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Where to Look for Hard-to-Find German-Speaking Ancestors in Eastern Europe
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Where to Look for Hard-to-Find German-Speaking Ancestors in Eastern Europe. Index to 19,720 Surnames in 13 Books, with Historical Background on Each Settlement. Second Edition. Bruce Brandt and Edward Reimer Brandt. Paperback, (1993), repr. 2003, New, Index, 148 pp.
This book is a godsend for researchers whose German-speaking ancestors emigrated to Eastern Europe or whose trail cannot be traced to Western Europe. The fact is that thousands of German settlements comprising millions of individuals sprang up in Russia, Poland, and the countries of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire from the sixteenth to the early twentieth century (e.g., nearly 2 million show up in the Russian census of 1897 alone).
In this work, Bruce Brandt and his father Edward furnish us with the surname of every German-speaking individual who appears in thirteen authoritative histories--eleven of them written in German--which document this massive emigration. In all, this work lists 19,720 surnames of German-speaking ancestors who emigrated to Russia, Poland, Romania, and elsewhere in Eastern Europe, containing altogether 24,000 references. Each surname is keyed to one of the thirteen sources examined by the Brandts. In the introductory chapters to the book, the authors go over the problems associated with variations in German spelling and provide an extremely informative history of German settlement in Eastern Europe and detailed summaries of each of their sources. Finally, since many of their thirteen sources are hard to come by, the authors have included an order form, which researchers can use to request searches of the surnames found in their index.