Episode 4: What’s in a Word?
Published 27 October 2014
What’s in a word? When doing German genealogy, it pays to recognize that the way German words are used can have profound meaning for locating and understanding your German ancestors. In this episode, find out how and why German towns changed their names over the centuries, and how you can use this to your advantage to find your German immigrant ancestor’s birth town in the old country. Join us as we learn about the unique handwriting that old German documents were written in, and about how German surnames could be spelled differently depending on the gender of the individual. In the latter half of the interview, we are joined by author Ernest Thode, writer of The German-English Genealogical Dictionary, who shares “tricks of the trade” regarding how to navigate German word structure to help you with your genealogy.
- Ernest Thode – Ernest Thode is the author of A Genealogist’s Guide to Discovering Your Germanic Ancestors, Address Book for German Genealogy, and the German-English Genealogical Dictionary. Ernest earned a Bachelor of Arts in German and English from Purdue, and a Master’s degree in German from Stanford. He is an expert on German and German-American genealogy, with particular expertise in the subject of translation.