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Research: German Ancestors
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This genealogical helper is intended for North American English-speaking beginners, who want to find their German ancestors. In order to do successful family research in Germany, it is necessary to have a basic understanding of the configurations of the various parts of Germany at the period of time of the lives of the ancestors. A brief examination of sources and repositories including the FamilySearch website will point the researcher in the right direction. It will be helpful to have some knowledge of the German or Latin languages since many of the documents have been complied in these languages, and with a flared script so resources for translation are discussed. A sample letter written in German, along with an English translation will assist you in case you need to correspond with an institution in Germany.

Course Content

Module 1

Introduction to German Research
Identifying Your Immigrant Ancestor
• Who were they?
• What was their name?
• What was their foreign name?
• Identifying Immigrant Dates
• Where was your ancestor born?
• Additional Identification
Immigration Information
• Other Family Members
• Religion
• Friends & Neighbors
• Geographic Clues
Key Elements of German Research
• Geography & Place Names
• Civil Registration
• Church Records
• Language & Handwriting
Accessing Records
Published Sources
Advanced Sources & Techniques
Recommended Reading & Resources

Module 2
German History
Sources for German History
• Political Divisions Before 1871
• Political Divisions 1871-1939
• Political Divisions 1945-1992
• Political Divisions After 1992
Historical Timelines
Places, Maps & Migrations
Finding the Place
• Gazetteers
German Genealogy Covers Much More Than Germany
• Migrations
• The German Core
• Germany/Prussia
• Austria
• Switzerland
• Luxembourg
• Liechtenstein
• Neighboring Countries
• Baltic States
• Belgium
• Czech Republic
• Denmark
• France
• Hungary
• Italy
• The Netherlands
• Poland
• Russia
• German Enclaves
• More Distant Countries
• African Colonies
• Australia
• New Zealand
• Canada
• Latin America
• South Africa
• United States
Recommended Reading

Module 3
Reading the Records
Learn to Read the Lettering
• Letter Sequence in Typed German Alphabetical Listings
German Gothic Script
German Genealogy Word Lists
Headings Used In Church Records In General
• Headings Found in Parish Registers
Online Translation Tools
• Introduction to Google Translate & Google Chrome
• The Google Translate Website
• Other Language Helps
Recommended Reading & Resources

Module 4
FamilySearch for German Research
Using FamilySearch
• FamilySearch Catalog
• Searching the Catalog
German Church Records at FamilySearch
• Parish Registers / Kirchenbuch/Kirchenbόcher
• Using the Parish Registers
• Inventories of Parish Registers for Areas in Germany
FamilySearch Research Wiki
• Searching the Wiki
Recommended Reading

Module 5
German Genealogy on the Internet and Beyond
Civil Registrations / Standesamt/Standesδmter
Basic Letter Writing in German Made Easy
Genealogical Records
• Land Offices / Amtsgericht
• Police Registers
• Directories / Adressbόcher
• Census / Volkszδhlung
• Emigration & Immigration
• Military Service Information
When No Location in Germany is Known
Further Research
Parish Registers
• Sόd-Schleswig
• Holstein
• Other Church Denominations
• Land Division - Lόbeck in the Freestate
Online Resources
• Finding Aids
• Genealogy Websites
• Genealogy Societies
Finding Archives and Libraries
Recommended Reading & Resources

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