Question of the Week: Do you have German ancestors?

+104 votes
Oktoberfest is right around the corner. Tell us about your German roots!

Check out the German Roots project and see what resources they have to help you learn about them.

Genieße das Leben ständig! Du bist länger tot als lebendig! Prost!

(Always enjoy life! You are dead longer than you are alive! Cheers!)
asked in The Tree House by Julie Ricketts G2G6 Pilot (254k points)
edited by Abby Glann
My ancestors are from eastern France and southern Germany, which produced a large amount of immigrants to the U.S. in the1860-1870 period of time.  My great grandfather, Bernard Siebert was from Ottenau, (near Baden) Germany, and his wife came from Liederschiedt, Lorraine, France, which is right on the border of Germany. (Maybe Liederschiedt was German at one time.  I am not sure how the borders changed over time.)  Another great grandfather, Martin Miller (Meuller) is from Bavaria, and he came from the area near Rupperts Stone Quarry.  I don't know where this is in Bavaria, but the stone is in the base of the Cincinnati Blessed Virgin Mary Statue in the center of town?.  Martin Miller's wife was named Mary Telger (There are many different spellings of her name) and she was from Luxembourg.  My cousin married a Beck, and his grandfather, Romuald Beck, who came from who came from Baden-Baden, Germany.
Most of my family (Timmerman/Borgerding) is from Oldenburg, Lower Saxony, departing for the USA from the port of Bremen during the "migration". I have found several Prussians, too. I don't have much entered on this site yet as I am transferring info/data from another here. I hope to be interacting more within WikiTree soon.

My Hardman (Hartmann) ancestors came from Ingleheim-am-Rhine (Juliana on the Rhine) in the state of Hesse.  The location was very much like the area they settled in in WV and the house was like those built in Germany ibn the 1700's.  They came via England.  I do not know whether he was a Hessian soldier but do know he got a land grant for property now WV.  Land grants were the way the Hessians who fought for us were paid.

Yes, I do! My father was born in Germany, being half Norwegian, half German. My grandfather was German, born in Weimar, Thüringen, in 1888.
Hi I have tons German ancestors but will list this one I found.

I have neat ancestor here I have his travel documents in German so cool just getting some the profile done here while can.örrer-5

Maternal GrandMother  born Berlin family name Kraenzelin.. can't trace any more of them, appears they were from around Alsace, her husband Lange Polish..Kraenzelin goes back through Germany to Switzerland to my surprise, through a  wife Hoffert , to Hoffer. seems to branch out  to other countries with the wives, fascinating
My German GM's roots are deep and they go in two quite differing directions. One line disappears quickly into Schmid and Hermann. The other goes from Bär/Baer to Berg to von Berg for a very long run after the first von Berg. The brief Bär/Baer stay is brought by a woman, my GM, and veers to Berg and on back to Schneider, Joesel, Zollerin and Bayer. Von Berg trails back to a strong consistently "of record" family of Sallmann and/or Sallmanhausen.

I have a Bower line I like to have join the Bower project


My maternal GGG and GGM, Barnhardt and Fredricka Boy came from Mecklenberg. After they arrived in America they settled in Erie County, New York on a farm and stayed there until they died. I have all the census records and even some land records to look at and see their lives. But I haven't been able to find out anything about them before they came to America, so that is my brick wall. If anyone has suggestions or is related to them I would be interested in hearing from them.
My husband's family is from Baden Baden and Apolda.   I have some German lines (Ulm for one) as well.

150 Answers

+5 votes
I do have German ancestors, with 55% German DNA. I am still researching as I have had to start with no known knowledge of my lines. 2 of my main 4 parental lines are dominant German lines. Merkel from Darmstadt to Illinois via my father Donald Eugene Merkel, as well as from via my maternal grandmother Annabelle Stange's of Missouri GGrandfather Gustavus Stange b. 1829 Brandenburg, Preußen, as well as her grandfather Henry F. Hart of Illinois which stems from German lineage amongst many more.
answered by Jessica Merkel G2G1 (1.1k points)
+5 votes
German heritage from my maternal  grandfather - Leinen, from my maternal grandmother - Junker.

And very interested in my husband's vast German family history - the Hess family that migrated from German to New York.
answered by Cheryl Hess G2G6 Pilot (129k points)
+5 votes
My mother was born in Germany.  Her mother's family came from Luebeck in the North of Germany.  Her father was born in Sudenburg Magdeburg which is somewhere near Berlin.

I have some of the German ancestors who settled in Eastern Pennsylvania including some who settled Germantown within a couple of years of William Penn's earliest settlers.  I am still trying to untangle which of those Anabaptist families are mine.  I got my name on the Custer website, but now I think that rather than descending from Balthasar Stem and Else Kuster, I probably descend from Balzer's brother, Frederick Stem and Hannah Zimmerman.  I'm not sure whether I have any Custer DNA.
answered by Pat D Saunders G2G5 (5.8k points)
+5 votes
Yes, a 2nd great-grandfather born in Munster bei Dieburg in what was then (1830s) Hesse-Darmstadt.
answered by S. Ford G2G3 (3.1k points)
+5 votes
Yes, much of my father's side is German, I think. I say this because much of that is up for debate as to whether they were from Germany of just residing there at the time of there immigration to America as a part of the Palatine Migration. I can not find any records of any of my Palatinate families before migration. I have some incline that they were originally from Prussia, Denmark, Holland and Netherlands. Even DNA origins cant seem to figure it out either. Lol Not that I thought it would be perfectly accurate especially since I am like 99%European Anyway some of my Gateway families are Beck/Bach, Rish/Rich/Reisch/Reich, Gable, Guilder, Boatner/Bottner, Minnick/Minnich and Oswalt/Oswald. They all were in the South Carolina areas like Saxe-Gotha, orangeburg, and a few other areas
answered by Misty Musco G2G6 Mach 1 (18.8k points)
+2 votes
Brunstermann, Hahn, Horn, and many others.
answered by Jean Roach G2G3 (3.6k points)
+2 votes
Yes!  I do have German roots.  My mother's ancestry is more than half German (her mother was one half German and her father three fourths German) and my father's ancestry is also about one half German; I know my LNAB is German.
answered by Jon Bost G2G3 (3.1k points)
+2 votes

I always knew I had a few German ancestors but keep finding more.  The really funny part is that my wife is a German citizen from German parents, but according to 23andMe, I have more genetic German roots.  Her ancestry is actually further east in Poland and Russia, but that was East Prussia in her  Grandparents lifetime. 

Actually tracking her family has proved difficult.  If anyone can contribute, please see her father’s profile at

Have a wonderful weekend

answered by John Auborn G2G3 (3.5k points)
edited by John Auborn
+2 votes
I have traced my German? GGGFather back to his marriage in Boston, MA on Nov. 9, 1845. His name was Charles Eugene Hilbrandt born 1818. I found a record for the1840 Census with the name Chas Hilbrand who lived in the 10th Ward, New York, NY. I would like to find where he came from. Where he landed in the USA.

Any help is appreciated.

answered by Linda Hilbrandt G2G Rookie (260 points)
0 votes
My Father's parents came from Germany in the 1920s and met in Michigan. I always liked going for Christmas dinner which was usually Roladen and Red Cabbage.
answered by Marty Franke G2G3 (4k points)

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