Who would guess that Jeanne Fogler Meek would accidentally find a blood cousin when she visited Adersbach, Germany? Vogler immigrants to the U. S. changed the spelling of their name to Fogler?  
At the recent Village Genealogical Society meeting, Meek described details of her findings and how members could attain family genealogical background information.
Meek’s initial source of obtaining Germanic information began by attending the first international Germanic Genealogy Conference held in Minneapolis, Minnesota, July 2017.
The purpose of the symposium was to expand cooperation among societies nationally and internationally. This led her to explore the history of German migration to America.
Meek explained there were two main waves, those Germans coming to the United States in the 1700s and those in the period of 1820 to 1900.
Immigrants from the 1700s settled primarily in the eastern portion of the country, including Pennsylvania, New York, Virginia and the Carolinas, and were referred to as “Pennsylvania Germans.” These migrants came primarily to own their own land and practice their Lutheran religion.
Germans entering the U.S. in the later stages were referred to as “German Americans” and settled in the Midwest, largely in Indiana, Minnesota and Iowa, with many also in Texas, especially in New Braunfels and Fredericksburg.
Meek’s research indicated many reasons for Germans leaving their homeland, including heavy regulatory practices and social class separatism. Germans were forced to marry in their own class, whether that be upper, middle or low.
Guilds were introduced into society in the 12th century, beginning with apprentices, children 10 years old serving 5 to 7 years leaning skills. Apprentices moved on to journeymen, appropriately named as they traveled to expand their training with experts and finally becoming masters of their trades.
Meek’s studies included the Black Forest region of southwest Germany. This area first documented in 868 AD was controlled by the Benedictine Monastery. She visited Gutach, an open air museum also in the region, exhibiting farm houses, barns, fields and other supporting areas while in Germany.
Property was designated to be inherited by the youngest son of the family and, should he be deceased, it was transferred to the oldest daughter. This inheritance system also explains the migration to America by family members who knew they were not in a position for property to be bequeathed to them.
Additionally, Meek informed the club of various Internet site locations to visit where German ancestry could be found. She also provided a glossary of terms used with German to English translation.
“The guided trip to Germany was a trip of a lifetime  ... it was overwhelming. Who would have guessed that I would find a living cousin, Herbert Wolfgang Vogler, in Adersbach,” said Meek.
Meek’s nine times grandfather, Philipp Jakob Vogler, served as pastor of St. Laurentius Church from 1660 to 1704.
The Village Genealogical Society welcomes new members and meets the first Thursday of each month at 2 p.m. at the Coronado Center.
More information can be found at www.hsvgs.org.