Ancestor and descendant research
Are you searching for your ancestors birth place? Old letters, diaries, probate records and other documents can contain a wealth of additional details about your family history. These documents can not only lead to finding your ancestors hometown in Germany and relatives here but can also help locating other family members who also emigrated.
I can help you locating your ancestors genealogical records, e.g. birth, marriage, death, court and property records, tax lists, permissions to emigrate, immigration records and many other genealogically relevant documents in Germany as well as in the United States.
One persons details is often all it takes to research a complete family tree.
In regard to property records; in certain regions in southern Germany the so called real division was common. Real division meants each child was entitled to an equal share of the estate of a deceased parent. Inventory and division records were created at time of marriage and death, respectively in order to avoid inheritance disputes later. Not all German records survived the various wars and other disasters, but the ones that did contain valuable family information and are real treasure troves.
Families were much larger back then, often a couple had ten or more children and therefore, where real division was the law, this didn't leave a lot to each child, usually not even enough for the children to get married some day and start their own families on the inherited land. Often times men would have to perform a trade in addition to farming in order to make a living. Properties in Germany were tiny compared to the size of land available to immigrants in the "new world". This, but also wars, potatoe famines which killed millions of people in the mid 1800s in Europe, droughts, floods and other calamities; the promise of land, personal and religious freedom, and the hope to escape poverty and live a good and prosperous life in America were the reasons why millions of people emigrated from Germany and other countries. Some towns were virtually depopulated and often times, if people wanted to emigrate but couldn't afford the ships passage, the town council paid for their fares to avoid them becoming a public burden.
For many emigrants, especially those travelling in narrow between decks with poor ventilation and sanitation, overseas travel was everything but comfortable. The voyage from the western European ports usually took about five to six weeks, sometimes as long as six months. Children were born at sea, passengers became ill of seasickness or died on board the ships of dysentery, typhoid fever, cholera etc. The immigrants' voyage usually didn't end right where they landed, but they had to travel several weeks over land on foot, horseback, or by boat until they reached their final destination.
Not all immigrants stayed, some returned to their home country. Sometimes, when trying to find the trail of a long lost relative, the way back may be the route to travel.
If you need help with your research here in Germany please don't hesitate to contact me and I will do my very best to help.
Transcription and Translation
Do you need assistance deciphering old German handwritten documents, would you like to try your great-grandmas favorite recipes but can't read her handwriting, or do you need help finding your ancestors genealogy records?
Church records are written in the old German script (commonly called "Sütterlin) in Latin or German language and contain birth, baptism, confirmation, marriage and death records.
The Alsace Region in France for example, was German and then French again at various times. Records there are in German, Latin and French language. In areas occupied by Napoléon Bonaparte, civil registration was enacted early. Records of the time are French language. To view some examples of old documents please click here.
I will transcribe your documents into modern script and, if desired, I will also translate your genealogy documents into English for you.