“All research in Germany depends on locating the birthplace of an ancestor.” At least, that is the opinion of Fay S. Dearden, as I am sure it is with many others. Despite the wide variety of resources available online and through libraries like the Family History Library, the Meyers Orts Gazetteer remains an important resource to finding places in the old German Empire. The gazetteer lists roughly 200,000 locations.
Meyers Orts was published in 1912, printed in old Gothic typeface. Understanding Meyers Orts: Translating Guide for the Directory of the Towns and Places in the German Empire, by Fay S. Dearden, is effectively a manual to understanding and reading this old gazetteer. This spiral-bound guide demonstrates how to read Meyers Orts entries as well as understanding, translating, the old Gothic script. The majority of the book demonstrates letters and abbreviations as found throughout the book, listed here in alphabetical order. For each entry there is a sample of the old script, a modern typeface copy plus the entry’s meaning in both German and English.
One important note, the Gothic used in Meyers differs form other Gothic alphabets. Plus, there is a specific advantage to having a single resources dedicated to a single resource if you intent to make use of the Meyer Orts Gazetteer.
Meyers Orts – A Directory of Place Names
The Gothic Typeface Used in Meyers
How to Read Meyers Orts Entries
Common Abbreviations used in the Meyers Orts Gazetteer
Understanding Meyers Orts: Translating Guide for the Directory of the Towns and Places in the German Empire is available from Family Roots Publishing, Price: $7.84.
Copies of Meyers Orts- und Verkehrs-Lexikon des Deutschen Reichs: With Researcher’s Guide and Translation of the Introduction, Instruction for the Use of the Gazetteer are also available from Family Roots Publishing. [Click here to read a review]