Help in tracking German roots :: Genealogy
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Help in tracking German roots

Question by jfkidaho

I am recently new to this. I have one branch of my family in particular that I am interested in tracing. I am having real trouble getting started as my maternal Grandfather came over to this country after fighting in The Great War for Germany. He had brothers and sisters who had children and I find nothing on any of the US sites as most of that info seems to be for immigrants who came here.

What is the best way to find info in Germany?

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by jfkidaho Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2011-12-24 09:54:33

jfkidaho has been a Family Tree Circles member since Dec 2011.

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by poorone on 2011-12-25 01:09:48

May I make a suggestion that you tell us your family names that you are researching.
There may be someone else connected to your line, or somone may be familiar with your family name.

You mention that your Grandfather came over..... but did his brothers and sisters come over too? Where did they come too??

Have you asked any living relatives if they have any information on the family?

Keep in mind that you may have spelling changes in German names from the original names.

If you go to you will find some German records that have been indexed from orginal records. It will help if you knew what area your relatives came from.

Best wishes in your research.

by jfkidaho on 2011-12-26 12:07:46

Thank you and Happy Holidays.

My Grandfather, Traugott Graf, was born in Schmiedefeld Germany on June 3, 1897. His parents were Gustav Graf and Fannie Schneider. I am guessing they were born sometime around the 1860's. They had 5 children including Traugott. Otto Graf, Anna Graf, Herman Graf (1894-1962), Ida Graf.

Otto married Till Zissel andthey had one child. Hildegarde Graf. Anna married Karl Bornscheuer. They had three children, Martha, Phillpine and Herman.

Herman married Anna Fischer and they had two children. Otto and Maria.

Ida married Christian Scharff and they had two children. Alma and Hans.

At some point some of the family moved to Kassel.

I am trying to find any living relatives, other than Traugott's offsping, to piece together the rest of the history. I am also trying to fine out where Traugott served for the Germans in WWI.

In addition I do have names of Traugott's Mother and Fathers siblings and their parents.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.


by 1bobbylee on 2011-12-26 15:34:27


Hello. I will admit. I am not an experienced and knowledgeable historian or genealogist. If I was, I would dig in to help you. However, I have been a member of FTC long enough to know that there are amazing Genealogists at FTC. I know from experience that someone has given me a search site, but I've had trouble surfing through all the areas in that site. I felt sort of embarassed to say, "Hey, I'm having trouble researching." Some new members may give up at that point. But, Please, Don't! I have experienced in the past, that someone who really wants to help you will come to your aid. Keep knocking. Someone may say, "I have got to help this person." Seems to me that you came back and gave some thorough information. You are very new. Dec 2011.

PLEASE. Is there someone out there who can help this very new member?

Good luck!!

by janilye on 2011-12-26 18:54:14

A couple of things I need to know. Is your Traugott Graf the same one who went to Corning, New York to work as a glass blower? Did he marry Mary GAISS? now holds the following records all in German:

Die Regiments-Namen der altpreussischen Armee
German Navy Crew Chronicle, 1891-1918
Germany & Austria, Directories of Military and Marine Officers, 1500-1939
Germany & Austria, Military and Marine Unit Histories, 1760-1930
Germany, Military and Marine Weekly Publications, 1816-1942
Germany, Navy Casualty List, 1914-1915
Germany, Torpedo Personnel Register, 1911
Germany, World War I Casualty Lists, 1914-1917

I suggest you visit their and consider what's available. If it's just military records you seek, perhaps you can gain them through one of their free trial periods rather than paying the money to join.
Short of actually going to Germany, is probably the only way you can view the military records and the privilege is not cheap.

by jfkidaho on 2011-12-26 19:10:51

Yes, that is the same Traugott Graf. It seems in my short time in this that all things lead to

by janilye on 2011-12-26 21:50:14

Indeed they have secured the rights to many never before online records.

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