The Village of Grosshertzogtum

Geography matters. Language matters.

The obituary of John Luft from the Warsaw, Hancock County, Illinois, newspaper of 24 June 1921 indicated that he was born in “Grossehertzgotum,” Hessen, Germany. It refers to the Grand Duchy of Hesse–not a specific village.  James Beidler tells of a researcher who looked for this village for years in his Trace Your German Roots Online: A Complete Guide to German Genealogy Websites. 

All of which make the point: ask, learn, and don’t assume. It’s easy to be confused about locations in an area where you don’t know the language, where you don’t know the geography, and where you never lived.

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