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If you want to do research in German archives be aware that some are charging fees for using their research facilities. Doing research in archives might not be free of charge! For further information please click here
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Getting started with German research
Welcome to the Germany page!
FamilySearch Wiki is a community website dedicated to helping people throughout the world learn how to find their ancestors. Through the Germany page you can learn how to find, use, and analyze Germanic records of genealogical value. The content is variously targeted to beginners, intermediate, and expert researchers. The Germany Page is a work in progress, your contributions and feedback are essential!
View the German Research online tutorials from FamilySearch Learning Center.
Nobility & Government Areas
- Anhalt - Herzogtum (duchy)
- Baden Grossherzogtum (grand duchy)
- Bayern – Königreich (kingdom) (Bavaria)
- Braunschweig (Brunswick) – Herzogtum (duchy)
- Elsass-Lothringen ( – Provinz) (Alsace-Lorraine province, 1871-1918)
- Hessen – Grossherzogtum (Grand duchy)
- Lippe – Fürstentum (principality)
- Mecklenburg-Schwerin – Herzogtum (duchy)
- Mecklenburg-Strelitz – Herzogtum (duchy)
- Oldenburg – Herzogtum (duchy)
- Preussen (Prussia & Preußen) – Königreich (kingdom)
- Hannover (Hanover)
- Hessen - Nassau (Hesse-Nassau)
- Ostpreußen (Ostpreussen, East Prussia)
- Pommern (Pomerania)
- Posen (Poznan)
- Rheinland (Rhineland)
- Provinz Sachsen (Province of Saxony)
- Schlesien (Silesia)
- Schleswig-Holstein (Sleswick-Holsatia)
- Westfalen (Westphalia)
- Westpreußen (Westpreussen, West Prussia)
- Sachsen - Königreich (Kingdom of Saxony)
- Schaumburg-Lippe – Fürstentum
- Thüringen (Thuringia)
- Sachsen Altenburg – Herzogtum (duchy)
- Sachsen Coburg-Gotha – Herzogtum (duchy)
- Sachsen Meiningen – Herzogtum (duchy)
- Sachsen Weimar - Eisenach – Herzogtum (duchy)
- Schwarzburg Rudolstadt – Fürstentum (principality)
- Schwarzburg Sondershausen – Fürstentum (principality)
- Reuss ältere Linie – Fürstentum (principality) (Older line)
- Reuss jüngere Linie – Fürstentum (principality) (Younger line)
- Waldeck - Fürstentum (principality)
- Württemberg – Königreich (kingdom) (Wuerttemberg)
Featured Content(Read More)
- Listing of all records collections for Germany available on FamilySearch.org.
- Join a Facebook or Skype Germany Genealogy Research Community
- German Research Websites
- Pdf Archive Inventory Part 1 of 2: Church records in Archives" - an inventory of localities and the location or archive where the records should be found.
- The list of archives with addresses, Part 2 of 2, which correspond to the localities list, can be found at this link Archive Addresses Please note that in the second column, with the heading of "key" matches the Archive "number" in the first link which contains the database.
Did you know?
German-Americans are the largest ancestral group in the United States. According to the 2005 US census, an estimated 49.2 million Americans identify German as their ancestry. In the 1990 U.S. census, 58 million Americans reported they were solely or partially of German descent. The first significant numbers arrived in the 1680s in New York and Pennsylvania and some eight million German immigrants have entered the United States since that time. In 1745, there were an estimated 45,000 Germans living in Pennsylvania alone. German immigration continued in substantial numbers during the 19th century with the largest number of arrivals in the 1840–1880 time frame. Today, California and Pennsylvania have the largest populations with German ancestry, with over six million German Americans residing in the two states alone, although the highest density of German Americans reside in North Dakota and Wisconsin.
New portal for German Church Records on the Internet
The new Kirchenbuchportal (church book portal) has been created by the Association of Church Archives to facilitate access to German-language church records. As of July 2010 several archives have posted detailed inventories of the parish registers in their collections. Details about the participating archives, including links to posted inventories, are found here. A database of all inventoried records, arranged by archive, is found here. For details see "Germany- Church Records"
Germany Relaxes Access to Civil Registration Records
As of 1 Jan 2009 the German rights-to-privacy laws with regard to to post-1875 civil registration birth, marriage and death certificates have been relaxed. Under the new law, births are available after 110 years, marriages after 80 years and deaths after 30 years, as long as all persons mentioned in the record are dead. The law also provides for older records to be transferred from the local civil registration office to an archive for easier access. For details, see: Recent Changes in Rights-to-Privacy Laws.
Jewish Records online
In March 2009 the Landesarchiv Baden-Wuerttemberg made images of Jewish records available on the Internet. Previously this collection could only be viewed on microfilm at the State Archive in Stuttgart. The collection includes birth, marriage, and death registers, family books, and other lists, mostly from the 19th Century. See Jewish Records available on the Internet for details. See also Jewish Genealogy Research for many how-to-research instruction pages on the Wiki.
Berlin Evangelical Central Archive Inventory Online
The Matricula site includes inventories of many Lutheran church records from Eastern areas, including Ostpreussen, Schlesien, Posen, Brandenburg, Pommern and Westpreussen. This data was contributed by the Evangelical Central Archive of Berlin (EZAB). As of January 2010 only the EZAB inventory has been posted, not the actual records. The site contains some digitized church records from other German and Austrian archives. Germany, Mecklenburg-Schwerin Censuses (FamilySearch
Wiki articles describing online collections are found at:
- Germany, Baden Church Book Duplicates (FamilySearch Historical Records)
- Germany, Bavarian Archives Miscellaneous Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)
- Germany, Bavaria, Dinkelsbuhl Miscellaneous Ciry Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)
- Germany Birth and Baptisms (FamilySearch Historical Records)
- Germany, Bavaria, Meumarkt Miscellaneous City Records (FamilySearch Histoarical Records)
- Germany Brandenburg Church Book Duplicates (FamilySearch Historical Records)
- Germany, Bremen Name Card Index to Passenger Lists (FamilySearch Historical Records)
- Germany Deaths anf Burials (FamilySearch HIstorical Records)
- Germany, East Prussia, Konigsberg, Index to Funeral Sermons and Memorials (FamilySearch Historical Records)
- Germany, Hessen, Darmstadt City Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)
- Germany Marriages (FamilySearch Historical Records)
- Germany, Mecklenburg-Schwerin Censuses (FamilySearch Historical Records)
- Germany, Saxony, Bautzen Citizen Rolls (FamilySearch Historical Records)
- Germany, Pomerania Church Records (FamilySerch Historical Records)
- Germany, Saxony, Freiberg Funeral Sermons (FamilySearch Historical Records)
- Germany, Westfalen, Minden Citizen Lists (FamilySearch Historical Records)
- Germany, Wurttemberg, Schwabisch Hall Probate Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)