For decades, I’ve had a record access roadblock. My Zumstein relatives were from Obermiesau, Bavaria as the children were born in this area after 1816 when the Kingdom of Bavaria was established in this area. Family paper group sheets had recorded the descendants of Paul Zumstein and Phoebe Moulter’s birth and christening dates before they migrated to Ontario, Canada around 1850. But no one had copies of the original church records. So, could the derivative records be trusted?
Additionally, names in the International Genealogical Index (IGI files) often confused whether they were from Sand, Pfalz or Obermiesau. And usually, the family was from Evangelisch, which is the German word for Protestant, as in the religion. I’m not so sure they were “from” Evangelisch rather than they attended a Protestant church in the old country.
When online record collections became available, I had hoped I’d be able to see the original record collections. Original records record more details that indexes, so you always want to look at the first recording of an event. But, all FamilySearch and other sites offered were indexes, like this one.
That is until recently! Ancestry.com has brought impressive new record collections to light. Not only that, the records are indexed and have some English translations to help us search the record set. At this time, I can’t know German, so I had to rely upon the searchable indexes now available in the “Germany, Lutheran Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials, 1500-1971“.
For the first time, I saw the church record for Daniel Zumstein who married Maria Niergarth in Obermiesau, Bavaria!
I can make out Daniel and his bride’s names. I can decipher his parent’s names of Paul Zumstein and Phillipina. I will need translations of the remaining items, but I’m super stoked!!!
After finding this record for a 4th great-uncle, I wanted to see what else was online and accessible in the Lutheran record collection. Sure enough, I found a baptism record for his sister Katherine.
On this record, there are additional names that served as witnesses. The last names look familiar and could be extended family members that I haven’t connected yet. Oh man! How I wish I could read German right now. If a wish could be granted at the snap of my fingers, that would be it.
If genealogy has taught me one thing, it’s to be patient. The original church records forObermiesau are now more easily accessible than ever before! I’ll celebrate that sweet step forward. In time, the German language barrier will break, and I’ll make more discoveries!
If you haven’t investigated the Lutheran Baptism, Marriage, and Burial collection for Germany on Ancestry.com, you need to head over there now through this link.