Utilizing Local Immigrant Community/Diaspora Resources

If you are researching an immigrant ancestor, and are struggling to locate a town or village of origin or information on their early life, you might want to consider utilizing local resources that document and preserve the particular immigrant community or diaspora that your ancestor belonged to. For various ethnic groups, community institutions arose overContinue reading “Utilizing Local Immigrant Community/Diaspora Resources”

Researching the Records of Displaced Persons (DP) in the Arolsen Archives

It is an understatement that the Second World War had an enormously devastating impact on the civilian population of Europe.  The impact, in human death toll alone, of the sheer and utter brutalities committed through Holocaust and other Nazi persecutions and war crimes, climbs beyond ten million people. Further, between 11 and 20 million peopleContinue reading “Researching the Records of Displaced Persons (DP) in the Arolsen Archives”


Are you researching Catholic ancestors in Germany or Austria? Matricula is one of the most indispensable tools in a researcher’s arsenal. This online portal contains a vast holding of digital fonds of Catholic church books across Germany and Austria, with free access to high resolution scans. Most of these originals are held in various ArchdiocesianContinue reading “Matricula”

A Few Thoughts on Borders

Good afternoon! Sometimes, we tend to classify genealogical research strictly by country. “Dutch Research.” “German Research.” “Swiss Research.” The reality, in the modern era and certainly in our ancestor’s past, can be far more nuanced. Our ancestors often had close cultural connections to their neighbors, in many cases, “borders” were not as hard as theyContinue reading “A Few Thoughts on Borders”

Beginner Tips for Dutch Research

Hey everyone! Just a few weeks ago I presented my talk “Tracing Your Dutch Roots” to the Detroit Society for Genealogical Research (www.dsgr.org). Of course, in these uncertain times, we met through Zoom, but there was a great turnout! For those of you new to researching your Dutch ancestry, here are three beginner tips toContinue reading “Beginner Tips for Dutch Research”

A Little About Myself

Hi! Let me introduce myself: I’m Alex Tolksdorf and my passion is genealogy! Genealogy is more than just names, dates, and places. It is the study and exploration of the contexts that our ancestors lived within; their determination and struggle, joys and sorrows, defeats and successes. We see the best and worst of times throughContinue reading “A Little About Myself”