Finding Wilhelm Henss

To say that finding Wilhelm Henss (William Henss) was difficult is an understatement. It seems like his German home and family had been lost to the US Henss family from the very beginning. The why behind that fact remains a mystery. We will probably never know if William choose to keep his origins “quiet” or(…)

Polish Genealogy Sources

Recently, I decided it was time to begin researching my Aunt Annette’s family.  For the record, my Aunt Annette was my grandfather’s second wife.  Although she is of no genetic relationship to me, 30 years after her death I remain emotionally linked to her. Anyway, her family line was from Poland. She married my grandfather(…)

Exercising your brain

For those of you who follow any/ some/ all of my adventures and misadventures I have something a bit different to share. My newest mental exercise… Like most everyone, I need to learn new languages. Also, like everyone I can make a thousand excuses about not learning a new language. I should note, although a(…)

Pommern Genealogy Research of Egon Giese

A few weeks ago, Egon Giese contacted me to ask if I was willing to post his largely Pomeranian genealogy research (Pommern Ahnenforschung) on ManyRoads. Naturally I could not refuse his exceedingly generous offer. This posting is the official announcement of his research materials availability on ManyRoads. For those who would like access to Egon’s(…)

digibiblio German Database a project (subsidiary) of is offering Free user registration through the end (28) of February 2014.  The digitized data they offer generally consists of digitized Ahnenpässen (passports), Familienstammbüchern (family books) and GEDCOM files. If you are looking for “a needle in the haystack”, this could afford you an unexpected/ free opportunity(…)

I’ve hit a Brick Wall, Now What?

Arnold Palmer was generous enough to share his Brickwall PowerPoint (I’ve hit a Brick Wall, Now What?) presentation with our readership. Please read, enjoy and remember to thank him for his generosity! Also, I would remind you to repect his copyright of the materials. [download id="14916"]  

Possible paths around a brickwall

So you think you have hit a brickwall, and there are no more clues to be found. If you have arrived at that spot and are frustrated, here are some ideas that might help you get ‘unstuck’. Did your ‘targeted’ person have siblings?  If so, have you researched them to see if their lives might(…)

Hesse (Prussia) Genealogy Research

As many of you may already know, the region of the world sometimes referred to as Prussia was both large and diverse, incorporating lands far beyond East & West Prussia. My wife’s family comes from one such area, the lands between Kassel and Darmstadt in what is today: Hessen, Germany. If you, like me, are(…)

Research help in Polish Archives & Collections – Forschung in polnischen Archiven, Behörden

  For those interested in getting genealogical research assistance/help in the former German Eastern provinces of today’s Poland the note below offers some useful guidance.  If you do not read German please run the note through Google Translate or similar.   ——– Original Message ——– Hallo liebe Listenteilnehmer, immer wieder taucht hier die Frage auf(…)

GenerousGenealogists’ changes

Because many of you know that I have been and continue to be the primary person involved in GenerousGenealogists, I thought you might appreciate a heads-up regarding changes going on there. Due to the amount of work the site was consuming, I have decided to align efforts there with my primary areas of interest, rather(…)

Surname Searches

Hunting for places where surnames are prevalent can provide and set of useful start locations from which to start a genealogical search.  But before you start here are a couple of points worth considering… Remember most, if not all, surname search tools use current data. So you need to know whether a location has been(…)

Généalogie Québecois Genealogy

If you are interested in getting and sharing information, tips & pointers regarding the search for French Canadian (and other Franco-American) Ancestors, Généalogie Québecois Genealogy may be the “place” ( LinkedIn Group) you have been looking for. As many of you already know, I have a “small” but “abiding” interest in conducting Quebecois Research.  My(…)

Ethnic German Genealogy

If you are interested in getting and sharing information, tips & pointers regarding the search for German Ancestors, Ethnic German Research may be the “perfect” LinkedIn Group for you. As many of you already know, I have a “small” but “abiding” interest in conducting German Research.  My primary areas of interest include (but are not limited(…)

Storage Safety: points to ponder

As a person who dabbles in technical issues regularly, my quandary may seem a ‘bit of a surprise’. But, I think the issues involved are rather more complicated than they first appear. Like most of the ManyRoads’ readership, I am involved in genealogy. Stated another way, I gather a lot of family history and pictures.(…)

New ManyRoads Cartographic Area

I am pleased to announce significant revisions to our Cartographic resources (maps).  Because of the image problems I have experienced on ManyRoads, I am moving all my images into a new format.  As a result I have been able to make available considerably more data than in the past.  Our expanded files include some 253(…)

A return visit to Zeyer

The captain said, “Buckle your seat belts.”  The ride was about to get bumpy. It was the 22nd of July 2013 and I was on a small commuter flight returning from my parent’s house, going to my connecting flight in Dulles. The clouds outside were billowing hugely.  The flight staff was told to take their(…)

FHISO announces its first chairperson- Drew Smith

Yesterday I received the following email from FHISO: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Date: 8 June 2013 Family History Information Standards Organisation, Inc. (FHISO) is pleased to announce the appointment of Drew Smith as the first Chair of FHISO, effective 1 July 2013. Drew is currently the Organisational Member Representative to FHISO from the Federation of Genealogical(…)

Family Echo

Have you been looking for a way to share your genealogy efforts with family and friends? If so the latest tool set on  GenerousGenealogists might be what you need. Recently GenerousGenealogists announced that Family Echo became part of their family of no-cost genealogy support offerings. Based in Tel Aviv, Family Echo is an open source,(…)

A Genealogy Q&A site

The folks at GenerousGenealogists have recently made available a new and unique Genealogy question and answer site. In many ways the site functions like YahooAnswers. The notable difference is that this Q&A site is geared towards genealogy only. The new GenerousGenealogists Q&A site is not oriented towards finding lost relatives, or solving brickwalls; they do(…)

GenerousGenealogists, RAOGK & me

As is often the case, I sign-up for more than my family thinks is good for me.  This time I agreed to reconstruct a new and hopefully improved version of what used to be Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness (RAOGK).  The renewed incarnation of RAOGK is named: GenerousGenealogists.  Our activities, site, and purpose are largely(…)

Anabaptist-Mennonite DNA project participation

As many of you may have already guessed, our families and ancestries are crowded with Mennonite and Amish peoples- Anabaptists. For years, we knew of the Rich (Henss Family Branch)  connections to the Swiss- Elsass/Alsace,  Montbeliard/ Bern communities. More recently, we have come to understand quite a bit of the Senger (Rabideau Family Branch) connections(…)

German Genealogy Research Aids

Based on email traffic I have seen lately, it seems to me that all too many people think they are doomed to failure with their German genealogical research simply because they are unfamiliar with the German language (dialects) or unaware of German speaking peoples’ histories. Knowing something about German and “the history of German speaking(…)

Do genealogy? Really?

Perhaps, it was Friday or maybe the day before… Becky (my wife) and I were discussing why I do genealogy work. More precisely, the question we were discussing focused on what advantages or benefits I (the genealogy fanatic) actually attain from my endeavors. Because, wealth most certainly was not among them. But in all seriousness,(…)

Past to future

Over the past few weeks, I have been mulling over the significance of history, war, and the ravages of time.  Quite the happy thoughts I know. I suppose this stream of consciousness was initiated by my review of some photos from my mother’s family church in Zeyer, Westpreussen, in what is today Poland.  Then today(…)

Remote Desktop Sharing (Free)

For years I have had the need to share information, applications, and desktops across the miles.  Just recently, I stumbled across two viable, and affordable solutions that should work for people like me who are: poor (and prefer to stick with Open Source – Free- software), multiplatform (Win, Mac, Linux) users and who also… desire(…)

Using Mendeley &tc. for Genealogy Research

As I mentioned in an earlier post, recently I came across a VERY promising research tool to assist in gathering, sorting, and sharing research source materials.  That tool is called Mendeley .  It enhances, compliments, and can even replace tools like Zotero.  It, also, links interactively with desktop word processing tools like LibreOffice/OpenOffice and perhaps(…)

Prussian Mennonite Research Materials

As many of you may know, my Recht family line (Hermann Recht’s family) has strong roots within what was once the Mennonite Community resident near the former Elbing and Marienburg, Westpreussen. As I conduct my Prussian Mennonite family genealogical research, this page will evolve and develop into something a bit more robust. I am using(…)

Data gathering tools (new, to me)

As a genealogist that conducts much of his research on the web, good data and image gathering tools are extremely helpful.  As a person who relies heavily on the PC as a genealogical repository and information processor, tools that help me sort and process the information I gather are highly valued (prized).  In all fairness,(…)

Copyright, copyleft, protect your stuff…

Assuming you write materials and you’d like to get protection and/or keep some credit for your work, here are a few thoughts. (Note: do not confuse this Blog posting with any manner of legal advice.) Firstly, you ought to decide if you really want your materials to be shared and/or protected.  No matter what you(…)

Hinaus in die Ferne

It probably bears mention that my grandmother- Frieda Senger- was a woman of many verses.  So given that my most recent visits with my mother have involved hearing a particular verse frequently; I thought I’d preserve it for posterity, especially since it is a verse I never heard while growing up.  It’s a lively little(…)

Finding Genealogy Software (more) pointers…

In keeping with the theme of my previous posting, here are some additional pointers to genealogy software and software reviews. Be aware that none of the listings are complete, nor do they over-lap to any significant amount. Each list is “somewhat” to “a lot” unique.  Additionally you should note, not all the listings or reviews(…)

Eastern Germans, a cold case?

Searching for missing or lost family members from the former German Eastern Provinces can be quite a challenge. As you may already know, following the WW2 defeat of Germany by the allies, almost all ethnic Germans were ‘cleansed’ from their former homes in East/ West Prussia, Pomerania, Silesia, etc. (as well as much of Eastern(…)

Presenting family genealogies on the web

Presenting readable, genealogical information, data, and stories is a complex challenge.  It seems to me that people’s lives ought to be expressed as more than family trees, dates, and lineages.  I have been struggling with this problem for quite a while.  Perhaps you have as well. Over the years, I have noticed a few ‘special’(…)

Danzig- Westpreussen (West Prussia) Heimatortskartei

For those wishing to gain access to photographic images of the actual Heimatortskartei from the towns, cities & villages which were near what used to be Danzig in West Prussia, they are available on FamilySearch. (LINK to Danziger Gebiet (Area ) Westpreussen (West Prussia) Heimatortskartei). These represent images of a civil register (handwritten and printed(…)

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