The Bornemann Chronicles

In colour


13th of March

Strong woman



Favorite Discovery

What’s in a name

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As a genealogist, thinking outside of the proverbial box can be really helpful – if not essential. For this weeks post, I thought I'd share a good example of that, as well as give you a link to a fantastic online resource in Germany. Arcinsys ( is an archive that covers Niedersachsen (Lower Saxony), Hessen (Hesse), Bremen and Schleswig-Holstein. It has digitised and transcribed records of building and land purchases, some marriages and wills, as well as random documents from the town councils and more, spanning from the 10th century well into the 20th. It'll probably be best if you had ancestors living in one of the bigger cities, but there are some records that cover more rural areas as well. Unfortunately you might need to know German to make much sense of it. On the other hand, at least the search form is available in English too. Now to the names. The example is for my 11th great grandfather Lambert Bornemann (about 1530 to 1585) in Göttingen. But – that spelling would not have given my even one result in the database. Instead, I tried and tried a lot of different versions to find the 20 or so documents where he is mentioned (see picture). As a result I was able to get the name of his mother in law and other exciting details about his life. So even if it is the same name, the spelling (at least in the transcribed form) varied quite a lot. And the same goes for a lot of other databases, so keep on trying different spellings! Written for this weeks prompt of @amyjohnsoncrow and the "52 ancestors in 52 weeks" prompt.

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So far away

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