Ursula C. Krause is a professional genealogist from Berlin, Germany. Raised in the tradition of storytelling, a custom which has been cultivated in her family for centuries, she began to become interested in the history of her ancestors as a child and started working with her own family’s genealogy as a 13 year old.
After legal studies and her career as a commercial in-house lawyer in Germany and Sweden, she decided to turn her hobby into a profession, studied Cultural Sciences, History and Literature, and started her own company called Rootseekers – Genealogical Research and More, providing research in Germany and writing immigrant biographies for Americans with German ancestry.
In her own blog she shares many stories of her own ancestors. She writes for the “Der Blumenbaum”, the Sacramento German Genealogy Society’s prize-winning quarterly journal with her own column called “Ask Ursula Krause” as well as for the award-winning blog “Worldwide Genealogy – A Genealogical Collaboration”.
Ursula loves teaching and gives lectures at several academies for civic education, teaching “German History Through The Eyes Of Our Ancestors“, “Family History”, “Computer Genealogy” and, especially for German Baby Boomers seeking information on their parents and grandparents during the Third Reich, the lecture “The Grandchildren of War”.
She is a member of the Genealogical Societies of Brandenburg, Mecklenburg, Pomerania, the Sacramento German Genealogy Society as well as the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG).
Having moved around her entire life, she now lives in Berlin with her dog Marie of unknown ancestry. When she is not working you will find her driving around and exploring the small villages on the German country side.
Ursula is the author of IDG's bi-monthly column Rootseekers Germany.
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What is your favorite Repository?
My very favorite repository is the “Geheimes Staatsarchiv” (Secret State Archives) in Berlin. This archive traces back to the chancellery of the margrave of Brandenburg according to a charter issued in Stendal 1282 (!!!). As the central archive for the records of Prussia’s supreme authorities, it holds records you didn’t even think existed! There are old maps, the church books of the Prussian garrison churches, emigration lists, land records etc.
But you know what’s best? The smell – when you walk through the door you smell the old books and old records – this is the smell of hundreds of years of German history.
What is your most crucial ancestor story?
That surely is the story of my great-great-great-grandfather Friedrich Stange who immigrated to America in 1855, taking his wife and daughter with him and meeting up with his son in New York. He left behind two sons, one of them being my great-great-grandfather. When I first heard about this story at age 13, I could not stop thinking about it and wondered what had happened. Today, after many years of research, I know why he left and can nearly document his entire life. My interest in genealogy clearly began with great-great-great-grandfather Friedrich. Without him filing for bankruptcy in 1854, I surely would have never become a genealogist!
What is your favorite blog post from your personal website?
I am not sure if I have a favorite blog post, but I have one that I am emotionally attached to; that is the story “No Time For Tears”. It is about my father’s first cousins. When going through old family pictures, I found pictures of three children but nobody seemed to know their names. The only thing known was that they died at the end of World War II. So I got their death certificates and found out that they were shot by their mother who then committed suicide. It was horrible to find out what had happened, to read the records and to write about it. But I felt that these children needed to be remembered, in memory of the many children who died because of the violence during the Third Reich and World War II and then were forgotten.
You can read the story here: http://www.rootseekers.com/blog/no-time-for-tears/.
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© 2015 Ursula C. Krause
Ursula C. Krause is a professional genealogist, lecturer, writer and speaker from Berlin, Germany. She is a dedicated researcher focused on research in Germany, with a passion for story writing, especially stories of women who’s stories usually are never told. You can read some of her stories on her blog www.rootseekers.com/blog. She is the founder of Rootseekers – Genealogical Research and More and one of the researchers for “Finding Your Roots” and a consultant for the award winning documentary “The Upside Down Book”. You can find The In-Depth Genealogist online atwww.theindepthgenealogist.com.
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