Perhaps the biggest hurdle for Australians in researching their family history from Germany, or a German speaking area, is knowing where and how to start. But once you've started you often find that the amount of detail that is available in German records exceeds that of comparable English records.
It goes without saying that some understanding of the history of the region helps the researcher better understand the lives of their ancestors (the same goes for any region), and this book helps with that.
It also takes the reader through the issues surrounding names of people and places that tend to confuse the beginner, and it points to records that can be accessed from within Australia as well as those overseas from Australia that are able to provide the foundation upon which research into our German ancestors can be built.
An increasing variety of material, including maps, gazetteers, census records, newspapers, passenger lists and some civil records of birth, marriage and death, and church records of baptisms, marriage burial have been digitised and indexed and are being made available online. This book gives guidance as to how to access these.
But it’s not all online by any stretch of the imagination, and the reader is reminded of the value of being part of a family history, genealogy or local history organisation, both locally and overseas. Of course the German records are written in German, usually in old German script, but a range of tools exist that will help you to make sense of these. As well there will be more experienced researchers in local societies who would be happy to help as well.
Softcover, A5, 66 pages
Eric Kopittke, UnlockThePast Series, 2017