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Here in Family Tree Magazine’s hometown of Cincinnati, where the
population in 1900 was 60 percent German-Americans and a downtown neighborhood
is called Over the Rhine, Oktoberfest is a pretty big deal.
The oldest and biggest Oktoberfest, of course, starts in late September in Munich,
Germany—which is celebrating its 200th Oktoberfest this year.
Oct. 12, 1810, Crown Prince Ludwig (later King Ludwig I) and Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen
held a grand horse race in Munich to celebrate their wedding five days earlier. The
successful event was held again the next year and the next, and Germans—who continue
to claim the largest ancestor group in US censuses—brought the celebration to the
Cincinnati’s Oktoberfest includes the Chicken
Dance and plenty of goetta,
aka “Cincinnati Caviar.” Supposedly, ours is the largest celebration in the United
Oktoberfests take place across the country in towns such as La Crosse, Wis.;
Fredericksburg, Texas; and Tulsa, Okla.
Here’s our article about how
a fellow Cincinnati genealogist unpuzzled surname variations to discover his German
Heritage Toolkit has helpful articles for you to explore your own German roots,
of German research websites, books and organizations
to use Meyers-Orts- (a handbook for tracking down German villages)
of words you’ll see in German records
… and more. For extra assistance, you can download our research
guide to German ancestors, available from ShopFamilyTree.com or look into our Find
Your German Roots Family Tree University course.
Tree Magazine Plus members with German roots can check out our online research
guides to Prussian
and Bavarian ancestors, and to Germanic
ancestors who lived outside of German borders.