Ute Brandenburg became fascinated with old German when, as a child, she came across a box of letters her German grandfather had written during World War II. She taught herself to read, and eventually to write, in Grandfather’s handwriting.
Educated in Germany, Ute has lived in Salt Lake City, where she worked as a German research specialist. She is currently based in Iowa City, Iowa. Her research interests include tracing immigrants to their German hometowns, building family trees with German records, and studying the life experiences of emigrants. Recently, she has had notable success in using DNA matches to break down difficult cases of unknown hometown origin. She also has a keen interest in Jewish emigration from German-speaking countries.
Her most important inspiration has been her father, a history teacher, writer, avid genealogist, and proud grandson of German immigrants to Wisconsin, with whom Ute first explored the trails of her ancestors when she was twelve.