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18 November 2019

Our Library Collections: Germany

One in a series by CGS member Chris Pattillo, highlighting some of our holdings at the CGS Library in Oakland.  For a fuller listing of books, journals, and more, consult the CGS Library catalog in WorldCat.

This post about German research is thanks to Phil Hoehn – one of our great Library Committee volunteers. Phil prepared a list of the German books in our library for me and explained that in the case of Germany our books are not all in one place. Instead, they are shelved by subject/content or geography. Books on Germany can also be found among our state books, so you need to use our online catalog to find all that our library has to offer. Phil had another great tip - he told me that Wikipedia has links to the Library of Congress articles. I went home and tried this. On the Wikipedia site I entered: Library of Congress German Genealogy. Then I entered the words “German”, “Germany”, and “genealogy” in their search box. More than a thousand articles popped up on a broad range of topics.
Books on German research in our reference section

Nancy Cork also offered a helpful tip for German researchers. She wanted me to tell you about our collection of The Work Paper, journals from the American Historical Society of Germans From Russia. These are contained in three boxes on the back wall, with the oversize books. Our set covers 1969-1977.

Phil’s first listing was for books in our reference section CS 49, where I found four books that look very helpful, including Discovering Your Immigrant & Ethnic AncestorsHow To find and Record Your Unique Heritage by Sharon DeBartolo Carmack; American Migration Guide by John Heisey; German Family Research Made Simple and They Came in Ships: A Guide to Finding Your Immigrant Ancestor’s Arrival Records. These would all be good places to start or expand your German research.
Germanic Genealogy is in the
CS610 section of books
You will find one full shelf of German genealogy books starting in section CS 610. A couple of our newer books are Germanic Genealogy: A Guide to Worldwide Sources and Migration Patterns and The German Research Companion by Shirley J. Riemer, Roger P. Minert and Jennifer A. Anderson. These were published in 1995 and 2010. Germanic Genealogy includes a chapter on Jewish genealogy. The German Research Companion was donated to our library by the author. Both of these books are packed with useful information.

For those who read German, we have a twelve-volume set of Genealogisches Handbuch Des Adels that were given to the library by George R. Dorman. The title translates to Genealogical Handbook of the Nobility. Unfortunately, I cannot tell you anything more about this set because I do not read German.

For books on German history, Phil sends us to section DD where you will find eleven books on German history, including the two-volume set of Meyers Orts- und Verkehrs-Lexikon des Deutschen Reichs, an indispensable gazetteer of the German Empire (1871-1918). Tip: the online version of this source is much easier to understand.
The 12-volume Genealogisches Handbuch Des Adels 

Next, head for section E184.G3, where you will find a large collection of books on Germans in the United States. This section includes German-American Genealogy by the Immigrant Genealogical Society. This is a set of journals covering 1987-2016. Our set of Der Blumenbaum is in section F869.S12 B58, which is in the California Room in the back corner of the library.

You will also find 25 volumes of German Immigrants in American Church Records by Roger P. Minert in section E184.G3 published in 2005. These books focus on the states where Germans first immigrated–Indiana, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Michigan and Missouri.

German atlases will be found in G1905-1939; and don’t forget to check our map collection. Finally, Z115 is where you will find books on German handwriting.
These 25 volumes contain church records for early German immigrants.

Thank you, Phil and Nancy, for helping with this post.

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