Kinsearching February 17, 2008




Marleta Childs
P. O. Box 6825
LUBBOCK, TX 79493-6825

     Family researchers who trace ancestors in Europe know that early vital records (birth, marriage, and death) are generally associated with ecclesiastical jurisdictions. Due to this fact, genealogists must examine the parish registers of the denomination in which their forebears believed.

     Especially in the middle to late 1800s, the historic boundaries of German parishes were designated solely in general terms. Although the components of the old parishes are known, they are defined only by towns assigned to each parish. To help genealogists locate the church records they seek, Kevan Hansen has begun a projected 45 volume series, MAP GUIDE TO GERMAN PARISH REGISTERS. Volume 12 in the series is PROVINCE OF RHINELAND II, KINGDOM OF PRUSSIA - REGIERUNGSBEZIRK KOLN, REGIERUNGSBEZIRK KOBLENZ.

     Working with digitized underlying maps of Germany, Hansen draws the old boundaries to encompass the towns included in each individual parish. The maps show how the various parishes fit together and specifies the perimeters of each district, adjoining towns, and the surrounding parishes. In many cases, these are the first maps showing the borders for the nineteenth-century German parishes. Using this information, researchers can identify the parish where their ancestors worshipped, based on where they lived. A knowledge of the adjoining parishes allows genealogists to locate the church to which their ancestors belonged if they happened to attend one in a neighboring parish.

     Like the other volumes in Hansen's series, RHINELAND II provides a list of province resources (archives and repositories as well as genealogical periodicals and collections, for instance), Family History Library microfilm numbers for available individual parish records, separate parish boundary maps for Catholic and Lutheran churches, an inventory of congregations of minority religions (such as German, Dutch, or French Reformed and Jewish), and a complete index to towns. Although this publication is not a manual for conducting German family research, it does "streamline" this particular part of the process. Anyone with ancestors from this region will find useful data in MAP GUIDE TO GERMAN PARISH REGISTERS: PROVINCE OF RHINELAND II, KINGDOM OF PRUSSIA - REGIERUNGSBEZIRK KOLN, REGIERUNGSBEZIRK KOBLENZ.

     The 304-page paperback has a very colorful and attractive cover. It also has an introduction, a brief discussion of the area's historical background, a list of the region's main rulers, and an explanation of how to use the volume. To the price of $34.95, buyers should add handling charges of $4.90 for one book and $2.00 for each additional copy. The reference work may be purchased from Family Roots Publishing Company, P. O. Box 830, Bountiful, Utah 84011-0830 (phone 801-992-3705; fax 815-642-0103; website

     Although much of the country is now experiencing cold weather, it is not too early to make plans for the summer. All TOLLIVER/TOLIVER descendants are invited to attend the family's national reunion on June 27-28, 2008, at the Carl D. Perkins Community Center in Morehead, KY. In addition to exchanging family information, activities will include musical entertainment, a pot luck lunch, a silent auction, a recipe project, and a slide show of the dedication ceremony in October 2007 of the Tolliver-Martin Feud Monument. (The Tolliver-Martin feud occurred between 1884 and 1887 in the Morehead, KY, area.) For more information, go to the website at or get in touch with Emma Lee and Bill Tolliver, 472 E. Torrence Rd., Columbus, OH 43214 (; phone 614-267-6556) or Dr. J. T. Reeder, 230 Lyons Ave., Morehead, KY 40351 (; phone 606-784-5669).

     Wishing to honor those who have served their country, the Texas Czech Genealogical Society is gathering data for a book, CZECHS IN UNIFORM, which will be published next year. Information is needed about all persons of Czech ancestry who have served or who are currently serving in the military forces of the United States, the Czech Republic, or the lands of Czechoslovakia. Deadline for submitting material is January 9, 2009. For details about guidelines, visit the society's website at

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