Searching for European Roots - Germany :: Genealogy
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Searching for European Roots - Germany

Journal by bcagle

Anyone researching their German roots may well have already discovered that many records were destroyed through a series of wars. What was once the bulk of the Holy Roman Empire,the home of our earliest German ancestors, has been broken into many smaller countries and provences. Thos searching ancestors born since 1900, may discover that they are now "Polish" relations.

On a trip to their homeland a few years ago, my mother and her two sisters planned to visit their home in what was Ludwigsruh,Germany (at the time they left during WWII, the Russians were on their heals, literally and they just did escape).

After quite a bit of research and paperwork, they discovered their little town was now a subdivision (of sorts) of Gorzow, Poland. During their visit they spoke with many people and each time they mentioned that they were born in Ludwigsruh Germany, they were (not always) politely informed that they were from Gorzow Poland. They were considered Polish although they have a long German ancestry.

If you have a relative with roots in Germany/Austria and Prussia, especially before WWI or WWII, you may do well to find a map of the area printed before 1940. By cross refencing the old map with the new one, you may discover that the records you are searching for are in a newly named or renamed town.

I have an atlas of maps printed in 1927 and am happy to do lookups.
Also consider trying to get the longitude and lattitude degree designation location rather than a place name only. Long. and Latt. do not change, no matter how many wars may come along.

I hope this helps.

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by bcagle Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2006-06-15 10:39:55

Climb Your Tree to Uncover Your Roots. Find helpful resources, conduct a search, enter the forums, or just hang out and read interesting historic accounts and watch vintage videos. Resources and info at and my photo gallery at has what you want. Get my article feed to stay up to date.

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by allycat on 2006-06-15 10:54:09

Brilliant info Barbara, I just may well ask you to do some lookups for me. Before doing my family tree I never realised just how much Prussian ancestry I had.

by bcagle on 2006-06-16 06:17:05

Thank you Allycat. Glad I could inspire some ne direction to explore.With a historian for a husband, I have gained a new perspectus on genealogy. Learning more about the places our ancestors lived and the times they lived in really can help to clear up come questions.

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