Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Encyclopedia of German-American Genealogical Research

The Glenview Public Library owns a Reference copy of this wonderful book, call number R929.30942 SMI GENEALOGY

The Encyclopedia of German-American Genealogical Research, published by Clearfield, is still the best book available on German-American genealogy.

The emphasis is on research in America, with special focus on immigration records, German ethnic religious bodies in America, and manuscript and published source materials, both in America and Germany.

One of the most important parts of the book is the section on the "Locations of German-Speaking Congregations in the United States, 1906," based on a federal religious census of the time. This census gives considerable data on a number of the larger German-speaking denominations, enabling the genealogical researcher to establish the county in which German congregations were located.

The encyclopedia provides American researchers with background material on German customs, sociological stratification, governmental organization, and ethnographic considerations having a bearing on immigrant ancestors.

It also contains a section on genealogy in Germany, with emphasis on land records, state vital records, court records, census records, municipal records, and church records. There is a detailed breakdown of the sovereign territories of Germany and a history of the organization of the Holy Roman Empire.

Moreover, there is a section on language and names and one on heraldry, with a final section on German published sources.

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