Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Online German Handwriting Tutorials Available Now

Need help learning how to read the old German handwriting? FamilySearch has published two short online classes to help you become familiar with this handwriting.

The first class is called "Lesson 1 - Kurrent Letters" and is approximately 15 minutes long.

The second class is called "Lesson 2 -- Making Words in Kurrent" and lasts approximately 35 minutes.

You can access these and other genealogy lessons here on the FamilySearch website.

Monday, August 17, 2009

German Genealogy Records Available on RecordSearch

As part of the new initiative to publish genealogy records online, FamilySearch has created RecordSearch, a pilot website that publishes data and images for the United States and countries all over the world. Currently, five databases have been published on RecordSearch for Germany; no databases have been published yet on RecordSearch for Switzerland or Austria.

The best way to access the German genealogy databases on RecordSearch is to click through. (If you use the search box on the home page, you will only get matches to the databases with indexes; you will not get any matches to those databases with images only).

1. Start at the Home page.
2. Click on the EUROPE label on the map.
3. Scroll down to the database list for GERMANY (the countries are not in alphabetical order).
4. Select the database you want to search. (See list below.) The Germany Baptisms, Germany Burials, and Germany Marriages databases have search boxes to use to search the data. The Germany, Brandenburg and Germany, Posen Church Book Duplicates collections do not have any indexed data available to search at this time; you will need to browse through the images.

  • Germany Baptisms -- data only, no images.
  • Germany Burials, 1500-1900 -- data only, no images.
  • Germany Marriages, 1600-1900 -- data only, no images.
  • Germany, Brandenburg Church Book Duplicates, 1800-1874 -- images only, no index. Browse structure: Town (Kreis) Date Span, Religion, (Rep. 5 KB Nr. KB #) Secondary Towns, Notes.
  • Germany, Posen Church Book Duplicates, 1800-1874 -- images only, no index. Browse structure: Town (Kreis) Date Span, Religion, (Rep. 5 KB Nr. KB #) Secondary Towns, Notes.
    • Wednesday, July 1, 2009

      German Family History: It's Not Easy...But It's Worth It!

      Reading the old German handwriting. Not speaking the language. Border changes, wars destroying records, and feeling confused about which records to search. These and many other problems in German family history cause many people frustration (and consternation) when trying to research their German ancestors.

      I'm the first to admit that German family history is not the easiest thing to do; there are countless challenges to thwart your attempts to locate your German ancestors. But discovering your German ancestors is possible. You just need to tap into that German stubbornness and persist!