Trip of Lifetime Made More Worthwhile by Professional Help

By James M. Beidler

A few times a year I receive inquiries from individuals who are specifically looking to have their genealogies put together before taking a trip to Germany. Usually, they are beginners and often the trip is only a couple of months (or even a few weeks) away, which is seldom a recipe for success as even in this age of internet genealogy, researching a pedigree can take a good bit of time.

This column is not about one of those inquiries yet instead about the culmination of some 30 years of research by expert hobbyist genealogist Eric “Rick” Bender of Albuquerque, New Mexico and how hiring one of the top German professionals, Wolfgang Grams, as a guide made the “trip of a lifetime” substantially more fruitful with “on the ground” knowledge and connections.

Bender met Grams at the 2019 International German Genealogy Partnership’s conference in Sacramento, California. After pandemic delays, the trip was finally a “go” in spring 2022.

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