Determining a Place of Origin in Germany

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== Introduction<br> ==
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The first permanent German settlement in America was Germantown, Pennsylvania, which was settled in 1683. Since that time Germany has been one of the leading countries in providing emigrants to the United States. To trace your ancestor in the German records, you must know his or her town of birth. If you do not know the location, several sources can help you discover It.
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== What You Are Looking For  ==
 
 
Records and sources that list a town of birth for your ancestor.
 
 
Three steps will guide you in finding your ancestor's place of birth in Germany.
 
  
 
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'''RESEARCH GUIDES'''
 
 
[http://net.lib.byu.edu/fslab/researchoutlines/Europe/GermansToAmerica.pdf BYU Research Guide for Germans to America]
 
 
== Step 2. Check surname books and name indexes  ==
 
 
**If the ancestor's surname is uncommon, it may be possible to find it listed in a German surname book. These books identify the earliest date, place, and person by that surname. The following are German surname books:
 
***Brechenmacher, Josef Karlmann. ''''''Deutsche Sippennamen'''''
 
***Familiengeschichtliche Quellen
 
***''''''Quellenschau für Familienforscher'''''
 
 
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== Step 3. Check passenger lists or port records  ==
 
 
German emigrants usually left in groups from the same area of Germany. Be aware of the following information when searching your ancestor's passenger list or port record:
 
 
*After finding your ancestor on a port record or passenger register, write down all the people on the same list.
 
*Check local census and other records to determine which people settled in the same area as your ancestor.
 
*Check for place of origin information on those who were on the same list.
 
*If your ancestor's surname is not unusual, but some of the others on the same list are, look those names up in the German surname books to determine where they originated.
 
 
[[Category:Germany]] [[Category:Germany_Search_Strategies]]
 

Revision as of 03:08, 10 November 2011