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Categories: Baiersbronn / Schwarzwald / Germany / Black Forest

Helmut Finckbein spent 45 years of his spare time researching one valley in the Schwarzwald (Black Forest) in what is now the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany.  His research was meticulous and very detailed.  He shared his findings with other genealogists and contributed articles to several genealogical and historical publications in Germany.

I had the privilege of meeting Herr Finckbein back in 1976.  We developed a correspondence and he began sending me information about my Baiersbronn ancestors.  In 1981 we were in Germany and called him with a question about our Baiersbronn lines.  He asked us if we would be interested in obtaining a copy of all his research.  He assembled what we call The Finckbein File and sent it to us.

The Finckbein File is approximately 540 pages long, single-spaced and typed, listing in alphabetical order 1,450 families who lived in Baiersbronn and the adjacent valleys between the 30 Years' War and 1875.  The research is extremely accurate and extensively sourced.  With the exception of a couple of typos we have found the information to be absolutely first-rate.

We believe we have the only extant copy of the Finckbein File.  Over the past 35 years we have added about 7,000 of the approximately 11,000 names in the File to, and hope to complete the project by 2020 at the latest.

You can identify records from the Finckbein File on by looking at the notes.  I use Ancestral Quest to synchronize between AQ and NFS, and I always make sure the notes (which reference the original sources, often down to page number and portion of the page) by giving exactly the information in the Finckbein File.  For example, a Notes entry I submit might look something like this:

BIRTH:  HF: F 802, Jacob Gaisser, Bbr-Kreuz, SR 108 l.u.

From this single line we read:

HF = Helmut Finckbein

F 802 = equals Herr Finckbein's unique numbering system.  There are 1,450 families in all.

Bbr-Kreuz = the Kreuz area within Baiersbronn.  Almost everyone in the Finckbein File was baptized, married, and buried in conjunction with services at the Luthern church on the hill in Baiersbronn.  The others usually came from the surrounding area, particularly from Klosterreichenbach..

SR 108 l.u. = Baiersbronn Standesregister, Page 108, the lower left (links unten) portion of the page.