FRPC GENEALOGY NEWSLETTER – Vol. 1 #4 – September 21, 2009 – Finding the Place of Origin for Your Ancestor in Germany
This is the fourth newsletter published by Family Roots Publishing. Enjoy!
The FREE FRPC Genealogy Newsletter (FRPC standing for Family Roots Publishing Company) contains genealogy-related tips, news, links, and product information. This is an “opt-in” newsletter. You are receiving it because you may have signed up for it at the Family Roots Publishing Company home page (upper left-hand corner), and/or purchased product from Family Roots Publishing Company (either online by phone, mail, or at a conference/seminar) recently.
FINDING THE PLACE OF ORIGIN FOR YOUR ANCESTOR IN GERMANY
As most of you know, Patty and I publish the “Map Guide to German Parish Registers” series of books that show in map form how the churches lay out in Germany about the time of Confederation in 1871. These books become extremely helpful at the point where the researcher has nailed down a specific area in Germany where their ancestor may have lived prior to Immigration. As with research in the United States, once we know the place, everything else can fall into place.
Before you begin your search – remember the #1 rule in genealogy – That being “Treat all your ancestor’s and their siblings as equals.” What goes for your great -grandfather, also applies to his siblings. The siblings’ records may be the ones that give you the place of origin.
The following places are the first places you will want to look. The list is by no means exhaustive. Chances are that only 1 out of 10 sources of your ancestors’ birthplaces will be specific enough to help you jump the ocean to the Parish in which your people lived. However, check them all out. Leave no source “unturned.”
1. Letters and family memorabilia – these may be in the care of your parents, aunts & uncles, nieces & nephews (including all the greats) or your cousins. Anyone descended from the immigrant ancestors may have these documents. The first thing you need to do is to contact all family members – and query them about old letters and documents they may possess. While waiting to get replies from these folks (and that may be fast considering email and all), check the following sources:
2. Federal Census Records – (1850-1930) found online principally at Ancestry.com, and Heritage Quest Online; with additional records now coming online at FamilySearch.org. See: < http://pilot.familysearch.org/recordsearch/start.html#start >.
3. State, Territorial and State Census Records – Thirty-seven States had colonial, territorial. or state census records. These underused records may also include the birthplace of your ancestor. Some of these records can now be found at Ancestry.com as well as FamilySearch. (See the link in item 2 – above). For detailed information about all the State Censuses, see Dollarhide’s Census Substitutes & State Census Records, Volume 1 – Eastern States, and Volume 2 – Western States. See: < http://www.familyrootspublishing.com/store/category.php?cat=dollarhide%20titles >
4. Passenger list info. – found at Ancestry.com from 1820 on… You want to look for not only arrival records, but records of the family leaving Germany.
5. Naturalization Records – later records are much more useful than older ones, in that more specific information was required. Some records are found at Ancestry.com, with the vast majority still residing in various courts where your ancestor may have lived.
6. Death Certificate of the immigrant – If death registers were kept locally, be sure and check those out also.
7. Obituaries. – Keep in mind that your ancestor may have had more than one. My immigrant great-grandfather, Charles Meitzler, had five! One gave the place of birth in Germany. Also search the obituaries of your ancestor’s siblings (remember that #1 rule), as well as those of his children.
8. County Histories – Was your ancestor written up in a “mug book?” If they lived in a rural community between about 1870 and 1930, the chances are pretty good that there may be a biography about the person. “Landmarks of Monroe County, New York: says this about my great-grandfather: “was born at Kriegfeld, Rhinepfalz, Germany.” Folks in larger communities and cities can also be found in these volumes, so don’t ever overlook them.
9. Cemetery and Funeral Home Records – There may be a specific place on the headstone, but this isn’t typical. However, the actual records held by the cemetery or funeral home may give the place of origin.
Again – the above list isn’t comprehensive. It’s just the first places that I would search.
MAP GUIDE TO GERMAN PARISH REGISTERS FOR THURINGIA AND THE ENTIRE KINGDOM OF SAXONY ARE NOW AT THE FAMILY ROOTS PUBLISHING COMPANY WEBSITE
Over the last couple of months, we have published three new volumes of the Map Guide to German Parish Registers series. Volume 24 covers the Thuringian States, and Volume 25 covers about half of the Kingdom of Saxony (Zwickau & Leipzig); and Volume 26 covers the other half of the Kingdom of Saxony – namely Chemnitz, Dresden, and Bautzen. These volumes are now posted at the FRPC website. See:
Thuringia – Volume 24 – Soft Cover http://www.familyrootspublishing.com/store/product_view.php?id=278
Thuringia – volume 24 – Hard Cover http://www.familyrootspublishing.com/store/product_view.php?id=305
Kingdom of Saxony I – Volume 25 – Soft Cover http://www.familyrootspublishing.com/store/product_view.php?id=306
Kingdom of Saxony I – Volume 25 – Hard Cover http://www.familyrootspublishing.com/store/product_view.php?id=398
Kingdom of Saxony II – Volume 26 – Soft Cover http://www.familyrootspublishing.com/store/product_view.php?id=400
Kingdom of Saxony II – Volume 26 – Hard Cover – still at the bindery
MORE GERMAN RESEARCH GUIDES ADDED AT THE FAMILY ROOTS PUBLISHING CO. WEBSITE
I added a half dozen great German research guidebooks at the Family Roots Publishing Company website today. Six are books published by Origins, and the seventh is “The Atlantic Bridge to Germany – Volume VII – Nordrhein-Westfalen (Northrhine-Westphalia), by Charles M. Hall. See the links in the “Featured Products” section below. AS WITH ALL BOOKS AT THE SITE, THEY ARE DISCOUNTED FOR FRPC CUSTOMERS!
Volunteer to Bring Historic Sweden Church Records Online – See: http://www.genealogyblog.com/?p=5683
I Love My Librarian – 2009 Award Nominations Wanted! – See: http://www.genealogyblog.com/?p=5690
Pre-1881 New York Birth Certificate Index Now Available – See: http://www.genealogyblog.com/?p=5709
Researching at the Oklahoma Historical Society – See: http://www.genealogyblog.com/?p=5713
Getting the Story Out There – article by Tom Fiske – See: http://www.genealogyblog.com/?p=5747
Update on the Library of Michigan Petition – See: http://www.genealogyblog.com/?p=5772
German Surnames – See: http://www.genealogyblog.com/?p=5802
Don’t Expect The Genealogical Helper to Reemerge – Read the latest comments – See: http://www.genealogyblog.com/?p=5679
FEATURED PRODUCTS AT FRPC
Alsace-Lorraine: Atlantic Bridge to Germany – See: http://www.familyrootspublishing.com/store/product_view.php?id=401
Baden: Atlantic Bridge to Germany – See: http://www.familyrootspublishing.com/store/product_view.php?id=402
Pomerania: Atlantic Bridge to Germany – See: http://www.familyrootspublishing.com/store/product_view.php?id=403
How to Read & Understand Meyer Orts- Und Verkehrs-Lexikon des Deutschen Reichs – See: http://www.familyrootspublishing.com/store/product_view.php?id=404
German Maps & Facts – See: http://www.familyrootspublishing.com/store/product_view.php?id=405
Lands of the German Empire – 2nd Edition – See: http://www.familyrootspublishing.com/store/product_view.php?id=406
THE SALT LAKE CHRISTMAS TOUR
The Salt Lake Christmas Tour is known for having the highest ratio of consulting professional genealogists per attendee of any research tour to the Family History Library. Join us this year December 6 through 12, 2009. See: http://www.SaltLakeChristmasTour.com
ABOUT THIS NEWSLETTER
The newsletter is written by Leland K. Meitzler, the publisher at FRPC. Leland is best known as the founder of Heritage Quest (in 1985), and his editorship of Heritage Quest Magazine (1985-2005), and Everton’s Genealogical Helper (2006-2009). Leland is also known as a genealogy lecturer with over 2,000 genealogy lectures to his credit.
Family Roots Publishing Company, PO Box 830, Bountiful, Utah 84011; Phone 801-992-3705; Fax: 815-642-0103; Cell: 801-949-7259; email: Lmeitzler@gmail.com; http://www.FamilyRootsPublishing.com ; http://GenealogyBlog.com ; http://www.SaltLakeChristmasTour.com ; Written by Leland K. Meitzler; Owned by Leland & Patty Meitzler.
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