Hit a Brick Wall I only have records and knowledge of name [closed]

+5 votes
I only know the names as per record on Social Security Application for my great grandfathers brother Emil

I would like to know the Date Of Birth and Death Dates for my great great Grand-grandparents all these records are in Germany they never ever moved to United States Any information would be greatly appreciated

Friedrich-243 Schmidt-7369
closed with the note: Resolved
asked in Genealogy Help by Steve Schmidt G2G6 Pilot (346k points)
closed by Steve Schmidt
"Germany"was several different countries until unification began in 1871. Were they from Prussia, Bavaria,etc? Most records then were kept by the churches. Do you know thdir religion?
I would speculate Lutheran

I know when my great grandfather got on the ship in 1920 he got on in Hamburg
Sending you private message with immigration record. Has place and exact birthdate
That took a weird twist however I cannot confirm or deny that is correct
Sent some links via email , sites in Germany that may yield records Ancestry doesn't have.
Thanks Edward for all that help. Your kindness is appreciated

2 Answers

+5 votes
Best answer
Hi Steven,  Germany as we think of it as a country did not exist at the time period you are asking about.  Do you know if they spoke what is called

High German, Low German, or PlatDutch?  That can help identify where to look.  

There are a lot of people with the same names in the same time periods in close areas so you need more to make a verifiable match to your family.

Now, this may sound really odd, but, are there any family specific recipes that came from your great grandparents that have been handed down?  Sometimes recipes are more regional and can point you to a place to look.  I have been able to track down a few people because of what they ate or did not eat.  (Example people with an allergy to onion seem to have ancestry from a specific area of what we call today Germany and Austria. like my business partner and yes, she has that allergy).  

In my case, my great great grandfather who descended from glass and crystal makers was a candy maker... the economy had bottomed out for glass makers when pressed glass came in and some famous candy making names came from glass families because it was chemistry... swap out the sand for sugar, the potash for flavoring or color and you have candy.  Ribbon candy is made like ribbon glass, lollipops are stained glass windows, taffy is pulled and can be shaped just like glass.  The tools look remarkably the same from the 1800s.  Yep, sometimes occupations can also be a great help in sourcing people's past.
answered by Laura Bozzay G2G6 Pilot (459k points)
selected by Steve Schmidt
I don't know specifically what language I remember a few times going into my great grandmothers place with my grandmother however her english was very broken but my dad says he believes it to be German.
So German or a German sounding language is spoken in a number of European countries including but not limited to:



Eastern France (Francaise Rhein)

and probably others I am not listing.  

Here are some maps of the evolution of what we now call Germany


Laura,  What a beautiful and unusual comment regarding regional cooking!  So if my father (b. Frankfurt) remembers his mother's stollen that was apparently fairly plain, I could search her mother's region's cooking (Karlsruhe) for other recipes (and assume that she and possibly her husband ate certain other regional foods--right?  (I made him a German stollen from Joy of Cooking once and he thought t had too much in the way of baking's ornamentation of nuts and fruits, but it didn't qualify as a fruit cake and was clearly a stollen.)
Hi Roberta,  Yes there are regional styles of cooking.  Here in the US there are flavors with distinct regional ties.  BBQ sauce is a good example.

French cooking is known for its use of butter and more butter.  

Germany as we know it today was not always one nation and the cooking in the North is different than the cooking in the South.  The south has more French and Mediterranean overtones than the cuisine in the north. Central is more potato and ham based.  Fish is a prime use in Northern cooking.  

Some German regional cooking resources:




Roberta I co-own a spice company so am more familiar with the spice side of regional cooking but I have heard many of the chefs I do custom blends for talk about this.  It occurred to me it might help with some of my German brick walls in at least pointing me to a region to explore first.

My great grandparents came to the US in the mid to late 1800s and I have several branches with this Germanic tie but some all I had for where did they come from was Germany (good luck).  My one family that I had the least amount of information about had left a lot of written recipes.  I started looking at where those came from by comparing them on sites like those above and in finding matching ones and boom I discovered they came from BW area and then I could research them more vigorously there.  I did finally find them there.
+2 votes
I have Schmidt as my grandmother's maiden name, if any of your relatives test DNA, I could see if I am related to your Schmidt line. I have not been able to do much research on my Schmidt line. They left Germany and went to Russia before they came to the US in 1876. As I look for records I will keep your line in mind. Good luck!
answered by April Rarick G2G6 (7.6k points)
April, hello--I also have Schmid/t relatives from Germany (Berg-1880). In 1907, one of them lived in New Haven CT and sent for my 16-yr old gm Anna Bar Berg to come over. Anna was orphaned and with child; she came when her son Rudolf was 3 months old, leaving him with her gm Rosa Baer. Rosa brought him in her late life (73) and left him with Anna and her new hubby Robert G. Hilse. But the woman who prompted her immigration was Veronika Schmid/t who paid Anna's passage. V. lived at 18 Stanen (unreadable) in New Haven in 1907. (Rosa returned to Germany and died shortly thereafter, in area of Hamburg.) I have found nothing about Viktoria except what was on the immigration record for Anna at Ellis Island. --Can you guide me? I need more information: I don't know for instance how old Veronika was at that time, whether she was married (I don't think so--Rosa said she was "visiting her sister".) I've found no census records (CT is not giving free information.) Can you also help me? (yes, I'll re-check familysearch.com)
I need to see if my Schmidt tree is at familysearch.com to compare. I will check my Schmidt line this week and add in your Baer name to my search and see if I get anything. Interesting story, My second great grandmother on another line also came over from Germany, I have not been able to find her line but on her immigration record from Baltimore, MD it listed a uncle that I found her on a 1900 census on same page with. I will take a look thank you for replying. I will get back to you and private message you.
I'll try to see your tree at family search, April. I'm gratified that you gave me some idea that this is interesting. I have tried US CENSUSes, but that was when I was enrolled at ancestry.com.  Thanks for giving my note your consideration.
I found you at ancestry, I started looking at my cousins that have Schmidt. I shared my cousins with you over there, if you can email me or message me back. Or share your cousins with me. Maybe we can work together and compare the Schmidt line. To see on the map where they are in reference to cousins that have them on their tree.
April, I've just now found this exchange from Feb 25 (2017?). I've lost track of the jist of our emails. I've assumed that you did not find a connection to my Schmid or Schmidt "known" genealogically on my ancestry tree and maybe I've gotten to them here too (I've been involved in setting up a Project for W-Tree).

Could you send me a message here or by email about your findings, Please?  This line is really a double-thick brick wall for me.
I was still adding to my tree, but my line came to the United States in 1876 to Kansas, from Russia, before that on my DNA cousin list I am finding Baden Wuertemberg, and my grandmothers notes she listed Schwaben German which is about 215 km from your lines area. I need to try and look at all the German records online. I was cleaning up my tree and fixing my tree. I have not been able to find my lines German records yet. I had a hard time searching the German records at ancestry.com. I did come across one Schmidt cousin on my DNA at ancestry.com that came to New York and seemed to have stayed in New York area having children. If I figure it out I will email you.
Thanks so much April, for catching me up. You know so much more of their personal histories, those Schmidts, than I do. How do you find the details.

My relatives are from Baden, and later BW. Before that, I'm not sure what that area, the same area, was called. Has the German Roots project come up with searching techniques? The historical maps should be a great help.

Your individual who came to KS in 1876 could have left a cousin or sibling or child home in Baden who might be my relative.

Nothing surprises me, nothing.  Thanks again for answering.

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