Ortssippenbücher: Researching German Ancestors – Daniel R. Lilienkamp

March 20th, 2019 by National Genealogical Society Blog Editor

Ortssippenbücher: Researching German Ancestors

SESSION: S413, TIME & DATE: Saturday, 11 May 2019 9:30 a.m.

Daniel R. Lilienkamp

What if I told you there was a resource, in roman type, that transcribed German records for a community?

What if I told you that source listed families in alphabetical order, and could connect spouses to their birth families?

What if I told you these books could assist you in your research, taking you back to the beginning of record keeping in a community?

What if these places have never been filmed or digitized?

This describes an Ortsippenbuch (town lineage book) . Also known as Familienbücher, Dorfsippenbücher, or Sippenbücher, more and more of these books are published every year in Germany and other former German or German-speaking areas of Europe. If you have ancestry from one of these areas, wouldn’t you want to learn more about where you can find them and how to use them?

This session will demonstrate how to use Ortssippenbücher, tracing the ancestry of Charlotte Wonning back through her mother’s family to the earliest available records. It will explore some of the surprises hidden in the records and point to other resources that can lead even further back in time.

BIO: Daniel R. Lilienkamp, JD, is a Reference Specialist at History & Genealogy at St. Louis County Library where he advises researchers on sources to help them find information about their families. Dan regularly contributes articles to the department’s online newsletter, PastPorts. He has been researching his own family for more than 20 years and is known for his lectures on complex sources for U.S. frontier, African American, Quebec, German, Alsace-Lorraine, and Swiss research.