More Americans trace their ancestry to the German-speaking part of Europe than any other heritage. Here's how to get into your Deutsch family history.
If you think you're going to end up in some Germanic castle on the Rhine or Danube after researching your Germanic family tree, you're in for a twofold shock.
First, most of us came from the hearty peasant stock that made up about 99 percent of the masses. The nobility — which often was less noble than the peasants — was roughly 1 percent of the population. But your ancestors are worth discovering regardless.
Second, the path to uncovering your family tree can be hard work, and Germanic ancestry offers its own particular pitfalls in research.