Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The North Frisian Emigrant - Archive

I love perusing the internet for website that will be of assistant to those that are researching their ancestry. As I was searching, I found this site about the North Frisian Emigrants. You may wonder as did I, who are the Frisian people. As I researched further, I found that the Frisian people came three different areas, namely Friesland in the Netherlands, West Friesland on the north west coast of Germany, and North Friesland on the south west coast of Denmark. (Please note that these are the approximate areas of interest. The history of this area is quite complex and will not be discussed in this post.) The Nordfriisk Institute was founded in 1965 with the purpose of supporting the Frisian people, language, culture, and history.

The Nordfriisk Institute is divided into four separate areas:

1. Frisian language and literature
2. History and geography
3. Emigrant Archives
4. Library and Archives

I am restricting my comments to the Emigrant Archives and Library and Archives. Before I go any further, I must tell you that I have been using the Google language tool bar to assist with the translation of the various sites and it is working wonderful. I would suggest that you add this to your tool bar for your convenience. To do so, click Google Translate Tools to learn more about the options available. Please note that the Google translate tool bar works with IE 6+ and Firefox 1.5+. I am not sure if it will work with the Safari browser.

The Emigrant Archives provides a searchable database that allows searching in English. You only need to type in the Surname; if you know the town where your ancestor came from you can enter this information and decrease the number of names that you might have to search through to find your ancestor. This database is free of charge to search. They information provides you with names, dates, and places but does not include all of the information that the institute may have. The Institute provides an email contact where you can write for more information.

The Library and Archives contain a variety of information including the history of the border between Denmark and Germany which is listed under Borderland Portal link. A few biographies of various people of the North Friesland area listed under the North Friesland database. It is best to enter this site with out the using the google translator services as it interferes with how the page loads and what information that you can see. Once you opened up the North Friesland Datenbank, if you will go the the "Personen" link, you will be able to look at the various biographies by clicking on the corresponding letter of the person's last name. Some of the biographies include pictures. Once I found the person that I wanted to research, I would utilize the Google translator to assist me with reading the document.

This is an interesting site and could provide valuable information for those that are researching in this area. If you would like to research further, click The North Frisian Emigrant-Archive. Have fun!
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