GERMAN-GENEALOGY-L ArchivesArchiver > GERMAN-GENEALOGY > 2004-11 > 1099328344
From: "Don Watson" <>
Subject: I contacted German archives and never got a response! Why o why?
Date: Mon, 1 Nov 2004 10:59:09 -0600
Why won't they answer your letter???????? Read on..............
The following is explanatory, not a criticism of Verna or anyone else. If
anyone can help you, I can.
I go into this in some detail at http://members.cox.net/hessen/hsstory.htm,
the Q&A heading "Are all German archives online, including their census
information?" See, as well, http://members.cox.net/hessen/caution.htm .
To respond here, the demand for information, the employees available to
research it, the old German script that many Germans cannot read, a letter
in English, the attitude of the Pastor and staff, asking for too much
information on too many ancestors or loading the inquiry up with extraneous
information that has nothing to do with your ancestor in Germany, asking
broad questions like "Do you have anything on Schmidt in the 1800's?", the
information is protected by the German Privacy Law, and failure to enclose a
research fee deposit plus return postage, determines whether an archive will
respond or not. In the early days of internet German genealogy most
researchers would say something like, "I'll pay you if you find something,"
or after the information was sent, they failed to pay the enclosed research
fee statement. Not a great way to do genealogy. You might as well shoot
yourself in the foot.
If you desire I will telephone the German archives for you. I speak German.
I have called hundreds of times. I am one of the telephone company's
favorite customers. I simply ask where the birth, baptism, marriage, death,
and emigration notes are archived, for a specific time period. I can also
call living "cousins" you have located in Germany to ask if they have
completed their family tree. I have had cases where the person on the other
end is wonderfully cooperative and freely provides information. In many
cases I have left a message on an answering machine, and they have returned
my call. In other cases, even though I speak their language, they simply
don't want to be bothered, and provide little to zero information, or just
I can also attempt to determine whether an archive has an E-Mail address, or
write a reminder letter. But, see below:
Since telephone calls are not free, and THEY have to pay for a long distance
call for every second they are online sending E-Mail messages, I have to be
reimbursed, and I have to promise to pay the cost of their return call or
E-Mail, and letter / envelope, plus postage. Some say "forget it," others
give me the address to send the money to. In some cases I have asked folks
to reimburse me, and they have not. In others, folks even provide a fee plus
YOU MUST DISCUSS my personal assistance with me PRIVATELY, not on this list.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Verna McDowell" <>
Now my question is that I have written 3 times to the parish church there in
Gröditz and also the parish church in Weißenburg (because that address was
also given to me), with no replies whatsoever.
|I contacted German archives and never got a response! Why o why? by "Don Watson" <>|