FAQ Local Heritage Book

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Here is a list of existing Local Heritage Books



A local family heritage book is an individual historical account secondary source, where not only the essential family (father and mother and their children) are listed together (or, information written on an index-card or beside a text, supported by computer), but also is created as a connection for the family to their genealogy. This means there is a link from father and mother to their respective parents and a link from the children to their marriage, provided that these facts were contained in the primary sources.

The primary sources, which are the basis for the work on a local family heritage book, normally are the parish-register, but also all other personal and historical primary sources of religious or secular origin. This information can be used for creating a local family heritage book, just as published secondary sources such as local family heritage books of neighbouring villages.

The Family Re-Constitution Method

The method of putting together the persons extracted from a parish-register with the family to which they belong, the family re-constitution or Henry Method, was published in the nineteen fifties in France and has undoubtedly influenced the historic demography and the social history of the world. But the international science failed to notice that in the German-speaking countries such products had appeared several decades before and in large numbers.

The History of the Local Family Heritage Books in German-speaking Countries

Within the isolated 16th Century villages there existed a soul register, which respectively, were a temporal cross-section of the population in a fixed year. This remained also in some districts (example: in upper Austria). Otherwise they passed over to an extrapolated Family register. In 1807 the lead of a family register was prescribed by law for every village of Württemberg. Since 1920 Konrad Brandner tried to register the descent of the whole population of the Styria in a People-genealogy. During the peroid of National Socialism the Reich nutrition office/Reichsnährstand had the ambition, within the scope of his Blood and Ground-policy, to publish a Village kinship book for each village and organized the parish-register mapping. Without reference to this political target, since the nineteen fifties. local family kinship books were worked out and published by the regional researcher in a permanently growing number. Every year about 200 more villages were completed.

Scientific Importance

The monograph "Local family kinship book with location Leipsic" contains a survey of tested questions and methods on the scientific evaluation of local family kinship books, along with an exhausting bibliography. This survey is arranged in its content, on the following topics: The pioneers of evaluation; the anthropologist Walter Scheidt and his school; Medical problems and endogamy; The associaton of rural community of life; The Innsbrucker school; The habits of leaving; Ecological village studies; Social differences of the number of children; Migration and urbanization; Marriageable age; The French school; Social mobility; Household structures; Family sociology; Micro history; Confessional differences; Sociobiology; Plannings and preparations for representative studies with test spots of the substance in the best-fitting 400, of 2,000 already-existing local family kinship books of German-speaking countries.

Useful Instructions for Authors of Local Family Heritage Books

Today, local family kinship books are normally worked out with the support of the computer. Instead of the index-card, where every family is inscribed, the coumputer has an input mask for the dates. The various spellings of Surnames and the making of the Register raise difficulties. The authors of a local family kinship book should exhaust the sources in its contents completely. In no case they should exclude fixed categories of persons like non-resident persons or childless persons, but specify the Profession and the Social position of the individuals and, if possible, give information about their profession and legal position.

The construction of a local family heritage book is predominantly standardized. Normally the families should be arranged in alphabetical order by surname and then in chronological order.

For data protection, a print of all family dates on paper and its deposition at the German library and Central office is always recommended.



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