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A biography is an account of someone's life written by someone else, while an autobiography is an account of a person's life written by that person (himself or herself). Both of these can be valuable in learning the details of an ancestor's life. Often, these details can lead you to the discovery of important documents. Journals and diaries are also great resources. Finding any of these can be difficult. Of course, the first place to look would be your immediate family. Next, seek out distant relatives, that might have any books or history information about your ancestors. In Bavaria the family bible often contains bits and pieces of their personal and family history. Finding one of these is like hitting the jackpot! All of these are not only important in regards to genealogy, but also can help us to become familiar with our family. Learning about the history of our ancestors creates a wonderful bond that enhances genealogy research!
Imagine how much a record of your life in the form of a book, journal or diary would mean to your posterity.
FamilSearch has a section entitled Write a Personal History
If your family does not have any materials about the history of your ancestors you could try some online resources.
- Bavarian Regional Library Online - Biographies (in German) Personensuche - If the Quick Persons Search doesn't work, enter the name in the search engine at the top right, "Suche in der BLO."
- My Heritage ($) has added a new data base (in the form of a Blog) of Historical Records. These are not really biographies, but may help in learning about the places and times of your family's history. Not everything is from Germany but there is quite a bit there worth looking at in regards to German ancestors. To have full access to this information you must have a membership.