INTRODUCTION TO FAMILY RESEARCH
When we research our family it usually starts with a picture of a family member or an interest in your parents and there parents. So, you are visiting your Grandparents and find an old family photo, and your interest for your family tree begins.
GENEALOGICAL RESEARCH MEANS TO IDENTIFY RELEVANT INFORMATION ABOUT THE PERSON OR PERSONS YOU ARE RESEARCHING!
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
COLLECT COLLECT AND COLLECT SOME MORE!! WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?!?
- INTERVIEW YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS ABOUT THE PERSON OR PERSONS IN THE PHOTO YOU HAVE FOUND.
- ASK ANY FAMILY MEMBERS IF THEY HAVE ANY DOCUMENTATION ( PRIVATE LETTERS, HAND WRITTEN DIARIES, BIRTH RECORDS , BAPTISM RECORDS, DEATH RECORDS, DEEDS, NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS ANY OTHER PICTURES OR EVEN MILITARY RECORDS )
IF YOU KNOW WHERE THE LOCATION IS, VISIT ITS LOCATION AND ASK THE NEIGHBORS IN THE SURROUNDING AREA TO FIND OUT IF THEY NEW YOUR FAMILY MEMBER AND HAVE ANY INFORMATION ABOUT THEM.
Once you have exhausted these options, it would be best to visit registry offices and relevant archives. These places will most likely have important family history documents from recent history.
Around January 1, 1876 ( this date varies in different regions of Germany ), Germany passed the ” Personal Statute Act” After the passage of the Personal Statute Act, registry offices around Germany were charged with recording all civil status cases that occurred within their jurisdiction. For periods before the Personal Statue Act, church books represent the primary resources for family research.
It is vital that you know where your family lived. Generally in Germany and most of Europe, all historical data will be located in church books so it is essential that you know what religion they were as church books are focused on a specific congregation.
If you know this, it is much easier to research this online with the information that you know, or by contacting the church directly and asking the for a copy via snail mail or by microfilm.
Taking these steps when researching will make your search time much easier!