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German Script Experts

German Script Experts By appointment only. My expertise lies in tracking places of origin for German immigrants to the United States, and deciphering old German handwriting.

I am a native German speaker, and have 20+ years experience in family history research and translation of old letters and documents, dating as far back as the 1600s. I also have studied Latin and understand it as used in Catholic church records. A large part of my own heritage is East Frisian. Ostfriesland is an area of Northwest Germany, bordering Holland. I grew up hearing relatives speak the lo

I am a native German speaker, and have 20+ years experience in family history research and translation of old letters and documents, dating as far back as the 1600s. I also have studied Latin and understand it as used in Catholic church records. A large part of my own heritage is East Frisian. Ostfriesland is an area of Northwest Germany, bordering Holland. I grew up hearing relatives speak the lo

Operating as usual

Archive of Würzburg Diocese opens in a few minutes. I’m excited to spend the day here!
09/12/2022

Archive of Würzburg Diocese opens in a few minutes. I’m excited to spend the day here!

This is my favorite Finding Your Roots case I've worked on so far. Manganiello's family history reveals are jaw-dropping...
07/29/2022
Joe Manganiello gets family mysteries solved on PBS show

This is my favorite Finding Your Roots case I've worked on so far. Manganiello's family history reveals are jaw-dropping. I can't wait for Season 9.

Actor Joe Manganiello got some big surprises when researchers for the PBS show “Finding Your Roots” went digging through his family history

This documentary is on German news today. It's 30 minutes long and worth your time. You don't need to understand the lan...
07/13/2022
Vater: Unbekannt | Sigrids Suche nach ihren Wurzeln

This documentary is on German news today. It's 30 minutes long and worth your time. You don't need to understand the language to be stirred to tears. The woman's father was from Bulgaria and had to leave his pregnant girlfriend in Germany behind when the threat of war loomed over Europe in 1939. My role was to identify the DNA match that lead to the breakthrough. It's hard to describe what this means to me.

Es war ein Geheimnis, das zwei Familien jahrzehntelang beschäftigte … Sigrid Gebhard (82) aus Norheim (Rheinland-Pfalz) wusste ihr Leben lang nicht, wer ihr Vater war. Und eine bulgarische Familie rätselte darüber, wie es der schwangeren Frau ergangen sein mochte, die ein Verwandter vor mehr al...

If you, like so many of Northern German descent, have wondered about your DNA admixture, this could shed some light on i...
07/12/2022

If you, like so many of Northern German descent, have wondered about your DNA admixture, this could shed some light on it.

This is the best map of the Viking expansion I’ve seen so far. Lovely piece of work. It shows really well how Vikings navigated rivers too. Source: buff.ly/2N6UDQy

I came across this doodle in the civil registration records of Buer by Osnabrück, in northwestern Germany. It is from 18...
06/28/2022

I came across this doodle in the civil registration records of Buer by Osnabrück, in northwestern Germany. It is from 1810, when the region was occupied by the French under Napoleon. The horseman looks French, wouldn't you say? Any thoughts on how to interpret this work of art?

Our skilled researchers are hard at work hunting for your mice errr… ancestors.
04/18/2022

Our skilled researchers are hard at work hunting for your mice errr… ancestors.

New course: Advanced Research Techniques for German Genealogy!
04/17/2022

New course: Advanced Research Techniques for German Genealogy!

Although this is in German, I think you may enjoy watching it. These two passionate family historians are distant cousin...
04/04/2022
Familienforschung

Although this is in German, I think you may enjoy watching it. These two passionate family historians are distant cousins. They discovered the house in which their common ancestor lived, still standing (albeit not in the best condition). Hans-Joachim Lünenschloß collaborated with me on a Finding Your Roots segment. I really enjoy these connections with international genealogy co-conspirators!

Die Erforschung der eigenen Familiengeschichte kann ein spannendes Hobby sein. Und man kann dabei nicht nur den eigenen Stammbaum mit Daten der Vorfahren füllen, sondern auch lebende Familienmitglieder neu kennenlernen. So ging es den beiden Ahnenforschern Kai und Hans-Joachim Lünenschloß.

My Wisconsin German immigrant ancestors enjoying themselves in 1907.
02/10/2022

My Wisconsin German immigrant ancestors enjoying themselves in 1907.

This is the truth at German Script Experts!
02/08/2022

This is the truth at German Script Experts!

Reason #517 you might get stuck with your research: Useless marriage records."Married on the 2nd Sunday after Epiphany 1...
01/18/2022

Reason #517 you might get stuck with your research: Useless marriage records.
"Married on the 2nd Sunday after Epiphany 1723, the soldier from Church Street."
Lutheran Parish of Bünde, Westphalia.

Season 8 kicks off today! "My" upcoming guest is Kathryn Hahn on January 25.
01/04/2022

Season 8 kicks off today! "My" upcoming guest is Kathryn Hahn on January 25.

12/13/2021

This past week, I solved an unknown paternity case in Bavaria. The child was born in 1918. The daughter took the DNA test. These cases can be highly complex and involve identifying DNA matches who don't respond to messages, which is often the most challenging part. No matter how tedious the research - it is so rewarding to finally answer these questions that have been asked in the family for generations.

11/29/2021

I've not shared much here lately - it's been an extremely busy research season. I've had the pleasure of working on five different cases for Finding Your Roots in recent months, and unique and fascinating cases they are! I've learned so much and can't wait for the episodes with "my" guests to air.

Timeline photos
09/21/2021

Timeline photos

Cover page to a 1707 - you guessed it - burial register. What do you think the stamps were made of?
08/21/2021

Cover page to a 1707 - you guessed it - burial register. What do you think the stamps were made of?

07/27/2021

In 1928, Amsterdam hosted the Summer Olympic Games, which included women’s gymnastics for the first time in the competition’s history. That year, 5 of the athletes on the Dutch women’s gymnastics team were Jewish, in addition to their Jewish trainer. The team went on to win the gold medal in the first-ever women’s gymnastics competition, and the women became national heroines.

12 years later (in May of 1940) the Germans occupied the Netherlands and shortly after banned Jews from all sports activities throughout the country. Although Jewish athletes continued to illegally train in secret, this would soon come to a halt as the deportation of Dutch Jewry began in 1942.

Among the 100,000+ Jewish Dutch deportees were 4 of the Jewish women from the Dutch gymnastics delegation at the Amsterdam Olympics, along with their Jewish trainer.

Our online exhibition “Jews and Sport Before the Holocaust: A Visual Retrospective” includes more information on the 5 Jewish Olympic gold medal gymnasts who were murdered during the Holocaust. Learn their individual stories here >> https://bit.ly/3kWaNwr

Are you registered for the German Genealogy Conference? I just had a look at the schedule - it is impressive!
07/10/2021
IGGP 2021

Are you registered for the German Genealogy Conference? I just had a look at the schedule - it is impressive!

2021 International German Genealogy Conference An immersive, 8-day virtual experience.Join us to expand your skills, engage with other genealogists, and find out about the opportunities being offered by our Sponsors and Exhibitors. Register Now (USD) Jetzt Registrieren (EUR) Sponsor Spotlight.Whatev...

It just keeps getting better!
05/26/2021

It just keeps getting better!

KATHOLISCHE UND EVANGELISCHE KIRCHENBÜCHER UNTER EINEM DIGITALEN DACH
Dank einer neuen Kooperation können wir Ihnen jetzt Kirchenbücher des Bistumsarchivs Hildesheim online zur Verfügung stellen. Als erstes katholisches Archiv nutzt Hildesheim Archion zur Veröffentlichung seiner digitalen Bestände und setzt damit einen ökumenischen Meilenstein.
Fast 450 historische Verzeichnisse aus dem Bistumsarchiv Hildesheim stehen für die Städte Braunschweig, Celle, Göttingen, Hannover und Hildesheim jetzt für die Benutzung zur Verfügung. Aufgrund der sorgfältigen Vorarbeit der Archivarinnen und Archivare in Hildesheim kann auf die einzelnen Amtshandlungen gezielt zugegriffen werden. Zugänglich sind Taufen, Trauungen, Sterbefälle, Firmungen und alphabetische Register vom 17. bis in das 20. Jahrhundert.
Wir freuen uns, durch die Zusammenarbeit mit dem Bistum Hildesheim einem langgehegten Benutzerinteresse nachkommen zu können und Ihnen die Forschungsarbeit in den traditionell gemischt-konfessionellen Gebieten durch diesen wichtigen Baustein zu ermöglichen.

My excellent assistant!
04/21/2021

My excellent assistant!

I'm contemplating the many hands that, centuries ago, thumbed through this index to leave skin oils and dirt to discolor...
03/27/2021

I'm contemplating the many hands that, centuries ago, thumbed through this index to leave skin oils and dirt to discolor this page. West Prussia baptism records.

03/09/2021

Marquee Speaker Ute Brandenburg - "Von Schiekago Gradeaus" - Wohin wanderte Onkel August aus, und wie finde ich seine Nachkommen at the International German Genealogy Conference 2021
#Genealogie #Ahnenforschung #iggc2021 #German #Genealogy

https://iggc.info/2021/03/09/meet-marquee-speaker-ute-brandenburg/ Ute Brandenburg

Looking for a baptism record. How's your day going? 😄
03/04/2021

Looking for a baptism record. How's your day going? 😄

The full IGG Conference schedule has been published! Look at these fascinating presentations - and register now!
03/03/2021
General 2 — IGGP 2021

The full IGG Conference schedule has been published! Look at these fascinating presentations - and register now!

Marquee SpeakersThe schedule for our headliners for the LIVE! conference days on 17 and 24 July is being finalized:   Ute Brandenburg“Von Schickago Gradeaus” - Wohin wanderte Onkel August aus, und wie finde ich seine Nachkommen?Auswanderer nach Amerika gab es in fast jeder Familie. Der Kontakt...

This week, my colleague and friend Ursula Krause and I chatted about DNA in German research. I've enjoyed getting more e...
02/14/2021
Ancestry Experten-Talk über die Faszination der DNA-Genealogie

This week, my colleague and friend Ursula Krause and I chatted about DNA in German research. I've enjoyed getting more experience in discussing and lecturing on this subject in German!

Die Ancestry-Expertin Ursula Krause und die Genealogin Ute Brandenburg im Dialog über die Chancen durch die DNA-Genealogie.

Germans
02/11/2021
Germans

Germans

Register for IGGP 2021 (17 July to 24 July 2021) today!

In 1665, Kaspar Sack, pastor of Groß-Felda, Hessen, wasn't just recording baptisms. He filled pages reporting on mysteri...
02/05/2021

In 1665, Kaspar Sack, pastor of Groß-Felda, Hessen, wasn't just recording baptisms. He filled pages reporting on mysterious celestial events, such as comets, double rainbows, crossed rainbows(!), of which sightings were reported all across Europe. A comet with a double tail occurred along with a mysterious fever in many people who saw it. What might he have told his parishioners about the meaning of these events?

Looking forward to presenting on DNA Research in German!
01/27/2021

Looking forward to presenting on DNA Research in German!

Herzlich Willkommen an Ute Brandenburg von German Script Experts die uns auf der #Genealogica mit dem Thema DNA auf die Sprünge hilft. An konkreten Fallbeispielen zeigt sie am 13. Februar 2021 um 17 Uhr auf, wie unlösbare Rätsel doch Stück für Stück aufgeschlüsselt werden können.

Wer das erleben möchte, bekommt die Tickets zur Veranstaltung unter https://genealogica.online

#Genealogica #Ahnenforschung #Familienforschung #DNAGenealogie #DNAGenealogy #genealogie #virtuell #zusammen

The International German Genealogy Conference, which was initially cancelled because of the pandemic, is now back! I'm l...
01/25/2021

The International German Genealogy Conference, which was initially cancelled because of the pandemic, is now back! I'm looking forward to giving virtual presentations alongside my many esteemed colleagues. I would love to meet you there! International German Genealogy Partnership

Working in Berlin records, I stumbled upon this entry - by complete coincidence - involving the famous composer Felix Me...
12/04/2020

Working in Berlin records, I stumbled upon this entry - by complete coincidence - involving the famous composer Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy. Baptism record no. 194 shows Felix as a sponsor at the baptism of Carl George Adolph Mendelssohn, likely a nephew, in 1826. At the time, Felix was 17 years old and had just completed the overture to A Midsummer Night's Dream. It was first performed days after this record was taken. The Mendelssohn family were of Jewish descent but had converted to Christianity. This was not uncommon, following the Age of Enlightenment, among the educated and relatively secular Jews of Berlin.

Please read and share this amazing and shocking story. I have been tangentially involved with the Röntgen family history...
11/17/2020
A Family's Quest for Truth: Is Their Treasured Heirloom the Famous X-Rayed Ring? - Katherine Schober, SK Translations

Please read and share this amazing and shocking story. I have been tangentially involved with the Röntgen family history, while Katherine has been the lead detective. The ring must be found!

Have you ever seen an image of the very first X-ray? Look at the fourth finger. What do you see? If you guessed “ring”, you are correct. When German physics professor Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen discovered the X-ray in November 1895, the first image he took was of his wife Anna Bertha’s left hand ...

This made me smile this morning, and I figured some of you would appreciate some levity as well. Not German, but still a...
11/04/2020

This made me smile this morning, and I figured some of you would appreciate some levity as well. Not German, but still a good warning to all of us 🙂

My Dad just showed me this circular family history chart, made by a distant relative in 1967. My name is on it - I was a...
10/18/2020

My Dad just showed me this circular family history chart, made by a distant relative in 1967. My name is on it - I was an infant at the time! The inner circles are the earliest Brost ancestors in Alflen in the Rhineland. Can you imagine doing all this research before the age of most records being microfilmed, let alone digitized?

09/25/2020

Why did North Sea sailors wear golden earrings? Post your thought below. No googling!

I will be presenting a webinar on East and West Prussia this evening to members of the Virtual Genealogical Association.
08/07/2020
Virtual Genealogical Association

I will be presenting a webinar on East and West Prussia this evening to members of the Virtual Genealogical Association.

VGA - Any time. Any place. Any device.

The time has finally come for me to share the most meaningful case I have solved in my career: Maria and Gerhard. Maria ...
07/08/2020

The time has finally come for me to share the most meaningful case I have solved in my career: Maria and Gerhard. Maria was separated from her family as an infant, as the family was fleeing Eastern Germany in 1945. She was evacuated from a hospital that was being bombed, without any identifying info, and later adopted. Earlier this year, at age 76, she finally learned her birth identity. Her parents and older siblings have passed, but she has a younger brother - Gerhard. The two met this March, and as you can see, the joy has been indescribable. The second photo is of infant Maria with her birth family, a picture Gerhard had in his family album. Both sides searched for years, without so much as a hint. DNA coupled with thorough record searching solved the case! A joint effort including many excellent researchers at Ancestry, I had the honor of finding the breakthrough connection. My heart is full.

I suppose this blank baptism record must be the child I can't find? Or is it the one on the right with no surname?
05/28/2020

I suppose this blank baptism record must be the child I can't find? Or is it the one on the right with no surname?

What do you think caused this ink spill in  1854?
04/20/2020

What do you think caused this ink spill in 1854?

Webinar this evening on German archives:
03/05/2020
March Webinar – Ute Brandenberg – Ontario Ancestors

Webinar this evening on German archives:

Parish and civil registration records are the workhorse of German genealogy. Many researchers are unaware that there are manifold resources ranging from probate and court records to mortgage registers, tax lists, registers of settlers, and more, held by local and regional German archives. In additio...

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Ute Brandenburg (German Script Experts) has been working on a project in the Groß-Felda parish records, which also includes the village of Kestrich. As you might already know, there were a number of Volga German settlers from this parish, including Johann Kaspar Grünewald and Johann Martin Schäfer, who both settled in Frank, and the Fries family who settled in Hussenbach. https://www.facebook.com/GermanResearch/posts/3917051148345175
I am hoping someone can read a location on this Hamburg manifest from March 1890. It is line 65, Jan Baltrushaities. The column between his age 25, and Russe. This location is western Lithuania. I will have to search the location, but I can't read the letters to know where to begin. Any help is greatly appreciated.
Hi, I hope you can help me. I have been looking for anything past my grandfathers history in Germany for about 8 yrs. Finally may have found my missing link. I have a jpg with 4 births. 3 of them i found on a public tree/trees. The 4th is my 2nd Great Grandfather. His name is Martin Marienfeld. The next 3 (Mathias, Petrus,Theresia) I think are his brothers. But this is where i need clarification as i don't read German. Would you be able to tell me if they are all siblings?
This is a baptismal record from the Madison St. German Presbyterian Church in New York City. Please help me decipher the mother's maiden name and city of origin. Thank you so much.
SOLVED- with thanks to German Script Experts! I am stumped in both handwriting and knowledge of Germanic surnames. I have two church records that record my 2x great grandmother but I am unable to discern her family name. To me, it looks like Anna Maria Engel geboren HOVEKORN or something like that. Can anyone help? Here are the two links to the relevant documents. They are the baptismal registry of her son Anton SCHULTE and the marriage registry of him and his wife, Maria Wilhelmina von Campen. Entry 72 lower right-http://data.matricula-online.eu/de/deutschland/osnabrueck/lingen-st-bonifatius/0101/?pg=36 Entry 18 lower left-http://data.matricula-online.eu/de/deutschland/osnabrueck/lingen-st-bonifatius/0063/?pg=14
On Tuesday, May 28, Ute Brandenburg (German Script Experts), a leader in German Genealogy, will be the guest speaker for the DNA Interest Group - Iowa City meeting at 6pm at the Iowa City Public Library (Meeting Room A). Ute will demonstrate how she uses DNA in conjunction with paper records to solve challenging cases of German origin for 19th century immigrants. The DNA Interest Group meetings, led by Bryant McAllister, Associate Professor of Biology at the University of Iowa, are held on the 4th Tuesday of every month at the Iowa City Public Library and are free and open to the public to attend. We hope to see you there!
What is her birth date? The dates underlined in red are for my 3rd Great Aunt. (Born in Germany) The year of her death is 1889. The document is from a Church book for the St Paul Lutheran Congregation in Wine Hill (Randolph County) Illinois. 1889 was not a leap year. By counting back 21 days from March 8, do I count as if February had 28 days? ... or should each month be calculated at a standard 30 days?
Need help with the second from the bottom please
Facebook is not opening the message you just sent, so I can't respond to the message or read where to send the link. I am sending it to your icloud email account. Thanks.
I have 2 questions: 1) my great-grandfather was born in Emsland, in Lower Saxony in 1866. I know he was baptized in a Catholic Church in Plantlunne (near Lingen), but would his birth also have been recorded administratively in Hannover at that time? 2) I recently saw a record in Ancestry.com that noted a Protestant birth record for his brother - even though I know the family was Catholic. I had a limited discussion with a historian from that area & he said it was a "mistake," & he would explain later - but he never did. Do you know why a family's birth records would should up officially as Protestant, when they were, in fact, Catholic?
Ute any idea how I can find out if there may a book of my ancestors in Germany? My ancestor was Ulrich Stehle/ Staehle/ Stahlin from Donzdorf, Germany he was a school teacher (schulmeister). We determined his age by a document my extended cousin found. He would have been born Abt. 1600. His wife was Anna Blessing or Blessing from Ottenbach. I've found their marriage records but can't go further back. Do you think it's possible to go further back. My hunch is that the Stehle family came into Germany after the hundred years war.