Geiszler Family History: Map of Baden

Joseph Geißler is my fraternal great+ grandfather and my brick wall. He lived in America long enough to wed, father four children,  purchase property, and then die. His naturalization record gave me a clue as to his homeland.

Here are the notes from his naturalization record: According to the Franklin County Clerk of Superior Court (in Ohio), Joseph Keizler was admitted to Citizenship of the United States of America in 1858. Joseph was a native of Baden, Germany. The record was certified on 11 Oct 1858. (Keizler would be the phonetic spelling of the name Geißler.)

I wanted to know where Baden would be found. Hopefully, I could find clues as to where to look next.

Map of German divisions of land

Something that stood out to me as I've always wondered where Pfalz was (for my fraternal Grandmother's line), and now I know. But, this map doesn't help me much. There are so many possibilities. How on earth will I figure this out? Additionally, notice where Stuttgart in Wurtemberg is? My mother has a research note that says he might be from Stuttgart. However, I have no evidence of that tidbit, and she had forgotten where that information came from.

I must rely more heavily on the naturalization document for clues. But, could it be possible that Joseph lived in Baden near Stuttgart? Or is this a random note that is best ignored?

I'll be honest, I don't have any more clues with this map. But, at least I have a rough idea of where Baden is.


  1. Hi there, I'm German! :)
    What you are looking at, is a classic southern German "dilemma".
    There are "state lines" between Baden and Schwaben. (Stuttgart is the "capitol" of Schwaben.) But that doesn't mean, that this is where "Baden ends and Schwaben begins". You could put "Baden und Schwaben" in any search engine and you would come up with loads of stories and jokes (some not meant in a nice way). Both Baden and Schwaben (as "people") have culturally lots in common, but they are wildly defensive about their own culture ... and it's complicated. So what kind of note (?) do you have? That your grandfather+ might be from Stuttgart? Does it say anything else? Do you know why your mother would write that down?

    You could go here
    and enter "Geißler".
    The map will show you how many Germans with the last name Geißler are listed in today's public phone books. Of course this doesn't tell you where you ancestor(s) came from, but it might give you a clue as to where you could start looking.

    Good luck! :)

    1. Wow... Thanks so much for the cultural information. I really have no idea why my mother wrote the note from Stuttgart, especially since I can not reproduce the note in my own research. So, I'm greatly confused.

  2. Before Germany was the Germany of today (one country) it was made up of various states or countries ruled by families or dynasties. One of these states was Baden, which became a Grand Duchy in 1806. Other states in this time frame were principalities, duchies, and kingdoms. (This is a very brief explanation, by the way :)

    If your ancestor was a native of Baden, then he was from the Grand Duchy of Baden (assuming he was born in or after 1806). You'll have to dig around some more to find out just where within this Grand Duchy he was from.

    On the other hand, if he was from Stuttgart, then he was from the Kingdom of Wurttemberg.

    1. Yvonne, thanks for the information. I know I have so much to learn about Germany throughout the ages. Many relatives are German. Joseph's naturalization papers says the Grand Duchy of Baden. So, I suppose I should focus there. I have not seen anything referencing Wurttemberg in relation to this relative thus far.


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