Just because your relatives spoke German doesn't mean they came from Germany. Learn how to research the millions of Germans from Slovakia, Romania, Russia and other places beyond Deutschland's borders.
Your family says Great-grandpa Henry spoke German, but your research says he came from Russia. Or maybe a Deutscher forebear's town is frustratingly absent from any map marked Germany. What's a genealogist to do? Two words: Look east. That's because Germany was a fatherland whose “children” included enclaves scattered throughout Central and Eastern Europe in areas that never were part of any German empire.