Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Book Review: Finding Your German Ancestors

This book starts out with a short, uncomplicated history of the region known today as Germany. The same time period is covered in the Germany article on Comparitively, Hansen gives a few more sentences on the early history than the Wikipedia article.

He then gives tips for locating your ancestor's town in modern day Germany (the internet page he gives no longer exists), names a few online German dictionaries (but not, and sends you to for more internet sites. He explains that you will find a lot of spelling errors and variations in spelling in the records, and that you need to know the town before starting research in German records, as records were not kept on a National level until recently, so if you don't know the town name, you need to keep looking in US sources (he does not give any hints on where to look here).

The third chapter gives a brief summary of the different types of records available (brief = one paragraph). The rest of the book is mailing addresses of archives and genealogical societies.

Overall, the book did not provide me with much new information, but it only costs $6.95 (and I got it for $4). Sometimes it's nice to have something in your hand as opposed to on the computer screen, so I don't regret the money spent. There is the possibility that some of the info is out of date, as the book was published in 1999.

In regards to genealogy resources in Germany, I've found the soc.genealogy.german Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page the most useful resource thus far.


Title: Finding Your German Ancestor's: A Beginner's Guide (buy this at
Author: Kevan M. Hansen
ISBN: 0916489833
Published: 1999 by
Pages: 80
Cost: $6.95

Chapter 1: Historic Germany (16 pages)
Chapter 2: Research Tools and Tips (10 pages)
Chapter 3: German Genealogical Sources (12 pages)
Chapter 4: Church Records (13 pages)
Chapter 5: Archival Records (16 pages)
Chapter 6: Genealogical Societies (4 pages)


  © Blogger template 'Isolation' by 2008

Back to TOP