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German Localities

 
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roger.pape
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Joined: 17 Mar 2009
Posts: 383
Location: Liverpool, NY

PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2016 12:41 am    Post subject: German Localities Reply with quote

When tracing back the origins of the early families that settled in Concordia, one will eventually arrive back in Germany, particularly Northern Germany (Hanover or Westphalia). The town or village might be found either from family history or in various records such as death certificates, obituaries, or some immigration lists. Locating the community can occasionally be difficult because there were about a quarter of a million place names in Germany by the end of the 19th century.

Google Maps is very good at finding most of these names; however, there are some instances when the search may fail or one finds multiple locations with the same or similar name. The definitive guide for old German placenames is Uetrecht, E. Meyers Orts- und Verkehrs-Lexikon des Deutschen Reichs (Meyers Place- and Traffic directory of the German Empire). Fifth Edition. Leipzig, Germany: Bibliographisches Institute, 1912-3. One can find a good description of that document at https://familysearch.org/wiki/en/Germany_Gazetteers. The problem with the voluminous work is that it was printed in German (Fraktur type) and uses abbreviations extensively. However, there is a much more convenient way to use this document; that is, via the website at http://www.meyersgaz.org/. First of all, this fantastic website is in English with a good help section. It provide full searching of the entire document. After entering a particular name, it gives a list of all locations with that name and full details of the information for the selected place, including locations where records for that area might be found.

The on-line website also provides a great mapping feature. When you switch to that tab, an old historical map of that area is displayed. In the upper right corner is a pull-down menu where nearby civil and church locations can be flagged. Clicking on that tab also toggles between the historical map and Google street maps. In Google Maps, you can also view the current overhead photography of the area by clicking on the 'Satellite' tab in the upper left corner.

The 'Ecclesiastical' tab displays the primary churches for the location you entered along with an extensive list of other nearby parishes. This provides locations where you might need to go to find the church records for a particular family.

If you are interested in homes of various ancestors, be sure to take a look at that website.
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roger.pape
Site Admin


Joined: 17 Mar 2009
Posts: 383
Location: Liverpool, NY

PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2016 9:00 am    Post subject: Ravensburg Atlas Reply with quote

I should have noted that the historical maps displayed on the meyersgaz.com website appear to have been taken from the Karte des Deutschen Reiches (Map of the German Reich) published in 1893. If you are not familiar with those maps, the following notes were posted by David Rumsey, who has copies of some of the maps posted on his website at http://www.davidrumsey.com/.

"Date estimated based on the apparent library acquisition date usually stamped on the back of the map sheet. Mounted on linen in 8 panels. Mounted on brown fragile linen. Comparing our sheets to those at the Library of Congress shows that most of our sheets were published 5 to 10 years before the stamped acquisition date. A few sheets are duplicated and placed under similar list numbers. This map series is remarkable for the level of fine detail. As a consequence, it was scanned at 800 PPI providing four times the resolution of the typical detailed map scan of 400 PPI. At least ten separate symbols for special buildings were utilized, a method enhanced by placing an abbreviation next to the symbol. Structures with special symbols include: churches, chapels, monuments, windmills, water mills, stamp mills, forester's lodges, watchtowers, ruins, forts, quarries, clay pits, lime kilns, and coke-ovens. Factories, brick works, powder magazines electric power plants, and many other important buildings are differentiated by means of abbreviation. Houses appear as black blocks, either rectangular or shaped like the ground plan of the building. Many other features are differentiated, for example there are four different qualities of roads plus bridle paths and footpaths. Vegetation is minutely classified including separate symbols for broadleaf trees, evergreens, underbrush, heather, dry meadows, wet meadows, swamps, orchards, gardens, vineyards, and parks. Relief is shown by hachures. Spot elevations are given in meters above sea level.

In an agreement dated March 4, 1878, the states of Prussia, Saxony, Bavaria, and Wurttemberg (the areas of modern day Germany, Luxembourg, Poland, and Kaliningrad, and part of Lithuania) agreed to map their areas on a 1:100,000 scale in a common topographic grid survey consisting of 674 sheets. Each sheet covers about 30 minutes in longitude and 15 minutes in latitude. One centimeter on a map is equivalent to 1 kilometer on the ground. Average sheet size is about 35 cm x 28 cm. Each sheet covers about 1000 square kilometers and was engraved on copper. A polyhedral projection was used. Prime meridian was Ferro, later switched to Greenwich. The series is known as the KDR-100 (German General Staff map) and was surveyed beginning in 1878, although many sheets were simply drawn from pre-existing military maps, often of larger (more detailed) scale. The mapping continued until 1945, so most sheets were revised at least once. This collection strongly trends toward the earliest editions. They were published for the General Staffs of Bavaria, Prussia, Saxony and Wurttemberg by "R. Eisenschmidt, Verlags-Buchhandlung" (publishing bookstore). (Berlin). Key organizations indicated on the maps include (1) Topographic Bureau of Royal Saxony, abbreviated in German as "topogr. bureau des konigl. sachs." And (2) Royal Prussian General Staff, abbreviated in German as "Kgl. Preuss. Generalstab." Most sheets stamped with "The Library of Massachusetts, State House, Boston," and the apparent date of acquisition. Almost all of the sheets are trimmed to the neatline to allow for closer alignment of multiple sheets when viewing, apparently a common practice by publishers of the sheets. Therefore the printed publishing date has been removed and we are estimating the date based on the acquisition stamp date."
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