Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Using Meyers Orts … has become easier!

Using Meyers Orts … has become easier!

For many years Meyers Orts- und Verkehrs- Lexikon … has been recommended as THE source to go to for information about the location of localities in the pre-World War 1 German Empire, and for details of their jurisdictions. In fact, the entries in the FamilySearch catalog are largely based on those jurisdictions.
Originally available on microfilm or microfiche through FamilySearch, more recently Meyers … has been available in digitised form through Ancestry. However, this valuable resource has remained difficult for many researchers to use because it was printed in the German language in the old German script (Fraktur font) with many abbreviations. 
A new website has become available that makes the use of Meyers Orts … much easier! This is the Meyers Gazetteer website www.meyersgaz.org
The name of the place that you are looking for should be entered. Note that it permits the use of wildcards so that it becomes possible to locate places for which only some of the letters are known. A list of place names that fit the supplied information is given and the correct one can be selected.
Let's look at the second Diedenshausen:
The site then shows the relevant extract from Meyers Orts- und Verkehrs- Lexikon … together with a small map showing the approximate location and the significant information extracted and explained.

Clicking on the “Map” tab (above the extract from Meyers…) displays a scalable, historical map.  “Toggle Historical Map” changes between the historical map and a modern Google map and allows the transparency of the historical map to be altered. Protestant and Catholic parishes and Jewish Synagogues can also be displayed on the map.
If a location is the seat of a Protestant or Catholic parish, or a Jewish synagogue, Meyers Orts … indicates that fact; but otherwise no indication of the relevant parish or synagogue is provided. However the Meyers Gazetteer website partly overcomes this problem through the “Ecclesiastical” tab which gives a list of Protestant and Catholic parishes and Jewish Synagogues within 20 miles of the chosen place along with their distance away.
An additional feature allows people to add their email address to those places with which their family was associated. 
The Meyers Gazetteer website www.meyersgaz.org is an excellent site to investigate to learn more about the towns and villages of your ancestors.

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