1) On Dear Randy - How Do I Research My German Ancestors? (posted 21 May 2013):
* Annick commented: "You gave very good advice to Dieter. I am in the same boat, but I am from France with NO one on this side of the pond either. My family doesn't really want to cooperate, so I had to fend for myself. I have found lots of leads on Geneanet (great suggestion), I have searched for blogs like yours in French for tips and tricks on how to research in France over the internet, I have gone to each of the "departements" official sites where I know I have ancestors and searched in their on line records (I am sure the Lander in Germany has some too), I have a world subscription at Ancestry.com which was very disappointing (over $300 for a total of 25 documents with no hope of finding more), I have paid for a membership in the genealogical society of the department where I have the most ancestors and plan on doing it again in another where I have found some leads (advise I got from numerous American genealogy blogs). And I have downloaded loads of great French Google books for FREE to improve my knowledge of my country's history to allow me to place my folks in the proper context. I am learning so much about the past, if not so much about my family, but this makes me happy anyway and it certainly gives a workout to my brain."
* bgwiehle offered: "Your correspondent has 3 major advantages: he knows the language (which helps immensely with older texts and handwriting), he has lived and was schooled in Germany (will be familiar with German geography, history and civil procedures), and he is now in the US (some record-access restrictions in Germany are not applied when looking at the same records in the USA, esp. FamilySearch microfilms).
"Hopefully he has contacts and will find someone with knowledge of his family's origins a couple of generations back. Without a starting place, finding records will be like looking for the proverbial needle. There have been MAJOR population movements in the last 150 years that complicate people's origins in Germany - from the late industrial revolution to the two World Wars to the end of the Iron Curtain and more recent times. Assuming from his query for German ancestors that his family is not Polish, Russian, Turkish, etc. within recent memory (or obvious surname), they might still have been displaced from some other region in Europe.
"Most of the resources you mentioned will be helpful to orient a beginner genealogist. Once past that point, they focus on English-speaking, usually US, descendants of the German immigrants. Even in Crista Cowan's talk on German research last week, the focus was on searching all the US records first - censuses, then naturalizations, then passenger lists, and finally in Germany itself, maybe. Not helpful to Dieter, the new immigrant himself.
"Correction to your point 3): It should not be necessary to subscribe to the World Deluxe subscription at Ancestry.com if only German records are needed - subscribe at the German site, Ancestry.de
"There are a number of German genealogy groups in the US, that may be of some help."