The naming patterns and quirks that are found in German names range from needing to "look in the middle" for first names ... as well as dealing with families who used the identical name for surviving children. This presentation demystifies these and other potential problems.
This class was presented to a live webinar (online seminar) audience on August 26, 2015. 1 hour 47 minutes, plus 3 pages of handouts.
Comments from Jim's last webinar:
- Absolutely wonderful! Jam-packed with useful information that goes well beyond any beginner tutorial. I am very fortunate to have heard Jim Beidler speak on three separate occasions. He never fails to disappoint. Thank you!!
- Always love the German webinars. My German great grandparents are my brickwalls. Thanks Jim and Geoff.
- AMAZING! I can now see places to get more information that I had not considered for my German family
- Another great webinar! I had heard the legend that names were reused to confuse the devil in a class years ago--can't remember who, when, or where, so Jim is not the only one to have heard this.
- Excellent information. Very practical & very much needed !!! Thank you!
- Excellent webinar! So much to learn! I plan to watch this webinar again many times to absorb all that he said. Thank you very much.
- Excellent! Very good discussion about phonetical spellings for names. You have to put yourself in the shoes of a door-to-door census taker trying to write down the name they just heard from a non-native English speaker. Thanks.
- German names are so confusing. Thanks for helping to understand some of the characteristics and patterns!
- Good pacing for someone who doesn't know much about German research.
- Great help in answering questions about German names! And so many other interesting facts about place names, too!
- Great personality to present webinair. Will be watching again as needed during research and adding books to wish list.
- Great webinar and after party! Thanks!
- Helpful explanation on how children were named.
- He's so practical (James Beidler)... I learned so much about naming patterns, and how names are used, that I'm back to my research plans, and adding in new focus ideas to learn first, before I go back to searching for my ancestors. No wonder I've been so confused. Thanks again for having such a fabulous knowledgeable (and humourous) presenter!
- Hi was very entertaining and he made a difficult and complicated topic easy to understand. Lots of good tips to extend my German research. Looking forward to his new book!
- His comment on families naming newborns after a predeceased sibling opened my eyes. I have several cases of this in my family. My research was focused on proving which was the correct single individual. I'll jump back into those cases with a new focus. Thank you!
- I enjoyed James Beidler's relaxed style as he presented lotsmoft useful info. I have learned several things to apply immediately and lots to consider as I research my German ancestors.
- I found all the information useful, especially the "Master variant" diagram in the handout. Looking forward to more webinars about German ancestry by James Beidler.
- I haven't done much research on my husband's German ancestors. I'll have him watch this with me and see if it will spark interest in helping me. Great webinar!
- I've been doing German research for too many years to admit and I learned a lot today.
- James Beidler made the researching of German names that much easier! Very well done!
- James did good job and he lectured so great!!!! Kudos to him!!! :) I learned and enjoyed to listen about it. Keep up the good work!
- Jim is always extremely knowledgeable. I particularly liked his chart where he breaks down all the name possibilities. I need that.
- Lots of great helpful tips. I have been stumped by a possible sibling who I was abanding because it would mean two surviving brothers had the same name. Now have to re-think that one. Amazing! Thanks a lot.
- Loved the subject -- my family is full of the naming patterns Jim addressed --very helpful ! !
- Packed with good education. Holy Cow, I had no idea it could get so complicated with German names.
- What wonderful information. I often help people with German research (besides my husband's) and they always want to know how I know these things. I always refer them to the webinars and products in Legacy. Thanks you.
- While I have not found any German ancestors, I can tell from this and his preveous webenars that James is a real expert on German ancestry as well as an expert teacher. Kudos for an excellent webinar, and always kudos to Geoff for always finding such great experts. The webinars are always worth my time.
- Wish I'd known this when I started my German research 5 + yrs. ago!
- I feel more equipped to tackle more in-depth research after listening today.
- Wunderbar!! Danke!!!
About the author
James M. Beidler is the author of The Family Tree German Genealogy Book
as well as writes Roots & Branches, an award-winning weekly newspaper column on genealogy that is the only syndicated feature on that topic in Pennsylvania. He is also a columnist for German Life magazine and is editor of Der Kurier
, the quarterly journal of the Mid-Atlantic Germanic Society.
He was the President of the International Society of Family History Writers and Editors from 2010 to 2012, and is the former Executive Director for the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania. He served as national co-chairman for the 2008 Federation of Genealogical Societies conference in Philadelphia.
Beidler is also frequent contributor to other periodicals ranging from scholarly journals such as The Pennsylvania Genealogical Magazine to popular-interest magazines such as Ancestry Magazine and Family Tree Magazine. He also wrote the chapter on genealogy for Pennsylvania: A History of the Commonwealth, published jointly by the Penn State Press and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.
As a lecturer, he was a part of the Pennsylvania Humanities Council’s acclaimed Commonwealth Speakers program from 2002 to 2009, and has been a presenter at numerous conferences. In addition to being a member of numerous genealogical, historical, and lineage societies, Beidler also sits on Pennsylvania’s State Historic Records Advisory Board as well as the selection committee for the Pennsylvania Digital Newspaper Project.
He is a Senior Tax Advisor for an H&R Block franchise and previously was a copy editor for 15 years for The Patriot-News newspaper in Harrisburg, PA.
Beidler was born in Reading, PA, and raised in nearby Berks County, where he currently resides and is an eighth-generation member of Bern Reformed United Church of Christ. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Hofstra University in Long Island, NY, with a BA in Political Science in 1982.