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I am trying to find out who the parents of Frederick Victor Sturm were.

He was born in Magdeburg Ackan in 1756 and then left Germany and served in the British army for 23 years from 1774-1797. He was awarded the Kings Colours in 1834 for action 55 years earlier.

He and his family lived in the little Devon port town of Topsham where I live and I would love to find out more about him.

  • Thank you again, this makes sense, it looks as if I will have to pay a professional genealogist to find the records for me but I think it would be worth it. I would never have found all of this out by myself - thank you – Alison Jun 1 at 13:49
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Location

You mention "Magdeburg Ackan" but this place does not exist so first we have to find out the most probable place for it. Fuzzy Gazetteer helps with that and comes up with "Aken". Indeed, Aken is near Magdeburg. So I assumed that Aken is meant.

Next assumption is that he was of Lutheran denomination as this was the common denomination in that area. Note that in German the name would be written "Friedrich Viktor Sturm".

Church Records

Ok, let's check if the church records of Aken are online. The body that maintains the records is called "Landeskirchenarchiv Magdeburg" (State Church Archive Magdeburg). Some records are online at the service Archion. We now have to find out to which church district Aken belongs. There is a list at the website of the archive that maps town names to church districts. It mentions that Aken belongs to the district "Egeln". The Archion website linked above mentions that Egeln's records are unfortunately not yet online.

It looks like the records from the "Kirchenbücher der Kirchengemeinde Aken Reformierte Gemeinde" 1711–1800 have been microfilmed and are available at the archive at "Rep. R 03 - Kirchenbuchfilme aus der Kirchenprovinz Sachsen" number 440.

The archive mentions on its site:

Die Kirchenbücher wurden nach der Verfilmung an die Kirchengemeinden zurückgegeben, dürfen aber aus konservatorischen Gründen in den Pfarrämtern vor Ort nicht mehr zur Benutzung vorgelegt werden. Stattdessen stehen in Magdeburg die Mikrofilme zur Einsicht zur Verfügung. Fotokopien der Kirchenbuchfilme können die Benutzer im Lesesaal am Lesegerät vor Ort selbst anfertigen.

Schriftliche Anfragen zu privaten Zwecken, insbesondere zur Familienforschung, können von uns aus arbeitsorganisatorischen Gründen leider nicht bearbeitet werden. Falls Sie nicht persönlich zu uns kommen können, übersenden wir gern die Kontaktdaten von Berufsgenealogen.

Meaning that you cannot look at the records at the parish church but only at the archive. You can do copies on your own there. They cannot answer written requests due to their organisation of work. If you cannot visit the archive personally they would give out the contact data of professional genealogists. So unfortunately you would have to go there personally or find/pay somebody to go there for you until the records are online.

Heritage Book

Additionally, I found a local heritage book of Aken from the Verein für Computergenealogie. It contains a list of surnames and there also the name "Sturm" is listed. Unfortunately, no individual named "Friedrich Viktor" or just "Friedrich" that was born in the named year is part of the list.

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  • Thank you for replying and for looking into this for me. Knowing that the name is actually Aren is a big step forward! I wonder when he changed his name to an anglicised spelling? I really appreciate you looking in the heritage book, I am way out of my comfort zone and this is all a mystery to me. I have a German neighbour, I wonder if I can ask her to e-mail about the Egeln list for me. This is brilliant, thank you so much. – Alison Jun 1 at 12:58
  • Thanks, I amended the answer because the archive unfortunately does not accept written requests for searching. You would have to find/pay someone to go there for you until the records are online. Also please note that I'm not 100% sure that the town is really Aken. It is an assumption. I think it was common to change to the local variant of a name. I think that might have happened quite soon after arrival. If he didn't do it himself I think then others would "do" it for him because the German variant would have unnatural for them. – nebulon42 Jun 1 at 13:16
  • If you think your question is answered you can mark an answer as accepted like mentioned in the tour (genealogy.stackexchange.com/tour). You can also wait for other answers. Anyway you might have to wait a bit until you can accept after asking. – nebulon42 Jun 1 at 13:17
  • I will go carefully assuming that it is Aken, thanks for the warning, you have been so kind and my research has leapt forward. Today I am going to chat to a school friend who's mother is German and they are going to help, I have forward your answers here to them and they will see if they can sort out a researcher for me. I haven't used this site before because my research is normally just my family but this has stretched me and I have loved it. Because you have fully answered my question I think that I now mark it 'accepted' which I do with thanks. Alison – Alison Jun 2 at 9:30

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