Thursday, May 7, 2015

German Research for the Beginner

On Monday evening I attended my first Special Interest Group (SIG) meeting. Our genealogy club has started a German SIG and I signed up to get help with “over the pond” research into my Nunn family line.

I recently finished a monograph on this family, but the story starts with the arrival of Joseph and Catherina (Kurtz) Nunn into New York City. I have been timid about doing any research across the pond, so when the opportunity presented itself to join others who are doing German research, I decided to take the plunge.

The meeting was loosely structured with going around the table having those in attendance share their brick walls. We were able to help each other with research ideas. I admit I have done nothing with regard to finding German resources and so I appreciated the suggestions provided.

Since I have never belonged to a SIG I wondered how others are structured. I found a nice write up on The Villages (Florida) website I found helpful. I will make these suggestions to our leader.

I will start with where their Wiki has a listing of towns and what resources are available for each town. I learned about Sippenbuchs (family books). It was suggested I check German newspapers in New York, Germans to America (I did this years ago, but wouldn’t hurt to look again), and to double check to see if Joseph did have some sort of naturalization petition. I have to research German history to fully understand the political and economic boundaries. At our next meeting we will examine the evolution of the Germanic lands of Europe, and attendees are encouraged to bring website addresses that they have used in their research.

Today I made a German Research folder and began to find information to get me started. One web site chocked full of information for the beginner is: Genealoger: Family History and Genealogical Services.

I will check Geneablogger for German research blogs, and of course, “just Google.” And I will get back into my German language Mango online learning lessons through our library's website.
One last thing: A mother and teenage daughter who attended our SIG were trying to find Ann Heitz who arrived in 1901 – they weren’t sure where, though this family ended up in California.  So in my searching I will keep an eye out for Ann.

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