Categories: Basic German Records
# Courses Base Price
Courses 4 $476.00
Package total: 4 $476.00
Course image German: Introduction to German Research
Basic German Records
Course Summary:

Optional Print Course Material: German: Introduction to German Research

*Course material will only be sent to students who are registered in the course.

According to census reports, German ancestry is the largest single ethnic group in North America, even out-pacing the English or Irish. Although the vast majority of Germans in North America are in the United States (where 15-20% of the population claim German ancestry), a significant number also settled in Canada, both before and after the American Revolutionary War, as well as other parts of the world.

Unfortunately, most of those of German descent have been reticent to begin research on those German ancestors due to perceived barriers of language, geography, and understanding the records. The purpose of this course is to begin the teaching of genealogical concepts pertinent to German research. It introduces basic concepts needed to succeed in German research and begins to dispel the notion that German research is difficult. Actually, from a research perspective, it is much easier than Canadian, American, English, or Irish research. The purpose of this course is to serve as the foundation for the German Records certificate program.

Course Length: 7 weeks


Contact Hours: 18
Grading Scale: 70% Tests/30% Assignments
Course Length: 7 weeks
Course Content

MODULE 1
NATURE OF GERMAN RESEARCH AND SOURCES
Identifying the Immigrant(s)
Immigration Information

KEY ELEMENTS OF GERMAN RESEARCH
Geography & Place Names
Civil Registration
Church Records
Language & Handwriting
Accessing Records
Published Sources
Advanced Sources & Techniques
FamilySearch

MODULE 2
HISTORY OF GERMANY & GERMAN MIGRANTS
Sources for German History
Timelines
Key Events in the History of Germany
Germans in North America

MODULE 3
MIGRATION OF GERMANS: ONE LANGUAGE, MANY COUNTRIES
The German Core
Neighboring Countries
German Enclaves
More Distant Countries

GERMANS IN THE UNITED STATES
German Counties in 1790
German Cities 1850-1900
German Ancestry in 2010

GERMANS IN ENGLAND
History of German Immigration
German Settlements
Resources for Tracing Germans
Suggested Resources

MODULE 4
GERMAN CULTURE & SOCIETY
Religious Denominations
Family Practices
German Surnames
Given (Fore-) Names
Occupations & Work Ethic
Social Status
Education
Language

MODULE 5
GENEALOGICAL DATABASES FOR GERMAN RESEARCH
Google Translate
FamilySearch
Ancestry.com
Association for Computer Genetics
German Roots
Archion
Other Helpful Resources

MODULE 6
IMPORTANT REFERENCES AND INSTRUCTIONAL BOOKS
The Value of Reference Tools
Linguistic Aids
Immigration History
Archives & Libraries
Using Church Records
Guides & Indexes to Published Genealogical Literature
Other References
Find a Professional Genealogist
Course image German: The Language
Basic German Records
Course Summary:

Optional Print Course Material: German: The Language

*Course material will only be sent to students who are registered in the course

Although North America, Australia, and New Zealand had a significant amount of German immigration, it may feel scary to explore German records if you don't speak the language. Adding to the language barrier, many German records are written in unfamiliar handwriting. English and German are closely related. Fluency isn't required to be a good genealogist in German records. This course introduces the keys needed so researchers can be successful in German genealogy. This course focuses on understanding written German from an English perspective. German: Reading the Records (GR-201) will focus on the various handwriting and printing styles used in German records. 
Contact Hours: 18
Grading Scale: 70% Tests/30% Assignments
Course Length: 7 weeks
Course Content

MODULE 1
GERMAN LANGUAGE FROM AN ENGLISH PERSPECTIVE
Interchangeable Letters
Classes of Words

MODULE 2
GERMAN WORD LISTS & DICTIONARIES
Commercial German-English Dictionaries   
German Word List

MODULE 3
GERMAN GRAMMAR
Nouns  
Compound Words  
Articles & Gender  
Pronouns  
Conjunctions  

MODULE 4
GERMAN GRAMMAR...Continued
Prepositions  
Adjectives  
Verbs  
Adverbs  

MODULE 5
READING GERMAN CHURCH REGISTERS  
Literal Translations  
Multi-Stage Translation   

MODULE 6
READING GERMAN PUBLISHED SOURCES
About automated translation  
New Technology Introduced Google Translate  
Other Translation Resources  
Course image German: Locating Places in Germany
Basic German Records
Course Summary:

Optional Print Course Material: German: Locating Places in Germany

*Course material will only be sent to students who are registered in the course.

All genealogical research is ultimately local in origin. Our ancestors lived in specific places, and the records about them were usually created in those places where they lived. Even records of larger jurisdictions, such as at the national level (e.g., census records), were generally written by officials in the specific place where a family lived. Further, it is through a family's location that we, in part, identify them. Not only is it important to know a person's name, birth date and relationships (parents, spouse, children), but also the place where a person lived (or was born, married, or died). All of these elements are necessary to fully, and uniquely, identify a person. 

The geographic aspect of genealogical research is even more important for Germanic ancestors than it is for research in other areas. Some key records for family history research in countries outside of Germany were created at the state, provincial, or national level (such as military or census records). That is seldom the case with German ancestors. Virtually all the key records about German families were created at the local level, in the town or parish where they lived. A few were created at the district (like a county) level, but virtually none at higher government jurisdictions. Therefore, locating places in Germany is an important aspect of successful German research. For researchers, this begins with learning the correct place where a German immigrant came from; his ancestral home. From there it is essential to learn the parish where the family attended church. As research progresses, you may find persons married into families from other areas. Those locations must also be identified, so that appropriate records can be searched. The primary tools for such research are gazetteers. They will be the focus of this course. However, important aspects of German jurisdictions are also necessary to understand, as is the ability to read, and understand, place names which may not be familiar to an English or French-speaking researcher. 

Course Length: 7 weeks

Contact Hours: 18
Grading Scale: 70% Tests/30% Assignments
Course Length: 7 weeks
Course Content

MODULE 1
IDENTIFYING THE ANCESTORS’ HOMETOWN
Is it really a hometown?
Did you read that place-name right?
Conclusion

MODULE 2
GERMAN JURISDICTIONS
Former German Countries & States (Regions)
Smaller German Jurisdictions
Modern German Countries

MODULE 3
USING MEYERS GAZETTEER
Reading the Gothic Font
Key Abbreviations in Meyers
Typical Layout of a Meyers Entry
Dependent (Reference) Entries
Regular Entries
Identifying Jurisdictions in an Entry
Determining the Civil Registry Office
Is There a Parish in the Town?

MODULE 4
OTHER GAZETTEERS FOR GERMANY
How to Find Gazetteers on FamilySearch

MODULE 5
GAZETTEERS FOR OTHER GERMAN-SPEAKING AREAS
Austro-Hungarian Empire
Austria
Czechoslovakia
Hungary
Poland
Romania
Switzerland

MODULE 6
PLACE NAME CHANGES
Documentation of Place Name Changes
Reverse-Sort Gazetteers
Course image German: Church Records
Basic German Records
Course Summary:

Note: This course requires compulsory materials to be ordered. This is available at GenealogyStore.com

1. Printed Course Material: German: Church Records

*Course material will only be sent to students who are registered in the course.

The primary, and often only significant original records for German research, are the registers of the local churches where German ancestors lived. This is the case wherever, and whenever, Germans lived, and wherever you are conducting research on German families. 

Regardless of whether German families were living within the bounds of modern Germany, the old German Empire, or in the dozens of other countries where ethnic Germans settled, successful research requires the careful, and sometimes creative, use of church registers.

The vast majority of Germans, historically, belonged to one of three major Christian denominations—the Roman Catholic Church, the Lutheran Church, or the (German) Reformed Church. The practice of keeping registers of church ordinances in German areas began with the Lutheran Church in the mid-1500s; the Catholic Church followed soon, generally shortly after the Council of Trent in 1563; and, Reformed churches generally began during the next 50 to 80 years. 

Until the implementation of civil (government) registration of births, marriages, and deaths, generally in the 1870s, there are usually no other records in German areas that were designed to record virtually each and every person who lived in a given area. Therefore, for between 200 and 300 years, church registers are the records all German genealogists deal with.

This course provides detailed discussion of the use of German church (often called parish) registers. Through the numerous examples, researchers will learn not only the common formats of the key kinds of church records, but also important vocabulary terms used in the records. In addition, search strategies will help students understand how to wring the most possible information from these records.

The International Institute of Genealogical Studies is extremely pleased to be able to use, as the primary reading material for this course, an outstanding book on this subject, authored by Kenneth L. Smith, <i>German Church Books: Beyond the Basics,</i> Rev. ed. (Rockport, Maine: Picton Press, 1993). We express our deep appreciation to the publisher for making an electronic copy of this text available for our students.

Because the course reading material is not proprietary to the International Institute's course, access to the electronic text online will only be available during the term of this course as usual, but will NOT be accessible for printing. Since this reading material is an important reference tool which students will want to refer to frequently while conducting research in parish registers, the printed version is compulsory for this course. 

The course instructional material will primarily serve as a guide to the content of Smith’s material. In addition, it will present some brief supplemental material, as well as the module assignments.

Course Length: 7 weeks

Contact Hours: 18
Grading Scale: 70% Tests/30% Assignments
Course Length: 7 weeks
Course Content

MODULE 1
OVERVIEW OF GERMAN CHURCH RECORDS  
Introducing the Required Reading  
Required Reading  
Accessing German Church Records
Organization of Parish Registers
Language of the Records  

MODULE 2
PERSONAL & PLACE NAMES IN CHURCH RECORDS  
Required Reading  
Introduction
Personal Names
Place Names  

MODULE 3 
CHURCH MARRIAGE RECORDS  
Required Reading  
Introduction
Expected Content   

MODULE 4
CHURCH BAPTISMAL RECORDS
Required Reading  
Introduction  
Online Records  
Expected Content  
Illegitimate Births

MODULE 5  
CHURCH DEATH & BURIAL RECORDS  
Required Reading
Introduction  
Expected Content  
Squeezing an Earlier Generation from the Burials  

MODULE 6
OTHER CHURCH RECORDS
Required Reading  
Introduction
Confirmation Records  
Family Registers
Church History or Minutes  
Jewish Records
Handwriting Issues  

APPENDIX