Learning about German Genealogical Research

by , under Brigham Young University, Education, German, How To, Revolutionary War, Television

While attending the Monday (7 Aug 2017) evening meeting of the East Cuyahoga County Genealogical Society,  I announced that the Cuyahoga Valley Genealogical Society would be holding a FREE seminar on German genealogical research on Saturday, 9 Sep 2017, at the Independence (Ohio) Civic Center. I mentioned that the presenter was a representative the Palatines to America organization (see below for details).

Afterward, ECCGS member Jerry Kliot took the time to mention to me about viewing on television a program that featured the immigration of Palatine Germans to America and how a group of them figured importantly in the American Revolution.

Following the meeting, he took the time to look up details of the television show and pass them on to me by email:

The episode of The Generations Project on the BYU channel is called “PJ & Heidi” and the Palatine section starts 28 minutes into the episode. It first aired on 4/26/2011. The version I watched was aired on 8/6/2017 at 7:00AM.


I did some Google research and was able to learn that the episode was available over the Internet. I emailed back to him:

Thanks, Jerry, for providing this info.

I was able to view The Generations Project episode by going to this page: https://www.byutv.org/Watch/dd8e2680-2f71-4596-8a8d-f35854379940
In our conversation, do you remember my suggestion that the key battle you talked about in the episode was possibly the Battle of Oriskany? I don’t know of any ancestors who participated in it, but I have seen many references to it in my research into ancestors on my mother’s side who lived in that general area of upstate New York.
One of the experts featured in the episode was Don Teeple. I have collateral ancestors named Teeple in Montgomery County, New York, so maybe we are related somehow.
As for my direct-line German ancestors, they came later and from other regions of present-day Germany, so far as I know.
Thanks again, Jerry.
Watching this episode of the Brigham Young University television series enhanced my knowledge of the history of emigration from Germany. I am looking forward to the seminar on Sep 9.  Here are details from the Cuyahoga Valley Genealogical Society website:

“Finding your German Roots” and “The 19th Century Traveler”

Independence Civic Center, 6316 Selig Blvd. – Independence
September 9, 2017, 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Presented by Nancy Ottman

CVGS will kick off the 2017-18 season with a special Saturday meeting featuring two presentations by Nancy Ottman of the Ohio Chapter of Palatines to America. “Finding your German Roots” includes such topics as gathering and recording family information, understanding naming patterns, primary and secondary documentation, and German church and civil records. “The 19th Century German Traveler” reviews causes for emigration, ports of embarkation, ports of arrival and a transcription of one German traveler’s diary from Germany to America.

Nancy is a member of the Ohio Genealogical Society, Palatines to America, and the Kansas Genealogical Society. She has spoken to numerous genealogical and historical societies and fraternal organizations, as well as the Columbus Metropolitan Library. In 2014 she completed a study with the University of North Carolina on American gravestones and cemeteries. Nancy was recently published in Your Genealogy Today magazine.

I have several ancestors that trace their roots back to Germany, so I am taking advantage of every opportunity to learn more about German genealogical research. If you have the same interest, maybe we’ll see you in Independence on Sep. 9.


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