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Join the relvant forums (e.g. for the German side) and mailing lists (on to get help and inout in case you are lost or have questions. Don't expect others to do the work, though.


Helena Walburga

Adolph Schnell, small farmer [Gärtner], and Anastasia Higi

Place of birth: Philadelphia in North America, according to baptism certificate

Date of birth: 28 November 1861

Baptism: Philadelphia

Baptising priest: Wirth, O. S. Redempt. [probably the church - our saviour redemptor?]

Witnesses: the godparents are Valentinus Fassnacht & Elisabeth Reiter(?)

Family register: vol. II, no. 313

The witnesses column is written in Latin.

Original Poster1 point · 10 hours ago

Oh cool. I'll try and see if I can find some more info about the church. Also, it specifies that the witnesses were the godparents? Thank you!

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It says "patrini fuerunt" (the godparents are being made by), not "testibus fuerunt" (the witnesses are being made by), so yeah, godparents.

The church abbreviation may be faulty, perhaps other letters may have been used.

Generally speaking, DNA testing is not as widespread in Europe as in the US. Germany also has laws in place because of which Ancestry does not sell its DNA products there. Additionally, Germans have a lot of privacy concerns.

I am German and have tested with Ancestry. However, of my ~40 matches with 4th to 6th cousins on Ancestry and GEDMatch, maybe only 3 seem to have German names, the rest is American.

That being said, MyHeritage is actually one of the more widely-used commercial websites in Germany. It strikes me as odd that you don't get as many matches. Then again, MyHeritage's ethnicity results are very inaccurate as compared to those you get on other websites. I would not trust the MyHeritage algorithm for that. Try GEDMatch, it's free and accepts datasets from all major companies.

Original Poster4 points · 1 day ago

Do you know how widespread myheritage is in Germany? Because of my top 30 matches, 11 are Danes, 11 American, 6 Norwegians and no Germans. I find it odd too when you consider that there are 80 million people in Germany and only 5 million in Denmark. The Scandinavian part of my heritage is Danish so that part adds up. But there should be more Germans in their database than Danes, don't you think?

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I don't think that there are any actual numbers available. Nonetheless, MyHeritage DNA tests are probably the most widely-used ones in Germany.

This one took some time since the Breuil wasn't immediately apparent and since there are so many Montignys. For some reason, the text is all in French.


Marie-Elise Mathilde

Parents: Adolph Schnell & Anastasie Higi

Place of birth: at Montigny in the parish of Breuil, Reims diocese

Date of birth: 12 October 1858 ?? certificate of 3 April(?) 1859

Baptism: Montigny, ?? ??

Priest: Frey, priest

Witnesses: Alphonse Wiert(?), ??; Elisa Florentin ??

Family register: vol. II, no. 313

1 point · 1 day ago

Given that the text is in French and you've translated the categories, I think this would be appropriate:
What you've deciphered of the writing is pretty incredible, though, looking at it I would've never gotten "certificate from April 3rd 1859".

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The problem is that it is French written in German Kurrent handwriting style (which people generally can only read with prior training). The two missing words behind Montigny in the baptism column might be useful to know, the rest is I guess irrelevant to OP.


Joseph Anton

Parents: Adolph Schnell and Anastasia Higi

Place and date of birth: Bierlingen, 7 March 1854

Baptism: Bierlingen, 8 March

Priest: Frey, priest

Witnesses: Karl Noll and Kunigunde Eger

Family register: vol. II, no. 313


5 points · 2 days ago · edited 2 days ago

Date of registration: 10 May 1903
Date of birth: 9 May 1903
Child's name, sex, religion: Mátyás, son, catholic

The parents' name, religion, age:
Father: Antal Simon, catholic, 46
Mother: Francziska Léber, catholic, 42

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What may be necessary as well are the place names.

In Christian memory

of Mrs

Maria Schlick vulgo [=alias] Reiter in Lärchberg, who passed away in the Lord on 1 March 1937, following a short, severe ailment, in the 87th year of her life.

May she rest in peace!

Beloved mother, rest in peace,
Beweeped hotly by your children;
May a blessed lot be granted to you,
Soon God will have united us with you.

My Jesus' mercy!
(100 days of indulgence)

Sweet heart of Maria, be my salvation!
(300 days of indulgence)

Print: A. Helfer, Murau

"vulgo" can have a variety of meanings - it could be an alias, the maiden name, the name of an adoptive of stepfather...

3 points · 2 days ago · edited 2 days ago

I'm OP's daughter. Thank you! Between the font and a couple of odd words, google translate wasnt helpful lol :) we appreciate it

Edit: just noticed the location links too! Great info!

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You're welcome! It's not an obituary, but the way - it's a death card (Totenzettel). They are usually handed out as a memento at German funerals.


Frank Seidl

Clocksmith and jeweller.

Two doors south from Shores(?) Bank(?)

Manitowoc, Wis.

Commends himself for all jobs in his line of work, promising real and immediate service.

Clocks/Watches and jewellery

are being sold for the lowest prices.

284 ??.

No. 5

Adolph Schnell, unmarried small farmer [Gärtner]; Anastasia Higi, unmarried inhabitant's daughter from here; both Catholic

Parents: Johanna Schnell, unmarried; Stephan Higi & Ursula Löffler

Both unmarried

Born 28 Sep 1826; 26 Apr 1828


Wedding: 23 Nov 1852

Frey, priest

Witnesses: Carl Noll(?) & Katharina Higi

Family register: volume II


Original Poster1 point · 3 days ago

I'm assuming the "1927" was a typo on your end?

Also, thanks Scanian. You've helped me on other documents before (under another username).

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Of course. You're welcome :)


Original Poster1 point · 3 days ago

So, her wedding record (at least the indexed version - haven't found the written one yet) lists her father as a different person. So, Philipp Walter is her actual father then?

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He is, yes. Stephan may be a mistake or perhaps Ursula's new husband. You should also look up that family register.

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No. 22 register office Kyllburg

Birth certificate

Town hall Eisenschmitt, Wittich district, [...]

Joseph Kopp, born 1 August 1831 at 12 o'clock at noon in Eisenschmitt, son of Joseph Kopp, tailor, 29 years old, and his wife Magdalena née Bler??, ??, 36 years old, both living in Eisenschmitt.

The gender of the child was recognised to be male.

First witness: Johann ?? ??(farmer?), 43 years old, living in Schwarzenborn

Second witness: Johann Igler, linnen weaver, 56 years old, living in Eisenschmitt




Hallo zusammen,

eine der einprägsamsten Folgen der Sendung mit der Maus, die ich in den 90ern erleben durfte, war die Folge, in der die Sendung mit der Maus die Frage "Warum ist die Banane krumm?" beantwortet, mit der sich die Menschheit seit Anbeginn der Zeit beschäftigt. Es ist nämlich so, dass da ein professioneller Bananenbieger am Hamburger Hafen sitzt, der die Bananen manuell biegt. In der Folge wurde der Bananenbieger besucht und die Arbeitsweise dokumentiert.

Leider ist diese Folge scheinbar nirgendwo online. Deshalb habe ich der Sendung mit der Maus geschrieben und nun Antwort erhalten.

Lieber Herr ScanianMoose,

vielen Dank für Ihre Mail.

Wir bedauern, dass Sie so lange auf eine Nachricht von uns warten mussten. Aber die Maus bekommt jeden Tag so viele Zuschriften, das es mitunter leider etwas länger dauert, bis wir uns zu den einzelnen Mails vorgearbeitet haben.

Sicherlich meinen Sie die Geschichte“ Bananenkrummbieger“, die 1973 zum ersten Mal in unserer Sendung ausgestrahlt wurde. Leider ist sie aus rechtlichen Gründen derzeit nicht auf unserer Homepage zu finden. Da dieser Beitrag nicht als gänginges Format heute ausgestrahlter Beiträge verfügbar ist, müsste dieser zunächst bearbeitet werden. Aus diesem Grund können wir derzeit leider nicht sagen, ob oder wann wir diese Geschichte noch einmal im Rahmen unserer Sendung ausstrahlen werden.Wir haben Ihre Anregung aber aufgenommen und drücken ganz fest alle Mausepfoten, dass sSe diese nostalgischen Geschichte irgendwann noch einmal sehen können. Versprechen können wir Ihnen das aber leider nicht.

Für die Zukunft wünschen wir Ihnen alles Gute und auch weiterhin viel Spaß bei der Sendung mit der Maus.

Viele Grüße sendet Ihnen das Maus Team!

Leider also kein Happy End.


Ja, die antworten immer sehr nett. Als ich noch klein war, haben die uns ganz viele poster geschickt, das war ne Freude :D

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Original Poster1 point · 3 days ago

Mir auch! Wollte wissen, wie Briefmarken gemacht werden. Hatten sie aber schon mal gehabt.

In relation to nobility and heraldry research:

A common theme is that someone says "I have found this coat of arms online for someone with the same surname as myself or another ancestor, thus I am

  • a) of noble descent;
  • b) am allowed to use that coat of arms.

First of all, coats of arms that you find online are often made-up bullshit sold by fake heraldry institutes. This stuff is best researched through historical heraldry books (bearing in mind that even two-hundred years ago, there were people selling fake coats of arms), official heraldry institutes, or in the absence thereof, heraldic associations that keep lists of coats of arms.

Second, coats of arms are usually, if they can be inherited at all, only be used by male, direct, legitimate descendants. Illegitimate children or children of female descendants usually do not qualify. This also calls for examining the original text of the endowment, which states who is allowed to use it, if it is inheritable, etc.

Third, just because you have the same name as a verified bearer of a certain coat of arms, it does not entitle you to the coat of arms. You need to prove that you fulfil the conditions, i.e. usually, you need to show that you are a direct descendant in the male line. There are some modern coats of arms that anyone of a certain surname is allowed to bear, of course, but that again relates to the second point.

Fourth, noblemen were by far not the only ones who got to bear coats of arms. Having a coat of arms does not make you noble.

Related to this, there are also a few other misconceptions about nobility:

First, having an attribute like "von", "de", etc. in your name does not make you noble.

Second, even if your ancestors were noblemen, it does not mean that you are. For example, many European aristocrats have been stripped of their titles (and also the name attributes) over the centuries as a result of misbehaviour or political upheaval.

Third, no, your noble ancestors did not and could not sell their title. That's a family legend.

1) Follow genealogical standards and the principle of caution. Do not add anything to your tree that you do not have an actual record for (unless it's recent events that family members remember - but even those can be wrong). Other family trees, the IGI, and similar sources can only serve as pointers. Contact other genealogists and ask them to send you their records. That way, you can verify that nothing was misread or misinterpreted.

2) Do not expect others to do the work for you. Beginners often tend to phrase their questions in a way that is demanding results, rather than asking for pointers for own research. Also, beginners often cannot be bothered to do the minimum work required (e.g. get birth certificates of their known relatives that are still covered by data protection laws).

3) Before starting to do proper research, find out how the program of your choice works and create a proper system of citations etc. Also, make sure that the way you enter information is transferable - i.e. that everything you enter can be exported via GEDCOM (there are, for example, many event types that GRAMPS offers, but that cannot be exported; the address feature also does not seem to transfer well - take the event "place of living" instead).

4) Create a neat folder structure (e.g. grouped by surnames) and file naming conventions (e.g. Surname, Name(s), Event Type, Date, Source). For pictures of people, I guess it is useful if you either enter the info into the pic directly or at least keep a text file storing the file name and any additional info.


Stelldichein, das

Type: neuter noun

Usage: dated

Used in: sich [Dat.] ein Stelldichein geben OR ein Stelldichein haben

Pronunciation: Forvo

Etymology: direct translation of the French rendez-vous (the difference being that French uses the formal singular/plural vous (you), while german uses the informal dich).


  • (1) an encounter/meetup of lovers, rendezvous, date

  • (2) a meeting of people who usually have the same interests


  • "David und Julia hatten gestern ein Stelldichein." / "David und Julia gaben sich gestern ein Stelldichein." ("David and Julia had a date yesterday.")

  • "Der Aufsichtsrat hatte dieses Jahr in Köln sein jährliches Stelldichein." / "Der Aufsichtsrat gab sich dieses Jahr in Köln sein jährliches Stelldichein." ("The supervisory board had its annual meeting in Cologne this year.")



Type: verb

Pronunciation: Forvo


  • (1) jemanden / etwas [Akk.] wegbefördern: to transport someone or something away

  • (2) jemanden [Akk.] wegbefördern: to promote/advance someone in order to get rid of them


  • (1) "Wir haben keine Ahnung, wie wir 10.000 Leute wegbefördern sollen, bevor der Sturm hier ankommt." ("We have no idea how to transport 10,000 people away before the storm arrives here.")

  • (2) "Infolge der Kontroverse um den Verfassungsschutzchef Hans-Georg Maaßen wurde er nun in das Innenministerium wegbefördert. Trotz seines Fehlverhaltens kann er sich auf ein höheres Gehalt freuen." ("Following the controversy surrounding the head of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Hans-Georg Maaßen, he was now promoted to the ministry of the interior. In spite of his misconduct, he can look forward to a higher salary.")


Word of the day is back, yay! There's a typo in (1) btw (wegbefödern).

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Original Poster8 points · 5 days ago

Thanks! Fixed.

3 points · 6 days agoGilded1 · edited 6 days ago

She was living in Bottrop, Germany when she died around 1935.

I have emailed bottrop archive but not had any response back.

Who did you email and in which language? How long ago was it? Did you write to the town archive or the Standesamt (registrar office)?

The indeces to the some of the bdm records for Bottrop are online via the state archive of Westfalen-Lippe.

Flipping through B, I cannot find a Banko death in 1935.

Also have a look through the adressbook of Bottrop for 1930/31:ür_Bottrop

On page 112 (website) there are 7 male heads of household with the last name Banko. Franz Banko is listed as being a miner and living at Korzmannstrasse 12. A Ludwig Banko lives at the same adress, and a Josef Banko living at number 13.

I have created a memorial for her on

Try searching instead.

German grave stones are removed after about 30 years. When the body has decomposed, the grave will be reused and somebody else will be buried there.

The above project includes removed gravestones and has lots of graves from Bottrop listed.

EDIT: Having had a hunch I looked at the adressbook of Bottrop in 1938 and F. Banko nee Schuliczek is listed as a widow living at Korzmannstrasse 12. (page 90 of the website)

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I have searched the 1936-1938 indexes. I may have found Franz, but Franziska probably died after 1938.

Banko Julie née Grobelny(?) + 92/1936

Banko Franz, cripple, + 717/1936

Bank Emanuel, cripple, + 729/1936

Banko Gertrud + 221/1937

Banko Maria + 616/1937

Banko Adolf + 235/1938


Original Poster1 point · 6 days ago

Hey /u/ScanianMoose thank you for that information. 1935 was indeed more of an earliest year of death and definitely not the only possibility indeed.

By the way, since you are specialised in Silesia maybe you would know how to find some more information regarding them. Franz Banko's family originally came from Silesia (around Obszary back then called Romanshof). Franz was likely born here as well though we are unsure where he met and married Franziska.

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3 points · 6 days ago · edited 6 days ago

You are starting your research at a good time. The Upper Silesian genealogical association Silius Radicum has been publishing a lot of churchbook duplicates from the Rybnik area (more to come as they will digitalise all remaining churchbook duplicates held by the archive in Racibórz), and volunteers have indexed a lot of marriages there. I will give you a few pointers:

  • Places, parish jurisdictions, other researchers: You can find any place in Silesia on, look for other researchers in that area, and add your own search names to the database for each place they lived in. It also gives the parish and register office jurisdictions: for example, Romanshof Catholics congregated in Radlin, Evangelicals went to Loslau, and the register office (starting from October 1874) was located in Radlin as well.

  • Records: Using this information, the best source for what Silesian churchbooks and civil records have survived the war is christoph-www. Everything that says "Mormonenfilm" means that has some of it. Please be warned that the page is still a bit unreliable in that southeastern part of Silesia that your are searching - the Racibórz archive has only recently started putting lists of its holdings online on szukajwarchiwach. The records of the Radlin register office, for example, still exist in the Cieszyn state archive (which has similarly shoddy inventory lists), although christoph-www currently does not list them., then, lists (and in parts, provides scans of) ALL types of records (including land records, which are a great secondary source, but are usually not available online) that are held in Polish state archives. New scans are released roughly every 3 months. A small amount of state-held records have been inventorised in detail; therefore, don't only look for the German and Polish place names, but also names of people (here: Banko).

  • Indexes: Before doing any manual searches, check if there are indexed records available for the area (or maybe even the parish in question). Polish genealogy is driven by, which provides user-submitted indexes for many church or civil records. However, formerly German areas are strongly underrepresented. Check this map to see which places have indexes for which years and types of records. The map also lists current and future local family heritage books (see below). In the Śląskie region, the vast majority of indexed records from the Prussian part are marriage records. It is not surprising, then, that there are quite a few hits for BANKO in the Rybnik area. It's a shame that the indexers omitted the names of the couples' parents in many cases, but it's better than nothing.

  • Alternative sources: Same as with indexes: Before doing any manual searches, consider alternative sources with indexed information. This includes WWI loss lists, the Volksbund WWII war grave database, and local family heritage books (the latter can selectively be searched here). All these resources help you track possible movements of ancestors and their relatives.

  • Connecting to German/Polish researchers: GEDBAS is a free database of user-submitted GEDCOMs, and it is great for connecting to other German researchers. German and Polish researchers also (sadly) hang out on MyHeritage. Just upload your basic tree there (free up to 250(?) people), give your contact details, and let someone with a subscription do the messaging for you in case you match with someone. Apart from that, Kartenmeister (see above), and forums may help you connect to other researchers (or get advice).

2 points · 6 days ago · edited 6 days ago
      T...der* Lorenz

Früh ist es am Morgen. Sonntags-
morgen. Wallend steigt ein dünner
Nebel. Schwer vom erquickenden Tau
beugen sich Gras und Erika vor dem
Morgen, vor Frau Sonne, die ihre
ersten Strahlen über die erwachende
Erde hinhuschen läßt. Ganz von 
fern tönt Lerchengezwitscher. Dann
wieder ist's tiefe Stille. Da horch!
Stimmen! Und: Dies ist der Tag des
Herrn. Mehrstimmig schallt 
das Lied in die Morgenstille.
Wandrer sind's, schmuckes Jung-
volk. Köstlich klingen die Stim-
men der Mädchen mit den 
dumpfen der jungen Männer

*could be Teodor, but probably something else.

Travel diary
       T. L. 

It is early morning. Sunday morning.
A thin fog is seething up. 
The grass and heather is,
heavy from the refreshing dew, 
bowing for the morning, for Lady Sun,
who sends her first rays scurrying
over the awakening earth. 
From very far sounds of larks tweeting.
Then again silence. There, listen! 
Voices! And: "The Lord's Day"*.
The song sounds polyphonic into the 
silence of the morning. 
They are hikers, beautiful youths. 
The voices of the girls sound 
wonderfully together with the 
darker ones of the young boys. 


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It is Theodor.


They no longer show shared ancestors without a subscription, unless I'm missing something.

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No. 127. Margarethe Amalie Emilie, daughter of the pastry chef Anton Neugebauer and his wife Mathilde, parents [or is it the maiden name Eltern? check for yourself], Evangelical-Lutheran denomination. Baptised at home by pastor J. Büttner of ??burg

Godparents: pastry chef Anton Neugebauer, Miss Emilie Sauerbrey


Original Poster44 points · 11 days ago

Und weil ich gerade im Schlaue-Zitate-Modus bin:

Der heißeste Platz der Hölle ist für jene bestimmt, die in Zeiten der Krise neutral bleiben.

Dante Alighieri

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Now, we must all fear evil men. But, there is another kind of evil which we must fear most - and that is the indifference of good men.

  • Pfarrer in Boondock Saints

From Mr Albert Böse, former county commissioner, Chicago: The sabre that his father, Mr Heinrich Carl Jakob Böse carried as volunteer Blücher hussar during the Liberation Wars and in the Battle of Leipzig, as well as the memorial coin that was awarded to him, his baptism certificate and an image of Blücher hussars from back then.

Mr Heinrich Carl Albert Böse, born 9 March 1792 in Neu-Strelitz, artisan carpenter by profession, followed his son Albert, who had preceded him in the beginning of the 1850s, in 1859 to Chicago and settled down in Jefferson as farmer, together with his wife Mrs Dorathea Friederike Sophie, née Aalgrim(?), who was 62 years old back then already. Both of them died there, in high regard, he in 1878, she in 1880. He lived to see the French beaten a second time and to be able to take part in the Chicago peace celebrations, both of which made him very glad. He took part in the procession together with two other comrades in arms from the Liberation Wars in a carriage, of course accompanied from his faithfully-guarded weapon, which his son has now given to the German-American Historical Society for safekeeping.

Original Poster1 point · 12 days ago

Nope, I've not got his birth certificate and he's rather reluctant to help me for personal reasons... I've asked my other family as much as I can and yet they don't know much. My grandmother divorced him when my mother was seven years old and even if we're still in contact with him, he's not especially keen on providing information 😕

Thanks for the information though! I'll continue to look... Might just have to get a professional genealogist in...

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Then get the marriage certificate first, which should state his place and date of birth. Then, get the birth certificate (you do not need permission, just proof of descendancy) to get the parents' names, and so on. A professional genealogist cannot help you much since they would not be able to search protected registers manually either.

104 points · 12 days ago

Wait there are people working less than us how is this possible

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Maybe strikes are not counted?

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