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Germany and German Ancestry


Germany and German Ancestry

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

Members: 1098
Latest Activity: yesterday

Discussion Forum

Surname Koblin

Started by SMJ yesterday.

What Germanic surnames are you researching (Please list Surname - area and time frame) 98 Replies

Started by Nelda L. Percival. Last reply by Joy Rehm Benninghoven on Monday.

Naming Practices 15 Replies

Started by Michelle Gimelberg. Last reply by Joy Rehm Benninghoven on Monday.

Comment Wall


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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
Comment by Albertus Lang on September 3, 2010 at 2:49pm
Well it looks like i am not the only one looking for someone to translate from German to English re Deaths etc ,Thanks
Comment by Sarah Coles on September 3, 2010 at 7:08am
This question may have been asked before but I'd like some links to some free websites that would give me German deaths for the 1800's to early 1900's that are in English as I do not know the German language. I did find that FamilySearch gave me plenty of births and marriage records but very few death records for the families I am working on. Thanks.
Comment by Jeanie on September 3, 2010 at 6:55am
I have obituaries from the 1880's that I found in a German newspaper. The Westlich Post was printed in German and I wondered if anyone out there can translate the obits for me?
Comment by Catherine Davis on August 6, 2010 at 7:32pm
Nancy, How flattering to be asked to respond to your blog. I did, and received the message that my comment will be posted after approval. Thank you!!!!
Comment by Nancy Loe on August 5, 2010 at 9:50pm
Catherine, your response @ Aug 3 9:13 am is just great. Lots of good information there. Would you consider responding at my blog so I don't lift your information wholesale? :D

I was assuming that it was Cook County only, but then got confused with NARA having regional records. Thanks for the clarification.
Comment by Donna Gates-Smeall on August 5, 2010 at 12:49am
I found the three key genealogical trees I needed to fill the gaps in my Mother's father's side. However, the three families are all condensed into a GEDCOM with 100k people in the database.

The problem here is My Family Tree 6 does not seem capable of handling that large a number of people. Is anyone else having that kind of issue with MacFamily Tree 6??? More importantly, how do I get these families incorporated into my tree without having issues?
Comment by marguerite Sykes on August 3, 2010 at 10:32am
Thanks Catherine. Yes, this is the right Karkutt. Haven't been able to locate the naturalization record, so this is wonderful!
Comment by Catherine Davis on August 3, 2010 at 10:06am
Maruguerite, maybe you will benefit after all from Nancy's info on Cook County first papers. I found the following on, Selected US Naturalization Record Indexes:
Karkutt, Christian
452 Otto St., Chicago
Certificate # R31 P514
Circuit Court of Cook County, IL
Country of Birth: Germany
Date of Naturalization: Dec 1, 1891
Witness: H. C. Rouschke, 154 Belmont Ave., Chicago
Date of N

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