Marleta Childs
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LUBBOCK, TX 79493-6825

     First published in 1987, IN SEARCH OF YOUR GERMAN ROOTS: A COMPLETE GUIDE TO TRACING YOUR ANCESTORS IN THE GERMANIC AREAS OF EUROPE by Angus Baxter continues to offer pertinent information in a new updated fifth edition. As the title indicates, this “how-to” book aids genealogists in tracking their Teutonic roots in Germany and in all the German-speaking regions of Europe--from Belgium to the Czech Republic and from the Baltic to the Crimea.

     Like Baxter's other manuals, this reference work shows family researchers in the United States and Canada how to conduct research by e-mail or regular correspondence, utilizing library and archival resources as well as records of church and state. By using your home computer and working at your own pace, you can achieve much more than you may realize is possible. Likewise, if you are planning a research trip to Europe, the volume will help to prepare you for locating and understanding the materials you need.

     Because many state, city, provincial, family, and church archives now have data online, this updated fifth edition provides their website addresses and discusses valuable genealogical tools, such as the Bremen and Hamburg Passenger Lists, 1850 - 1934. Baxter points out that the discovery of facts about German ancestors is often an easier task than in previous years, due to the increasing amount of information available through internet databases. Two invaluable sites, for instance, are the Kirchenbuchportal, which consists of German Protestant church records, and Matricula, which is digitizing German and Austrian Catholic and Lutheran records.

     Since Jews have a longtime connection to German-speaking areas, the author devotes an entire chapter to records pertaining to that ethnic group. Examples of the long-standing ties are the Weissensee Cemetery in Berlin, which is the largest Jewish cemetery in Europe, and the Jewish Cemetery Altona, dating back to 1611, which is the oldest Portuguese-Sephardic Jewish cemetery in northern Europe. He includes information about Jewish materials in Hungary, Israel, and Poland. In addition, he furnishes details about digitized copies of the International Tracing Service's records pertaining to Holocaust victims.

     Although Baxter passed away in 2005, many of his publications remain in print and continue to be updated, including this particular book revised by Marian Hoffman. As a result, Baxter's manual sustains its relevance. Covering a vast amount of material in a concise manner, the new fifth edition of IN SEARCH OF YOUR GERMAN ROOTS: A COMPLETE GUIDE TO TRACING YOUR ANCESTORS IN THE GERMANIC AREAS OF EUROPE is a useful research tool for anyone seeking Teutonic forebears.

     Sporting an attractive front cover, the 125-page paperback includes a map of Germany, a dedication, an introduction, a selective bibliography, and a subject index. To the book's price of $19.95, buyers should add the cost for postage and handling charges. For U. S. postal mail, the cost is $4.00 for one book and $2.00 for each additional copy; for UPS, the cost is $6.00 for one copy and $2.50 for each additional book. The volume (item order #396) may be purchased by check, MasterCard, or Visa from Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 3600 Clipper Mill Rd., Suite 260, Baltimore, Maryland 21211 (for phone orders, call toll free 1-800-296-6687; fax 1-410-752-8492; website ).

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