Unanswered questions

  • I've only been researching my husband's "v. Schwan" ancestors for a short time, and the help from this site has been invaluable, thank you all so very much. However, many of my questions have gone unanswered and I wonder what to do when that happens. My German skills are worse than bad, but even if they were excellent, I still wouldn't know who to turn to. If anyone has seen the TV program "Who do you think you are?" where they take some celebrity and find something interesting in their family tree to present, it seems they always have some expert who can explain some particular document or certificate or whatever else they are showing. Usually the expert is a history professor or professional genealogist, with a lot of experience in some particular area or subject. Where do they get these experts?

    A case in point. I've just uploaded a partial page (#793) from the Bavarian State Library's copy of the index to the Lindner Collection, which has references to large pages with family trees of different noble families. Obviously, this page portion is for the v. Schwan family and the entry reads - "orig: Danisch, Pommerisch, Sächssisch. Schwan auf Döringshagen, Fanger, Düsterbeck, Venusberg, und Thum. 580a 716b 1211b 1212a Kleinst 5brb" or something to that effect (corrections requested and appreciated). This book is at the BSB online at " http://daten.digitale-sammlung…/0008/bsb00082356/images/ ". There is not a lot here, but how can I get someone to explain what it all means so I don't jump to my usual erroneous conclusions.

    I already know that the "1211b" refers to a large hand written chart of the v. Schwan family because a cousin obtained it six years ago and has posted it on his website " http://www.swansonville.us/family/schwaan/1787Lindner.html ". I also know the 5 places starting with Döringshagen are former family estates. I'm not sure if the "orig:" refers to the origin of the family or something else, and I don't know what the other numbers refer to. I can guess that it might be family members on other noble family pages, but there's probably no way I can verify that without ordering the pages or getting an expert. And it's probably too much work for all the great volunteers here to do the research to be sure the answers are accurate; this is, after all, just one man's collection from the 18th century when the rules were different, if there were any rules at all.

    So where can I find an expert on this Lindner Collection? I wrote the Bavarian Library but received no answer. (Yes, I wrote in English.) Is there anyone reading this who knows an expert who knows the expert who can explain this specific collection? This Lindner question is just one tiny problem in need of a credible explanation among hundreds of pages of research collected on this family, but look how much I had to write to explain it. So you can probably understand my hesitation to keep asking questions when so many don't get answered.

    As always, my heartfelt thanks to all who volunteer their time here to help others,

    Chris Swan