Roots & Branches is an award-winning, weekly newspaper column begun in 1998 that currently is published in the Altoona Mirror. It’s the only syndicated column on genealogy in Pennsylvania!

Posted April 22, 2017 by  |  No Comments

The Wisconsin Historical Society hosted me for a full-day conference on German genealogy on Saturday, 22 April 2017 in a packed room at the Memorial Library in Madison.

Bob Rettammel, left, and James M. Beidler at the Madison WI geneaalogy event on 22 April 2017.

I covered everything from the two great waves of German immigration … to history and case studies of German microstates … to online resources for tracking down a German home village … and wrapping up the day with a “success story” of finding one of my own immigrant ancestors.

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Trace Your German Roots Online,

This informative publication shows researchers how to explore their Germanic heritage from the comfort of their computer. This book highlights important German genealogy resources on popular websites, including and as well as lesser-known sites like Readers will learn how to use each site to its fullest potential for German genealogy, including how to get around language barriers and navigate the various German states that have existed throughout the centuries. Additionally, readers will learn the best websites to consult to help answer key German genealogy questions, from unpuzzling place-names to locating living relatives in the old country. An ideal companion to author James M. Beidler's Family Tree German Genealogy Guide, this book has the tools you need to take your German genealogy research to the next level.