Germany, Rhineland-Palatinate Church Record Extractions and Family Registers (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Germany, Rhineland-Palatinate Church Record Extractions and Family Registers, 1600-1925 .
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Rhineland-Palatinate,  Germany
Flag of the German Empire.svg.png
Flag of the German Empire, 1871-1917
Rheinland-Pfalz in Germny.jpg
Location of Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
German Empire blank map.svg.png
Map of the German Empire, 1871-1917
Germany.png
Current Location
Rhineland-Palatinate is in Germany.
Record Description
Record Type Church Records
Collection years: 1600-1925
Languages: German
Title in the Language: Deutschland, Rheinland-Palatinate, Kirchenbuchabschriften und Familiennamenkartei
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
Pfälzisch-Rheinische Familienkunde


What is in this Collection?

This collection will include records from 1600 to 1925.

This collection includes images of a combination of church family register extractions and indexes for the district of Rhine Hesse-Palatinate (Rheinland Hessen-Pfalz) in Rhineland-Palatinate (Rheinland-Pfalz). Most image sets are arranged chronologically (by year of event) or alphabetically (by surname).

Family registers may go back to the 1500s, when they began during the time of the Reformation. Because of wars, natural disasters, and accidents, many churches were destroyed, along with all or part of their records. Very few church records go back before 1650 because of the Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648). Family registers were created with information from the parish register and should be used as a guide to search the actual church records for the ancestors’ christening, marriage, and burial information. The text in church family registers is written mainly in German. However, earlier text could be handwritten in Latin and after 1945 handwritten in Gothic script. The headings for the extracted information are in English.

Beginning in the 1500s, churches began keeping family registers. This collection of extracted data was created to make it easier to research ancestors.

Church records (Kirchenbücher) are excellent sources for accurate information on names, dates, and places of birth, baptism, marriage, death, and burial. They are the most significant source of genealogical information for Germany before 1876. Most people who lived in Germany were recorded in a church record. However, the information found in a family register depends on how detailed the minister made his record. The extraction of data depends on how well the records were read.

Sample Images

Click on images for a larger view.

These records may contain the following information:

  • Name of the ancestor, either as a parent or child
  • Names of the ancestor’s siblings, parents, grandparents
  • Date of the ancestor’s birth
  • Place of the ancestor’s birth
  • Occupation of the ancestor’s father
  • Birth dates of the ancestor’s siblings and parents
  • Date of the ancestor’s marriage
  • Date of the ancestor’s death
  • Death dates of the ancestor’s siblings and parents
  • Information concerning emigration in the family

How Do I Search This Collection?

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Germany, Rhineland-Palatinate Church Record Extractions and Family Registers, 1600-1925.

To search by image:

⇒Select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page
⇒Select “Place”
⇒Select “Record type”
⇒Select “Event type”
⇒Select “Name range” which takes you to the images

Look at each image or record comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine if the image relates to them. You may need to look at several images or records and compare the information about the individuals listed to your ancestors to make this determination. Keep in mind there may be more than one person in the records with the same name and you will want to look carefully at dates, places and relations to identify your ancestor from another person. You also may not be sure of your own ancestor’s name if they were known by a nickname or changed their name from the original birth record name. Your ancestor may have used different names or variations of their name throughout their life and may be listed in records with any of those variations. To search the collection fill in the requested information in the boxes on the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the individuals in the list to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to look at the information on several individuals comparing the information about them to your ancestors to make this determination.

I Found Who I was Looking for, Now What?

  • Use the age in the citizen to find an approximate birth year to begin your search in church or civil records.
  • Continue to search the records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives who may have moved, been recruited or lived nearby. This can help you identify other generations of your family. Repeat this process for each new generation you identify. Compile the entries for every person who has the same surname; this is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual. This compiled list can help you identify possible relations that can be further verified by researching vital records in the country.
  • When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. Save a copy of the image or transcribe the information. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details such as a title, an occupation, or land ownership. Add this new information to your records of each family. You should also look for leads to other records about your ancestors.
  • Church Records often were kept years before government records were required and are a good source for finding ancestors before 1900.

I Can't Find Who I'm Looking for, Now What?

  • Switch to a different record collection. Depending on the time period, either German Civil Registration records or German Church records may be more useful.
  • While searching, it is helpful to know such information as the ancestor’s given name and surname, some identifying information such as residence and age, and family relationships. Remember that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name as an ancestor and that the ancestor may have used nicknames or different names at different times.
  • Keep in mind that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
  • Standard spelling of names typically did not exist during the periods our ancestors lived in. Try variations of your ancestor’s name while searching the index or browsing through images. Pay special attention to how the name should have been pronounced and try variations on the pronunciation.
  • Remember that sometimes individuals went by nicknames or alternated between using first and middle names. Try searching for these names as well.
  • Search the indexes and records of local genealogical societies.

Citations for This Collection

Citing your sources makes it easy for others to find and evaluate the records you used. When you copy information from a record, list where you found that information. Here you can find citations already created for the entire collection and for each individual record or image.

Collection Citation:

"Germany Rhineland-Palatinate Church Record Extractions and Family Registers 1600-1925." Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2016. Citing Pfälzisch-Rheinische Familienkunde e.V., Ludwigshafen [PRFK, Ludwigshafen].

Image Citation:

The image citation is available by clicking on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen. You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Germany, Rhineland-Palatinate Church Record Extractions and Family Registers, 1600-1925.

How You Can Contribute

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.