IGHR and IGGP – A Busy Week

This week I taught six sessions in the Intermediate German Course at the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR) in Athens, Georgia. I very much enjoyed the people and the beautiful setting. Plus, I love to teach, so this is a fun week. If you are not familiar with the Institute of Genealogy and…

Regional Portal on CompGen

Do you know the history of the village where your German ancestors came from? Are you aware of resources that might exist overseas for them? One way to find information about your village is to explore the Regional Portal in the GenWiki at CompGen. This may be accessed from the home page at CompGen or…

Ortsfamilienbücher (Family Lineage Books)

This week I want to talk about Ortsfamilienbücher (OFBs), which are books that are compiled for a German village. They show the familial relationships of the people who lived there in the past. Typically, an Ortsfamilienbuch is compiled using the church and other local records for the town in question. Each family unit is numbered…

Dictionaries on CompGen

If you do German research, there is a German website that you want to become familiar with, if you aren’t already. CompGen.de is the website of the Verein für Computergenealogie (Society for Computer Genealogy), a German genealogy group that has created a goldmine of free online information. There are so many treasures tucked away, that…

The Chicago Genealogical Society and City Directories

A couple of weeks ago, I presented “Reading Between the Lines of the City Directory” for the Chicago Genealogical Society’s monthly meeting. I was pleased that they enjoyed it enough to post a video collage. This included photographs from the meeting interspersed with video clips of my presentation. If you haven’t seen it already, you…

Family Reunites

This past Sunday my family attended a reunion of the Bockhold Family at the Bockhold’s centennial farm in Quincy, Illinois. The designation of “centennial farm” is granted by the Illinois Department of Agriculture. Successful applicants must own an agricultural property that has “been owned by the same family of lineal or collateral descendants for at…

Why Vinegar?

As many of you are celebrating the Memorial Day weekend with backyard BBQs, eating various meats slathered in BBQ sauce, my mind turns to vinegar. Many types of BBQ sauce are made with vinegar. But why were our immigrant ancestors required to have vinegar on the boat when they came over here? I highly doubt…

Confederate Soldiers Baptized in Chicago

This holiday weekend commemorates those soldiers who lost their lives while fighting in our country’s armed forces. Memorial Day was established shortly after the Civil War.[1] That war was certainly a dark period in our nation’s history as the nation found itself divided. Camp Douglas, at one point the largest Civil War military camp, was…