The German Genealogy Girl's Podcast

Podcast Episode #5 – November 2, 2017

The German Genealogy Girl talks to Teresa Steinkamp McMillin from Lindstreet Research. They begin with recapitulating the first International Germanic Genealogy Conference that took place in Minneapolis in July 2017. We are looking forward to the next conference that will take place in Sacramento, CA in 2019 (see The main topic of this episode are the name changes in Northwest Germany and Teresa provides lots of valuable information on how to do research in this area.

Here are some things you should know before starting research:

Parts of the Kingdom of Hanover, Westphalia and Lippe might have special legislation and customs different from the main legislation when it comes to farming, but not all of them.

One of them is that the surname went after the farm which meant that a male marrying into a farm took over his wife’s surname and losing his birth name. Also the children went by the farm name and if his wife died and he remarried, this family would carry the farm name but would not be related to the family who owned/rented this farm only a generation ago. That means that your ancestors might have lived on this farm but not be related to today’s farm owners with the same name.

The farmers often retired and left the farm to the successor; they then lived on the farm in the Leibzucht. We also find that in other areas where is called Altenteil.

There were evangelical and catholic areas. In the catholic area the land was often owned by the catholic church.

Valuable resources are

  • Church books
  • Court records
  • Information like wills, cadastral records, farms etc. provided by local and state archives
  • Information on old occupations at /
  • Information provided by local historical and genealogical societies
  • Information on governmental websites on the history of this area
  • Ernest Thode’s German-English Genealogical Dictionary


Picture ©Teresa Steinkamp McMillin

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