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Jacob Gillen, born March 1831 in Darmstadt, Germany married Katherina. I do not know her maiden name, all records I have list her as Katherina Gillen so she may have been a Gillen too. She also was born in Darmstadt. They immigrated to the U.S.A. in 1850 and settled in Manhattan and Brooklyn, New York.

They had 5 children all born in New York. George William, born Oct. 1852, Catharina born May 13, 1856, Frederick Jacob born Feb. 28, 1859, Gustav born 1862 and and unknown child.

I would like to know who Jacob and Katherina's parents were and if they had any siblings

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Thanks for this info. I'm not sure what all the numbers means. I'll check out the web link you sent.
Have you checked your local Family History Center (FHC)a of the Latter Day Saints? From their catalog, it looks LDS has many microfilmed records from Darmstadt, and I would think church records may be where you need to look. See, dropdowns library, then catalog. The wonderful thing about the Mormons is that they open their research facilities to anyone, regardless of whether or not you are affiliated with their church, without proselytizing of any sort. (I'm not a Mormon, and have never been treated with anything except the utmost courtesy!) The website will tell you where the nearest FHC is to you. For less than $6, you can have the film you want sent to the FHC near you for your use for a month. If the German church you are interested in has a familienbuch as well as the usual baptisms, marriages, and deaths, I recommend you start with the familienbuch, then later move to the bmd records. The familienbuch is a census-like list that was first required in the early 1800s by Napoleon (probably as a way to find men of the right age for the military) but it is a wonderful aid to the genealogist because it includes everyone living from the time the buch was inaugurated (so, in some cases will give you birthdates back to the 1730s) and lists them by household, indicates parents of the male and female heads of household, birth, marriage, and death dates, and often gives further information about the marriages of the children. Just like the US census, it is an after-the-fact kind of record so does not replace the bmd records but can be a significant aid in leading you to those other records as well as describing households.
The trick may be in reading the records. The LDS has a genealogy word list that help withs translation (lists available on their website for free, or printed copies at $1.50 at the FHCs), but the problem is that prior to the 1940s, Germany did not use the Roman script we are used to, but, depending on time or geographic area, used differing forms of Gothic script. There are web examples describing these. For instance, google "German Script" or see The first time I tried to read a German record and was immediately ready to give up, a wonderful woman at my local FHC suggested that I start at the beginning of the film, not worry about my family for a few minutes, and just look for words that I recognized--like Christoph or Barbara, and begin by making an alphabetic table, where I first wrote down the alphabet that I know, then next to each letter, copied the same letter from a word I recognized in the record. Then, I could use my hand-drawn table to help me read the rest of the records. It is tedious--so count on lots of time--but it works.
Thanks for the info. I have used the LDS and gotten much information from them. I will look for the film on Darmstadt.



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