This book will be of special interest to descendants of people with the surnames Kilian, or Killian or Killion. But it will help anyone searching for ancestors in Germany in finding records and interpreting their content with respect to the historical times.
Andreas Kilian’s marriage recorded in a church book in Oberfranken, Bavaria, Germany led to the discovery of his parents’ marriage and burial records, Andreas’ baptismal records and his first three children’s baptismal records. Andreas’ parents’ marriage record revealed that Andreas’ father was also named Andreas and his grandfather was Georg Kilian.
The book discusses the difficulties of finding and interpreting German genealogical records with archaic regional words and abbreviations no longer in use. It analyses the contents of these records and their implications, in the context of the historical times, to find clues as to how they lived in especially troubled times. It examines likely ethnic origins of the family, the derivation of the name, and the perils of traveling from a small inland village in Germany to America in the 18th century with limited or no funds. It discusses the 16th to 19th century German laws concerning marriages forced by the state. The book takes a close look at family legends that were false trails and hindered locating the records.
The book contains 52 photographs of the places where the marriages, baptisms and burials occurred, as well as the towns Andreas must have traveled through to reach Rotterdam before he sailed to Philadelphia. It contains two 18th century signatures, Andreas' handwritten marriage record from the church book and a diagram of the interrogation prison in Nürnberg.