Hard surname to research - hints and tips
Posted first to the GEISE surname board.
If you're new to researching this surname or you've been running into dead ends, here are some things I've learned.
1.If you were told that your ancestry was from Russia or the Ukraine (Odessa), your Geise surname may have originated as either GYSI or GISI.These spellings have morphed primarily into GESE and GEISE, but sometimes into other spellings as well.
2.When you are searching Genealogy.com, Ancestry.com, FamilySearch.com, or you are "Googling" for online trees, be sure to check ALL these spelling variations and any others you can think of:
GEISE, GESE, GIESE, GEESE, GEESEY, GEHSE, GYSI, GISI
3.The word "geiss" is an old, idiomatic term for "goat."The Geise surname may or may not have anything to do with goats, such as goat herding.The origin of the Geise surname, with the Geise spelling, seems to have originated primarily in northern Germany the Middle Ages.Now it is spread throughout Germany.
4.So, are you a German descendent of Geise or has your name morphed over time from some other spelling?Your best bet is to track the name backwards from YOUR generation IN THE U.S. first by using census records and other sources until you find your original immigrants.How did THEY spell it?Were they literate?Did they use a consistent spelling in their documents during their lives?Remember, you can always do a 14-day free trial of Genealogy.com's immigration records to help you find your original immigrants.Often these ship records will tell you where your ancestors came from...and that in turn gives you clues about their religion, since certain areas of Germany were predominantly one religion or another at certain time periods.This may help you find your immigrants' U.S. church records, if you know where they first settled.