Searching for European Roots - Germany
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.
on 2006-06-15 10:39:55
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