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 This historical reference work is, of course, published in German and in Fraktur typeface.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, […]

5 Aug 2011

Poznan Marriage Project: Follow Friday

Today’s Follow Friday post is about the Poznan Marriage Project, a database of extracted nineteenth marriage records. Headed by Łukasz Bielecki, the Poznan Marriage Project contains 651,594 records from civil, Lutheran, and Catholic parishes within the former Prussian province of Posen, now Poznań, Poland.

In addition to the search function available by surname, location, and date, the site also provides a wealth of information about what records are available for various villages and towns.


16 Nov 2010

Standard Finder Place Name Searches

Today’s tip is about the inelegantly named “Standard Finder” that’s currently in development in the labs at Familysearch.org. For those of us doing research in Europe (and other locations) where the borders changed frequently and place names were transliterated between different languages, the Standard Finder is a potentially great resource. It should help simplify how you do place name search in the Family History Library Catalog by providing a list of the standardized entries for place names in the catalog.
If you’ve heard my talk on organizing your family history research, you know that I’m a big fan of controlled vocabulary (i.e., stating something the same way each time) and authority files (keeping lists of what those standardized place and surnames are).
For example, when researching my Kirschstein line, I found a Hamburg departure record saying my great-grandfather Bruno left from Rawitsch, Prussia. Today that’s Raciwz, Poland, as […]

30 Oct 2010

Baptism of Florentine Mathilde Braun: Surname Saturday

Today’s Surname Saturday post is about one of those good news/bad news genealogy days.

Good: there’s a baptismal record for my great-great grandmother and she has a twin sister.

Bad: the village pastor had handwriting that strongly resembles a chicken on acid who ran through an inkwell before it made a break for freedom running across the pages of the parish register.

Here’s what I learned about Frederica Ida & Florentina Mathilde BRAUN:

[Entry No.] 280. 29 December [1814]
Twin 1  Friederica Ida
Born on the 7th of the same [month]

[Entry No.] 281. Ditto
Twin 2
Florentina Mathilde
Born on the 7th of the same [month]

Father:   [Carl] Heinrich BRAUN, merchant
Mother:  Joh[anna] Juliana née TRENKLER

The Trenklers lived in Rawitsch for many generations and are relatively easy to find, the Brauns less so, and the Kirschsteins are practically non-existent. I’m starting to think Florentina’s husband, Friedrich Kirschstein, was born somewhere other than Rawitsch.

If it were easy, it wouldn’t be fun, right?