What will resolve difficulties in researching the common German name Schmid and all its variants? I've about given up.

+4 votes
Schmid, Schmidt, Schmitt, and etc. can be narrowed by geography or by era (as generalities), but when I'm searching, a One-name chosen does not seem to clarify anything because a long list shows that's like a laundry list or a detergent that needs parsing to make sure no extraneous contents are included. I know I have one Schmid/t (unreadable) relative in New Haven, CT but I do not find any records for her not even now after years of looking.  So with thousands of individuals coming up, how do we make correct choices? *I know this is a poorly worded question, but surely others must also be stopped by the problem's opaque-ness.
in Genealogy Help by Roberta Burnett G2G6 Mach 1 (19.2k points)
retagged by Ellen Smith
Roberta, I'm feeling with you. I don't know what I would do researching such a common name. Almost every village had a smith, and then the different branches of the trade, from hoof to knives to silver and gold, so many smiths all over that it seems impossible to get anywhere without knowing the locality. You are certainly right that spelling variations allow some degree of regional attribution but that does not help much for the most common (when counting all the variations) German family name.
Helmut, this name yes, the most common of all. But you have put color and life to it, at the very least. Viktoria Schmid is likely my paternal 4th ggm: b. 18 MAR 1813 • Haisterkirch, Donaukreis, Württemberg, Deutschland; d. ABOUT 1840 • Baden, Deutschland. (or since Germany did not exist until 1871, then simply Baden?  or Württemberg?). Her probable daughter was Veronika Schmid, who lived at 23 Stanen Street in New Haven, Connecticut, when she paid passage for my grandmother Anna to come to the USA. It is she I look for most.

2 Answers

+1 vote
Best answer
Hi Roberta.  I also feel your pain.  I don't really have any good solution to this, but I have noticed that some of the web sites many of us use when searching for genealogy records seem to use somewhat different search algorithms and try to give you at least a little flexibility in how you search.  Family Search, for example, will include results with most common spelling variations, but will also let you specify that you only want to see those with an exact match.  Other sites may also include spelling variations, but not necessarily the same ones.  And others (rootsweb) will let you look for an exact name, or do a soundex (sounds like) search.  So all I could suggest is to try different spellings and different combinations of search parameters at the sites you use, and after some wasted hours of effort, you'll hopefully get a feel for which sites and techniques give you the best results.  I think the only thing you can do is keep plugging away at it, and if you're like most of us, that occasional hit will go far in helping to erase all the past frustration.  Good luck!
by Dennis Barton G2G6 Pilot (454k points)
selected by Roberta Burnett
Dennis, thanks. As much for the empathy as for the information. Friends tell me I spend too much time at this. And you've simply described the layers of possibilities and rejection that searching brings to the fore. Nonetheless, I'll try to feel encouraged by your words. We all share a boat, though it may not be in the same river or even a nearby continent.
0 votes
by George Chapman G2G1 (1.3k points)
Thanks, George, but Unfortunately, my high school German won't help me there.

The webpage should be https://de.wiktionary.org/wiki/Schmid - the lower case schmid leads to a non-existing page.

An English language translation is not available, it seems. But thanks anyway to all.
English translation is / https://en.wiktionary:org/wiki/Schmid

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