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Daniel Riecke

DanielRieckeMember in: Arbeitsgemeinschaft Genealogie Magdeburg (AGGM), Arbeitsgemeinschaft für mitteldeutsche Familienforschung (AMF), German Genealogy Group in New York (GGG), Verein für Computergenealogie (Compgen) und Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge

GFG: How did you develop your interest for genealogy?

Riecke: There are two reasons. As you can find in many families today a so called “Aryan proof” (Ariernachweis), I also found in a reference book about eye diseases in toddlerhood the genealogical table of my great-grandfather Alfred Weißmeyer. Really fast I tried to read the old writing which was quiet difficult. After I had decoded the names and birth places with the help of my family, I transferred them on my laptop without putting further interest in it. However rather my interest for “old things” that I could find within my family grew. Thus I came across an heritage in England that my grandmother entitled derisively but with regards to content wrong as “old barn”. I found out that my great great-grandfather, whose name I did not know before, had a sister who went to England and at the time she died she bequeathed her fortune to my great great-grandfather.

At this time the Second World War raged and the property of my great great-grandfather, who stayed German, was confiscated and sequestrated as a so called “enemy property”. Since 1948 my family tried vainly to get this heritage. Not until with the help of an acquaintance I figured out that the legal situation in England has changed after 1990 and that compulsory acquisition was classified as wrong.

In the course of my research for an application for compensation addressed to the British authorities my interest regarding the family research grew. Already before the compensation two years later reached the accounts of my family I was infected with the “virus genealogy”.

Daniel Riecke

Daniel Riecke

GFG: Is there any time left for the own family research?

Riecke: Yes, because I turned my hobby into my profession and not the other way round. In every free minute I try to spend time with my own research. It happens often that private and official research areas cross. It is not unusual that during a private research in church records I find ancestors of my customers who we try to locate unsuccessfully for months or even years. This information I pass on immediately. Further: I believe that after a short time I would be envious of my customers because constantly they gain new ancestors and me, I would not progress with my own genealogical table. How already written, genealogy is a virus that infects you. You can’t without!

GFG: Did something exciting “fell into your hands”?

Riecke: Of course! You cannot believe what some pastors wrote down. One time one falls from the hayloft by night when he spends the night in a restaurant. Another time a married woman declares she was attacked and violated by soldiers although three weeks later it came out that she had an affair with her neighbor. On my private website I published some interesting things.

At home I have a document from the 16th century as copy, in which an attempted murder on one of my ancestors (a pastor) is documented meticulously on more than 150 pages – naturally handwritten. Also the hearing of the suspect is reported in it. Unfortunately, I did not yet managed to transliterate everything because of reason of time as very often other things have cropped up.

GFG: How many persons and ancestors did you already identify in your own research?

Riecke: If I take the number 30.000, it is the number of persons that I administrate in my private ancestor data base but it does not tell much about my research. I researched about 1.100 persons as ancestors of me. However, more important for me than the number of persons is what I know ABOUT them. Thus I rather know the purchasing price of the yard of my 10xgreat-grandfather than knowing the name of his grandfather. Because of my profession reams of persons can be added.

GFG: What publications did you already complete and on which ones are you working?

Published till now:

  • Daniel Riecke: Überblick über die Benutzung der Personenstandsbücher und Sammelakten im Magdeburger Stadtarchiv. In: Familienforschung Heute, Heft 25 (2011), S. 4-11
  • Daniel Riecke: Die Kirchenbuchduplikate evangelischer und katholischer Gemeinden Magdeburgs sowie die Personenstandsangelegenheiten der Magdeburger Juden und Dissidenten. In: Familienforschung Heute, Heft 25 (2011), S. 12-18

Planned for this year:

  • “Die Familie Riecke aus dem Bördedorf Hohendodeleben ab 1735 – Nachkommen des Friedrich Riecke und seiner Gattin Anna Catharine Rölecke”. I work at this book for 5 years. It is going to be the “family chronicle” of my own Riecke-family.
  • “Flurbuch der Feldmark Magdeburg-Neustadt”. It demonstrates an unmodified reprint in regards of content of the correspondent book of 1893 to which a big estate map was added that is also going to be in the reprint.
  • divers small articles, like for example the article about the Jewish community of Magdeburg in the middle of the 19th century in cooperation with Andreas E. Gruhn, Magdeburg

We are in an ideal location

Magdeburg

Magdeburg

... where registers of almost all evangelistic churches of Central Germany are saved on more than 8,500 microfilms including Saxony-Anhalt as well as northern church districts in Saxony and Thuringia.

... headquarters of the Capital-archiv of Saxhony-Anhalt, featuring an enormous historical collection particularly appealing to genealogy students.

... situated in the heart of Saxony-Anhalt allowing quick access to important archives such as Wolfenbuettel, Hannover, Brandenburg at the river Havel, Berlin, Dessau, Leipzig, Erfurt und Eisenach.