Tracing Your Irish Ancestors

“From trade directories, petty sessions, and DNA to Currency, Ships and even Irish-American Soldiers in the US Civil War, we’ll show you the resources you need to find your Irish ancestors!”

That is the splash on the front cover of Tracing Your Irish Ancestors. Moorshead Magazines is the publisher of Your Genealogy Today, Internet Genealogy, and History Magazine. Every so often the company collects the best articles on a particular subject from each of the three magazines and combines them into a special edition. Like the recently reviewed Tracing You English & Scottish Ancestors, Tracing Your Irish Ancestors is one Moorshead’s special genealogical releases.

Produced in 2012, this 66-page special edition features 12 articles relevant to Irish research (a complete article list is provided below). As the cover text states, articles cover a wide variety of topics. Many article are printed with images and sample to get a better feel for the topic. Alan Stewart’s article on Internet-based Irish research covers over 50 websites, with full URLs and a brief summary of each. Page by page, the reader is taken through the various topics covered by each author’s area of expertise.

Family Roots Publishing is offering this publication at 10% off through March 21, 2017.

Even though each article appeared previously in one of Moorshead’s three magazines, before publication articles were updated to ensure source materials and online references were up to date. While some references may change with time, having the source names can help researches find any altered sites usually with some ease.

Whether the research lives in Ireland or is the descendant of an Irish immigrant, the information from these articles is highly relevant. With modern communications, the world seems to shrink more each year. The cost of communicating and accessing documents and records located around the world is faster and cheaper than ever before.



Can You Get a Certificate of Irish Heritage

Hilda McGauley looks at a fun, and informative, way to recognize your Irish heritage

Your Irish Ancestry Online: A Definitive Guide

Alan Stewart goes online in search of the top Internet-based Irish research resources

Online Irish Family History Resources

From Ireland’s local governments and libraries, David A. Norris looks at what is on the ‘Net

The Court of Petty Sessions

David A. Norris looks at Irish court records that might contain many ancestors names

City and Trade Directories

David A. Norris looks at an important resource for researching your Irish roots

Locating the Exact Origin of Your Irish Ancestor

Marie Daly looks at some important resources for researching your Irish ancestor

Six Steps to Research Success: Irish Style!

Brian Michell documents the six crucial steps necessary to reach your online research goal

Ancestors, Ships and the Sea

David A. Norris looks at the online resources available if your Irish ancestor was a sea rover

Ireland’s Money and Your Genealogy

David A. Norris looks at the local currency your Irish ancestor would’ve used

Finding Help With Your Scots-Irish Line

Cindy Thomas looks at the resources available to assist you with your Scots-Irish research

Surnames and Genetics in Ireland

Anthony Adolph explains how ancient surnames and modern genetics make perfect partners

Civil War Soldiers

David A. Norris looks at the resources available if your Irish ancestor fought in the Civil War


Order copies of Tracing Your Irish Ancestors from Family Roots Publishing.

The Family Tree German Genealogy Guide: How To Trace Your Germanic Ancestry In Europe – 30% Off Thru Nov 10, 2016

Family Roots Publishing recently purchase a good stock of Jim Beidler’s The Family Tree German Genealogy Guide. We’re discounting it 30%, making it just $17.49 – through November 10, or while supplies last – whichever comes first. Following is a review of the book:

fnw11As a publisher, I really appreciate reviewing books first capture my eye with clean and clear page design (typesetting). When simple clean fonts are chosen with structured and organized page elements meeting basic design guidelines. When photos, charts, samples, and images stand out on a page as independent elements, but don’t overwhelm the page making it difficult to continue reading, this marks a respect for the reader, making the learning process easier. This clear type of design seems to be a standard at Family Tree Books. Their titles The Family Tree Guidebook To Europe: Your Essential Guide To Trace Your Genealogy In Europe, 2nd Ed. and The Family Tree Problem Solver : Tried And True Tactics For Tracing Elusive Ancestors are great examples. There is a third book published by this group, which we have not previously reviewed but is worth a look, that continues this simple but elegant design model, The Family Tree German Genealogy Guide: How To Trace Your Germanic Ancestry In Europe. Of course, its not all just about the layout. The content matters, and to that we give credit on this new German book to its author, James M. Beidler.

The Family Tree German Genealogy Guide: How To Trace Your Germanic Ancestry In Europeis your standard guide to research German ancestry. According to the cover, this book teaches you how to:

  • “Retrace you 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”

The concepts taught and examples given in this book aren’t necessarily new. However, these ideas, lessons, and tips are relatively thorough and well thought out. Putting this guide into practice in your own Germanic research would be easy, and you are very likely going to find some ideas as new to you. Plus, as a new book, all the resource lists will be fresh and up to date, including any websites.

German research has many unique challenges, which you probably already know. Taking advice from experienced researchers, such as author James M. Beidler, can only help your progress. So, whether you are new to German research, or seasoned in your own right, you may just find something new and useful in The Family Tree German Genealogy Guide: How To Trace Your Germanic Ancestry In Europe.




Part I Linking Your Family Tree to German-Speaking Nations

Chapter 1 Your German-Speaking Heritage

Chapter 2 Identifying the German-Speaking Immigrant

Chapter 3 Pinpointing the Place of Origin

Chapter 4 The history of Germanic Lands

Part 2 Getting to Know the Old Country

Chapter 5 Understanding Germany’s Geography

Chapter 6 Language, Surnames, Given Names

Part 3 Tracing Your Family in German-Speaking Nations

Chapter 7 Civil Registration in Germany

Chapter 8 German Church Records

Chapter 9 German Census and Court Records

Chapter 10 German Military Records

Chapter 11 Printed Records

Chapter 12 German-Speaking Peoples Outside of Germany

Part 4 Advanced Sources and Strategies

Chapter 13 Putting it all Together

Chapter 14 What to Do When You Get Stuck


Understanding German Script

Sample Letters to Request Records

Civil Record Archives in Europe

Church Archives in Germany

U.S. Genealogy Archives and Libraries

Societies: German, Genealogical, & Historical

Publications and Websites



Your own copy of The Family Tree German Genealogy Guide: How To Trace Your Germanic Ancestry In Europe awaits from Family Roots Publishing.

Tracing Your Germanic Ancestors


It’s a pleasure to announce this newest edition to the Tracing Your Ancestors series. I’ve long had an interest in German research, and have written various items on the subject in the past. This last year, I was asked by Ed Zapletal, of Moorshead Magazines, to write a booklet for their Tracing Your Ancestors series. After several stops and starts, I settled in and wrote steadily from March until June 14, when I sent the manuscript off for publication. I’d thought that I had already had much of the copy on hand, but when I began to write, I realized that very little of what I had on hand was fully up-to-date. Much has been added to German research sources and techniques in the last several years. So a lot of new information is to be found in this booklet. German ancestral research represents one of the largest areas of interest in the USA, and I’m proud to be able to make my contribution.

The Following Table of Contents in found in the volume:

  • Finding The Place Of Origin; Locate your Germanic ancestors’ home villages
  • Genealogical “Hail Mary!” Search; Using German surname distribution maps
  • German Maps & Gazetteers; Don’t overlook these important resources
  • Passenger & Immigration Records; Trace your ancestors’ travels to their new homeland
  • Online German Research; We show you the key online resources for researching your Germanic ancestors
  • German Parish & Civil Records; Where to locate the vital records for the birth, marriage, and death of your ancestors
  • German Census Records; We look at where to locate German census records and the best way to access them

Following is a List of Headings and Tables found throughout the book. I haven’t attempted to include the subheadings.

  • Cousins and Finding the Place of Origins in Family Papers
  • Find Your Ancestor’s Place of Origin in Books and Newspapers
  • Immigration and Naturalization Records and Passenger Lists Used for Place of Origin
  • Place of Origin Found in American Church Records
  • Place of Origin Found in Federal, State and County Records
  • Place of Origin Found Through Other Online Sources
  • Geogen Surname Mapping
  • Namensforschung
  • German Surname Maps
  • Why Maps and Gazetteers?
  • Places with the Same Name
  • Anglicization of German Place Names
  • Name Variations Due to Border Changes
  • Maps for Many Purposes
  • What you will find in German Maps & Facts for Genealogy
  • Online Maps and Gazetteers
  • Meyers Orts- Gazetteer
  • Immigrants Often Traveled With Friends
  • Early Colonial Passenger Lists
  • Philadelphia Was the Arrival Port – Southwest Germany Was the Homeland
  • Why go to America? (Up Until 1850)
  • Passenger Lists Beginning in 1820
  • Why Go to America? (From 1850 to 1860)
  • Passenger Lists Beginning in 1850 – The Port of Bremen
  • Table of Online Indexed Passenger Ship Lists
  • Internet Access to the Hamburg Passenger Lists, 1850-1834
  • Microfilm Access to the Hamburg Passenger Lists
  • Interpreting Column Headers in the Hamburg Passenger Lists
  • Port of Le Havre, France
  • Castle Garden 1855-1890
  • The Barge Office
  • Ellis Island 1892-1954
  • Canadian Passenger Lists, 1865-1935
  • Naturalization Records
  • Manumission Records
  • German Databases
  • Indexed Databases at
  • Browsable Databases at
  • International Genealogical Index (IGI) Online
  • Using for German Ancestry Research
  • Free Records at [Over 700 Databases!]
  • Other German Databases Found at
  • American Records Dealing with Germans found at
  • Translating Online German Websites
  • Ortsfamilienbücher – Town Genealogies
  • 30 Helpful Online German Research Resources
  • You Have the Place – Now Where Did They attend Church?
  • Using the Map Guide to German Parish Registers
  • Researching Protestant German Church Records at
  • Timeline For German Church & Civil Vital Records Research
  • Civil Registration of Vital Records
  • Guide to Terminology Used in German Vital Records
  • Words Commonly found in German Vital Records with English Equiv.
  • Words Meaning Cause of Death, Illnesses & Diseases in German Vital Records
  • Understanding Latin, Symbols, & Abbreviations found in Parish Records
  • Months or Signs of the Zodiac Found in Church Records
  • Symbols found in Parish Registers
  • German Abbreviations Found in Parish Registers
  • Censuses of the German States & Free Cities – From 1816 to 1864, 1867 National & 1871-1916 Federal [with a listing of all German census years by state or free city from 1816 to 1916]

This book is also available in PDF format.

Tracing Your Germanic Ancestors; by Leland K. Meitzler from the Publishers of Your Genealogy Today, Internet Genealogy & History Magazine; 2016; 8.5×11; saddle-stapled; 66 pp; Item #: FR0121; Regularly $9.95; on sale for 15% off for a limited time: Just $8.46

Please note that we’re also running a bundle promotion on this volume, as well as the new German Census Records 1816-1916 at 20% off, and an additional $4.50 postage savings through the sale period. Click on this link to purchase the bundle (for a total savings of $13.48). Click here to read the blog about the bundle promotion.

Flash Sale – 20% off select Family Tree Books

The following books are all on sale at 20% off, through July 5 or while supplies last.

The Family Tree Polish, Czech And Slovak Genealogy Guide, How to Trace Your Family Tree in Eastern Europe; by Lisa A Alzo

Trace Your German Roots Online, A Complete Guide to German Genealogy Websites; by James M Beidler

Unofficial Guide to, How to Find Your Family History on the No. 1 Genealogy Website; by Nancy Hendrickson

The Family Tree Historical Maps Book, A State-by-State Atlas of US History, 1790-1900; by Allison Dolan

The Family Tree Historical Maps Book – Europe, A Country-by-Country Atlas of European History, 1700s-1900s; by Allison Dolan

How to Archive Family Photos, A Step-by-Step Guide to Organize and Share Your Photos Digitally; by Denise May Levenick

Unofficial Guide to, How to Find Your Family History on the Largest Free Genealogy Website; by Dana Mccullough

The Family Tree Problem Solver: Tried and True Tactics for Tracing Elusive Ancestors; by Marsha Hoffman Rising

The Genealogist’s U.S. History Pocket Reference: Quick Facts and Timelines of American History to Help Understand Your Ancestors; by Nancy Hendrickson

The Family Tree German Genealogy Guide: How to Trace Your Germanic Ancestry in Europe; by James Beidler

Family Tree Pocket Reference, 2nd Edition; by Diane Haddad

From the Family Kitchen, Discover Your Food Heritage and Preserve Favorite Recipes; by Gena Philibert-Ortega

The Family Tree Guidebook to Europe: Your Essential Guide to Trace Your Genealogy in Europe; by Allison Dolan

New FamilySearch Database Collections Update as of May 2, 2016


Millions of new US an international records this week including Philippines Civil Registration (National) 1945-1984, New Zealand Archives New Zealand Probate Records 1843-1998, Massachusetts Town Clerk Vital and Town Records 1626-2001, France Saône-et-Loire Military Conscriptions 1867-1940, Russia Tatarstan Church Books 1721-1939, Paraguay Catholic Church Records 1754-2015, and Ukraine Kyiv Orthodox Consistory Church Book Duplicates 1734-1920. Find these and more by following the links below.


France Saône-et-Loire Military Conscriptions 1867-1940 – 244,795 – 0 – New indexed records collection
Lesotho Evangelical Church Records 1874-1983 – 0 – 20,396 – New browsable image collection.
New Brunswick Saint John Saint John Burial Permits 1889-1919 – 0 – 13,902 – New browsable image collection.
New Zealand Archives New Zealand Probate Records 1843-1998 – 10,511 – 363,839 – Added images to an existing collection
New Zealand Auckland Waikumete Cemetery Records 1886-1948 – 27,054 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Ontario County Marriage Registers 1858-1869 – 0 – 9,447 – New browsable image collection.
Paraguay Catholic Church Records 1754-2015 – 397,638 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Peru Lambayeque Civil Registration 1873-1998 – 339,222 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Peru Puno Civil Registration 1890-2005 – 0 – 248,882 – Added images to an existing collection
Philippines Civil Registration (National) 1945-1984 – 0 – 1,741,178 – Added images to an existing collection
Russia Tatarstan Church Books 1721-1939 – 0 – 444,585 – Added images to an existing collection
Russia Tver Church Books 1722-1918 – 0 – 905 – Added images to an existing collection
Ukraine Kyiv Orthodox Consistory Church Book Duplicates 1734-1920 – 0 – 205,216 – Added images to an existing collection

United States Databases

Arkansas Ex-Confederate Pension Records 1891-1939 – 172,347 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
California Fresno and Napa Counties Obituaries 1974-1997 – 65,850 – 76,098 – New indexed records and images collection
Iowa Church and Civil Marriages 1837-1989 – 13,474 – 0 – New indexed records collection
Iowa County Marriages 1838-1934 – 67,489 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Massachusetts Town Clerk Vital and Town Records 1626-2001 – 472,449 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Massachusetts Town Records ca. 1638-1961 – 58,412 – 87,781 – New indexed records and images collection
Michigan Church Marriages 1865-1931 – 2,303 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Michigan County Marriages 1820-1940 – 62,733 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
New Hampshire Birth Certificates 1901-1909 – 104,327 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Pennsylvania Grand Army of the Republic Membership Records 1865-1936 – 14,100 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
South Carolina Deaths 1915-1965 – 157,759 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

In Search of Your GERMAN ROOTS: A Complete Guide to Tracing Your Ancestors in the Germanic Areas of Europe

gpc396In the United States, more people can trace their ancestry to Germanic roots than any other national or ethnic background. However, having a German ancestor does not mean that ancestor came from what constitutes modern day Germany. Throughout history, German speaking people lived throughout Europe, “from the Baltic to the Crimea, from the Czech Republic to Belgium.” Over time, identifying and researching archives and resources has become easier, but guidance and insight is always welcome.

Helping other search their own German ancestors, is why Angus Baxter wrote In Search of Your GERMAN ROOTS: A Complete Guide to Tracing Your Ancestors in the Germanic Areas of Europe. Since its first printing in 1987, this guide has tried to facilitate the research process by identifying archives and resources and helping researchers correspond with the managing organizations.

In the introduction, the author made this comment in describing the purpose of this book: “As you turn the pages of this book you will learn about the history of the German people; yo will find out what resources are available; and you will find out where to locate these sources of information.” Stated plainly, this should be the purpose of any genealogical research guide. In authoring In search of Your GERMAN ROOTS, Baxter keeps focus on this purpose, not wasting words or pages, but imparting highly valuable guidance in only 125 pages.

Now in its fifth edition, and with the increased access to research via the Internet, this guide takes a strong roll in guiding readers to finding resources online, handles easily from home. Correspondence and research requests are still key to success, but today email is more common than letters or phone call, and online accessible databases reduce the amount of leg work involved in finding and identifying records.

“This edition of the book highlights all of the recent developments—new facilities, new websites, newly available records—that have made German family history research immeasurably easier.”

Here are just a few of the ‘developments’ in recent years that are covered inside this book:

  • Kirchenbuchportal, a new Internet portal to German church records
  • Availability of online Jewish records from Landesarchiv Daden-Wuerttemerg (previously only available by visiting the archive in Stuttgard)
  • Online access to approximately 2,000 historic German-language newspapers
  • Easier access to vital records in Germany due to a change in privacy laws
  • and so much more…

Angus Baxter authored this book and made all the changes to its second and third editions. After passing in 2005, his daughter Susan Baxter updated the book for its forth edition. This new completely updated and revised fifth edition was by Marian Hofffman. To this fifth edition Susan Baxter added this heartfelt dedication to her father, indirectly acknowledging what we can all feel in reward to dedicated family history research:

“All my life I have known exactly where I come from; not just the town of my birth, but the roots and lives of my ancestors. I know the roads they walked, the fields they farmed, and the sheep they sold at market. I have even seen the houses where some of them lived This is entirely because of my father, Angus Baxter, and his passion for genealogy. The contentment it has brought me is beyond measure. I am so lucky to have had the parents I did. My father loved life and he loved his family. My mother, my daughter, and I all basked in this love. Thank you, Daddy. I miss you.”



Chapter 1: Starting the Search

Chapter 2: The Germans and Germany

Chapter 3: The Records of FamiliySearch

Chapter 4: Jewish Records

Chapter 5: Church Records

Chapter 6: Immigration

Chapter 7: Vital and Other Records

Chapter 8: Archives in Germany

Chapter 9: Genealogical Associations in Germany

Chapter 10: German Genealogical Associations in North America

Chapter 11: Online Resources

Chapter 12: Continuation




In Search of Your GERMAN ROOTS: A Complete Guide to Tracing Your Ancestors in the Germanic Areas of Europe is available from Family Roots Publishing (just click the book title to order)


Comments made about previous editions of this book:

“The book contains numerous lists: lists of churches, dates and lists of time periods for people who migrated to Russia, state, city, and parish archives (Protestant and Catholic), and in addition to the associations in North America, Mr. Baxter has provided a list of genealogical societies in Europe. . . . In Search of Your German Roots will most definitely provide you with a very comprehensive guide to locating your German ancestor. It is an orderly description and you need to use it in an orderly manner to gain the greatest benefit.”

German Genealogical Society of America (Jan/Feb 1996)

“This edition is an update of the original edition published in 1985, and it therefore includes details of changes brought about by the reunification of Germany. It contains German addresses with the new five-digit postal code and covers changes in local government, the locations of record offices, and record-keeping practices. Baxter’s work is recommended for public library collections as well as genealogy collections in academic libraries.”

American Reference Books Annual, 1995


Swiss and German Pioneer Settlers of Southeastern Pennsylvania — 50% OFF

gpc1700History is the key to our future. You have heard this before. However, history is also the key to our past. You have probably heard this before as well.

Understanding at least some of the general history; including government, laws, religion, economy, along with specific events; of where your ancestors came from is necessary to finding records for your ancestors, but also critical to understanding your ancestor and the lives they led. You probably already know this as well.

So, for those of you with German and Swiss ancestors in early America, who can appreciate the value of history, here is a history book worthy of your time: Historic Background and Annals of the Swiss and German Pioneer Settlers of Southeastern Pennsylvania, and of Their Remote Ancestors.

Compiled originally in 1917 by H. Frank Eshleman, this book examines “an authentic history, from original sources,” the leading events during “several centuries before and especially during the two centuries following the Protestant Reformation,” as these relate to the lives of early Swill and Palatine Mennonites and other Germans of eastern Pennsylvania, and particularly of Lancaster County.

Annals in this book are presented chronologically, beginning as early as 1009 with “Earliest Authentic Appearance of the Herrs” and progressing forward through 1782. These pages document the lives and the migrations of thousands seeking religious freedom and salvation from persecution throughout Europe, and ultimately the drive west across the ocean to settle in mass in the areas of the Susquehanna and Schuylkill valleys and outward from there.

There are two indices in this book. The first serves is an index of items which servers as something of a non-chronological, but alphabetical table of contents. The second is an index of personal names. There are 19 1/2 pages of names listed for an estimated 1800+ surnames for individuals and families.

If your family history includes colonial period German and/or Swiss ancestry, then Historic Background and Annals of the Swiss and German Pioneer Settlers of Southeastern Pennsylvania, and of Their Remote Ancestors may very well be the book you need to read. Available from Family Roots Publishing. Now on Sale, 50% OFF through Thanksgiving, 2015.




Researching Irish Genealogy at the Library of Congress Primer

Irish Central just posted an nice little article on its site titled How to research your Irish genealogy using the Library of Congress. Here is an except:

Starting your research on Irish genealogy can be a daunting task. Where do I start? Where are the best places to look? What kind of information can lead me on the path to my ancestors?

The list of possible places where you could find information on your family is long but luckily, the Library of Congress (the research library that officially serves the United States Congress) has put together this small but useful referencing guide to help you get out of the blocks and begin researching Irish genealogy and local Irish history.

This reference guide will give you at least a place to start in researching your family history.
This reference guide will give you at least a place to start in researching your family history. Photo by: Public Domain / WikiCommons

Although the library admit that it is far from a comprehensive list, and as you get further into your research you may need to look to more specific resources, the guide acts as a great starter aid to get you over that intimidating first hurdle: working up the courage to start.

Not only can the aid be used within the Library of Congress but any other large library is likely to hold the same content as listed below.The Library of Congress will help you fill out your family tree. Image: Getty images.

Here are some of the Library’s suggestions:

1. Handbooks

Although some of them are now quite dated, there have been a number of handbooks published that aim to guide you through the genealogy research process. The LOC recommends “Pocket guide to Irish genealogy” (1991) by Brian Mitchell or “Irish family history” (1990) by Marilyn Yurdan among others.

READ the Full Article

Tracing Your Italian Ancestors

mm018Moorshead Magazines is the publisher of Family Chronicle, and Internet Genealogy. Every so often the company collects the best articles on a particular subject from each of the three magazines and combines them into a special edition. Like the recently reviewed Tracing You English & Scottish Ancestors, and Tracing Your Irish Ancestors, Tracing Your Italian Ancestors is one Moorshead’s special genealogical releases.

“Millions of Italians in search of a better life migrated to the Americas during ta period that spanned from about 1860 to the beginning of the Great War. The documented trail created by this massive migration is extensive, and forms the basis for a very good collection of genealogical records, both here in North America and in Italy.”

To help further your education in finding and understanding the variety of documents available on these Italian immigrants, Moorshead turned to two experts on Italian research, Marcia Iannizzi Melnyk and Mary M. Tedesco, to put together this special edition publication.

From records and research basics to experiencing your ‘ancestral homeland,’ topics focus on locating, accessing, and understanding records while focusing on “local” records before resorting to searching foreign (“ancestral homeland”) records.

12 articles in 84 detail-packed pages makes this 2015 publication a relative bargain for the those searching for their Italian ancestors. A complete contents list of articles can be found below.

About the Authors:

Marcia Iannizzi Melnyk is a professional genealogist with over 25 years experience teaching genealogy courses all over the U.S. and Canada. She created and taught for the Genealogy 101 program. She has authored four books in addition to articles for journals and genealogical magazines. She is the President and founding member of The Italian Genealogical Society of America.

Mary M. Tedesco is also a professional genealogist, author, and speaker. She is also the season 2 genealogist on the PBS series “Genealogy Roadshow.” In addition to her formal education, Tedesco also carries a Certificate in Genealogical Research from Boston University’s Center for Professional Education. She is also a member of several local and national genealogical societies and is a board member of the Massachusetts Genealogical Council.


Italian Research Basics

Marcia Iannizzi Melnyk shares strategies and available resources to help you get started in your search

Home And Family Records

Marcia Iannizzi Melnyk looks at the importance of talking to your oldest relatives to see what they can add to your research

Naturalization Records

Marcia Iannizzi Melnyk looks at one of the most important records you will need for your Italian research

Passenger Manifests

Marcia Iannizzi Melnyk looks at the records available to help trace your ancestors’ travels to their new homeland

Microfilm And Online Records

Marcia Iannizzi Melnyk explains what you can discover in microfilm and online image resources

Planning A Research Trip To Italy

Mary M. Tedesco offers tips for success and suggestions for repositories you shouldn’t miss

Understanding Italian Civil Records

Mary M. Tedesco looks at why civil records are an important part of Italian genealogy research

Roman Catholic Church Records

Mary M. Tedesco shines a light on the various resources available from the Roman Catholic Church

Italian Notary Records

Mary M. Tedesco reveals why these records are the best source for adding context to a family’s life

Italian Military Records

Mary M. Tedesco looks at Italian military records for your family history research

Children Born to Unwed Parents in Italy

Mary M. Tedesco offers strategies for researching children born to unwed parents in Italy

Visiting Italian Ancestral Villages

Mary M. Tedesco shows us why it’s important to experience your ancestral homeland

Order copies of Tracing Your Italian Ancestors from Family Roots Publishing.

Tracing Your Mayo Ancestors, 2nd Edition – On Sale for 15% off thru Sept. 1


Tracing Your Mayo Ancestors has been out of stock in the FRPC warehouse for some time. We just got a new stock in and FRPC is making it available for 15% off through Sept. 1, 2015.

The entire Irish county research series of “Tracing Your Ancestors” and “Finding Your Ancestors” was created to help researchers both at home [Ireland] and abroad trace their family tree on a county by county basis. Essentially, each book in the series provides a listing of record and document resources within the given county. Each county has its own rich history, with a variety of key settlers, like the Normans, the Vikings, and other groups establishing the first communities and towns. With so many Irish descendents living outside the country, having a county by county resource could prove the very thing needed for finding one’s family in Ireland.

Mayo county sits on the northwest coast and is the second largest county in Ireland. The entire county’s population is around 124,000, down over 215,000 since 1841. Its heritage is a mixture of native Gaelic, Norman, and immigrant Gaelic from Northern Ireland; plus, the normal mixture, if in small numbers, of other ethnic groups from other places.

According to the author, “Mayo, like many other western Irish counties does not have a rich store of records. Therefore it is important that the full range of sources available are used effectively. These sources vary widely in their genealogical content…” This book lists available records of genealogical interest, with details about each source, their location, and reference.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1. Introduction

Chapter 2. How to Use This Book

Chapter 3. Administrative Divisions

Chapter 4. Civil Registration

Chapter 5. Census and Census Substitutes

Chapter 6. Church Records

Chapter 7. Wills, Administration and Marriage Licenses

Chapter 8. Land Records

Chapter 9. Commercial and Social Directions

Chapter 10. Newspapers

Chapter 11. Gravestone Inscriptions

Chapter 12. Surnames, Family Names and Histories

Chapter 13. Mayo in 1789

Chapter 14. Further Reading

Chapter 15. Library, Archives and Society Addresses


Order Tracing Your Mayo Ancestors from Family Roots Publishing; Item #: FLP017; Sale Price: $16.96 – Reg. $18.95.

The First Wave: German Immigration to America – 15% Off Thru August 3, 2015

hbt0797Since Columbus introduced (or re-introduced if you prefer) the Americas to Europe, people have come, wave after wave, seeking a new life in the rich new world. America, since its colonial days, has experienced an almost never ending flow of immigrants. There are at least four identifiable time periods in which “waves” of people came from all over the world. There are also “waves” of people who came in mass from specific countries or areas. For example, most of the earliest colonists came from England. During the Great Depression people came in droves from all over Europe and the world. Masses of Irish came during and after the Great Famine. Some of the most overlooked, yet largest waves of immigrants, were the Germans. German Immigration to America: The First Wave examines those Germans who immigrated during the colonial period.

Germans were among the earliest colonist to the Americas. They are also one of the cultural groups who came in waves of mass migrations repeatedly over the years. 1708 saw the beginnings of the first major wave of German immigration. This book looks into the history of this important migration event. The book examines why such a large population of Germans immigrated suddenly, and in such numbers. The Germans brought with them many important trades and skills. Over the years, their contributions to the United States have often gone unrecognized and unrewarded, but their contributions were nonetheless of great value. The book’s introduction comments on  Germans contribution to this country. It also provides some background to the German areas of Europe, and introduces the bulk of the book.

Beyond the introduction, this books is actually the compilation of two separate works which examine the German population that made up this “first wave.” The first chapters is a copy of “The German Exodus to England in 1709,” by Frank Reid Diffenderffer. The pages appear as they did in the Pennsylvania German Society Proceedings and Addresses 7 (1897). There are 156 pages in this section, numbered as they appeared in the aforementioned work, pages 247 to 413. The official contents (from the contents page) for the section are listed below. However, the subsections and page titles give a better look into the actual content. Here are just some of the extra titles to look for in this section of the book:

  • German Exodus to England in 1709
  • Inquiry into their Coming
  • Forwarded at the Queen’s Expense
  • Royal Proclamation
  • The Edict of Nantes
  • Immigration Attributed to the Act
  • Catholics Sent Back
  • The Germans Issue an Address
  • Occupations of the Germans
  • Narcissus Luttrell’s Diary
  • Proposals Received from Ireland
  • The Linen Industry Established
  • Thrifty, Hones, and Prosperous

The second work cited is “The German Emigration to America,” by Henry Eyster Jacobs. Jacobs work appeared in the Pennsylvania German Society Proceedings and Addresses 8 (1898), pages 31 to 150. Like the other section of the book, this section’s subtitles add additional insight to the contents not clear from the official contents as listed below. Here are some of the subtitles:

  • Inducement to Settlers
  • Description of the Carolinas
  • Cost of the Voyage
  • Value of Boehme’s Service
  • Contract with Emigrants
  • Hebron Ev. Lutheran Church
  • Covenant of the Palatines
  • Trebecco’s Sermon
  • Piratical Depredations
  • Fatalities on Shipboard
  • Refuge in Prayer
  • Trouble with Governor Hunter
  • Germans at the Front
  • They Secure More Land
  • Mistaken Views
  • Continued Immigration

The books introduction put forth that many Germans indicated “the French ravages in 1707″ as a key reason for leaving Germany. Military aggression in the German states was high at the time Germans began leaving the area in mass. This, and so many other reasons, are explored throughout the pages of this book. Either way, it is clear that Germans were among the first and largest group of immigrants to the United States and with them came vital skills and a heavy cultural influence.


Contents for “The German Exodus to England in 1709″


1. Immigration Begins

2. The German Exodus to England in 1709

3. Causes Leading to the Exodus

4. The Stay in England

5. The German Colony in Ireland

6. Conclusion

7. Cost of Maintaining These Germans



Contents for ” The German Emigration to America”

1. The Effort to Turn German Emigration to South Carolina

2. The Immediate Results of Kocherthal’s Pamphlet

3. The Palatine Emigration to New York

4. On the Ocean

5. In New York

6. To Pennsylvania


Order German Immigration to America: The First Wave from Family Roots Publishing. Sale Price $26.35; Reg. $31.00

Across the Atlantic and Beyond: The Migration of German & Swiss Immigrants to America – 15% Off Thru August 3, 2015

Across the Atlantic and Beyond: The Migration of German and Swiss Immigrants to America is an attempt to explain the genealogical mysteries associated with so many immigrant families. Why are there so many different spelling changes for family names? What drove people to move around? What factors contributed to the turbulent environment so many lived in? What was life like on the move? These questions are examined through the stories of two men and their descendants as they immigrated form place to place, and with a review of other historical factors considered to have been key elements in the politically, religiously, and economically difficult times endured by so many.

Across the Atlantic and Beyond opens and closes with a family story. The first is the tale of Gerrit Hendricks(ca. 1649-1691) and three generations of his migratory descendents. The final chapter concludes by counting the tale of Jacob Marzolf (1780-1870), an American immigrant. The intermediate chapters takes the reader through a step-by-step analysis of how these family histories were derived and the motivation behind these families migratory patterns. Genealogist encounter many frustrations and difficulties in their research. Name changes, plus map and border changes, are just a couple of the problems one may encounter in researching their immigrant ancestors. As to why people move from place to place, he obvious answer is war, famine, and disease. However, the author, Charles R. Haller, digs deeper looking for a root cause, or a collection of changes which moved the political and economic landscape.

The inner chapters of this book examines events such as the development of the moveable type printing press, the Reformation as begun by Martin Luther and advent of religious sects outside of the Catholic church, as well as the effects of industrialization. Many names are encountered withing this study. “As a necessary diversion, the changes in spelling of representative Germanic names is documented through various family histories from its origin in a European country to its modern occurrence, often Anglicized, in America.” In addition to all the above, the book gives an account of transportation in and around the Rhine River. Transportation along this major thoroughfare is examined from the earliest use to the time of steamboats.


Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

List of Tables




Part 1: Gerritt Hendricks of Krisheim, Germany

Part 2: Changes in German Surnames and Personal Names

  • Hendriks and Hendricks
  • Surnames and Personal Names
  • Mechanics of Name changes
  • Heinrich Buchholtz alias Henry Pookeholes

Part 3: Changes in City and Village Names

  • City and Village Names
  • Griesheim / Krisheim / Kriegsheim
  • Old European Maps
  • Early American Maps

Part 4: Mennonites, Quakers and the Settlement of Pennsylvania

  • The Wandering Menno Simons
  • The Beginnings of English Quakerism
  • William Penn’s Travels in Europe
  • Early german Quakers: A Small Minority
  • The Frankfort Companie
  • Germantown and the Susquehanna Subscribers

Part 5: Protestantism and books: Driving Forces Behind the German Migration

  • Mainz and Gutenberg
  • Frankfurt and the Book Fair
  • Martin Luther and the Book Wars
  • The Froschauer Presses of Zurich
  • Matthaus Merian and the House of Merian
  • The Rhine Travel Guides

Part 6: The Push and the Pull

  • The German Americans
  • The Land of Wars
  • Of Kings and Queens and Lesser Nobility
  • The Rhine as a Migration Route
  • Across the Atlantic and Beyond
  • Bridging the Prairies of Kansas

Part 7: Jacob Marzolf and Alsace




Across the Atlantic and Beyond: The Migration of German and Swiss Immigrants to America is available from Family Roots Publishing; Item #: HBH0697, Sale Price: $29.75; Reg. $35.00.

Ohio’s German Heritage – 15% off Thru July 23, 2015

Germans make up the second largest ethnic group in the United States, second only to the English. Over the years, groups of Germans migrated in waves, the first wave coming during the colonial period. German influence and settlements spread from the colonies outward. Ohio’s German Heritage looks at the influence of German immigrants in the area that now comprises Ohio.

The book provided an historical brief on Germans in Ohio through the following five time periods:

  • The colonial period, or time prior to the American Revolution
  • The New Republic; until 1830
  • The mass migration and settlement period; from 1831 to World War I
  • The world wars period
  • The ethnic period; the later 20th century

In addition to the history provided in each chapter, there is also a list of other readings and relevant materials the reader can choose to find and read on their own.


Table of Contents



The Colonial Period

The New Republic

Mass Immigration and Settlement

The World Wars Period

The Roots and Ethnic Revival Period



Select Bibliography



Ohio’s German Heritage is available from Family Roots Publishing; Item #: HBT2035, Price: $9.35; Reg. $11.00.

German Studies part of Pre-Conference day of events

Press release from NGS:


German Studies: Understanding German Records and Methodology will be held on Tuesday, 12 May 2015, during the Pre-Conference day of events.

More Americans claim German ancestry than any other nationality. If you are one of those researchers with German ancestry, do not miss this singular opportunity to expand your knowledge and research capabilities. This German Studies seminar features three nationally known German speakers, Warren Bittner, CG, Baerbel Johnson, AG, and Carol Whitton, CG, discussing topics to help further your German research.

History affected an ancestor’s decision to leave Germany.  Learn key historical facts for various time periods and the events in which your ancestor may have participated.  You will want to attend if you need assistance with:

  • Finding an ancestor’s village of origin
  • Breaking through a brick wall
  • Learning about German administrative organizations
  • Locating maps
  • Understanding territorial changes
  • Contacting  German Archives
  • Thinking-outside-the-box suggestions

8:00    Doors open
8:30    “Finding a Town of Origin” (Baerbel Johnson)
9:45    “German Historical Maps and Territories” (Warren Bittner)
11:00    “Finding the Correct German Archives” (Carol Whitton)
12:00     Lunch
1:00    “Strategies for Solving German Research Problems” (Baerbel Johnson)
2:15    “German History Makes a Difference” (Warren Bittner)

Price is $110, and includes lunch.
To register, go to 
Registration is limited so register early!