#IamNextGen Spotlight: German Geography in the Days of Our Ancestors: How to Navigate German Geography

In this second installment of our new guest blog series #IamNextGen Spotlight, Dallas of Turning Hearts Family History and Genealogy Blog explains how to navigate the challenges of German Geography.

German Geography in the Days of Our Ancestors: How to Navigate German Geography

One issue we deal with in German Geography is Exclaves and Enclaves.

Exclave – a portion of a state or territory geographically separated from the main part by surrounding alien territory (of one or more states).

Enclave – a territory, or a part of a territory, that is entirely surrounded by the territory of one other state.

Let’s take a look at maps that show us the various territories and geography of Germany.

















Just look at this map from Germany in 1648. Look at the complexity and the many enclaves and exclaves.
















The map above is the largest Germany ever was. If it was ever in Germany than it was in Germany in this period.













When recording a German place include town, county, province which can include (state, kingdom, principality, counties, free cities) and country (Germany). There are 38 entities (units) in Germany.

How do we determine the name of the corresponding counties, provinces? Use the Meyers Gazetteer. This will be your go to resources for finding key information for Germany cities, counties etc.

One important key to remember is that you should not change the official spelling of German towns, counties and provinces to english because you will not be able to find those names in a map. However use Germany instead of Deutschland because Germany is the international index name used by family history programs.

Find Dallas online at Turning Hearts Family History, on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Original blog post can be found here

Dallas is an adventurous son, the FUN uncle and college student living in the great state of Minnesota. I attend Brigham Young University during the year and come home during the summer. Family History is my passion and I love helping others catch the wave of finding their personal history. I started family history when I was 13 years old and have gained a love for it ever since. While on my mission for my church in Arizona I participated in family history and helped many start their personal discovery. Besides family history I enjoy playing racquetball, watching movies and binge watching my favorite tv shows.

OGS Webinar: Surveying the Community – Finding Clues Hidden Among the Neighbors


On the first Thursday of every month, the Ontario Genealogical Society hosts an  education webinar.  This month, Luana Darby will be presenting a webinar entitled ‘Surveying the Community – Finding Clues Hidden Among the Neighbors’.   The presentation will begin at 7pm EST on July 5 and registration is required.

Luana says “Your ancestor’s community holds many clues and patterns that help your fill in missing pieces in your family puzzle. Often the person next door or another family in the community may hold the answers you seek. By using a combination of readily available records such as census, tax, land, maps, and cemetery records we can discover additional clues and avenues of research.”

Don’t miss out on this great opportunity:   REGISTER HERE for Thursday’s webinar

July Blog Submissions


Here at the NextGen Genealogy Network, we love to hear about your ancestors and the discoveries you have made.  We are launching a themed monthly guest blog series that will give you a platform to tell our thousands of followers about your ancestors and their interesting lives.

This month’s theme is “Land of the free, because of the brave – our Revolutionary War ancestors”.  

Blog Submission Guidelines

If you are interested in writing a blog post for NextGen, please review the following submission guidelines prior to submission.

  • Please ensure all necessary citations are included.
  • Include a photo and short bio on yourself in the email.
  • By submitting your work, you are giving NextGen permission for use on our website and social media.

Please send your submissions by July 25th to info@tnggn.org


Faces of NextGen LIVE! Meet Sam Williams

The NextGen Genealogy Network’s Faces of NextGen LIVE! is a popular feature hosted by Education Coordinator Eric Wells. In this recorded interview, get to know Sam Williams!

Want to say hello to your fellow young genealogists during a fun and informal interview with Eric? Let us know at info@tnggn.org.

Don’t forget to bookmark our YouTube Channel to keep up with the latest on Faces of NextGen LIVE!