A large percentage of Americans claim at least some German ancestry. My mother-in-law came from a German-speaking heritage, so my children are about ¼ German. We have lots of Germanic ancestors to research in this family!
Alas, German research can be notoriously difficult. You get nowhere unless you can identify the village of origin for your ancestor. People spend years looking for a clue to this elusive fact.
One group that can help with this is the Palatines to America (PalAm). This national organization dedicates itself to finding German speaking ancestors and their place of origin in Germany, Austria, Alsace, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Lichtenstein, Poland, Russia, Denmark, Netherlands, East Prussia, Pomerania, Brandenburg, Silesia, Galicia, Bohemia or other German speaking areas.
We in the Denver area are blessed to have a local PalAm chapter. Twice a year they bring in a nationally-known speaker with expertise in German research. Today Baerbel K. Johnson, AG, a professional genealogist who works at the Family History Library as International Reference Consultant, presented a program in Denver. Wearing traditional German dress, she spoke to a large crowd of German researchers on several helpful topics.
My husband/tech advisor and I are thinking of taking a research trip to Germany next year. Ms. Johnson’s program today gave us many helpful tools for planning a productive trip. Thanks, PalAm, for offering this opportunity.