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Germany and German Ancestry


Germany and German Ancestry

This group was created for anyone interested in researching German Ancestry.

Members: 1126
Latest Activity: Jun 7

Discussion Forum

German ancestry help 4 Replies

Started by Courtney rabideau. Last reply by Courtney rabideau Feb 11.

Friedrich Wilhelm Beckman 10 Replies

Started by Patty Zoe Beckman. Last reply by Patty Zoe Beckman Dec 22, 2015.

German Ancestry 5 Replies

Started by Shelly Kay Eitniear-Cherry. Last reply by Joel Hutto Dec 12, 2015.

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Comment by marguerite Sykes on September 23, 2010 at 3:46pm
thanks, Marianne for the naming info. Almost everyone (female) in my German family was a Louise--and there were 4 Karkutt sons who all had daughters and grand daughteers. Yes, Balimore was the port---but one data base had them listed as Ellis Island--which obviously wasn't open in 1880. I believe that was the point I was trying to make.
Comment by Marianne Szabo on September 23, 2010 at 8:46am
To Marguerite Sykes [sorry the previous post got away from me] re not finding Louise Karkutt listed by her first name in German records. In Germany, particularly if Roman Catholic, a child's first name was a "church" name such as John, Joseph, Ann, Maria, etc. So she might be Maria Louise, or something like that. The same applied to men. A child might have 3 names depending on custom. Families used the same names over and over, often following a naming pattern [1st son named after paternal grandfather, 2nd son named after father, as just one example] - a nightmare for genealogists! My great-grandfather was John Gerhardt, called Gerhardt until late in his life when he reverted to John for simplicity. Even in mid-20th Century America, when I was baptized I was given a first name [after my two grandmothers but combined into one name], and a middle name [a feminized version of my father's middle name], and at confirmation a third name [a variation of my mother's first name].
Comment by Marianne Szabo on September 23, 2010 at 8:41am
To Marguerite Sykes
Comment by Nancy Loe on September 22, 2010 at 8:47pm
I also really like The German Card published by the Sacramento German Genealogical Society. $5 and it's easy to work with at a microfilm reader.

But I also will confess that I hired a translator recently and it was worth it.
Comment by Catherine Davis on September 22, 2010 at 8:25pm
Sorry, I missed that the card also has these unidentified numbers on the top line:
K623 and 0900-58302
Comment by Catherine Davis on September 22, 2010 at 8:23pm
From ancestry--an immigration record index card--
Christian Karkutt
452 Otto St.
Certificate Number (or volume and page): R31 P514, Circuit Court, County of Cook, IL
Country of birth or allegiance: Germany
Date and Port of Arrival: X
Date of Naturalization: Dec 1, 1891
Witness: H. C. Rouschke, 154 Belmont Ave., Chicago
Comment by marguerite Sykes on September 22, 2010 at 2:45pm
I've recently discovered my great grandmother's maiden name on one of her son's death record on the beta family search site. Louise M. Karkutt's maiden name was Rousckke and lived in West Prussia. When I've searched for Rousckke I've found many variations of that spelling and none list Louise as a first name--but as a second or third. I am yet to locate a Christian Karkutt, but both of them lived in Prussia for 35 years. I also can't locate a marriage record in Prussia.Any new suggestions on where to look or how to approach this? The time fram is 1845-1880 when they emigrated from Bremen to Baltimore. Marriage was in 1870. I found Louise's death date on beta search, but no details---(1930 in Arlington Heights, IL) Thanks in advance for your insight.
Comment by marguerite Sykes on September 6, 2010 at 9:40am
Thank you Catherine and Michael for the suggestions for excellent sources for written script translation. I was thinking only of the printed word. My genealogy world is small---thus the narrow focus. I keep learning so much from both of you. I appreciate your sharing your knowledge so freely.
Comment by Catherine Davis on September 5, 2010 at 9:32am
I like Google Translate or Systran better than Babel Fish--they seem to have larger dictionaries. However, there are a couple of problems using German records before you get as far as using a translator. The first is the old German script which is quite different from the Roman script we use. The old German is what you will find in at least the Protestant and civil records. (Since Catholic records are usually written in Latin, you may not have the same script problem--don't know, I've never used Catholic German records.)

The second problem is that the older records may contain words that are obsolete now, and so aren't in any modern dictionary or translation program. I've run into a couple where even a German friend's grandfather (who grew up when the Sutterlin script was still used) was unable to figure out the words.

However, it is possible to figure out the most important parts of a record on your own. There are some good research helps at On that site, click on the "research helps" tab at the top of the page, then on "articles" on the dropdown, then "G," and scroll down 5 or 6 lines until you find the documents for Germany. The "word list" is helpful, but the "research outline" is the real gem. It includes a section on reading the German handwriting, as well as another section describing the various kinds of records that may be available in different parts of Germany.
Comment by marguerite Sykes on September 3, 2010 at 3:35pm
Have you tried the Babel Fish translate site? There are others also where you can translate a paragraph or page. I've found it helpful

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