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Germany and German Ancestry


Germany and German Ancestry

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

Members: 1125
Latest Activity: on Wednesday

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 Eva Kujawa on Wednesday

Hello All

I have today joined this group. I am interested in Germany where my parents immigrated from, therefore i have no ancestors in Northern America. I live in a suburb of Toronto in Canada, if anyone needs any help, please feel free to ask.



Comment by Lois Shaul on December 28, 2015 at 3:18pm

I have Fox's in Iowa. You have any connection? 

Comment by Helen Pust on July 10, 2015 at 9:02am

Thanks to all of you.  This is great it gives me new leads and possibilities.  I sent for both August and Johanna's medical records at our provincial archives yesterday.  Thought there might be more info there.

Of course there may not be much for him as our Province was just coming into it's own,.  We were still considered a territory not a province.  There's records of course but he died at home and sometimes it was just the doctor's notes.

Once again thanks everyone

Comment by Frederick george henchell on July 9, 2015 at 6:33pm

Good point!  But I would substitute "more" for "better".  Again, I was amazed to find that my great grandfather had been baptized as a catholic. He didn't have much say at two days old.  But in America, our family has followed Protestant lines.  I got marched to a Lutheran church at a young age.  I have no intent to offend anyones religious believes.  My only point was to consider other possibilities of where records might be found.   

Comment by Catherine Davis on July 9, 2015 at 4:51pm

I'm not an expert on religious records of any type in any country, but I don't think it fair to speculate that Catholics keep better records than Protestant.  The quality of records depend on both the quality of record keeping by individual ministers and priests and also on the political situation of a given area.  In terms of the first, I've seen great variation within a single church as to the quality of records over time. As to the second, one needs to consider that at the time of the Protestant Reformation, Germany split along religious lines, with Catholics being the predominant group  in Bavaria and the far western portion of Germany while the northeast, central, and southwest portions were predominantly Protestant.  This is true even today although there is a greater mix of religions in most areas than in the time of the middle ages. At one point in the Middle Ages, the law was that the ruler of a state would determine the religion for all the people he ruled.  All of this can have an effect on where records were kept--a small group of Protestants in a Catholic area might be forced by the local law, for instance, to report their births, marriages and deaths to the Catholic Church, and vice versa in a Protestant area. I don't know if this happened, but it is possible at least from a theoretical standpoint. Then you had the French Republic take over parts of Germany in the 1790s and kick out all churches. Napoleon became emperor in 1804 and allowed the re-establishment of the churches. So you might find civil records rather than church records for the years when there were no churches (or you might get lucky and find records from churches who went underground at this time).  German unification came in 1871 and civil registration became a requirement for the entire new country in 1876. Some churches may still have kept records after that; other may have stopped.

Comment by Marianne Szabo on July 9, 2015 at 1:40pm

In some villages, the Catholic Church kept records for both their parishioners and for the Evanglische (Lutheran) parishioners.  In the column for religion I have seen "Luth" as well as "R. Cath" and variations of that.

Comment by Frederick george henchell on July 9, 2015 at 1:06pm

Helen,  I was surprised to learn that my great grand father was baptized in Germany as a Catholic.  Once in America, he became a Protestant.  So you might consider that possibility.  I was able to get a record from the Catholic church in Cologne.  I think the Catholics might have had better records?   So if you know where he was born maybe you can find a Catholic church there with records. 

Comment by Helen Pust on July 9, 2015 at 12:09pm

Thanks  Will try  and do check message boards out see if there is any one else looking for them


Comment by Catherine Davis on July 9, 2015 at 11:54am

A couple of other ideas, which you've maybe already tried.

Message boards on rootsweb or

Google Pust genealogy and see what comes up.

Check white page websites to see where other Pusts now live and write to them.

Have you tried  The family tree parts of the site are free.

Comment by Helen Pust on July 9, 2015 at 8:17am

There is a family in either Idaho or Washington that my grandmother visited after he died.  I found this and other proof of this in the Border Crossing's.  But have no luck finding who they were.


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