Germany

13 May 2014

German Card for Genealogical Research

The German Card is the best $5 I’ve ever spent, certainly in research terms.

The SGGS German Card is a four-panel card, hinged and laminated, that folds up to the size of a credit card. Around the outside edges of the panels are the old script and Fraktur alphabets, showing both upper and lower case, arranged so that you can hold each letter directly under the German word you are trying to decipher.It is designed to be carried in one’s wallet or purse for use in the library or at the archives. (I also keep one at home next to my computer.) This pocket research aid is exclusively available from the Sacramento German Genealogy Society.

The German card includes:

• Old German alphabets – upper case and lower case, for both the old German handwriting and the printed Gothic font
• Basic German vocabulary words as […]

30 Mar 2014

Some Thoughts on Reading German Parish Microfilm

Warning: genealogy whining ahead. I have some thoughts on reading German parish microfilm – a LOT of German parish microfilm that looked just like the screenshot on the right.

I was lucky to be at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, with every roll of microfilm available. So I did due diligence, reading German parish microfilm for five days for every village in my search area – but with no results.

Why did I pick genealogy? Why not something easier, like taking up home dentistry, a backyard moon launch, or counting grains of sand on the beach?

So after all those hours and rolls of German records, I have to say there are two people I dislike, however pointlessly retroactive.

The pastor:

Let’s leave handwriting and spelling out of it. Not fair to pick on the guy when that was his job to be the educated person […]

25 Mar 2014

Translating Meyers Konversationslexikon – Tuesday’s Tip

translating meyers orts sassy jane genealogyHave you used Meyers Konversationslexikon?

Meyers Orts- und Verkehrs-Lexikon des Deutschen Reichs (English title: Meyers Commercial Gazetteer of the German Empire) is an essential resource for German genealogy researchers. Meyers Orts is available in print at libraries and at Ancestry and FamilySearch.

But for English-speaking researchers, Meyers Orts can be tricky to use. This historical reference work is, of course, published in German and in Fraktur typeface. An additional complication for monolingual English-speaking researchers (like me) is the frequent use of abbreviations. When you don’t speak German, it’s hard to know what word is being abbreviated. And the type can be very small for aging eyes to see.

While there is no substitute for the seminal Meyers Orts gazetteer, another Meyers publication may also help. Meyers also published the Meyers Konversationslexikon. Full title: Großes Konversationslexikon: Ein Nachschlagewerk des allgemeinen Wissens. Sechste, […]

1 Jan 2014

Ein glückliches neues Jahr

Ein glückliches neues Jahr to all my readers and fellow genealogists. Just back from an unexpected and delightful trip along the Rhine with my husband to the Christmas Markets. My first trip to Germany was wonderful and I am determined to go back very soon, especially since our trip was not near my ancestral villages. That, and I need want more feuerwurst.

The very best to you in the coming year.

germany sassy jane genealogy