m0028For many, the possibility of a genealogical research trip to the home country of their ancestors is a lifelong dream. You can come up with many excuses not to go, but most can really be summarized as fear. With the new second, revised and updated, edition of Researching in Germany: A Handbook for Your Visit to the Homeland of Your Ancestors – Second Edition you can put your fears and any other excuse you have behind you. Authors Roger P. Minert, Shirley J. Riemer, and Susan E. Sirrine offer up decades of experience to help anyone with German ancestry prepare for a research trip to the motherland.

Here are just some of the ways this book can help you on a trip to the home of your German ancestors:

  • Planning trip finances
  • Research tips and tools
  • Writing emails to Germany
  • Using the telephone
  • Locating needed records
  • Eating out
  • Making appointments
  • Visiting the Antiquariat
  • Visiting churches and cemeteries
  • Finding places to stay

There is much more than these few resources and hints to be found in this guide. Ideas cover every aspect of a trip from planning and financing, selecting places to visit and stay, communication and even going out to dinner. More importantly are the tips and suggestions for conducting research. The authors have collectively made dozens of trips to Germany. Their experience shows as they seek to remove any fears and concerns the potential traveler may have. With this guide there are few reasons (mostly unforeseeable natural disasters) that should keep any researcher from having a successful trip. Look at the contents below to get an even better idea of all this book offers.

 

Contents

Introductions

Chapter One: Preparing for your visit to the land of your ancestors

  • Reasons and goals for the trip
  • Identifying the ancestral home town
  • 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 your passport
  • Making your travel plans
    • Air travel
    • Car rentals for travel in Germany
    • Trains
  • Lodging
  • Documents, literature, and equipment needed for conducting family history research in Germany
    • Documents and printed materials to prepare for the trip
    • Computer preparations
  • Non-research material 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 in the land of your ancestors

  • Landing at the airport in Germany
  • You and your money in Germany
    • Need cash?
    • Credit cards
    • Travelers 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 the rail pass
    • Handling luggage
    • Conveniences on board
    • Which is your stop?
    • Before leaving the train station
  • Taking a taxi
  • Using other public tranportation
  • Tourist information
    • Finding a room
    • Gathering local information
    • Checking out the Antiquariat
  • Sleeping accommodations in Germany
    • Rooms in private homes
    • The Gasthaus, the Gasthof, and the Pension
    • Vacation apartments
    • Hotels
  • Restaurants in Germany
    • Water: A problem for Americans
  • Telling time in Europe
  • Post office service in Germany
    • Basic services and products
    • Shipping extra items
    • Filling out postal forms
  • Telecommunications in Germany
      • Public telephones
      • Private telephones
      • Other communication options
  • Dealing with emergencies

Chapter Tree: Conducting family history research in the land of your ancestors

  • Research at specific locations in Germany
    • The parish office
    • 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-Lorraine, France (Elsass-Lothringen)
    • Austria (Osterreich)
    • Bohemian and Moravia, Czech Republic (Bohmen und Mahren)
    • Liechtenstein
    • Luxembourg
    • Poland
    • Slovenia (Sowenien, Slovenija)
    • Switzerland (Schweiz)
  • Research facilities in Europe: seven examples
    • Estorf, Germany: Estorf Lutheran Church
    • Hannover, Germany: Landeskirchenamt, Kirchenbuchamt
    • Basel, Switzerland: Staatsarchiv des Kantons Basel-Stadt
    • Vienna, Austria: Zur Allerheiligsten Dreifaltigkeit
    • Graz, Austria: Diozesanarchiv
    • Plzen, Czech Republic: Stani Oblastni Archiv
    • Ljubljana, Slovenia: Nadskofiski Arhiv
  • 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

Appendices

A English-German vocabulary

B German-English vocabulary

C Vital records vocabulary

D Reading German handwritten church records

E Letters to Germany in preparation for the trip

F Computer Translations

G Archive Games

Index

Useful addresses

 

Researching in Germany: A Handbook for Your Visit to the Homeland of Your Ancestors – Second Edition is available from Family Roots Publishing, Price: 18.62.