Friday, November 20, 2009

Call For Future Hosts - 2010

As was mentioned in the 24th edition of the Carnival of Central and Eastern European Genealogy, I will be hosting the December edition; however, I do not have any other editions scheduled. I won't be able to host some of the months in 2010 due to being busy with school work, and I am looking for people who would be willing to host a future edition. Here are some of the months I am looking for a host:
  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
I allow the host to chose the topic for the carnival and the dates for the submission deadline and publication of the edition. If you are interested in hosting an edition, please contact me at jess_history at yahoo dot com. Thanks!

24th Edition of the Carnival of Central and Eastern European Genealogy Posted!

The 24th edition of the Carnival of Central and Eastern European Genealogy has been posted! (Thank you, Al!) You can read it here. The topic for the next edition will be on Christmas and Hanukkah traditions. Submissions are due December 18th, and the edition will be posted on the 20th. You can submit your article here. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

84th Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy Posted!

The 84th edition of the Carnival of Genealogy has been posted! You can read it here. The topic for the next edition will be on "'Orphans and Orphans.' The first type of orphan refers to those ancestors or relatives who lost their parents when they were young. The second type of orphan would be those siblings or cousins of our ancestors whom we think of as “reverse orphans.” They are the relatives who, for whatever reason – death at a young age, never having married or had children, or having children who did not survive to provide descendants – have no direct descendants of their own, so it falls to us, their collateral relatives, to learn and write their story. Greta will be the host this time around." Enjoy!

(Although I did not submit a post to this edition, I really wanted to do so. I've been busy with school work for awhile, and thus, I haven't been able to write as much as I wanted. I've submitted a total of 35 articles to the Carnival of Genealogy. Of course, I could be incorrect about that number, even though I went through my blog's archives.)

Monday, November 16, 2009

18th Edition of the Smile For The Camera Carnival Posted!

The 18th edition of the Smile For the Camera Carnival has been posted! You can read it here. The topic for the next edition will be on "Gift." It is the holiday season and a time for giving. So give Smile readers the gift of sharing, sharing a family photograph. It can be a gift given or received, it can be the gift of talent, it can be the gift of having the photograph itself. The interpretation of gift is yours." Enjoy!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Searching For My German Ancestors - Some Resources

For this upcoming edition of the Carnival of Central and Eastern European Genealogy, I've decided to write about some of the resources and records that I have used to research my German ancestors. Since I have just begun to research in German records, most of my resources will be of American records; however, I will also list resources that might assist people in researching their German ancestors. Here are the resources I have used:


When I first began my research into my German ancestors, I read a couple of books on the topic to uncover the possible problems in researching German genealogy and how to research my German ancestors. One of the books I read, and bought, was A Genealogist's Guide to Discovering Your Germanic Ancestors by Chris Anderson and Ernest Thode, and I gave a brief description of the book here. There are other books, so one does not have to buy or check-out this book. I just happen to own a copy of the book.

Another book that I highly recommend one has for doing German research is a German-English Dictionary for obvious reasons. Two other useful books that I wish I owned are Following the paper trail : a multilingual translation guide by Jonathan D. Shea and Deciphering handwriting in German documents : analyzing German, Latin, and French in vital records written in Germany by Roger P. Minert, both of which I wrote about here. (I should note that Following the Paper Trail is also useful for other countries, and if I remember correctly, has information on translating records in Polish, Russian and Lithuanian as well as French and other languages that I cannot recall at the moment.

Census Records

I've used censuses not only to determine where my ancestors lived and the names of family members, but also to determine where they were born or when they came to the United States. I've also used the information to determine if they were naturalized and how many in the household at a given time came to the U. S. Obviously, I am referring to U. S. census records, but some of this information might be found in the censuses of other countries.

Vital Records

Vital records from the locations where my ancestors resided have been useful as well. I've been able to determine when and where my ancestors married, died or sometimes, when they were born. Of course, most of the vital records I have uncovered have been American records, although I have started to do some research in German vital records, especially for Trippstadt, Germany.

Death Notices

Another American source that I have used to trace my German ancestors is death notices. Death notices are similar to obituaries, except that they are fairly short, and do not include any biographical details. They only list when a person died, the time of the funeral and the survivors. Of course, the information is still valuable, and so far, I have only found death notices for my ancestors in the newspapers. I haven't found any obituaries for my ancestors yet.

Naturalization Records

I've also used naturalization records, but my experience has been limited. Depending upon the place and time, the naturalization records might contain vital information on your ancestor.

Passenger Lists

I've also used passenger lists to determine when my ancestors came to the United States. Depending upon the time period, one can uncover the age, birthplace, occupation and next of kin, although for the earlier years, one might only uncover the name, age and occupation of a person.

Church Records

So far, I have only researched my ancestor in German church records, but I've still been able to confirm or uncover important information on my ancestors and their siblings. I do hope to use church records in America when I get a chance as well.

Well, those are some of the records I have used to uncover my German ancestors. I haven't listed all of the records I have used so far due to being busy, but these are the main resources. I hope this helps someone in researching their German ancestors. What records do you use? As always, you can leave a comment with your opinions or experiences. Thanks!

Another Belated Saturday Night Fun - Nice Things Done

For this Saturday Night Fun, Randy had challenged other genealogy bloggers to write about good deeds other genealogists have done for them, and although I'm late in posting my response, I still wanted to post it.

So, what good deeds have other genealogists done for me? Well, 2 to 3 years ago, I received a large amount of information from a woman in Germany (no relation, though) on my Kees and Cotta ancestors, and from that information, I was able to confirm my suspicions about a Kees ancestor's sibling living in Cleveland, Ohio and I was able to use the information to start researching in German records. Without the information, I do not believe I would have been able to move back as far as I have been able to do so. I might still be stuck with my research into that branch in the United States.

More recently, I have had several genealogy bloggers host editions of the Carnival of Central and Eastern European Genealogy. Al hosted the August edition and hosted the November edition published the week of November 15th. (Note, January 3, 2010: I am writing this weeks after the challenge was published.) Other genealogy bloggers who have hosted editions are Steve, Ambar, Thomas, Diane, and Elizabeth, and I have included the links to those posts as well.

So, as you can see, several genealogists have helped me out within the past couple of years, and I am grateful and thankful for their help. Without the help, I would not have been able to do as much as I have. Thank you everyone!