German research

Hungary has been a home for the descendants of ethnic German settlers for centuries, let them be Zipsers from Slovakia, Saxons from Transylvania or Danubeswabians from the Banat and various parts of Hungary

Saturday, June 30, 200722:53:32 CET
Database of Harta's Donauschwaben under construction

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According to the Hungarian online magazine Evangelical Life the BMD records of the evangelical ethnic Germans of Harta (near the Danube River) have been entered to data sheets by the Harta pastor. Records start in 1723 and in several cases family trees could be traced back to the Heimat of the settlers in Germany. As the extracts were written on paper, phase 2 of the work starts now: putting the information into the computer.

filed under: German research

Tuesday, April 24, 200713:09:26 CET adding reference and research materials

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The not-too-old German branch of, provides both for-fee, premium content to its subscribers and free materials to its visitors.

Their press release of Apr 17, 2007 mentions one additional resource to be available for free.

This free one has two features:
- based on phone directories of today's Germany one can observe the geographic distribution of any surname listed in them.
- origins, meanings and linguistical relations of 20,000 German surnames, including the 10,000 most frequent ones can be searched. The source for this tool is the reference work by Duden with the title Familiennamen (Family names).

Visit the site. Click on "Verteilung" for the distribution tool and "Ursprung" for the origins of surnames.

filed under: Online resources German research

Monday, April 23, 200710:44:00 CET
Happy birthdays, Hungary-L, Banat-L @ RootsWeb

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Two Hungary-related mailing lists at RootsWeb might celebrate their 10th birthdays these months.

Hungary-L was started somewhen late 2006. Although its archives starts in March 2007, the first archived message refers to an earlier one. Also, I remember messages of late 1996 from the time I jumped on the genealogy bandwagon back in October 1997. My Google search to bring up the older posts by two members I recall as being doyens there (Joe Jarfas and Ron McComb) was not successful. The Internet Archive misses them, too.

The history of the Banat-L is much easier to follow, as its archives start with the first message sent to the list in May 1997.

filed under: Online resources German research

Friday, December 1, 200617:53:56 CET
The avalanche approaching the Carpathian Mountains?

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... or what?

Wishing to get some genealogy entertainment I went to George G. Morgan's and Drew Smith's Genealogy Guys Podcast site. One item in the Nov 19 episode contents caught my eyes:

K, checking it turns out that a new site has arisen, What makes it different from other Ancestry sites is that this is the first non-English database site of, Inc.

I recall seeing job postings where MyFamily sought foreign content acquisition managers in BYU's Center for Family History & Genealogy's Newsletter. Well, apparently, these were posted not without reason. offers a neat collection of online sources, already. Some of them are available after free registration.

Just for the heck of cybersquatting, I made a search on the domain name (.hu stands for my country, Hungary). Guess what! has been registered on Oct 27, 2006 by, Inc. I don't know if they have plans to develop a site there or it was taken just in case.

filed under: Databases German research Genealogy industry

Wednesday, March 17, 200418:32:31 CET
AKUFF meeting and news

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AKUFF had the first of its three yearly meetings in Kalocsa this Saturday. (The number of come togethers might be changed to four per annum in future.)

As a member of the association I had the chance to take part of the event. There was no lecture this time, as the sit down part of the meeting was dedicated to the annual assembly with bureaucratic agenda: reports, budget, etc.

It looks like AKUFF might come out with its first published book this year. This will be an Ortssippenbuch of Nagyárpád (now part of Pécs, Hungary) by AKUFF member András Riszt. Good luck with that!

filed under: German research Events Clubs, associations

Friday, March 5, 200419:52:03 CET
German-Hungarian family calendars 1932-1954 website improved

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Peter Schmidt announced the opening of the improved site with the database of the Deutsch-ungarischer Familienkalender subscriber lists. Years 1932-1934 are covered by now, with more than 80,000 records.

filed under: Databases German research

Sunday, February 29, 200416:34:42 CET
AKUFF next meeting on 13 March in Kalocsa

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AKUFF (Danubeswabian Genealogy Association in Hungary) will have one of its yearly three meetings on 13 March in Kalocsa, Hungary.

filed under: German research Clubs, associations

Sunday, February 29, 200409:19:11 CET
Pro genealogists working on celebrity trees

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Sorin Fortiu's GenealogRO Group of Timisoara, Romania was asked to do a research of Johnny Weismüller's tree. Johnny was known in the 1920s for his swimming performance, and then, probably even more known for his Tarzan films. Weismüller's autobiography and official papers had that he was born in Pennsylvania. Sorin's research revealed that Johnny was born into a Danubeswabian family in what was then Hungary's Banat region, now Romania. Read the story here.

US presidential candidate John Kerry was believed to have an Irish-American family from Massachusetts. In February 2003, following the research done upon commission from the Boston Globe newspaper Ing. Felix Gundacker reported his findings. According to it, Kerry's grandfather, Frederick A. Kerry was born as Fritz Kohn to Jewish parents in a small town in what is now the Czech Republic (then Austria-Hungary). Read Gundacker's posting.

filed under: Jewish research German research Austria Genealogy in the news Education Clubs, associations

Sunday, January 11, 200402:03:43 CET
The Danube Tour 2004 itinerary

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Rev. Henry Fischer organizes a Danube Tour 2004 for 4-22 Sep 2004 starting from Munich and ending in Frankfurt and targeting Hungary. What captured my attention is that it traces not only the well-known touristic attractions of the western part of Hungary (Transdanubia), but also really many smaller towns and villages. Tailored for Danubeswabian genealogists? Probably.

filed under: German research Events

Wednesday, December 24, 200311:01:03 CET
DVHH developing and their Special Christmas Issue

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"The Donauschwaben Villages' Helping Hands Project (DVHH) is a non-profit, non-denominational, non-political group of researchers of Donauschwaben descent." (quote from their page)

DVHH has been in existence since 2002, and the site has been developing since then, too. In October they registered their own domain, so, pages are now on, and in September the Donauschwaben-Villages list (hosted by RootsWeb) was initiated - an active list with 167 messages in Nov 2003, 49 in Dec - so far.

DVHH has an extensive list of research accessories, aids, guides - just like anything needed for the Danubeswabian family historian. Worth exploring!

With the holidays in mind, DVHH has a Christmas Special Issue, as well.

filed under: Online resources German research

Monday, December 15, 200312:12:43 CET
Ferdinand Hengl wins the Lenau Award

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On Friday, 12 December, the winner for the 2003 Lenau Award was announced in the Lenau Haus (Lenau House) in Pécs. Ferdinand Hengl received the award.

Ferdinand Hengl (Hengl Nándor) is the author of quite a few books on Danubeswabian family history. The range of publications by him spans from Ortssippenbuch-s and local histories to extracts to "conscriptio animarum"-s (kirchliche Seelisten) of various places and regions in Transdanubia (western part of modern Hungary). Anton Tressel has a list of his publications up to 2001 here.

filed under: German research Outstanding personalities

Saturday, December 13, 200300:28:05 CET
Stefan Stader - R.I.P.

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Rumors went on about the bad health of Stefan Stader, the author behind the authoritative Sammelwerk donauschwäbischen Kolonisten and many other publications. Now, according to Dave Deyer's post on the Banat list @ rootsweb Herr Stader is gone. What a loss for family historians! May he rest in peace.

filed under: German research Outstanding personalities

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