Searching For Your German Roots


I traveled to Germany recently, and one of the things did on this trip was to visit the little town of Teunz in Bavaria, where my grandparents lived before they came to the United States.Finding the name of the town was easy because I have copies of their marriage certificate. But finding family members still living there has been difficult.

Teunz sign

Teunz sign... we made it!

The internet has made it much easier to find your family roots in Europe, but it takes time and determination. I have come up with some resources to help you get a start on your own family tree. If you have any documents from your ancestors, here is a translation of some of the words you may encounter:

Geburtsurkunde: birth certificate
Taufschein: christening certificate
Totenschein:    death certificate
Heiratsurkunde:    marriage certificate
Zeugnis or Zertifikat: certification
Geboren:    born
Protokoll:    minutes

Church where my grandparent's were married

Church where my grandparent's were married

Here are some websites that can also help you in your search.

  • German Roots A good place to begin your search. The site has some great links and good advice.
  • Geneology links Offers links to ships logs, cemeteries, marriage licenses, etc.
  • German Originality Web site for German American heritage brought to you by the German National Tourist Office and the German Information Center USA. If you are just beginning your search, this site will get you started.
  • German Geneology Server This website has some great links for researching your German roots.
  • Immigrant Ships lists This is not an exhaustive list, but if you know what year your relatives emigrated, it could be helpful.
  • Ancestry is also helpful, but it charges a fee

Written by Terri Fogarty for

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