Family

Before Us and After Us

Ancestry
Photo by Whitby Archives on Foter

An exhibition of the Society for Genealogy in Franconia at the City Library

Nuremberg is the seat of the oldest family history association in Bavaria: 100 years ago, on 8 November 1921, the Bavarian Franconian Chapter of the Roland was founded here, the forerunner of today’s Gesellschaft für Familienforschung in Franken (GFF), (Society for Family Research in Franconia). On its anniversary, the GFF and Nuremberg City Library are hosting the exhibition “Before us and after us”. The collection offers an overview of the prehistory, development and diverse fields of work of the non-profit association.
The GFF has a very interesting website with text in English here:

 

Admission to the exhibition is free and viewing possible during regular library opening hours from 20th November 2021 to 26th February 2022, in the City Library, Gewerbemuseumsplatz 4, exhibition cabinet on level L2. Corona Rules apply as stated in the current Bavarian Infection Protection Measures Ordinance. Stadtbibliothek

As a regional group of the Dresden Roland, the Bavarian Franconian chapter of the Roland was part of an overall association which since 1902 undertook specifically middle-class genealogical research. It thus differed from older associations, which were primarily concerned with aristocratic interests. People questioning their origins and location have a tradition going back many centuries, especially among the nobility. Genealogy, i.e. ancestor and family research, served in these circles for self-expression, tradition-building, and legal and property preservation. A corresponding awareness of origin and networking developed only gradually in non-aristocratic circles. Documenting one’s person permanently, recording the roots of one’s family and kinship relations, only became customary among plebeians in the early modern period. Various media were used for this purpose, most of which were only handed down within the families.

The exhibition, jointly conceived by the City Library and the Society for Genealogical Research in Franconia, now features magnificent manuscripts and selected prints from the City Library and various archival materials and publications from the holdings of the GFF private collections. Two media stations also allow access to the closed area of the GFF website, otherwise reserved for members. The exhibition traces the development of genealogical thinking in patrician and bourgeois families since the late Middle Ages. The growing self-confidence of the bourgeoisie soon used new forms of self-documentation. Eventually, genealogy became the concern of associations; the Nuremberg foundation was the second in southern Germany.

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