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I have found a hint that at least one cousin many times removed lived in Wickershausen at some point in the 1780s. As best as I can tell, it looks like Wickershausen was some sort of large estate near Hollenstedt. The only history of the area I've found sums up this time period there as "Peace lasted 40 years after the end of the Seven Years' War."

This cousin's family likely would have come from Creuzburg, which is about 105 km to the south. The majority of that branch of my tree disappears from the Creuzburg records by around 1800, and I've not yet found record of where they may have moved to; Wickershausen seems a possibility. Does anyone know if any civil or church records exist for Wickershausen, especially in the 1780-1800 time range?

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When looking for places in Germany, James M. Beidler's advice is to "think three times" -- that is, you need to know the name of the current place, the name at the time you are researching, and the name as it appears in reference works such as the online version of Meyers Gazetteer, aka Meyers Orts- und Verkehrs-lexikon des deutschen Reichs, which lists names from the German Empire (1871-1918).

Meyers Gazetteer is the reference the Family History Library / FamilySearch catalog and Wiki uses for its standardized place names. You've already checked Meyers Gazeteer, so now you can:

  • Use the Ecclesiastical Tab on the online Meyers Gazeteer to see what churches were in the area, or use references such as Kevan Hansen's Map Guides to German Parish Registers if a volume is available for that area.
  • Consult guides such as the FamilySearch Research Wiki, Wikipedia, GenWiki. and other guides to doing research to get more information about the area. The Research Wiki might say which physical archives hold the records; follow that trail and search the catalog for those archives to see what records are available and for what time periods.
  • Do a place search in the FamilySearch Catalog, checking all jurisdictions. Keep in mind that records can move as well as people, and might not be in the places you expect.
  • Check online sites such as Archion.de and Matricula to see if church books for your study places are online.
  • Search Google and other search engines, Google Scholar,and look in genealogical periodicals for other researchers who are doing research in your study area and time. Reading the bibliography and seeing what sources are cited can give you clues about where to find records and ideas for new lines of research.
  • Check GenealogySE for other questions about research in Germany, or questions that might be related such as Determining what records are available in a particular locale?

Reminder: You'll need to repeat your searches at FamilySearch (both the historical records and the Research Wiki) and other sites like Matricula and Archion from time to time, since new material is added constantly.

For the most up-to-the minute additions to FamilySearch images, try the new Explore Historical Images feature, where browse-only images are available first, sometimes hours after they are scanned, before they are added to the catalog. (However, images from Germany may be less likely to be available for at-home viewing due to privacy restrictions.)

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    As far as I can tell, the church books at Archion for Hollenstedt/Wickershausen are not online yet.
    – jadepx
    Sep 16, 2021 at 7:12
  • @jadepx Thanks for checking that. I thought it was better to give an answer with a research strategy since new additions come online all the time.
    – Jan Murphy
    Sep 16, 2021 at 19:49

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