Wednesday, September 21, 2005

soc.genealogy.german or de.sci.genealogie

soc.genealogy.german Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) was written to help genealogists who are interested in German and German-American genealogy.

It is oriented to those who are getting started, either with genealogy or with the Internet.

"German" here means the German language, so this list should be useful for researchers of German, German-American, Austrian, Swiss, Alsatian, Luxembourger, Liechtensteiner, and Eastern European German genealogy. The latest version of this FAQ is available

a really good FAQ
Subject: 19. I don't know German. What should I do?

The best overall solution is to learn German.

Subject: 33. How can I possibly repay you for all your help?

Please repay help freely given by helping other genealogical researchers to the best of your ability. Publishing your results, perhaps by submitting them to the FHL, is an excellent way of helping others. A thank you would also be nice.

Subject: 11. What about the German census?

I must memorize this 1939 - only 1939 is useful

The German central government conducted censuses in 1871, every five years from 1875 to 1910, 1919, 1925, 1933, 1935 (Saar), and 1939. West Germany had censuses in 1946, 1950, 1961, 1970, and 1987. East Germany had censuses in 1945, 1946, 1964, 1971, and 1981. Except for the 1939 census, these censuses are not useful for genealogical purposes; available data are of a statistical nature only. Each of the states conducted their own censuses at other times. Some of these censuses are available via your local LDS FHC and are quite useful genealogically. The central German census authority can tell you if certain censuses exist and where they can be found:

Statistisches Bundesamt
Gustav Stresemann Ring 11
Postfach 5528
65189 Wiesbaden

Subject: 13. What does my German surname mean?

The meaning of a German surname can often be found in a German- English dictionary (e.g., Schmidt means smith, Müller means miller). Sometimes spelling modifications, pronunciation shifts, or dialectal origins hide the original meaning. In such cases, a general or specifically German name lexicon can be useful. Three standard German works are

Deutsche Namenkunde by Max Gottschald,
Deutsches Namenlexikon by Hans Bahlow, also available in English as Dictionary of German Names,
Das grosse Buch der Familiennamen by Horst Naumann, and
dtv-Atlas Namenkunde (Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag).

Please note that name interpretation is often speculative.

see also - FAQs

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