To help you determine your ancestral village if you do
not know it or are unsure, here are suggestions:
Ask your relatives or sometimes friends of your family, if they know the
name of the village.
In Canada, many of the villages in the provinces of Sask, AB and MB
have libraries that contain "local history books". Visit your local
library or Provincial Genealogy Library to see if you can find any mention of
your family in one of these sources.
Look through any family documents you may have: baptism papers,
birth records, marriage documents, travel papers/passports, steamer tags, baby
books, photographs with the name/place photography took place written in
corner or reverse of photo; letters, diaries, journals, postcards, family
obituaries or funeral home papers.
Church or civil records
Newspapers (birthday congratulations possibly, and obituaries, marriage or
Cemetery - tombstones or the cemetery office might have some records you
are unaware of. Possibly other relatives have info on themselves on
their cemetery records that your specific relative or family may not
Census records and Passenger or Immigration Records - You can access
some these records easily online without cost. If you cannot
find what you seek easily, visit your Public Library or one of the Family
History Libraries (see website: www.familysearch.org
- bottom, middle of their homepage, enter in your state or province, or
country, and a listing of FH Library locations will appear). These
facilities have FREE access to www.ancestry.com If you can't easily
visit one of these locations, you can subscribe to Ancestry.com for a short time frame and search online
yourself. From the www.ancestry.com site you
can access both Canadian and US federal census records, immigration records
and passenger ship records online. Follow the census line all the
way to the far right to see if any mention is made as to village. Ellis
Island records (www.ellisislandrecords.org ) can
be accessed online without going through Ancestsry.com
However, not everyone came in through Ellis Island so you may still need to
use Ancestry.com records.
In the USA and Canada, it is possible to access homestead records.
In order to homestead a settler needed to be a citizen. To obtain
citizenship, the individual needed to answer questions as to birthplace,
parents names and other questions which could be most helpful in your
search. It may be necessary to order homestead records (from Canada
through the Provincial offices) or you can visit the Family Histsory
Library (www.familysearch.org) and order and view microfilm(s) on
homestead records from the nearest FH Library where you reside. In
ordering naturalization records or "Oaths of Allegiance" that were required to
obtain homestead records, you will need the contact address and view
information at this site: www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/genealogy
If your ancestor married in the USA or Canada, you should try and obtain
their "application" for marriage records, which often included names of
parents, birth dates and places. I don't mean the actual marriage
document, but the application thereto. These may be found in some local
court houses, etc.
Naturalization records. These records should contain their
birthplace, date, parents names, etc. These may take some time when
ordering from the government facilities, but worth the time, effort and
cost. U.S. Declaration of Intent (papers leading towards
Other legal documents: Wills, probate court records etc.
If you find a village/town name you may wish to
contact GGD editor, who can check Gazetteer of Galicia for correct spelling of
your village or locate the name of the parish. Several villages
often comprized one parish. The Family History Library files their
church records under the name of the parish thus while you may seek to locate
the village name on their site, you may not find it because it is filed under
parish name. Also check this GGD website for Resettlement records and/or
theCDs - family or village books for sale to see if church/civil records are
available on CD. Both of these avenues have "indexes of names" you can
US and Canadian Border Crossing Records (often found online - see
USA Draft Registration Records for both World Wars (see Ancestry.com,
Family History Library or Library or Archives of Canada).
Tax Records or Land Records - see municipal or county offices.
City Directories (see Public Libraries for holdings or check with www.familysearch.org for film availability).
Write or contact the local Family History Societies of where your
ancestor's lived. These Societies over the years have kept many records
that you may not be aware of.
For more on
researching your Galizien German ancestors the tips on this
page may assist you."