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Old 28.01.2013, 20:44
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genealogy research and stories

as i am here in the 'old world', i have be given the task to track down family ties and information here in europe. not an easy thing, but it is quite fun and interesting. i wonder if people have had any success in their own attempts, as it seems the more information i find out the more of a mess i am sifting through.

just looking for some good stories or advice to keep me motivated while i am, at times, ready to just give up!
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Old 28.01.2013, 20:50
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Re: genealogy research and stories

One good site in the event there are some roots in Zürich:

http://kunden.eye.ch/swissgen/kibu/zhkbinde.htm

following which you can email the State Archive for assistance.

http://www.staatsarchiv.zh.ch/intern...a/de/home.html
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Old 28.01.2013, 20:54
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Re: genealogy research and stories

thanks for that- good info for those looking in switzerland, but i'm covering southern europe . thankfully i've been in touch with people from the small village who are helpful and very interested in this project as well, but the time that it takes is incredible- especially checking back with google translate after each paragraph...
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Old 28.01.2013, 20:57
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Re: genealogy research and stories

This might help you then:

http://www.genealogylinks.net/europe/index.html
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Old 28.01.2013, 20:59
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Re: genealogy research and stories

ha! that is chuck fulla links, thanks so much! now i fear i'll have more hours of scanning and clicking
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Old 28.01.2013, 21:07
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Re: genealogy research and stories

I ued to think my last name didn't mean anything and didn't know much about my family background. I have found out that it comes from the Teutonic knights. That is a big difference.
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Old 28.01.2013, 21:07
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Re: genealogy research and stories

Genealogy in Switzerland is just so easy- as each family has a 'Commune d'Origine' or place where the family was first recorded. I know my Commune d'Origine of course, that of my father's family, but also my mother's and other maternal grand-parents- and hey ho presto. One in Jura, one in Neuchatel ad 2 in Vaud - good mixture

My OH's family genealogy on his paternal grand-father's side is very well known and recorded - hailing from Devon, the on to Cairo and Cape Town. His grand-mother though was from Indonesia and was of Cape Malay slave stock - and we would just love to be able to find out more - but I suppose slaves were not well recorded?

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Old 28.01.2013, 21:17
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Re: genealogy research and stories

Tried to find out about mine but the farthest I went was my father's ancestor being on the first ships with Champlain. Beside that, there is a mix of Native American, French, English. On my mom's side it is much more complicated as the name can be written in different ways so can't manage to find anything but seem to be related to Spanish, French and Native American.

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Old 28.01.2013, 22:01
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Re: genealogy research and stories

I find genealogy searches really fascinating too.

If you come from one of the catholic countries your search usually starts (or ends, usually both!) in the churches as they have better records than the state.

And a visit to the villages usually turns up lots of good information. When you get to that stage and are ready for a road trip, I'll carry your books for you!

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Old 28.01.2013, 22:07
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Re: genealogy research and stories

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I find genealogy searches really fascinating too.

If you come from one of the catholic countries your search usually starts (or ends, usually both!) in the churches as they have better records than the state.

And a visit to the villages usually turns up lots of good information. When you get to that stage and are ready for a road trip, I'll carry your books for you!

If you really want fascinating, try the genealogy database in Ellis Island:
http://www.ellisisland.org/
And do it the other way around, see from where your family came.
I had the pleasure to visit Ellis island and if America has a birthplace then in my humble opinion it is Ellis Island
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Old 28.01.2013, 22:11
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Re: genealogy research and stories

Ellis Island Museum is a very moving and interesting place. However, all those who went to the US carried in 1st ad 2nd class were able to by-pass Ellis Island and went straight in. Which is why the locals here all put money in the pot when my uncles and aunt and about 12 others, left our village in CH with a single train ticket to Le Havre, and a 2nd class crossing to NY.
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Old 28.01.2013, 22:28
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Re: genealogy research and stories

It is much easier in Europe, I agree. Especially in small countries.. Unless there is huge flooding and graves with your relatives bones are taken to Germany, that was a strange moment. That and finding out that one has a pretty rigid religious background which was hidden for safety and political reasons.

But basically, every one's last name means something (usually some quite descriptive adjective or a profession, comes from the middle ages) so you can be sure you are related if you happen to stumble upon somebody with the same last name.

We are not used to dig into past much, though. It was too busy, wars, executions, concentration camps, prosecutions, revolutions, we were annexed to a bunch of cocky neighboring countries, occupied, given away to Hitler to make him happy, to commies to not spread, etc..So, people are much more focused on now, I think.
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Old 28.01.2013, 23:36
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Re: genealogy research and stories

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Ellis Island Museum is a very moving and interesting place. However, all those who went to the US carried in 1st ad 2nd class were able to by-pass Ellis Island and went straight in. Which is why the locals here all put money in the pot when my uncles and aunt and about 12 others, left our village in CH with a single train ticket to Le Havre, and a 2nd class crossing to NY.
Did not know that, I thought that all had to go through procedures.
In the great hall is a beautiful brick floor in a fish-bone pattern and you can see where the floor is worn by all those people. Jeez, the hair on the back of my neck is standing just thinking about the place.
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Old 28.01.2013, 23:41
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Re: genealogy research and stories

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as i am here in the 'old world', i have be given the task to track down family ties and information here in europe. not an easy thing, but it is quite fun and interesting. i wonder if people have had any success in their own attempts, as it seems the more information i find out the more of a mess i am sifting through.

just looking for some good stories or advice to keep me motivated while i am, at times, ready to just give up!
If you give me some names and place names I can give it a go for you if you want.
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Old 29.01.2013, 02:26
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Re: genealogy research and stories

My parents come from very different backgrounds. All the research was done in the U.S.
My mother's ancestors were English, Irish, Scottish and Native American. Some can be traced as far back as the 1600's. This is because I am related to a famous American writer,
My father's can only be traced to the names of my great-great granarents. They were all Eastern Eurpean Jews who fled to the U.S. ar the beginning of the 20th century.

Last edited by staceyswiss; 29.01.2013 at 02:27. Reason: Spelling mistakes
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Old 29.01.2013, 02:34
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Re: genealogy research and stories

Check out http://www.jewishgen.org/databases/
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Old 29.01.2013, 02:53
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Re: genealogy research and stories

That was for Stacey.

I've been able to trace my roots back to a famous author as well (Laura Ingalls Wilder). The Ingalls as far back as the Norman invasion of England back around 900-1000 AD. I have others that came from England on the Mayflower (boat) and founded Epping, New Hampshire.

My grandfather was Danish but I get stuck there. Because they alternated names. For example Petersen was the son of Peter and Nelsen was the son of Nel. So my dad, who's name was Peter would make me Jeremy Petersen instead of Nelson (Americanized version of Nelsen).

It's pretty interesting and fun to learn these things though.
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Old 29.01.2013, 04:53
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Re: genealogy research and stories

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That was for Stacey.

I've been able to trace my roots back to a famous author as well (Laura Ingalls Wilder). The Ingalls as far back as the Norman invasion of England back around 900-1000 AD. I have others that came from England on the Mayflower (boat) and founded Epping, New Hampshire.

My grandfather was Danish but I get stuck there. Because they alternated names. For example Petersen was the son of Peter and Nelsen was the son of Nel. So my dad, who's name was Peter would make me Jeremy Petersen instead of Nelson (Americanized version of Nelsen).

It's pretty interesting and fun to learn these things though.

Thanks Jeremy!

I have heard of that site!!

BTW, I loved reading all of Laura Ingalls Wilder books when I was young!!!! Have great memories of those books
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Old 29.01.2013, 05:44
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Re: genealogy research and stories

actually that ellis island website is probably the best info for someone searching family members that came to the u.s. i found tons of info and there were passenger lists (the actual handwritten ones) and photos of the boats. incredible. it's when i try to find info here in europe, that it gets difficult. it seems that there are a lot of organizations in the u.s that have volunteers who put info on the internest, microfilm, etc but here it's much more leg work. also, i have been to the ny historical records and all that which was helpful and interesting.

but, like nil, i have so many different layers of relations- one side of my family is central american, native and american (tracing roots back to the revolutionary war) while the other side is sicilian. a funny mix of things but this just happens to be one side that has records and not just stories, so we are sifting through both at the moment. and mini mia- we are going to the village in april- will be great, can't wait.

and tracing roots back to laura ingalls? that's cool! how did you find out?

for those who have jewish family that made it specifically to the east coast, check the ellis island site, but i remember seeing a site for ships into boston too. really cool, same idea as ellis island but many more jewish passengers and a good amount of info. other idea is try to get in touch with organizations for that. the jewish organiztions have a lot of volunteers and try to keep records pretty well. good luck!
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Old 29.01.2013, 05:47
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Re: genealogy research and stories

nil, my family has a name that can be spelled a few different ways as well. i just try them all and some worked to find info. although, they had a mix up of dates and names on paperwork back then. ancestry.com is good for that too, but they charge for this and you cold spend a bit more time and do it yourself.
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