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German Research
(How to find the place of origin in Germany)

A complete guide can be downloaded from Family Search:

First Step:

·    Work from known data by using the available records
    from the area where your ancestors lived in the United
·  Census Records ·    Naturalization/Citizenship Records
·     Emigration/Immigration Records ·    Obituaries/Newspapers
·  Cemetary Records ·    Maps
·    Diaries, Family Bibles ·  Church Certificates ·    Military Records
·    Family Letters ·  Church Records ·    Vital Records
·    Family Histories ·  Court Records ·    Social Security Death Index
·    Personal Journals ·  Land/Property Deeds  
Resources available in the MFSL to find Emigration/Immigration and Naturalization Records: 

1.  Naturalization:  Guide to Naturalization Records of the United States   Schaefer, Christina K; 973.P4s

2.  German American Newspapers and Periodicals 1732-1955      Microfilm 824091

3.  Passenger Lists and Immigration CDs

                Early Texas Settlers 1700-1800s

                Passenger and Immigration Lists Index; 1538-1940, 1999 Update

                Early South Carolina Settlers, 1500s to 1900s, plus 2000 Supplement

                New Orleans Passenger Lists 1840-1849

                Passenger and Immigration Lists: Boston, 1821-1850

                Passenger Lists are also available on Ancestry.Com

4.    Thirty Thousand Names of Germans, Swiss, Dutch, French and other Immigrants in Pennsylvania from 1727 to 1776   974.47 W2ra  Index

5.    The Alsace Emigration Book  944.3&W2s

6.    The Württemberg Emigration Index;  Shenk, Trudy  943.47

7.    Pennsylvania German Pioneers (a publication of the original lists of arrivals in the Port of Philadelphia from 1727-1808)  974.811 W3s

8.    Collection of Ships Passenger Lists from Boston, New Orleans, Baltimore and other Eastern Ports – except New York – Green Book Reference Section

9.    Germans to America , 1820-1950  Philby  973W2ger  over 50 volumes

10. Hamburg Passenger Lists 1850-1934   973 W2ger











These Lists are available on http://Ancestry.Com.  After locating a name, check the ship’s manifest since families and sometimes entire villages came together.

Naturalization records in the United States were kept by the local courts until 1906.  The US National Archives hold the records and this is being
digitized by Foot-Note.
  About 20% are currently available on line.

MFSL Books on German Surnames and their Variations:

Deutsches Namenlexikon,  Bahlow, Hans      943 D466ba
Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen Familiennamen; Brechenmaker, Josef Karlmann          943 D466

                Where do I find local Church Records and Civil Registration?

1.     Salt Lake Family History Library Catalog
Mesa Family History Center Catalog
Meyers Orts und Verkehrs Lexikon des Deutschen Reichs  3 volumes in Reference Section.
Müllers Ort  1 volume in Reference Section.
5.     The German Researcher; Dearden, Fay    943.D27df    Guide to Meyers Ort


Atlas of the German Empire 1892     Q Section (over-sized books)
Several are available in Drawer 4 of the Map Cabinet
On the internet:

 Free Internet Sources:

 German Research

On the Internet

In addition to providing digital record finding tools, several archives have started to post selected record groups on the Internet. Even though the availability of digitized parish registers online is still minimal, several websites now offer access to various sets of records, including the following:

Genealogical data bases - Family Search web site, contains various linked and unlinked name data bases, reference material (i.e. research guides, word lists, letter-writing guides),
  digital parish registers for Brandenburg and Posen - Ancestry’s web site contains submitted name data bases as well as indexes and images of many sources, including vital records, U.S. census records,
  several important emigration indexes, and passenger lists. - available for free at family history centers worldwide  - Heritage Quest’s census indexes and census images as well as other records (as accessible at the Family History Library). - contains indexed family trees, surname web sites, and over 30,000 mailing lists - Although this is a German web site, some sections are also available in English. It includes links to many German research associations’ web sites,
  regional resources, reference information for both beginners and advanced researchers, gazetteers, links to emigration sources, a translation help program, a listing of German town lineage
  books (Ortssippenbücher) both in print and available online, form letters, and lots of other helpful information. This site is worth getting to know well! - the English-language Wiki for German genealogy. For example, enter “emigration” as search term to find a bibliography of printed lists of
  emigrants - categorized list of links to emigration databases, gazetteers, association web sites, archives; also includes links to several specialized mailing lists.
• There is also a separate category for Germans from Russia. - a link-collection subdivided into several topics, including links to lists of emigrants from various areas. - Links to various resources and German research forums - This site contains articles about various aspects of German research and links to many related topics, including heraldry (coats of arms). - This site contains links to various data bases of European royal families. - Link collection for researchers and tourists; includes links to emigration sources, maps, gazetteers etc., including regional sections. - Resources for German genealogy on the Internet - FEEFHS German Genealogy Cross-Index; contains links to helpful German research sites. - portal to all the web sites of the various Lutheran synods in Germany; click the area on the map to get to the web site you need. - Local Catholic Church history and genealogy- Poland - World Biographical Index (Index to biographical material published about prominent persons from the 16th-20th Centuries on fiches and online; links to the
  actual entries as well) - as of September 2004 actual entries are available by subscription only. - Digital index to two major collections of biographical material, the Allgemeiner Biographischer Index, and the Neuer Biographischer Index.
  The actual encyclopedic articles are also available online, but only with a paid subscription. - includes Meyers Konversationslexikon, 4th ed. 1888 -1889, and other general reference works, fully searchable online - Association of German-speaking Professional Genealogists

Archives - Listing of German Archives in the Internet - links to German archives, more detailed on the federal level - Bundesarchiv Berlin, description and contact information. This archive now holds the records of the former Berlin Document Center. - portal to the archives of the various Lutheran dioceses.

Gazetteers for the entire German Empire

Digital version of Meyer's Gazetteer of the German Empire, published 1912, found on in two volumes

Gazetteer for the German Empire of 1900 - gazetteer of Gemeinden
  To use, click on the state, choose the region, then the county. A list of Gemeinden will come up. A Gemeinde is a civil entity comparable to a U.S. township and may include one or
  more parishes.

Regional Gazetteers and Parish Register Inventories

The German DigiBib [Digital Library] continually adds new gazetteers and maps to its collection, so it’s worth checking there first. Access it through
by clicking on the tab “DigiBib”, or directly through . Choose “Pfarr- und Kirchenbuchverzeichnisse” for parish listings and parish register
inventories, or , Ortslexika, Topografien, Statistiken etc.” for gazetteers and geographical descriptions.

Alsace list of German place names during the German occupation 1870-1918 in Alsace-Lorraine, with French name,
  department, Kreis, Kanton
Berlin - street index with church- and civil jurisdictions
Hamburg – listing of sections/suburbs with civil registration office addresses
Hessen-Darmstadt – 1863 gazetteer in DigiBib - parish register inventory for the area covered by the Speyer Church
  Archive [Pfalz and parts of Rheinhessen]
Hessen-Nassau lists parish registers filmed at the Kassel Church Book Archive - abbreviated gazetteer for Hessen-Nassau
Leipzig -street guide with parish and civil jurisdictions
Lippe-Detmold , give parish jurisdictions for even the smallest villages
Oldenburg - list of parishes, with beginning date for records and expert to contact for help, where available
Posen guide to genealogical records for Posen
Rheinland - under "ABC listen" are indexes to parish registers from the Trier region, and an index of emigrants - Eifel region birth and marriage data, contains over 535,000 names - Westerwald research site
Sachsen-Anhalt contains lists of parishes for Halle an der Saale and Magdeburg, with some addresses
Sachsen – Franz Blanckmeister, Die Kirchenbuecher im Koenigreich Sachsen,
  1901 [digital copy] Alphabetical listing of localities and parish addresses in Saxony
Schlesien data base inventory of Lutheran parish registers of Schlesien [ click on "Ortschaftsverzeichnis"]
Schleswig-Holstein  List of places in former Prussian province keyed to the parish. list of church districts with archive addresses etc.
Westpreussen – For a list of towns including their Catholic, Lutheran and civil registry jurisdictions, click on “Ortsverzeichnis” in the bottom left bar under the heading “Forschungshilfen”. This brings up a dialogue box in which to enter the place name. In German gazetteer in English]
Wuerttemberg - data base of Evangelical parishes

General Geography -German genealogical gazetteer, a growing reference work - This site includes links to many online gazetteers and maps and a bibliography of printed sources. It also gives hints on how to
  structure an effective search- in German only. - An index of German-Polish and Polish-German localities - links to online gazetteers for various countries - Ravenstein Atlas of the German Empire - maps for anywhere in the world - another very good map site Historical maps of Germany available online, hosted by the Institute for European History in Mainz

Handwriting, Vocabulary - Interactive tutorial for learning the old German Gothic, Dutch, Italian, and Spanish scripts. Old German professions, occupations, illnesses, and notions - English/German, German/English dictionary online - instructions for using a free volunteer translation service for genealogical material. - links to various genealogical reading helps [dates, months, illnesses, occupations] - JewishGen Infofile: translations of about 1500 German occupations

Regional Resources

Alsace - Alsace GenWeb - 1750 historical maps by Cassini, also available on several other websites, but seems
  more navigable
  here. See also
Baden - for those researching in the Black Forest area; can post queries. - link collection for family history in Baden Wuerttemberg, Pfalz
Bavaria - web page of the Franken Genealogical Society - short descriptive article listing sources and archives for research in Bavaria – listing of Lutheran parish registers available in the Church Book Archive in Nuernberg – Lutheran church archive Bayreuth: digital reading room- over 26 parishes [scanned images] searchable online [fee]
Berlin - street maps - Berlin address book from 1799-1943 available with images. - street index with church- and civil jurisdictions - map of Berlin and suburbs 1907
Brandenburg - links to some „virtual parish registers“ and indexes for Brandenburg and Mecklenburg
Bremen – links to various data bases, including town genealogies for the Bremen area, funeral registration
  books, tax records, emigration sources
Hamburg - resources for research, links to gazetteers etc. - research in and around Hamburg, explains various sources and their location, gives archive addresses etc.
Hannover - Online record inventory for the state archives in Niedersachsen, includes indexes of emigrants -family history sources in the Osnabrueck area, includes lists of parishes, farming estates [Hoefe], and a parish register inventory
Hessen-Darmstadt and Hessen-Nassau lists parish registers filmed at the Kassel Church Book Archive - Archives in Hessen; a web portal - online indexes to Hessen archival resources. Enter surname or search term in the field “Schnellsuche” and click on the magnifying glass.
  For lists of emigrants look for the category “Auswanderernachweise”
Lippe-Detmold - genealogical and local history material for Lippe
Mecklenburg - historical development of the principality of Ratzeburg [book online, in German]
Niedersachsen - state archives in Niedersachsen, includes inventories of the various state archives.
Oldenburg - list of parishes, with beginning date for records and expert to contact for help, where available, also includes an
  emigrant database
Ostfriesland [belongs to Hannover] - list of Ostfriesland parishes, when the parishes begin, and whether an OSB has been published - listing of villages and churches in Ostfriesland, annotated with references to genealogical and
  historical sources
Ostpreussen gazetteer for East/West Prussia - place names of Lithuania
Minor (Memelland) - genealogy resources for Sambia, the area around Koenigsberg - genealogy sources in Southeran East Prussia [Masurenland] - Lutheran parishes in Kreis Bartenstein - list of extant parish registers in Kreis Gumbinnen
Pfalz [Palatinate] - link collection for family history in Baden Wuerttemberg, Pfalz - historical maps and reference material for the Pfalz - parish register inventory for the area covered by the Speyer Church
  Archive [Pfalz and parts of Rheinhessen] - genealogy in the Pirmasens area
Posen - Inventory of vital records for the province of Posen. The lists of existing records are organized according to the 1887 district division of the Poznan Province and the Eastern Greater Poland.
Rheinland - databases, various lists to download for various parts of the Rhineland - links to online town genealogies for the Trier region - indexes to parish registers in the Eifel area, by towns/parishes [about 535,000 names- slow to come up] - master index to Tom Pick’s collection listed above
Saarland - inventory of genealogical literature for towns in the Saar region.
Sachsen - web site for family history in Saxony, German-based. More sections are available in German than in English
Schaumburg-Lippe - family history in the former duchy of Schaumburg-Lippe [sources, parish register transcripts etc., in German]
Schlesien - genealogical sources and data bases for Kreis Militsch, Silesia
Schleswig-Holstein list of church districts with archive addresses etc. - The Fehmarn Genealogy Site
Thueringen - Archives in Thueringen; address listings include e-mail address, where available
Waldeck - list of family histiory resources [in Dutch]
Wittgenstein -work group for genealogy, include lists of emigrants
Westpreussen – Genealogical resources for West Prussia, in German; includes gazetteer, maps, record information, lists of civil registration offices, archives, and other research helps.

Data base of Evangelical parishes - link collection for family history in Baden Wuerttemberg, Pfalz - for those researching in the Black Forest area; can post queries.

Formerly German areas: - maps and gazetteers for areas East of the Oder-Neisse line, include place name changes, whenever known - Lutheran parishes in Russian Poland - place names in Lithuania Minor -tools for genealogy east of the Oder-Neisse border


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