How can you help me before I start?

In order for me to begin research into your family history, I need your help and your knowledge.

You may have old letters, documents, emigration data, birth, marriage or death certificates with names of your ancestors, names of German villages and towns or with the religious denomination which give me important hints to find out the origin of your ancestors. I know by experience that sometimes your sources are much more important than you yourself imagine.

So please provide me with as much information regarding your family as you know. But it is a fallacy to think a lot of information is required for starting a successful investigation. It is possible to work from just your or your ancestors full name, place and date of birth.

As a rule your old family documents are handwritten and normally of course in German language. Unavoidable problems are reading mistakes (family names, birth places, places of residence) which easily happen and may lead you to a wrong trail back into the past. Therefore I kindly request you to provide me with all your papers - at least the definite important ones. This will equally ensure that no work is duplicated or senseless. But in your own interest only send photocopies and never originals.

Before I start extensive research work I develop a research and timetable plan for you which besides other important things includes the total estimate costs. To prevent wrong estimates and other misunderstandings you should think in time about what choice of investigation you want.