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Germany and German Ancestry


Germany and German Ancestry

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

Members: 1102
Latest Activity: Sep 26

Discussion Forum

Can anyone read the name of this town? 16 Replies

Started by Beth Gatlin. Last reply by Paul Hart Sep 1.

Germans to America 1893 14 Replies

Started by Richard Monroe Olsen. Last reply by Marianne Szabo Aug 18.


Started by KP Kris Aug 11.

Comment Wall


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Comment by Marianne Szabo on September 9, 2014 at 2:35pm

Melissa - is this who you are looking for (Ancestry, but you should be able to see the results, if not the images, even if you're not a member.

Family Search doesn't have records for Belgium for the years involved.

Comment by Melissa Doum on September 9, 2014 at 2:12pm

I am trying to help my husband research his family line. I know my father in law immigrated to the US from Belgium when he was 8 with his parents but they never really talked about their lives. To start I have Johann Doum (1915-1996) and his wife, Nanna Dunzelman (1917-1988). I know the names of Nanni's parents but that is as far back as I can go on her. As far as Johann, I know he has 15 brothers and sisters and that is all I know. I can probably get some more information from my father in-law but this really is the bulk of what he knows. Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks!

Comment by Joy Rehm Benninghoven on August 20, 2014 at 12:38pm

Paul Hart.. Thank you for letting me know you were going to Duesseldorf on holiday.  If you had time to look up my Lutheran records for family, I look forward to hearing from you.  Joy B

Comment by Velma St John on August 19, 2014 at 7:31pm

Thank you so much, Marianne. It's a great lead!

Comment by Marianne Szabo on August 19, 2014 at 12:42pm

Velma - the person filling out the Civil War pension file may not have heard the name of the town correctly, or spelled it incorrectly.  I was able to find Wiedersbach in Sachsen, Preussen (Prussia), Germany on  They have a microfilm of church records from there that you can request to be sent to a Family History Center near you.

When I search Simon and his wife at, 300 possible records come up:

Comment by Velma St John on August 19, 2014 at 9:58am

I'm researching my Langguth line. I have the Civil War pension file for Simon Langguth (also known as Longhead/Longguth in Civil War records). According to the file Simon married Caroline Baetz September 1862 in Weidersrothe, Germany. However, I cannot find this location and have no clue as to where in Germany it is located. According to the New York passenger list in 1875 they came from Sachsen and the 1880 U. S. Census record states they came from Saxony. Has anyone heard of Weidersrothe or come across the name in your research?  I tried to Google it but got nowhere. Any suggestions of where I might find some clues?

Comment by Joy Rehm Benninghoven on July 28, 2014 at 4:31pm

In Milwaukee, WI, USA, Gary Rebolz has been translating German Obits.  He helped me find my Dad's family now in Union Cemetery.  I paid him per obit and am SO grateful.  I now know where my Rehm & Thieme families came from in Germany.  I now need to know the next step in Darmstadt Hessen 1818 and Langstadt Germany 1811 were their birth dates. Thanks for any help.

Comment by Paul Hart on July 28, 2014 at 3:44pm

I am not a certified translator if that is what you mean. I do not translate new stuff. In fact, I have been working specifically for about the last five years only on German documents from the 1800s.

I am willing to help folks with minor stuff for free. Things like words not found on Google Translate or where the German writing is bad. I have so much on my plate though that I cannot be doing full out translations unless it was worth my while. Between a full time job, school, kids, home and my own research, I just do not have the time.

Family Historians do try to help each other though, so I volunteer at the local FHC. I have helped a good number of people find paths around the brick walls in their German research.

I also have a database online documenting records I have seen. These are just names, dates and places I have noted in my own research. I am considering eventually doing up books of translated records from specific German towns and self-publishing them. Once again, when and if I ever find the time...

Comment by Catherine Davis on July 28, 2014 at 8:10am

Paul, are you a translator who gets paid for your work or are you volunteering your services?

Comment by Paul Hart on July 28, 2014 at 4:18am

Kate, I agree with you that it is possible to get the information from Google Translate. It is fine for pulling names, places and dates out of a document.

However, if you are not familiar with German, and you are looking for a detailed translation, it may not work or give you the wrong info. I know. I have tried it. There is an older woman on a German mailing list with the current problem. She is 85 years old, does not know German and according to her it is, "too late for me to learn now."

I have been translating records for about five years now. Nobody is perfect, but I do a lot better job of translating the record into readable English. It took me four hours to get an A in the five-week German language course listed above.

So if funds are tight and you just want an overview of the document, yes use Google Translate. However, if you have no clue how to read German and do not want to learn; if you want the record in detail and in readable English, you may want to hire someone to do the translation.


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