Episode 6, published on February 18, 2018

This episode the German Genealogy Girl has a guest sitting next to her: Ute Brandenburg from German Script Experts. They talk about the many aspects of ancestral travel. Here are some important things to know before you start your trip to Germany.


  • Start in good time, if research needs to be done it’s best to start about 1 year in advance.
  • You need to have at least one German record that gives the exact place of birth, otherwise you might go to the wrong place!
  • Germany has great public transportation and you can really get around by using the train. However, if you need to go to the small villages on the countryside, you will have to rent a car to get there. For the train connections see bahn.de.
  • Accommodations: there often are really nice hotels on the country side. They won’t have WiFi or air condition but are nice and cozy and often the owners are from this area and give you lots of advice where to go and whom to talk to. And maybe you even are related! For the renovated estate houses of Mecklenburg see http://www.gutshaeuser.de/en/content/view/full/77
  • Do not miss the many Open Air Museums. These are some of them

http://www.moormuseum-moordorf.de/, http://www.kommern.lvr.de/de/startseite/startseite.html, https://www.hessenpark.de/, http://www.schloss-gottorf.de/molfsee; http://www.lwl.org/LWL/Kultur/LWL-Freilichtmuseum-Detmold/; http://freilandmuseum.de/startseite.html; https://www.glentleiten.de/; https://www.freilichtmuseum-rlp.de/


And don’t forget: Always carry cash with you, Germans love cash and there are a lot of places that don’t accept credit cards!

Picture ©Ursula C. Krause



Episode 5, published on 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 www.iggpartner.org). 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 maps, farms etc. provided by local and state archives
  • Information on old occupations at genealogy.net / www.compgen.de
  • 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


Episode 4, published on June 1, 2017

This episode is all about Berlin! The German Genealogy Girl talks about the history of Berlin and, the sources being available and about doing research; not to mention the many insider tips and tricks she gives!

The index of baptisms at the Evangelical Church archive (1750-1874) mentioned in the podcast is called Taufkartei.

The office of civil records is called Standesamt, see http://germangenealogygirl.com/german-for-genealogists-episode-1-standesamt/

These are the links you need to know:


Episode 3, published on May 1, 2017

The German Genealogy Girl talks to Timo Kracke of the Verein für Computergenealogie. They talk about the website of the Verein für Computergenealogie that you should definitely use for your research! AND they talk about Germans and their love for privacy and the difficulties with DNA testing in Germany.


These are the links you need to know:

Next episode on June 1, 2017 and we will be talking about Berlin!


Episode 2, published on April 1, 2017

This month’s guest is Kim Ashford from Twigs and Branches http://www.twigsandbranches.org/. She also is one of the initiators of the International German Genealogical Partnership and part of the executive committee of the International Germanic Genealogy Conference.

  • We talked about Genealogical Societies, the many things they offer, how to find them and how much you can benefit from being a volunteer.
  • Kim’s Methodology Tip is on German newspapers in the USA, what information you can find and where you can find the newspapers –http://germangenealogygirl.com/methodolgy-german-newspapers-usa and http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/
  • We take a look behind the scenes of the International German Genealogy Partnership.
  • The German words are Zeitung, Blatt, Anzeiger – all stand for newspaper. http://www.germangenealogygirl.com/german-for-genealogists-episode-2-zeitung-blatt-anzeiger
  • The International Germanic Genealogy Conference will take place in Minneapolis from July 28 through 30, 2017. For more information see the website of the International German Genealogy Partnership at http://www.iggpartner.org/.
  • Next episode on May 1, 2017, my guest will be Timo Kracke from the Verein für Computer Genealogy in Germany.


Episode 1, published on March 1, 2017

        This month’s guest is Luana Darby from Lineages by Luana.

  • The International Germanic Genealogy Conference will take place in Minneapolis from July 28 to 30, 2017. For more information see the website of the International German Genealogy Partnership at http://www.iggpartner.org/.
  • More and more evangelical church records are now available online at archion.de, a website by the Evangelical Church of Germany. The church archives of Oldenburg, Saxony, Thuringia and the former Province of Saxony (church archive Magdeburg) are not taking part. To check if the records you are looking for are available check here https://www.archion.de/en/search/. To see which records have recently been uploaded follow this link: https://www.archion.de/en/news/. All this information is available without subscription!
  • Luana Darby’s tip on how to find you ancestor’s religion from records in the USA see http://germangenealogygirl.com/methodology-finding-an-ancestors-religion/
  • Information on the Janus Projekt (digitization of German records by Ancestry) can be found here: http://germangenealogygirl.com/ancestrys-german-janus-projekt/
  • German history: Franco/German war of 1870/1871, the German Reich is formed in January 1871, the Prussian King Wilhelm I becomes the first German Emporer.
  • Important to know: There only were several independent states, kingdoms, duchies before 1871, each of them with their own legal system; Legislation is harmonized/ new legislation comes into place after 1871.
  • Examples: German Civil Law on January 1, 1900; Civil marriage on March 1, 1875; Civil registration was incorporated in Prussia on 1 October 1874 and in the entire German Reich on 1 January 1876.
  • There also are earlier civil records in the Rhineland, Bremen and Lübeck still from the time Germany was under French rule.
  • The “Rhineland Folder” (Rhineland, Prussia, Lutheran Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials, 1533-1950) at Ancestry holds records from many other places than the Rheinland as well. Use the search bar to be sure not to miss anything!
  • Travel in Germany – when planning to do research, plan in advance! When using the German railroad see bahn.de.
  • Next episode on April 1, 2017, my guest will be Kim Ashford from the International German Genealogy Partnership.