Colorado Chapter of Palatines to America

Spring 2021 German Genealogical Seminar

Presents a two-day seminar virtually via Zoom
On the afternoons of Friday, April 9 and Saturday, April 10

On-Line Registration
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Registration is $35.00/person.

Spring 2021 German Genealogical Seminar Agenda


1:30PM-2:30PM: The Voyages of Our German Ancestors

Germans began immigrating to what became the United States in 1683, according to documented history. This talk will highlight significant aspects of the first four major waves through 1910, using available immigration and emigration records to tell their stories, including the areas from which they emigrated, the motivations that typified each wave, and other records that help tell the immigrant story. Laws changed over time and impacted various aspects of the immigration experience.

2:45PM-3:45PM: Stymied by Stieglers: Solved Using Indirect Evidence—A Case Study

German immigrant, Christina Stiegler, arrived in the US with her sister in 1874. Other Germans with her surname lived near her, alternating between Cincinnati and Iowa. No United States sources name a town of origin for any of these individuals. A current descendant’s DNA match suggests a district in Bavaria for the Stieglers’ origins. Emigration records, historic gazetteers, and church records provide indirect evidence for finding her German home town.

4:00PM-4:30PM: CO-PALAM annual meeting

All CO-PALAM members who are present at this first part of this seminar are invited to stay connected on Zoom for a VERY SHORT meeting to vote on the annual budget, elect board members, and discuss any other items that may be presented.


1:30PM-2:30PM: He took HER name: Understanding German Farm Names

This lecture is to raise awareness of a custom in certain geographic areas of Germany where people who lived on a farm of a certain status (a hof) carried a designated surname. In this custom, anyone who inherited such a farm assumed the designated surname. Usually this was a son of the farmer, but if a daughter inherited the farm, her husband would need to change his name to hers.

2:45PM-3:45PM: Discover the Holdings of German Archives

German archives hold many records valuable for expanding our genealogical research. Church records not available digitally may be waiting in these archives. State and local archives may contain emigration, court, tax, and other records to fill in our ancestor’s story. This presentation will explain how to find relevant archives and discover their holdings. It will describe how to navigate detailed online aids when available. One need not be fluent in German to do this research. Essential vocabulary and translation tools will be discussed.

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