Church Records · Gazetteers · German · Methodology

Finding German Church Records

The third session of my Newberry class “Discover Your German Ancestors’ Origins,” focused on finding German church records. Why are church records so important, you might ask? Church records are the main category of records that document our German ancestors’ vital events. Depending in the specific town, these records may date to the 1500s. Civil… Continue reading Finding German Church Records

Gazetteers · German · GOV · Methodology

Gazetteers for German Research

In the second session of my Newberry class “Discover Your German Ancestors’ Origins,” I talked about historical gazetteers for finding the jurisdictions that define the ancestral home town. What is a gazetteer? It’s “a geographical dictionary” according to Merriam-Webster.[1] As genealogists, we use gazetteers to determine the jurisdictions to which a town belonged historically. Why… Continue reading Gazetteers for German Research

German · Immigration · Methodology · Steinkamp

Where Did They Come From?

This weekend, I began teaching a four-session course at the Newberry in Chicago. The title of the course is “Discover Your German Ancestors’ Origins.” This first week, I focused on best practices for finding an immigrant ancestor’s town of birth. Without this piece of information, the ancestral line cannot be extended further back in time.… Continue reading Where Did They Come From?

German · Newspapers · Steinkamp

German-language Newspapers

Researchers in the United States are spoiled with access to newspaper “mega sites” like Newspapers.com, GenealogyBank, and News Archive. They’re not free, but they do have a broad geographical reach. They do not hold all available newspapers, but they represent at least some newspapers from every U.S. state and sometimes other countries. A one-year subscription… Continue reading German-language Newspapers