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

     Mark your calendar for the 56th annual Orphan Train Conference, which will take place at St. Francis Center in Little Falls, Minnesota, on 26 September 2016. All orphan train riders, descendants of orphan train riders, and interested persons are invited to gather and celebrate the saga of a social experiment that spanned more than seventy-five years. (Between 1854 and 1929, over 250,000 children were taken on trains from the East Coast, particularly New York City, to various areas in the Midwest and the West to settle with families they did not know.) At the present time, fewer than fifty orphan train riders live in the United States.

     A meeting, a luncheon, and orations will fill the day of the conference. Musician, singer, and songwriter Charlie Maguire will entertain and bring Minnesota history to life. For more details, go to

     Researchers who trace ancestors in Europe know that early vital records (birth, marriage, and death) are generally associated with ecclesiastical jurisdictions. As a result, genealogists must examine the parish registers of the denomination to which their forebears belonged. To help researchers locate the church records they seek in Germany, Kevan M. Hansen began compiling a multi-volume series of map guides pertaining to German parishes.

     His latest publication has many similarities to the German series. This time, however, he focuses on a specific country in his MAP GUIDE TO LUXEMBOURG PARISH REGISTERS.

     Currently, Luxembourg is composed of three districts that are divided into twelve cantons, which are further divided into 118 historical municipalities (communes). Most records are written in either German or French. (Luxembourgish became the country’s official language in 1984.) Since Catholicism was the main religion in the nineteenth century, the Catholic parish registers are the primary source for vital statistics before the beginning of civil registration. The majority of Luxembourg’s parish records have been digitized. Although they are available online, most, unfortunately, are not indexed.

      Hansen’s new work furnishes a brief discussion of the country’s historical background and provides a list of major genealogical resources, including archives, repositories, genealogical societies, secondary collections, and publications like gazetteers. His map guide identifies each canton, its communes, and populated areas with names in French, German, and Luxembourgish. The publication also shows the Catholic parishes within each canton. Utilizing the maps to determine how the parishes fit together and the proximity of one area or town to another, researchers will find them useful in conducting area searches. If one’s forebears attended a church in a neighboring parish that happened to cross district or canton borders, for instance, genealogists may be able to determine the parish where their ancestors worshipped, based upon where they resided.

     Few American genealogical aids for tracing ancestors in Luxembourg exist. Therefore, anyone with ties to this European nation will find useful data in MAP GUIDE TO LUXEMBOURG PARISH REGISTERS.

     The 180-page volume has an attractive and colorful cover. Contained in the work is a foreword, an explanation about how to use the book, numerous maps, and a town index. A softbound copy costs $34.95, while a hardbound volume is available for $65.00. Postage and handling charges of $5.50 should be added to the price for one copy and $2.50 for each additional copy. The publication may be purchased online at or by mailing a check to Family Roots Publishing, LLC, P. O. Box 3682, Orting, Washington 98360-1682.

     For more information on the Map Guide series, e-mail  or fax 815-642-0103. Or you may phone 801-949-7259.

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