A brief presentation of research opportunities in archives:
In addition to the civil documents and the church books, there is, regarding the genealogy, an even more interesting starting point for further research available; unfortunately it is used far too rarely for the genealogy. Often the church records have only been preserved since the beginning of the 18th Century so that the need of using the corresponding official trade books and other archival material is already available in early ages in the research.
In order to accomplish an extension of the church record time in the genealogy, particularly till the 14th Century, I do also intensive archive research. For the Magdeburger Börde region the State capital archive of Saxony-Anhalt (Head office Magdeburg and extension Wernigerode) is primarily interesting. In addition, I also use further State capital, town and National archives in Germany.
The archives of the town, National and State capital archives and the church archives may include fields of interest for the ancestor and family research (selection):
- trade and feudal books
- Funeral sermons
- Subjects directories
- Muster lists
- Citizens' books
- Council Transcripts
- Hut and Triftungssachen (especially interesting for the shepherds Research)
- Appointments of public offices
- Occupation of rectorates/rectories, personal files
- Interest lists
With the help of these archival materials the result of the genealogy is not only a simple date representation of birth, marriage and death but a medium to describe the ancestors in their curriculum vitae, for example:
- Completion of acts of sale, testator contracts and lease agreements
- Testaments/last will, stock lists
- investiture of fields/acre
- Arranged marriages
- Study at a university
After a diligent and detailed analysis regarding the sources mentioned above, the social history of the family and their relation to the National and world history can be better illustrated.
A special opportunity to explore farming families even back to the 15th Century, unless isolated even till the 14th Century, are the feudal books (concerning the Magdeburger Börde for example these of the Magdeburg archbishops). The land of the farmers was feoffed by the feudal (Nobility, church, middle classes) and over the years and family generations it was again feoffed so that the filiation of the family is guaranteed.
If your questions shouldn't fall in my field of work, beyond I'm also available to provide oral advices and recommendations to other genealogists.