the oldest male ancestor in my family tree is called Johann Neumann and was working as a notary (since 1672, probably baptised 1626?) in Mittelhausen, Allstedt in Thuringia, Germany and Taucha closed to Leipzig, Saxony.

I did not find any entries in the church register about his parents nor other ways to get to know his parents' names. Older register have been destroyed during the Thirty Years' War, especially in that area.

Is there another possibility to overcome this gap? I was thinking the following:

  1. Gene genealogy to find out from which part of Germany/Europe my ancestors exactly came.

  2. To find out the oldest appearance of the surname Neumann in that area and, once found, to trace back to Johann.

What do you think about this two ideas? Are they feasible and realistic?

Is there another way to try out first?

  • 4
    Some points: 1. There are more records than church records. When going pre-church record time you should access such records first. Just to name a few: Bürgerbücher, Gerichtsbücher, Heberegister, Steuerbücher. 2. Neumann is a common name. You won't find a common ancestor for all people named Neumann. 3. Genealogical DNA testing won't help. It can't provide a specific place where you could find records. 4. There is a point where even exhaustive research won't take you anywhere.
    – lejonet
    Sep 24 '15 at 22:53
  • Thank you very much for this complete answer, lejonet. Regarding point 2, would it maybe possible to find a common ancestor which has been named Neumann for the first time in that area or rather not?
    – Til Hund
    Sep 25 '15 at 8:47
  1. No

  2. No

  3. He would have been only 22 when the war ended. Have you found a marriage, death or burial record?

  4. Who are his siblings? Look for his children's godparents. Find marriage/death records for godparents. Who witnessed the various marriages?

  5. If he was a notary, he probably completed some form of high school. Was there one in or near his town?

  6. Last resort - find all local church and citizen records for the name Neumann 1650-1700 and reconstruct each family. Not fun, but very rewarding and beneficial to distant cousins. Chances are Johann had one living parent at War's end, who may have remarried.

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