Genealogy Resources

Betty Graber Hartzler’s Databases

  • Betty’s Genealogies
  • Swiss Volhynian Genealogy Database – My Graber family originated in Switzerland and became a part of the Amish division of 1697. While most of the Amish migrated to America in the 18th century, this group spent a hundred years in Prussia/Russia before coming to South Dakota and Kansas in 1874. A major published resource for this group is Swiss Russian Mennonite Families Before 1874, compiled by James W. Krehbiel (1995). The reference numbers identify the persons by family code.
  • Harvey County, Kansas Genealogy Database – The starting point for this database is the Amish and Mennonite settlement in central Kansas. References in this database identify the East Lawn (Pennsylvania Mennonite Church) Cemetery, rural Hesston, Kansas.

General Genealogy Resources

The California Mennonite Historical Society

GRANDMA (The Genealogical Registry and Database of Mennonite Ancestry) is a project of the California Mennonite Historical Society’s Genealogy Project Committee. Distributed on CD-ROM, the current version 7.0 of the database contains genealogical information over 1.2 million persons, most of whose ancestral lines can be traced to Mennonite communities in Poland and Russia. Not merely a list of individual people, entries in GRANDMA are linked by relationship (to the extent we can determine this). Various reports can be generated from the data, including ancestry, descendancy, and relationship calculations.

Cindi’s List(s)

Cyndi’s List is the most comprehensive site for genealogy researchers available on the internet. It has over 137,950 categorized and cross-referenced links in more than 150 categories. Some pages are general in nature but the site is pretty comprehensive. These lists are a good place to start if you don’t have a specific group of people that you are searching for.

The Language of Computer Genealogy

GEDCOM is an acronym taken from “GEnealogical Data COMmunication”. It defines a structure for a file which can be used to transfer genealogical data from one computer/program to another. The file format is a standard ASCII text file so it can be read/written by virtually any computer and/or genealogy program.

The GEDCOM Standard was written by the Family History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS or Mormon Church). It was necessary to have such a standard in order to share genealogical information. The GEDCOM Standard has been through several versions, and the current version 5.5 standard has been around for over 3 years.

Genealogy Programs for your Computer

* Brother’s Keeper is the most commonly used program by Mennonite Genealogy researchers.  It is available as shareware and can be downloaded.

**PAF, Personal Ancestral File is a free program written by the Mormon Church.