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Genealogy Chat Friends'--German Research

German History | Surnames | German Genealogy Links |

Special thank you to Applepie_43 who did the original GCF German Genealogy Research Page

German History

Glimpses of the past bring renewed meaning to the lives of our ancestors. A basic understanding and appreciation of the times they lived may provide meaningful clues to help further your individual research. Germany has a long and rich history; it is not the intent here to provide a complete history but rather to briefly describe the major periods of development and to look more closely at specific events. It has been widely held that German history began in the year A.D. 9. The word (German) stemming from the 8th century initially defined the language spoken in a group of diverse states which were loosely connected. It was not until a western and eastern realm developed that the term was transferred from the language to its speakers and ultimately to the region they lived in, Deutschland. The area referred to as Germany has shifted over the centuries in all directions. The boundaries may be defined by historical periods; the Roman-German Empire (about 950), the Holy Roman Empire (about 1648-1806), The German Confederation (about 1815-1866), The German Empire (1871-1945). Modern Germany, as we think of it today, began with the reorientation in 1945 when Germany was divided into four occupation zones. The three western zones became the state of West Germany and the eastern or soviet zone became the German Democratic Republic, known as East Germany. The;two Germanies were reunited on October 3, 1990. For a complete listing of Milestones in German History visit. Applepie_43

Surname Origins--by Applepie_43

German Names
German names come from occupations, locality, colors or special characteristics. such as Bauer, Klein, Trier.

Polish Names
Many Poles had German names coming from German influence but, since World War II many have changed their names to remove the stigma of the German Occupation.The most prominent characteristic of the Polish name is it's ending.The following names are of Polish origin: Pajak, Gorcyzka and Rudzinski.

Czech Names
These names are the same as Polish names but not as long. They derive from nicknames, or diminutive forms of a Polish name. Also Czech names often weere of German influence. The following are Czech Origin: Kostal and Hvorka.

Russian Names
Each person receives a first name, second name coming from their father's name and then the surname. Most are locality originated names. After the Revolution were changed from Religious names to more acceptable names for the Communist ideal. Some of the names of the poor were also changed to more distinquished names. The following are examples of Russian names: Schmirnoff, Droski

German Genealogy Links

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