Tip 1, The Basics
Tracing your family back depends very much on finding out where they were born. Before the 1900s most of the records of an individual were kept in a book in their local parish church. Sometimes the individual generated military records, or tax roll records, or other kinds of records but for most people they just made their mark on the world when they were born, married, had children or died.
These church records are usually stored in archives in each country but the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has spent many years copying these records to microfilm so they are your best resource for finding copies of original records of your family. As of 2010 FamilySearch.org had 2.4 million microfilm rolls of genealogical records; 742,000 microfiche; 310,000 books, serials, and other formats; and 4,500 periodicals!
If you can't find the original record then perhaps someone else has found it and already created a family tree. Genealogy has been a popular hobby for very many years and there are numerous family histories published all over the world.
In addition to familysearch.org, which has family tree search facilities as well, the following websites can be used to search for ancestors:
This PDF document, written by our past president, is a described collection of links from the Galizien German Descendants web site that will help you get started on your Galician German research.
German-English Terms. It includes the English meanings for German genealogical symbols used in documents, German abbreviations commonly used in genealogical documents, translations of German words (including those no longer commonly used in modern German) and the German names used for months of the year.
A good 11 page list of resources for Americans researching their foreign ancestors. [Members only]
The Family History Library run by FamilySearch and the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is an excellent resource, not only for scans of church records, but also for general genealogical information. They have a page devoted to Galicia at: https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/Austrian_Poland_(Galicia),_Austro-Hungarian_Empire_Genealogy
Has a good collection of links to beginner Genealogy pages (www.cyndislist.com/beginner.htm). These pages will get you started learning how to research your family.
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