— Barbara Schmidt (@BarbFFm) May 27, 2014
That was one of my twitter tweets yesterday.
Do you know these days when something unexpected happens? Yesterday was one of those days.
Like a lot of you I have my tree stored at ancestry.de. I don’t have it published due to some bad experience in the past, but whenever I get one of those shaky green leaves I check the hints. And a couple of days I saw one at one of my paternal family members from the Saxony area. I know a lot of my Dad’s maternal line, but his paternal is giving me a hard time.
You might remember my greatgreatgrandfather Bruno Gustav SCHMIDT who just vanished from one day to the other, leaving his wife with the kids. That’s the line. It is the one moving from Saxony to Mecklenburg and back and forth and back.. and I have still no idea, WHY!
So, I checked for this shaky leaf attached to my 4th great grandmother and contacted the owner of the tree and was very surprised when the same day I received a reply that the connection between his and my tree was via his wife whose cousin was married to my Dad’s cousin.
And to my surprise he told me that he had received the “Ahnenpass” from my Dad’s uncle. The Ahnenpass in the Third Reich was mandatory for everyone to proof that the was of aryan origin. And if this junk is good for one thing today, it is our genealogical research.
I asked him if he could provide me with copies of the Ahnenpass and after some emails going back and forth in which he asked some questions on behalf of my Dad’s cousin to make sure that I really am who I said I would be, he agreed.
And yesterday he sent me a scan of this document and when I opened the attachment, I went “wooow”.
The one’s I have seen so far went back 3-4 generations, but this one went back up to six generations. It provides birth and baptism information. For some even the days and places of marriage. Including the original sources which have been used.
This is a great document, but if you ever use an Ahnenpass you have to keep in mind that it is a secondary source. All the information in there is taken from either the person who had to proof his descencdance or from the Nazi registrar who had to look up all the sources.
E.g. I found one big error where not the father of my 2nd great grandfather has been stated as his father, but his uncle. First I was shocked and thought I made a mistake the last 15 years but I checked and re-checked my sources and came to the conclusion that I was right and the other one was wrong.. (of course ;))
But nevertheless I am so happy I received it. Because it really broke through some brick walls. I received some new names and places I can research now. I took all the information into my family tree but with a remark that I have to verify all of it via original sources.
So be prepared for an improved Ancestor Score very soon ;)