Hans Peter Albers gave you some fairly recent addresses,
but the birth dates of some are over 200 years ago. There
may not be any knowledge of your ancestors. But if you
can't find any other information, by all means give them a
Hello Gale Bosh and other Listers,
it is exactly in my sense, to follow the different possible pathes in this succession.
1. take the given exact informations and lookup the given places by using the parishbooks and other gathered informations like census etc. and try then 2. try to find the place by other means as for example "toponomastics", which should be the scientific name for bringing together names and places. Some remarks to this.
Here where live - nearby the river ELBE - once has been a border between the historical Germans and Slavonic populations. As far as generations and thousands of yaers later one could not determine anymore the spread of each people it was tried to findthese borders by taking the names of persons and landscapes and find a solution by using the different languages and their spread for finding the former borders.
This method depends on the supposition of a low degrade of personal mobility, which is given as much more as we go back into history. It is because of this different degrades of mobility between Europe and America - although we live at the same time (hope so!)- that this method works still much more in Europe then in Northern America. When for example ten percent of a family emmigrated and this 10 percentage should be also the general rate of immigrated, 90 percent of the given name remained at the place and with that the probability that the connection between a family name and the specific place name ist traditioned. The Immigrant to USA first would have to tenth "himself" by marriage and childs to create and equal family-research situation before leaving the first place of arrival for another place. And this should not have been the reality in general.
It is by this more mathematical and mechanical reasons for the spread of names, that in Europe "200 years ago" in family-name-place-tradition is by all growth in personal mobility here too still not the same argument as for the continent born out of mobilty. It is in other words not seldom the case, that the families are traditioned the same place over the hundred of years and documented even for this time by the parishbooks. There are no statistics, but I would estimate the probabilty that the name of an emmigrated person is still present on his place of origin for about 50 percent. It would be an perhaps interesting query under descendants of German immigrants today to find out how right or wrong this percentage is.
What does this all lead to ? In short: to the general sense of researches by telefone direc-tories in case of loss of local hints in other documents for the next place of origin. For the one used to German geographics so well being able to associate each directory given place on a map in mind this works already by just reading names and places to get the impression of the region of centred occurence of a name. For the not used there is the possibility of doing this kind of "toponomastics" by taking a map and making a cross at every place name out of the directory and get a visible picture of the actual spread of the name by that.
That all is no kingsway to find a place of origin, but has shown sometimes very good results, as it narrows the region to further economical research to often a fractional part of the whole country. There might be also inhereted a cost reduction effect for those who have to search the needle in hay by ordering film after film for each place of occurence of his name by ordering these informations in the row of probabilities which varies with the number of still existing bearers of the name.
At last again, this is only a method for the otherwise hopeless cases; in any case one should prefer to find a documentated place of origin and start right away with the right parishbook.
Good luck in all your researches and best wishes for the weekend
Hans Peter Albers, Bienenbüttel