You may be asking yourself, “What is a gazetteer and why do I care?” A gazetteer is like a dictionary of place names. It tells you valuable information about the place in question. There is not necessarily a map component in a gazetteer. A historical gazetteer, such as the GOV, tells about places that historically… Continue reading GOV (Geschichtliches Ortsverzeichnis) – Historical Gazetteer
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… Continue reading Ortsfamilienbücher (Family Lineage Books)
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… Continue reading Dictionaries on CompGen
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… Continue reading The Chicago Genealogical Society and City Directories
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… Continue reading Family Reunites
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… Continue reading Why Vinegar?
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. 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… Continue reading Confederate Soldiers Baptized in Chicago
This past week I presented a hands-on workshop for using Ancestry and FamilySearch, two of the genealogy mega sites. I didn’t want to dive right into best search practices for these websites without giving the students a foundation based on planning. People newer to genealogy tend to see search fields on these websites and immediately… Continue reading Polar Bear Principle
This week, I give two different presentations at different locations. On Tuesday morning, May 9, at 10:00 a.m., I teach a hands-on workshop “Demystify Ancestry Library Edition and FamilySearch” at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library at 500 North Dunton, Arlington Heights, Illinois. It is for Arlington Heights card holders only. Before diving into tips and… Continue reading Learning Opportunities!
City directories are an amazing resource. Not only do they list the residents who lived in the city in the stated year, but they give other helpful information. They are a mini census that details a person’s movements and job changes from one year to the next. Use of the city directory for its residential… Continue reading German City Directories