German Genealogy

The northern central country of Germany is home to the ancient Germanic people. In today’s population of about 82 million, approximately 91.5 percent are ethnic Germans.

The Germanic tribes spread 2,000 years ago into the north European area. They came in contact with the Celtic tribes. While the Roman Empire was at the height of their power, there were many conflicts and warfare between the Romans and Germanic tribes. After the Roman Empire declined, there was the creation of many smaller German Kingdoms over the locality which lasted for centuries. In the 1500s was the birth of Protestant Reformation under Martin Luther, a significant note in German genealogy. A unified Germany came in the 1870s. Germany’s imperialism reached outside its own country and joined many other powers in Europe in claiming their share of lands in Africa.

Germans have always been great builders and inventors. On a smaller scale, individual Germans are some of the hardest-working people on the planet. There is a solid reputation of being diligent and creative workers. They never do something half-way, always trying to improve on anything already in existence. Being punctual and on time is very important. Keeping their word and being honest with other people are other traits of the Germans.

They have produced an exceptional number of people with talents in such areas as music, philosophy, science and engineering. The German inventors were always looking for improvements. A few famous inventors and their creations include; Daniel G. Fahrenheit (thermometer), Gutenberg (movable type), Felix Hoffman (aspirin) and Rudolf Diesel (diesel engine). In classical music, the German composers were outstanding. Most well-known are Wolfgang Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, Johann Bach, Johannes Brahms and Richard Wagner.

German as a language has a version of the Western Germanic form and the North Germanic variation. The Western German is recognized as the standard German of which most people of Germany speak. There are also numerous German dialects, many found in the different regions of Germany. It is a language also spoken in locations around the world.

In the northern end of Germany is the heart of the Protestant religions. In the southern and western section is a high concentration of Roman Catholicism. The Germans also have a high number of atheists and agnostics (no religion).

Within several of the German regions there are differences. In Bavaria to the south, it has its own way of life and value systems. Yet, several German characteristics are with most Germans. Entertaining themselves with large group singing and dancing is popular. The traditional Oktoberfest of drinking, singing and dancing are favorite times of the year. They have been known for the beer manufacturing for centuries. Germans are great fans of nature and animals. Their decorations in art and in homes are with animals, trees, plants as a theme.

Being polite as most Europeans tend to be, the Germans take pride in their politeness. The belief in orderliness, efficiency and cleanness are strong traits, which are part of the proper and precise German.

With its rich long history the Germans have built many things. They are famous for some of the best castles, towers, domes and chateaus in the whole world. Examples of German style are in the regions of Austria and Switzerland that are German-speaking. They share several characteristics with Germans, yet still have their own histories, cultures and world views.

Immigrants have come to the German area over the years. Immigrant groups such as Turks and Poles have produced a lasting influence on German life and society.

The relocation of the ethnic Germans, important in knowing German genealogy, from Europe in massive numbers began in the 1700s. Most settled in North America, especially the United States. German ancestry is a major element in most American’s genealogy. Many Germans in later decades also moved to Brazil.

< Return To Culture