Tuesday, January 8, 2008

German Research

January/February Issue 2008
by Adele Maurine Marcum
Page18 & 19

The latest issue of Ancestry is a special research issue. It gives a nice individual overview for searching for your German, French-Canadian, African American, Italian, Chinese, Polish, Scots-Irish, Native American, Mexican, Slovak, Scandinavian, and Dutch ancestors.

You can find Ancestry and other genealogy periodicals in the Indiana Room at the Lake County Public Library in Merrillville, Indiana.

Marcum notes that Germany does not have a central repository for records. Therefore, it is important to know the name of the village where your ancestor came from. Naturalization records, homestead applications, and military records may provide the village name. The Family History Library has microfilmed a large portion of German church records and more. Marcum suggests genealogists search http://www.familysearch.org/ by village to see what is available. Materials can be borrowed through local Family History Centers. There is a Family History Center at 300 Wirth Road in Griffith, Indiana, and one at 503 Burlington Beach Road in Valparaiso, Indiana. Most of the microfilmed records will be written in German. So, before you send for information, learn some basic german words. The library has beginning German books and tapes that can help you get started. The library also has German/English dictionaries specializing in genealogy terms. Be aware that wars have destroyed many records and borders have changed often in this part of Europe. LCPL has german history books and atlases to help you locate your village. Visit the Indiana Room to find helpful information in books about German genealogy. I recommend Germanic Genealogy: A Guide to Worldwide Sources and Migraion Patterns by Edward R. Brandt and The German Research Companion by Shirley J. Riemer.