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What Germanic surnames are you researching (Please list Surname - area and time frame)

My German family surname is Bonstein The oldest Bonstein Ancestor of mine recorded in my file is Cuntz Bonnstein and his wife Gela. They were married before 1630 and lived in the town of Ropperhousen, in the Principality of Hesse-Kassel (a principality in northern Hesse) in what was know as the Holy Roman Empire.

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The Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation (German: Heiliges Römisches Reich Deutscher Nation listen ▶ (help·info), Latin Sacrum Romanum Imperium Nationis Germanicae, see names and designations of the empire) was a political conglomeration of lands in Central Europe in the Middle Ages and the early modern period. Emerging from the eastern part of the Frankish realm after its division in the Treaty of Verdun (843), it lasted almost a millennium until its dissolution in 1806. By the 18th century, it still consisted of the larger part of modern Germany, the Czech Republic, Austria, Liechtenstein, Slovenia, Belgium, and Luxembourg, as well as large parts of modern Poland and small parts of the Netherlands. Previously, it had included all of the Netherlands and Switzerland, and parts of modern France and Italy (see: Maps below). In the 18th century, when the Empire was already in decline, Voltaire ridiculed its nomenclature by saying that the Holy Roman Empire was "neither Holy, nor Roman, nor an Empire".

It was never a nation state. Despite the German ethnicity of most of its rulers and subjects, from the very beginning many ethnicities constituted the Holy Roman Empire. Many of its most important noble families and appointed officials came from outside the German-speaking communities. At the height of the empire it contained most of the territory of today's Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Czech Republic and Slovenia, as well as eastern France, northern Italy and western Poland. Its languages thus comprised not only German and its many dialects and derivatives, but many Slavic languages and the languages which became modern French, Dutch and Italian. Furthermore, its division into territories ruled by numerous secular and ecclesiastical princes, prelates, counts, imperial knights, and free cities made it, in the early modern period at least, far less cohesive than the emerging modern states around it.
However, during most of its time it was more than a mere confederation. The concept of the Reich not only included the government of a specific territory, but had strong Christian religious connotations (hence the holy prefix). Until 1508, German Kings were not considered Emperors of the Reich until the Pope had formally crowned them as such.
The Reich can thus best be described as a cross between a state and a religious confederation
For more information see:

My family moves forward to 1776 and the American Revolutionary War. Laurentius (Lorenz) Bonstein (Johann Paulus (Paul)5, Christian4, Henning3, Cuntz2, First name unknown1) was born February 5, 1716 in Grossropperhausen, Cassel, Germany and his wife Hedwig Lingemann have to give up two son to the standing Army of Frederick II, Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel.

Paulus Bonnstein and his younger brother my ancestor Johann Jacob (I) Bonstein.

Jacob stayed here and Paulus went home to Hesse-Kassell and family after the war.

If your interested we can exchange information

Thank you for reading

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My great-great grandfather Jacob Kern left Rhein-Bayern via Le Havre de Grosse in France and arrived at New Orleans May 12, 1838. He was 31 years old at the time of his naturalization in Montgomery Co., Ohio on 24 July 1839. His two sons reported their father's place of birth as Hannover in some censuses and Saxony in others. His wife, Julia (or Juliann) Wuest, was reportedly born in Prussia, or Alsace-Lorraine, depending on which source you view.

Another great-great grandfather, Henry Charles Schumacher, is reported to have been born in Hannover or Prussia about 1833. He is known to have left from Bremen to come to America in 1849. His father's name was Fred, and his grandfather's was Herman - Herman was a butcher. Fred also immigrated to America in 1863; he remarried and had at least 4 children in Indiana. Henry Charles was married twice and had 13 children, in Sangamon County, Illinois.

Frederick Sovereign (various spellings, including Zafrein) was born about 1714, and his first wife Anna Waldruff about 1725. I'm not sure if they married in "Germany" (where Anna had previously been married & had 2 sons who also came to America) or in Morris County, New Jersey, but all of their children were born in NJ. When Frederick was an old man (about 85), he and most of his children, grandchildren, and many related families from the Schooley's Mountain area relocated to Long Point Settlement in Upper Canada.

As you can see, I have almost no specifics of location when it comes to my German ancestors.
Hi Jeanie,
The man who did my German research (in country) said find a town and write to the City Hall and ask if they can refer you to a local historian.

Now your: Jacob Kern left Rhein-Bayern ; Rhein-Bayern is a place to start google the town, then find the German address and write your letter and use an online transcribber and send it in German..

The others may be harder but it would give you a begining

Thank you for the tip, Nelda!
Hi Jeanie and Nelda,
Rhein-Bayern isn't a town, it's a region, now a federal state in Germany. It has had other names, too, such as Bavarian Rhineland, Palatinate, Pfalz, Pfalz-Rheinland, etc. It's northwest of Baden and was an area once owned by the king of Bavaria, although, obviously, it is in a different part of Germany.
Hanover, on the other hand, may refer to the city, or it may refer to the "District of Hanover" which surrounds the city. The city of Hanover is the capital of the state of Lower Saxony.
Alsace-Lorraine is part of France that was annexed (1781-1918) by Germany as an imperial province. I don't believe it was ever part of the former state of Prussia. But, I read somewhere (unfortunately cannot remember where so cannot give you the citation) that non-German Americans in the 19th century used the term "Prussia" interchangeably with "Germany," so the use of it in a census may really just mean "somewhere in Germany."
Hope this may help.
I am looking for links to the name Hofmann. Some versions of this name have 2FF's and 1 N. My relatives are from Feudenheim which is near Mannheim. I have been told that there is Spanish links back in the family tree but no one can tell me much more about it.
Have you tried the mailing list and message board for the Hoffman surname. http://www.genforum has message boards too.. Another good free site is

You need to start with yourself and work backwards gathering documents as you go but these websites can help you locate,membcousins

Hope that helps you

Best wishes
Radue - - or could be Radu

Coming from Berlin. I have an address on some records that state they lived on 22 Maxamillian Ave/Road, Berlin. Not sure if that even exsist anymore.

Name are as follows:

Herman - son -
Karl - brother
Carl Herman - b - Germany - 1883

A father of Anton Radue - Married to Annie Zachritz.

How could I get German records to verify the births, weddings, location of Maxamillian Road, etc.


You should write a letter to the city Hall of Berlin and ask where they would be located., although most Germans speak English they appricate you writting them in German. There are numerious translators on line, just google for them.. On the Street location, I'd suggest again googleing for a city street map of Berlin, Germany.

On the AMREV-HESSIAN mailing list 's website we have all sorts of information, come visit and read all the data

Hi Lisa

There are two possibilities. On Google Maps, type in Maximilianstrasse 22, 13187 Berlin, Germany. It appears to be in the Pankow area of the city, north of the center. There is also a Maximilianstrasse 22, 10317 Berlin, in the Lichtenberg area to the east of the center. If we can figure out which address is correct, the German online phone book can be used to find the nearest churches, and then it would be possible to see whether their parish registers have been filmed.

Stuttgart, Germany
I know this is a very late response to this...but It is noted that our family came from the Lichtengerg area.

How do I go about trying to find out where this German On-line phone book is to find a nearby church.

These Radue's were Lutherian.

Also, their passports state their last name WAS Radu.

I wrote a year ago to Nelda L. PercivalAugust 9, 2009

"Hi Nelda Percival! Ropperhausen church records begin 1644. Kassel area is where my ancestors originate. Lynell & I are VERY experienced in research in those archives."

There is no Lichtengerg, but numerous Lichtenbergs.


the Lutherian church records directly of Lichtenberg are centralized from around 1650-1900

in the "Landeskirchenbucharchiv" in Nuernberg/Germany.

Here you can find birth-, marriage- and death-records.

But sorry, not filmed on LDS.

Hope my answer will help you

greetings from Bavaria





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