Fritz had wanted to become accredited for many years before he actually did so. He wanted to improve his skills to the point where he would be recognized by a professional organization. He has been interested in his family’s history since childhood and wanted to pursue genealogical research. He became accredited in Germany in 2013, the Netherlands in 2015, and Belgium in 2016.
Challenging and Unique Aspects of German, Belgian and Netherlands Genealogy
Fritz says that he particularly enjoys working with farm names, where men will take their wives’ surnames if those are based on the name of the property that she owns. Men will often be listed in records with their own surname but aka her surname. After time, he may carry only her name.
He also is interested in the legally required adoption of surnames in the Netherlands province of Friesland. The extant records give the family members’ names, ages, and both the patronym of the father and the new surname that the family adopts.
Advice for Others Pursuing Accreditation
Fritz advises those interested in becoming accredited to learn as much as they can, read a lot, and research in many types of records over a long time period.
Fritz would like to become accredited in more areas. In his job at the Family History Library, he needs to be proficient in many different areas and he feels that becoming accredited is a good way to improve his skills.
Current Research Projects
Fritz is currently working on a Swedish project.
Fritz responded that he “enjoys teaching classes and really enjoys lecturing at conferences. There is something exciting about speaking in front of dozens and dozens, maybe even hundreds, of people about genealogy!”