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Thayer Families Association
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1.  
Hometown Records may include newspapers (obituaries, special events, parties, etc.), City Directories (names and occupations of town residents and business information), maps (check boundary changes over time) and town and county histories.
[Located in Category: Hometown Records]
2.  
Before Ellis Island opened in 1892, Castle Garden was America's first official immigration center from 1855 to 1890. It was a pioneering collaboration of New York State and New York City. Visit CastleGarden.org to search for your immigrant ancestors during these early years.
[Located in Category: German Research]
3.  
Germany today is made up of sixteen states, many of them given new names following World War II.
[Located in Category: German Research]
4.  
Germany (Deutschland) is a younger nation than the United States – almost 100 years younger. Germany dates from 1871.
[Located in Category: German Research]
5.  
Many records were destroyed during the Thirty Years War (1618-1648).
[Located in Category: German Research]
6.  
“Family legends” may turn out to contain some shreds of truth, but usually they are hugely imagined stories.
[Located in Category: German Research]
7.  
Dates are found written European-style. For example, April 12, 1862 is written as “12-4-1862.”
[Located in Category: German Research]
8.  
Catholic church records were written in Latin (as prescribed by the 1563 Council of Trent) until the early 19th century. Almost all Protestant church records were written in German. Civil records west of the Rhine used French until about 1814.
[Located in Category: German Research]
9.  
Stick to “primary sources” (like civil and church records). Secondary sources ( birth and christening announcements, newspaper obituaries, and biographies) have no official value, but they can provide hints for further research.
[Located in Category: German Research]
10.  
When you find the stable-boy marrying the duke’s daughter, you know something’s wrong. Go back to work. Marriages remained within social classes.
[Located in Category: German Research]
11.  
Searching for an ancestor’s burial place in a German cemetery is futile unless the ancestor was a renowned citizen in the town (memorialized by a monument or statue). German graves are traditionally reused every 30 to 50 years.
[Located in Category: German Research]
12.  
It is not at all uncommon for German birth records to show children born illegitimately.
[Located in Category: German Research]
13.  
The immigrant’s name, when found on a passenger list, is seldom accompanied by the German place of origin.
[Located in Category: German Research]
14.  
Our German ancestors did not have “middle names.” One of the several christening names was the “Rufname” (the everyday name by which the child would be called).
[Located in Category: German Research]
15.  
Ancestors’ birthdates found in German records cannot be counted upon to be completely accurate.
[Located in Category: German Research]
16.  
Ellis Island did not open until 1892; therefore, it’s no use looking there for an ancestor’s entry to America before that date.
[Located in Category: German Research]
17.  
In the Second German Empire (1871-1918), the north was heavily Protestant, the south heavily Catholic.
[Located in Category: German Research]
18.  
Learn the word “Zeugen” (witnesses). Witnesses’names could be significant in your family research.
[Located in Category: German Research]
19.  
If you know the name of your ancestor’s German hometown, try googling this: www.________.de. Insert the town name (“place of origin”) in the blank space.
[Located in Category: German Research]
20.  
The “Standesamt” (pronounced “SHTAHNT es ahmt”) is the German civil registry office where vital statistics (births, marriages, and deaths) have been recorded since 1876 (west of the Rhine in the late 1700s and very early 1800s).
[Located in Category: German Research]
21.  
“Prussia” and “Russia” are in no way related. Prussia became part of the German Empire in 1871.
[Located in Category: German Research]
22.  
Three vowels in the German alphabet can be umlauted– ä, ö, and ü. When umlauts (the two dots over the letter) are not used, those vowels look like this: ae, oe, and ue.
[Located in Category: German Research]
23.  
“Spelling doesn’t count!” In our German ancestors’ times, the name of a person, a town, or other location was deemed correct if it was pronounced correctly. “Correct spelling” did not exist. (This is hard for beginners.)
[Located in Category: German Research]
24.  
Once you know the name of your immigrant German ancestor, your number-one task is to find the name of his/her German hometown (known as the “place of origin”). After you discover it, you can switch from American research to German research – but not before.
[Located in Category: German Research]
25.  
The Family History Library in Salt Lake City has about 4,500 branches. One is located not far from you. From home you can use www.FamilySearch.org.
[Located in Category: German Research]
26.  
Of all the information you will need to do genealogical research, 98 percent of it is not on the internet.
[Located in Category: German Research]
27.  
In German, “ie” is pronounced like “e” (as in “see”),and “ei” is pronounced like “i” (as in “fine”).
[Located in Category: German Research]
28.  
A “gazetteer” is a dictionary or encyclopedia of geographic information (in German it’s an Ortsverzeichnis). Gazetteers are frequently helpful.
[Located in Category: German Research]
29.  
The best sources for researching German family history are available in the United States, not in Germany.
[Located in Category: German Research]
30.  
The details from a source are the skeleton of our family tree.
[Located in Category: Sources - Citations]
31.  
Enter sources and notes in a consistent format.
[Located in Category: Sources - Citations]
32.  
Use confidential information with discretion and sensitivity.
[Located in Category: Sources - Citations]
33.  
Identify all researchers by name for all contributions, including your own.
[Located in Category: Sources - Citations]
34.  
Document as you go!
[Located in Category: Sources - Citations]
35.  
A citation is a reference to a source of information.
[Located in Category: Sources - Citations]
36.  
When you're copying old family photographs, see if you can find the original negative.
[Located in Category: Preservation]
37.  
Use archival quality acid-free sheet protectors for all of your original documents, master copies and photographs.
[Located in Category: Preservation]
38.  
Do not laminate your documents. A laminated document can never be restored to its original state.
[Located in Category: Preservation]
39.  
Look for the archival label on storage products - "acid free" or 'archival safe".
[Located in Category: Preservation]
40.  
If you are scanning images for the purpose of creating a report, or publishing a family history, then scanning in color or gray scale at 300 dots per inch resolution, will give you the best quality.
[Located in Category: Photographs and Scanning]
41.  
An easy way to copy a negative is to scan it on your computer at a high resolution, and then use the negative function in your photo processing software to create a positive image of the scan.
[Located in Category: Photographs and Scanning]
42.  
Have a smart phone? Look for a scanner app like Turbo Scan to take images of records and documents.
[Located in Category: Photographs and Scanning]
43.  
Always check with the librarian if you want to use a personal scanner or phone camera to take pictures of a book page or other document.
[Located in Category: Photographs and Scanning]
44.  
Use a Migration Map which displays everywhere your ancestor(s) lived. This Map can help you determine why your ancestors moved.
[Located in Category: Migration]
45.  
Another way to save information from genealogy websites and resources is with Window's 7 and later computers using the built in Snipping too. Once snipped the clip can be save as a jpeg image.
[Located in Category: Internet]
46.  
Screenshots are a great way to save information from genealogy websites and resources without printing
[Located in Category: Internet]
47.  
When searching online databases, don't just type in names at random. First read the instructions!
[Located in Category: Internet]
48.  
Information from Internet on-line services may be passed on in good faith, but does not mean it is correct. Look for sources and documentation, and then check them.
[Located in Category: Internet]
49.  
Look for genealogy and history materials at scholar.google.com.
[Located in Category: Internet]
50.  
Google your Family Tree at www.Google.com.
[Located in Category: Internet]