Lately, I have received a significant number of inquiries regarding how to ‘best’ approach the conduct of German- Prussian- Polish- Shoah research. The questions I have received point to a number of common questions, without specifically re-stating the questions, I will detail their responses here:
- I understand that English-speakers want European Records written and searchable in English. However… I am obligated to point out that our European ancestors may have spoken and written in languages other than English; and so… their records will ‘most likely’ be in their native languages (or perhaps Latin, Hebrew).
- As for genealogy and/or data search functions, I personally do not totally trust or rely on them. I rely on reading records myself. At best, search functions provide indicators of availability, not guarantees of correct and accurate genealogical data retrieval. (Trust but verify.)
- Be advised neither Ancestry.com nor FamilySearch.org provide access to all, or even most, of the European data you will need to scour. It is a truism that there is no one, single source of all information; there is, also, no completely accurate source. All sources are incomplete, all sources have accuracy and data retrieval problems/ difficulties.
As many of my readers know, over the years I have attempted to provide detailed guidance on how-to conduct German (Prussian), Eastern European research. Having said that, I, also, must acknowledge that my (ManyRoads’) guidance, although detailed, is not exhaustive. I do offer more than 4000 weblinks links as well as 50+ GBs of source documents, maps, images, etc. I understand that it takes a long time to absorb the material I provide on ManyRoads (but it will not take nearly as long as it would take you to find the same information on your own, or it has taken me to provide it for your use).
The information, guidance, and links I mentioned above may be found (largely) on the following pages:
- Getting Started
- Prussian/ German Genealogy Help
- Locating German WW1 & WW2 War Casualties & Prisoners
- Finding Genealogy Records from the former German East
- Mennonites – Amish
- ManyRoads Search Engine Portal
If you seek opinions, in addition to mine, on where to search for Eastern European genealogy information, here are several useful articles and links. Be advised, I provide these links without any guarantee regarding their content or cost- although I believe all are available without charge. (This is one of those standard disclaimers or caveat sort of things.)
- Best Continental European Genealogy Websites of 2015
- Helpful International Websites
- Genealogy: East European Genealogical Society Collection
- East European Records Online
- 2016 European Family History Conference (Agenda & Presentations)
- About Archion.de (German Lutheran Church Records Website)
- Review : Archion : A Portal for German Church Books
- German Genealogy Online
If you have found this article of use, please tell others. As always, I greatly appreciate small donations to help me fund and provide information such as I have offered here…