Subject- Tracing your Dutch Roots
Alexander Tolksdorf is a genealogist and speaker, specializing in German, Dutch, and Eastern European research. He began his personal journey in high school, inspired by a trip to Ellis Island and through a correspondence with his great uncle in Germany, who also was an active family historian. All four of his grandparents immigrated to the United States in the 1950s following the Second World War; as such, the majority of his research experience and focus is in European sources. Paternally, his family is German, primarily from the Prussian provinces of Westphalia, Posen, and East Prussia. Maternally, his family roots are Ukrainian. Thus far, Alex has uncovered and actively researches family lines in Ukraine, Germany, Lithuania, Belarus, Poland, and Russia. Through this work, he has become very comfortable with research in these counties; including overcoming the language barriers, lack of online record access, and lost or missing records. He relies on civil, church, and a plethora of other records for his research, and finds that all provide illumination and the tools to break down brick walls. Alex believes that standard records only tell part of the story, with the many additional forms of documentation providing color and texture to a family history.
Alex enjoys his work as a financial analyst at the Ford Motor Company, and is the current President of the Ford Genealogy Club. He is also active in the Ukrainian-American community of Metro Detroit, serving as the treasurer of the Ukrainian Graduates of Detroit and Windsor, as well as the treasurer and circulation manager of the Detroitski Novyny, the local community newspaper. He is also on the Supervisory Committee of the Ukrainian Selfreliance Michigan Federal Credit Union. During his spare time when he is not researching, Alex enjoys walking and exercising with his new wife, Katelyn, and their dog, as well as working on his car, a 2014 Ford Mustang GT.