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.

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