During the summer of 2016 I commissioned Ute Brandenburg with German Script Experts to research my paternal ancestors in Germany. Previous researchers and family members had kindly shared their research with me. I had limited sources to support the content I had. A cousin had a copy of an official stamped historical document written in German. Beyond that one record – this family was always a bit of a mystery as they were not included in any of the standard research databases available online.
When I learned Ute was planning a trip to Germany we had an initial discussion. Ute reviewed the copy of the official stamped historical document and was able to determine all of the records for this family were held at the Diocese Archive in Osnabrück. Prior to entering into an engagement Ute was very upfront about the potential cost of the research trip. She provided a detailed research proposal which listed all of the costs. After agreeing to move forward Ute handled all the arrangements with the Diocese Archive in Osnabrück.
Following the visit Ute prepared a very detailed research report. For each record located she provided the original German text, the German translation and a copy of the original image. Ute also added additional notes which provided context to the culture and time period. Research in Germany becomes quite complex as the researcher steps back in time and the borders begin to shift. If you are considering hiring a researcher for German archives – it is essential that the researcher has experience/understanding of the culture and time period.
Ute learned following the visit that these records are only available at the Diocese Archive in Osnabrück. During her time at the archive Ute was able to locate 35 records. These records included twelve direct line ancestors – some going all the way back into the 1700’s. None of this would have been possible without Ute.
Ute has quite a talent for making her way through these old records and making sense of them! It is a wonder she can read some of these – some of the old handwriting is very difficult to read! This trip was such a great example of why a researcher needs to look at the whole picture. Ute is extremely talented both as a researcher and a translator. She also brings knowledge and understanding of German culture.
Michelle M. Murosky