Many Merrill area residents can claim at least some German descent. Thanks to a long-term project of the North Pines Genealogy Group (NPGG), T.B. Scott Free Library now owns a set of books potentially valuable to those people tracing their roots.
The North Pines Genealogy Group and individual NPGG members began purchasing volumes of the Germans to America (GTA) series and donating them to T.B. Scott Library in January 2007. Last April, the group achieved their goal of purchasing the complete series of 74 volumes, with a total expenditure of $6,376. Rhinelander is the only other library in north central Wisconsin to own the GTA series in book format.
The Germans to America series aims to identify people of German descent that immigrated to the United States from 1840 to 1897. Each volume of the series contains about 70,000 names and gives name, age, and gender for each person, plus origin and destination details if available.
If someone finds their ancestor in the Germans to America index, they can then go to the original ship’s passenger list, to find out more about the ancestor and the ship that brought them to America.
For several reasons, the Germans to America index doesn’t include every immigrant of Germanic origin. However, for literally millions of nineteenth-century immigrants to America, GTA can be a valuable research tool — a tool now available to everyone at T.B. Scott Free Library, thanks to the North Pines Genealogy Group.
As part of their German heritage initiative, the North Pines Genealogy Group also purchased volumes of the German Immigrants in American Church Records series focusing on Lutheran church records in Wisconsin congregations.
For decades, North Pines Genealogy Group and T.B. Scott Library have had a strong relationship with the shared goal of appreciating Lincoln County’s heritage and making it easier for area residents to discover their own family history. NPGG meets at the library on the third Thursday of each month, and invites anyone interested in genealogy to attend, learn and share.