Would you like to know more about your ancestors in pre-reformation times, or is the recent line of ancestors sufficient?

The lineage of direct male ancestors is the basis for all research. However, it is also possible to research on the basis of direct female ancestors.

Since 1875 the lineage of ancestors has been established with the help of information taken from local civil administrations. Before 1875 the so-called church or parish registers served as the foundation for research. In these books the clergy used to register baptism, marriage and death. Their validity varies. Their beginnings are, however, only after the reformation. Research on pre-reformation times depends on other documents, which will make the tasks more laborious. The research of the direct lineage of ancestors has its limits. Not considering Roman times, it was only between 1000 and 1200 that proper individual family names came into existence.

Before that only first names were used, sometimes accompanied by names of geographical
origin. In the course of time this type of information of origin metamorphed into family names. In addition to this, occupational titles or other functions grew into independant family names.

Thus, the lineage of ancestors is traced back according to the period of time and the questions posed. Once we have found direct ancestors in the space of time in question, we leave the domain of „classical“ genealogy. After that we depend on specific documents to find answers to the questions commissioned.