German Research Prompts New Questions

It's good to be a genealogist these days. My cousin contacted a Lutheran church in Gillersheim, Hannover.  He made inquiries regarding our Mack relatives and their friends, the Puseckers, who traveled together to Columbus, Ohio on the Anne Lange in Nov 1854.

He received a wonderful letter in response to his queries. A sweet woman spent about 7 hours looking through the Kirchenbuch for the church and seems to have pushed our family back a few generations and supplied names for a wife we had not previously known. I'm very thankful for this wonderful woman's efforts.

Here comes the challenge. How, oh how, do I document this information? And is the letter of a person willing to do research enough 'evidence' to include these new names on my family tree? She says she looked through the Kirchenbuch and found this information. Since I'm so unfamiliar with German Genealogy, I'm stumped. I really want to be excited and claim new relatives. On the other hand, I feel a desire to have 'proof.'

What do you think? What have your experience in these situations been? And, would you ask for further proof (i.e. copies of the books or photos) or would you let it accept it and celebrate the discoveries?


  1. I don't know exactly how you document the information (i.e. the citation details), but it would be as correspondence, with as much detail of what records this very nice person searched for you. I have a couple of letters that my grandmother received from Chicago cemeteries in the early 1960's indicating which ancestors were buried in the respective family plots. (She was paying for perpetual care for these plots.) I have not been to Chicago to see these cemeteries and have requested photos from FindAGrave, but no success yet. Awhile ago it was suggested that I document the information gained from these letters as correspondence.

    Hope this helps.

  2. Elizabeth... so would you mark it as correspondence and add these people (great +6 grandmothers) to your tree yet. Or wait?

  3. I would add these people, and with this correspondence as the source. If you have an area to make notes, you can remind yourself that this information is based on secondary sources. At least with this, you have something to "start with" for when you visit Gillersheim, Hannover, or otherwise find additional sources to corroborate what you have here.

    How cool that this woman spent so much time looking for information about your family!


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