Presentation: "Surname Changes in Northwestern Germany"
During the feudal era, hundreds of large estate farms were established in Western Hannover, Oldenburg, Westphalia, and Lippe-Detmold. On many of those estates, the surname of the owner did not change for over a thousand years, though blood lines quite often did. The conditions under which people lived on these estate farms and the patterns for surname changes and acquisition are discussed in this presentation. The focus is the effect such a widespread and complex system has on the tracing of family lines in this part of Germany.
Our Speaker: Roger P. Minert received his doctoral degree from The Ohio State University in German language history and second language acquisition theory. He taught German language and history for ten years, and then became a professional family history researcher. Accredited by the Family History Library for research in Germany and Austria, he worked for twelve years as a private genealogical researcher. From 2003 to 2019, he served as a professor of family history at Brigham Young University. The author of more than 200 publications, he directs the research program German Immigrants in American Church Records [GIACR]; the series now consists of 38 volumes. In 2019, Minert was recognized for his years of service to the Palatines to America Society and also received the “Shirley Riemer Lifetime Achievement Award” from the International German Genealogy Partnership. In 2020 was named a fellow of the Utah Genealogical Association. From his home in Provo, Utah he continues to write articles on Germanic genealogy, compile new GIACR volumes, and participate in conferences nation-wide.