To help you determine your ancestral village if you do not know it or are unsure, here are suggestions:

  1. Ask your relatives or sometimes friends of your family, if they know the name of the village.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Church or civil records
  5. Newspapers (birthday congratulations possibly, and obituaries, marriage or death announcements).
  6. 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 know.
  7. 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: - 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   If you can't easily visit one of these locations, you can subscribe to for a short time frame and search online yourself.  From the  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 ( ) can be accessed online without going through   However, not everyone came in through Ellis Island so you may still need to use records.  
  8. 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  ( 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:
  9. 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.
  10. 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 citizenship).
  11. Other legal documents:  Wills, probate court records etc.
  12. If you have a garbled village name, but know the name of nearby villages or the parish, look at the 1880s military maps on the German Settlements in Galicia & Bukovina in Google Maps page.
  13. 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 search.
  14. US and Canadian Border Crossing Records (often found online - see
  15. USA Draft Registration Records for both World Wars (see, Family History Library or Library or Archives of Canada).
  16. Pension Files
  17. Tax Records or Land Records - see municipal or county offices.
  18. City Directories (see Public Libraries for holdings or check with for film availability). 
  19. 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. 
Betty Wray

For more on researching your Galizien German ancestors the tips on this page may assist you."
2010 Galizien German Descendants GGD home Page