Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany Genealogy
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|Local Research Resources|
Guide to Rhineland-Palatinate ancestry, family history and genealogy: birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, parish registers, and military records.
For German Research, You Must Know Your Ancestors' Town
- To begin using the records of Germany, knowing that your family came from Rhineland-Palatinate will not be enough to use the records of Germany. Records are kept on the local level, so you will have to know the town they lived in.
- Details about the town will also help:
- the county or "Kreis" of that town,
- where the closest Evangelical Lutheran or Catholic parish church was (depending on their religion),
- where the civil registration office ("Standesamt") was, and
- if you have only a village name, you will need the name of the larger town it was part of.
Research to Find the Town
If you do not yet know the name of the town of your ancestor's birth, there are well-known strategies for a thorough hunt for it.
- Use Gathering Information to Locate Place of Origin as a guide in exhausting every possible record to find what you need.
If You Know the Town, Next Use Meyers Gazetteer
Once you know the town name you need, the other facts you need are contained in Meyers Orts- und Verkehrs-lexikon des deutschen Reichs, the gazetteer on which the FamilySearch catalog for Germany is based.
- Use MeyersGaz, the digital gazetteer, to find the details you need, particularly the Kreis (county) it belonged to, found after "Kr".
- MeyersGaz Help Guide
- Abbreviation Table
Here is part of an entry from MeyersGaz.org. (The whole entry can be studied at Heusenstamm, MeyersGaz.)
Rhineland-Palatinate was cobbled together in 1947 from many regions that came from other states in the German Empire. For records prior to 1945, and for using the Family History Library catalog, you must search for church records defining the location by its state during the German Empire. The 1871 Meyers Gazetteer (available here online) will tell you the historical location of your town, its county, administrative district, and province or state. Use the following chart or map to link to research articles that apply to each former locations. The place names are clickable to location-specific articles dealing with each region.
CLICK ON THE LINKS IN THIS CHART TO FIND INSTRUCTIONS FOR
CLICK ON THE LINKS IN THIS MAP TO FIND INSTRUCTIONS FOR
are in Rhineland-Palatinate today,
Rural Districts (Kreise)
Urban Districts (Kreisfreie Städte)
- German Word List
- Latin Word List
- Handwriting Guide
- German Handwriting Tutorial
- http://www.kurrentschrift.net/index.php5?s=schreiben (enter your German genealogical word, click on "umwandeln" and view your word in Kurrentschrift (Gothic handwriting)