monument.

Read the full article.

30 Free Search Credits Available for ScotlandsPeaple Available with Free Newsletter Signup

AncestralScotland, the Scottish Government and ScotlandsPeople, Scotland’s official online source of genealogical information, are offering 30 FREE search credits at ScotlandsPeople, worth approximately £7GBP (over $11), to folks who sign up for the Ancestral Scotland Newsletter. It’s a tourism promotion, with hopes that if you get their promotional newsletters – and do ancestral research online, that you’ll pack up and go to your ancestral homeland.

I signed up, as I have Scots ancestry, and haven’t ever taken the time to use the website, ScotlandsPeople. The offer gave me an incentive to do so. As far as I can tell, this offer is good through July 15, 2011 – but that’s not obvious on the webpage set up for the offer. I found that information at Now – keep in mind that AncestralScotland has an offer of 10 Credits, worth about £2GBP – that seems to be an ongoing thing to try to get folks onboard for the newsletter. I like the 30 Credit offer better. (grin}

As the website reminds us, researching your Scottish ancestors can be very rewarding, but nothing compares to experiencing first-hand the places they lived and worked. I certainly can’t argue with that. I also know that, the official source of genealogical data for Scotland, is where I can search Scottish Census Records, Births, Deaths, Marriages, Old Parish Records and Wills & Testaments. So I’m looking forward to spending time on the site.

If you are already a registered member of ScotlandsPeople, the offer isn’t available to you. But for everyone else, just click here to register and get your 30 FREE search credits at