Friday, January 25, 2013

Some Great Research Tools

I wanted to make mention of a tool that was used to help us in our search for the home village of Hans Georg Sommer.  His obituary said he as born in Freystadt, Elsas.  The people at the international desk at the FHL immediately used the Fuzzy Gazateer:

This site helped us investigate which of the matches that came up for Germany was closest to the Alsace region.  Freistett in Baden was a Bingo!

I'd also like to make mention of some tools for helping in the rather daunting task of trying to read old German script.  We had already run into some documents from early Pennsylvania written in German, but now that we're looking at actual German church records, the simple task of reading at times seems next to impossible to me.

So first I want to say I am currently using a great online tutorial for learning German script.  It includes animations for how the letters are formed, downloadable practice pages, and reading tests.  Considering how much I have been struggling with reading the German script, this is a lifesaver for me!

Assuming one can make out a word written in German script, there is then the job of translation.  The best online reference I've seen is from familysearch:

So, as always, I deeply appreciate the internet for helping researchers like me.  Without tools such as these, this line of my research would pretty much be over.

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