We are developing a collection of links, documents, discussions, ideas and whatever else to help you with your German research.  Your ideas are valuable so feel free to contribute.
Here are .pdf files of the following information.
                                 1.  ATG Archion
                                 2.  ATG German internet resources


GOGS – All Things German

Brenda Boyd

October 2, 2018


Archion.de is a website partnership between the Lutheran Church in Germany and 21 state, regional and local archives in Germany.  The database contains Lutheran parish records.


To search successfully you will need 3 items of information:

  • A complete Name
  • A town/parish name and district it is in
  • An event date

3 Tools to Use to Become Familiar with Your Town and Surrounding Area

It is important to have a good knowledge of your ancestor’s town or area that they live in. There are three tools to help you become familiar with your ancestors town:

Hansen’s Map Guides to German Parrish Registers (the complete set is available at the downtown Omaha Public Library).  Finding your parish and town name will help you locate it in the archives in Archion.de.

  • You can determine which parish, district and state it is in and view a map of the location.
  • On the map you can view adjoining parishes which may be areas your ancestors visited.
  • You can determine if the town or Kreis has been filmed by the Mormon Church and thus can be accessed for free on Familysearch.org.

www.meyersgaz.org.  This is a website that contains the same information found in the Meyers Gazetteer on places in Germany – but the work of viewing it has been done for you!

  • Entering your place name, you can determine if there are more than one place in Germany with that name and which one is yours
  • It will give you the government jurisdictions govern your area (where the records are).
  • It will give you’re town’s parish name.
  • It will give you a highly detailed historical map of your town along with a satellite map with today’s information on it. The map will show you adjoining towns.
  • It will give you the distance from your town to nearby towns that contain churches (protestant, catholic and jewish). Your ancestors may have visited those churches.
  • Should be used in conjunction with the Hansen’s Map Guides to give a more complete understanding of the area of your ancestor’s residence.

www.kartenmeister.com.  After the World Wars, the towns and places east of Odor and Niesse Rivers (Eastern Pommern, East and West Prussia, Posen, Brandenburg and Silisia) were renamed from German to Polish.  If you know the German name of the town of your ancestors will not be able to find where it is.  Likewise, if you know the Polish name, you will not know where the records are.

  • This website will give you the conversion of your German/Polish name of your town.
  • It will tell you the province and Kreis your town is in.
  • It will give you its location and where the civil registry is.
  • It also gives you the population of the town in 1905.
  • Should be used in conjunction with the Hansen’s Map Guides to give a more complete understanding of the area of your ancestor’s residence.


Sometimes it’s not easy to find a record in the church books because you can’t determine what  type of record it is.

Birth records are easily identified because they usually have

  • 2 dates (birth and christening – but not always),
  • The child’s name identified (bold, underlined or caps and usually in Latin letters),
  • Usually a father and a mother
  • The Key: 3 testators (witnesses). 

Marriage records  may have the words “Copulate” “Bräutigam” “Braut” in the heading of the page. They usually have

  • Marriages will have the date of marriage and maybe place,
  • The Key: The groom’s name and bride’s name shown separately
  • Sometimes contain the proclamations dates as well as the marriage date
  • You’re lucky if you have both parents’ names but mostly bride’s maiden name. But not always.

Death records will usually have only the name of the decedent.

  • The Key: Will give their age at death in Years, Months, and Days. The age can then be used to determine birth date which can then be searched to obtain parents.
  • May also contain birth and death dates, spouse, informant’s name . But not always.


  • Always start your research with your most recent ancestor in the latest dated book. Several reasons for this.  You want to get all of the most recent info because it will help you identify the earlier records as you move backward.
  • The most recent records are usually easier to read and understand. As you go through them you will find you will become more adept in negotiating the books.
  • The 1800’s are easiest to use because they use columns of information which is a help. About 1820 and forward, the columns began to be pre-printed.
  • The books from before 1800 are more difficult to use but not impossible. The handwriting is usually worse but not always. You just have to be more patient.
  • 1600’s usually are paragraph or narrative style and difficult to read and have less information.


B – only death records. (Symbol – an hourglass)

KB – Kirchbuch – usually contain births, marriages and/or deaths together.  Used mostly before 1820.       (Symbol – a book)

Konf – confirmation record. (Symbol – a hand with palm down)

NamenReg B – index for deaths (Symbol – a book)

NamenReg T – index for births and christenings (Symbol – book)

Namen Reg Tr – index for marriages (Symbol – book)

T – only birth records (Symbol – 3 wavy lines)

Tr – only marriage records (Symbol – wedding rings side by side)

Tr B – only marriage records (Symbol – book)

ZivReg – Civil registry (Symbol – book)

Watch for symbols with other names of registries.


May be one type of record (birth) arranged chronologically:

  • Example: Births   1800-1850

May be more than one type of record (births first, then marriages and then death ) arranged chronologically with each section.  Check for a Table of contents.

  • Example:

Births                    1800-1850

Marriages            1800-1850

Deaths                  1800-1850

May be records  birth-marriage-death arranged chronologically for each year.

  • Example:

1800      Births Deaths Marriages

1801      Births Deaths Marriages

1802      Births Deaths Marriages

Common genealogical words:

Taufen Baptisms
Taufzeugen godparents
Gevattern godparents
Paten godparents
Heiraten Marriages
Augebote Marrige Bans or Proclamation
Begräbnisse Burials
Konfirmationen Confirmations
Familienbücher Family Registers
Ortssippenburch Parish genealogy
Trauungen weddings
Bestattung Funerals
namensregister Names Register

Don’t expect consistency

Be patient

Be flexible

Pray for good handwriting


If you can’t find what you are looking for – You’re looking under the wrong rock!

    Internet Resources for German Genealogy Research  A sampling that will keep you busy and may produce results

Getting started: overviews of basic steps in the ancestor-finding processSearches: https://s3.amazonaws.com/ps-services-us-east-1-914248642252/s3/research-wiki-elasticsearch-prod-s3bucket/images/c/cb/Conducting_Internet_Searches_for_Family_History.pdfFinding German ancestors: https://s3.amazonaws.com/ps-services-us-east-1-914248642252/s3/research-wiki-elasticsearch-prod-s3bucket/imageSearching the U.S. for ancestral origins and lives: county histories may help

Digital Public Library of America: https://dp.la [books, maps, photographs, various archives]

Internet Archive: https://www.archive.org [books, census, multiple other sources]

Library of Congress: https://www,loc.gov/collections [books, photographs, documents]

Project Gutenberg: www.gutenberg.org

HathiTrust: https://hathitrust.org

Open Library: https://openlibrary.org  [some county histories]

Google Books: https://books.google.com [all kinds of books, some viewed on screen, some for sale]

Free state archives (U.S): living with beth.com/how-to-find-state-archives-for-free-genealogy-research/

NARA: https://aad.archives.gov/aad [military personnel, PoW, wars, passenger lists, etc.]

Resource lists: mixed, random collections of advice, data and links on multiple topics





www.kartenmeister.com [East Prussia, Poland maps]

www.genwed.com [marriage records, select by county]

https://www.archive.com  [birth/death records for a fee, but 14-day free trial is available]

www.mennonitegenealogy.com/fac/facostpr.htm [includes German civil history]

http://feefhs.org/resource/germany [maps, organization links for Eastern Europe]

https://www.thoughtco.com/german-genealogy-online-1421986  [long lists]

http://www.genealoger.com/german/german_genealogy.htm  [topics in genealogy, history, culture]

https://familyhistorydaily.com/genealogy-help-and-how-to/german-genealogy-guide [long article]

http://www.kracke.org/2013/11/19/a-lot-to-discover-in-genealogy-germany/ [many links]

http://www.barbsnow.net/classnotes.html [the German portion not working, but good anyway]


Time-saving sites:  Fill out one form and use it repeatedly as you search multiple sites https://www.stevemorse.org [numerous “one-step” sites]

https://www.familytreesearcher.com [use one form to search 11 sites]

https://familyhistorydaily.com/free-genealogy-search-engine/ [enter search term, Google works for you]

German sites (or formerly German) by state or region: links and statistics

Germany: www.ancestry.com [in the card catalog, filter for Germany; miscellaneous links]

Poznan: www.poznan-project.psnc.pl [former eastern Germany, now Poland]

West Prussia: www.odessa3.org/collections/land/wprussia [land records 1772-1773]

German historical record collections: www.FamilySearch.com [births, baptisms]

Eastern Europe: https://sggee.org

Poland: https://szukajwarchiwach.pl [former German regions]

Poland: http://www.manyroads.com/2017/12/22/finding-online-records-in-poland/ [an index]

Vital statistics from each German state: http://genealogyblog.com/?p=34423 [a sampling]

Using German church records: http://narafriends-pittsfield.org/gechurch.htm [script, contents]

Research-sharing sites: places to exchange information (German fluency could be helpful)

GEDBAS: http://wiki.en.genealogy.net/Main_Page [receives GEDCOMs]

German Genealogy Server: www.compgen.de  [German language site, can be translated]

Maps: historic maps from both U.S. and German states can be useful


www.kartenmeister.com [East Prussia, Poland maps]

Prussian Poland: www.prussianpoland.com [historic maps]

East Prussia, Poland: www.kartenmeister.com [maps]

Rumsey collection: https://www.davidrumsey.com/ [world-wide selection]

Perry-Castanada collection: https://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps [world-wide selection]

Name distribution maps: http://geogen.stoepel.net [data from telephone directories; not historic]

Ship passenger lists: https://germanroots.com/international-passenger-lists.html [many links]

Newspapers: can be great sources of information but may not be indexed; knowing date is best

Genealogy Bank: https://www.genealogybank.com/static/lp/2014/nov/german.html [fee]

Library of Congress: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov  [nation-wide, free]

Family History Daily: https://familyhistorydaily.com/free/genealogy-resources/search-10-      million-free-newpaper-pages-for-your-ancstors-here/

U.S: www.newspapers.com [with subscription or with Ancestry.com at premium level]

Illinois Digital Newspaper Collection: www.idnc.library.illinois.edu  [mostly Illinois]

Fulton History: www.fultonhistory.com/Fulton.html [many holdings from New York]

Elephind: https://elephind.com/ [U.S. holdings from CA, CO, IN, IL, NY, PA, TX, VA; also LoC collection]

Translation: many services available, these are good

https://www.leo.org [a dictionary of words/short phrases, gives multiple usages]

https://translate.google.com [for longer passages, up to 5000 words]

German old script deciphering: not for a genealogist in a hurry!

German script tutorial from BYU: https://script.byu.edu/Pages/German/en/welcome.aspx

Suetterlin German handwriting: http://www.suetterlinschrift.de/Englisch/Sutterlin.htm

Google Alerts: use that search term, complete a short form, and begin receiving weekly alerts to

internet activity including that family name

Non-credit courses, genealogy education: learn more, often on your own schedule

Ancestry: www.ancestry,com  go to “Extras,” find “Ancestry Academy”  [many choices]

Webinars: https://familytreewebinars.com/  [Webinar Library; free for a week after]

Webinars: https://www.familysearch.org/wiki.en/Family_History_Library_Classes_and_Webinars
Brigham Young University: https://isreg.byu.courses/pe/999022071006/public/start.htm

Cyndi’s List: http://www.cyndislist.com.education/online-courses-and-webinars/

Blogs: mailings from family, researchers, vendors, etc. in a regular or irregular basis

German translations:  https://sktranslations.com/

“The Lost 69 of Scherzheim, Germany” http://thelost69.blogspot.com/

Other neat stuff: various collections shared on-line, some free and some with copies for sale

GG Archives: https://gjenvik.com: immigration photos, postcards, ship posters, etc. 1880s-1954

German Immigrants: http://maggieblanck.com/Goehle/Germans.html: an extensive collection

Library of Congress: https://www,loc.gov/collections [books, photographs, documents]

Aerial photos of Germany, 1945: https://www.germanroots.com/photos.html

Greater Omaha Genealogical Society     All Things German       Dennis Kingery     Oct. 2018



General Research


  • If you really want to get into this stuff, here’s a discussion of Fraktur German True Type Fonts and Others.  Has links to various fraktur font downloads. http://www.morscher.com/3r/fonts/fraktur.htm
  • This link is to ancestry.com’s Meyers Gazetteer of the German Empire (commonly called Meyer’s Ort).  Although on Ancestry, this area is free.  This book will help in locating villages and give information about that village.  The nice thing about it is that it was printed about 1910 when some currently non-existent or hard to find villages existed.  Sorry, it’s in German.  Hint:  review the Abküzungen – it is a code for the abbreviations.  You can use the browse box to select the letter of the alphabet of your village’s name.  You should have a cheat sheet to decipher the old Gothic script and then use a good German/American dictionary.  (Nobody said this was easy.)  http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?htx=List&dbid=1074&offerid=0%3a7858%3a0
  • This site gives demographic, maps and population information about various German states and cities.  http://www.citypopulation.de/Deutschland-Bremen.html
  • States in Germany – Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/States_of_Germany

German Club, Societies and Groups

Specific States or Locations

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