German Genealogy Tip #28: “Evangelisch” Means Lutheran/Reformed Church

October 27, 2014 Josiah Schmidt German Genealogy Tips

When researching German records, you will often see an individual’s religion listed as “evangelisch” or “evangelische”. This is an umbrella term that describes most of the Protestant denominations after the Reformation. In Germany, this term was more likely to describe a church with Lutheran beliefs, and in Switzerland, this term was more likely to describe […]

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German Genealogy Tip #27: “-in” was Sometimes Added to German Surnames for Females

October 26, 2014 Josiah Schmidt German Genealogy Tips

Don’t get tripped up by this when researching your German ancestors. Many times, German females would have “-in” added to their surnames. Thus, a woman with the last name of Schmidt might have sometimes been called “Schmidtin”. A woman with the last name of Mueller might have sometimes been called “Muellerin”. Their actual surname was […]

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German Genealogy Tip #26: How to Read German Civil Registrations (A Guide)

October 25, 2014 Josiah Schmidt German Genealogy Tips

I got a fun little treat in my email inbox last night from Ancestry.com — a printable guide to reading German civil registrations (government records of births, marriages, and deaths). I have personally had a lot of practice reading these, but I am so glad that Ancestry.com is sending these guides out to researchers. Researching […]

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German Genealogy Tip #25: There are Multiple Towns with the Same Name

October 24, 2014 Josiah Schmidt German Genealogy Tips

One thing you must learn quickly, when doing genealogy in Germany, is that there are multiple towns with the same exact name. Often there can be multiple towns in the same province with the same name, and sometimes there are multiple towns even in the same county with the same name. Some towns have the […]

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German Genealogy Tip #24: Germans Chain-Migrated to America

October 23, 2014 Josiah Schmidt German Genealogy Tips

Today’s German genealogy tip of the day is this: Germans almost always chain-migrated to America. If you have a German immigrant ancestor, bet on the fact that several of their close family members also immigrated to America, probably both before and after your ancestor. Readjusting to a new country, a new way of life, and […]

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German Genealogy Tip #23: Lots of Info in County History/Biography Books

October 22, 2014 Josiah Schmidt German Genealogy Tips

In the latter 1800s and early 1900s, a popular form of literature was the local county history and citizen biography book. Virtually every county in every state in America had several such history books written about it during this period. When researching German-American ancestors, especially ones who lived in rural areas, always check for local […]

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Episode #3: “All About Death” | The German-American Genealogist Podcast

October 21, 2014 Josiah Schmidt Podcast

Download file Published 20 October 2014 Happy Halloween! To celebrate the spooky and the macabre, this episode of the podcast is dedicated to exploring the records left behind by our ancestors after their deaths. How to find a death certificate, how to find a newspaper obituary, how to find cemetery burial records, and how to […]

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German Genealogy Tip #22: “Geb.” or “Geborene” Indicates Maiden Name

October 21, 2014 Josiah Schmidt German Genealogy Tips

When reading old German documents, you will often see the term “geb.” or “geborene” in the middle of a married woman’s name. This is not part of her name. It means the same thing that we mean in English when we write “née” or “maiden name”. For instance, if a woman is named Elisabeth Scheuch […]

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German Genealogy Tip #21: Departure Passenger Lists Often Give Birth Town

October 20, 2014 Josiah Schmidt German Genealogy Tips

If you’re having trouble finding your German ancestor’s birthplace, it can pay to find their passenger list from when they departed Germany. Especially if they departed from Hamburg or Bremen, there is a good chance that their birth place or town of origin is listed on the passenger list. When an emigrant left Germany, they would […]

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German Genealogy Tip #20: Find Your Immigrant Ancestor in the NARA’s “Germans to America” Database

October 19, 2014 Josiah Schmidt German Genealogy TipsTutorial

Have you had bad luck searching for your German immigrant ancestor’s arrival record in the Ancestry.com collections or on other websites? The best and most comprehensive database of German arrival records for 1850-1897, in my opinion, is the National Archives’ “Germans to America Database,” located at: http://aad.archives.gov/aad/fielded-search.jsp?dt=2102&tf You can search for your immigrant ancestor by last […]

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