Understanding Gollub's Stammbuch Entries

Dr. Hermann Gollub has remained one of the most important researchers and archivist of Salzburger Genealogy amongst any researcher familiar with the group. Born in 1888, he was responsible for the all-important 1934 book Stammbuch der ostpreußischen Salzburger which literally translates to ‘The Studbook of the East Prussian Salzburger.’ Gollub’s book lists thousands of names of those who came to East Prussia from Salzburg in 1731/32. Published in Gumbinnen, it is one of the quintessential texts used to trace East Prussian Slazburger ancestry, as it contains the names of men, their wives, children, birthplaces, ages etc., who made the perilous journey from the Pongau to Ostpreußen. Gollub died in 1947 after serving many important positions at archives throughout Prussia during and after WWII. But his famous Stammbuch remains just as valuable to researchers today, as it did over 80 years ago. (https://www.sn.at/wiki/Hermann_Gollub)

Obtaining a copy of the 84 year old text can prove to be difficult if you’re located in America. The first place to check, would be the closest public library. Worldcat.org is always a great place to start. If any institutions nearby do have a copy, it’ll likely be reference only, so be sure to bring pen and paper with you or some change for the copy machines. Rarely, the book pops up on Amazon, but get ready to pay a pretty penny--the publisher in America who was the only one producing copies, passed away and so the book is no longer in print in the US. A digital version of the book can be purchased from the Salzburger Verein e.V. for €14,00 plus shipping--members of the Verein in Europe can request a copy for much less.

Once you do get your hand on a copy, you should know two things--1st, the text (like so many older German books) is in Fraktur--an older typeface that will likely look very foreign to Americans. There are plenty of resources online to help you become familiar with the alphabet. The next thing you will notice, is the use of various abbreviations and punctuation to record the information about the individuals in the text. Here’s an example of an entry for someone who shares my same family name of interest: 

Screen Shot 2018-03-12 at 8.00.26 AM.png

First, a transcription:

Georg 78 (†1734) Ger. Werfen., Barb. Astecker (†): Andres 36 (s.d.), Martin, Hans (†), Philipp 29, Georg 26, 2 T. ------ Kummeln Ksp. Katt.

Many European Genealogist use a series of abbreviations that will look quite foreign to the American researcher. It takes a while to get used to, but once you memorize some of the more common symbols and abbreviations, it’ll become second nature. You can find a great list of them from FamilySearch here. In these records, there are also abbreviations that are more specific to Gollub’s book, and East Prussian Genealogy in general. The Salzburger Verein e.V. has the abbreviation page from Gollub’s book available online here. Using those two resources, we can gleam a lot of information from this record:

George [Salecker] 78 [years old] ([died] 1734) [originally from] District Court of Werfen. [Wife] Barbara [née Astecker] (died) [children]: Andreas 36 [years old] (see the [record for him]), Martin, Hans (died), Phillip 29 [years old], George 26 [years old], 2 daughters. ------- [settled in] Kummeln, Kreis Kattenau.

Without the references to the abbreviations and symbols, most of this information would go unnoticed to the untrained eye--so be sure to keep them close by when reading through Gollub’s book--even after reading through hundreds, I still need my reference pages nearby to read through the information.

Still, you may run across words or city names that you can’t find information about. If you need help, reach out to those at the Salzburgers Emigration Yahoo group here or reach out to the helpful folks at the Salzburg Verein e.V. here