Bavaria (Bayern), German Empire Church Records

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Church Records
Bavaria (Bayern),
German Empire Wiki Topics
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Major Bavaria (Bayern)
Record Types
Reading the Records
Additional Bavaria (Bayern)
Record Types
Bavaria (Bayern) Background
Local Research Resources
Germany Record Types
Germany Background

Church records (parish registers, church books) are an important source for genealogical research in Germany before civil registration began. They recorded details of baptisms, marriages, deaths and burials. The vast majority of the population was mentioned. To learn more about the types of information you will find in church records, click on these links:

For a comprehensive understanding of church records, study the article Germany Church Records.

Finding Church Records[edit | edit source]

Parish Register Inventories[edit | edit source]

Church record inventories are essential tools for finding German records. They identify what records should be available for a specified parish and where to write for information on these records. They list the church records, their location, and the years they cover. Sometimes inventories explain which parishes served which towns at different periods of time.

1. Online Church Records[edit | edit source]

  • Archive and Library of the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising, complete online coverage of Roman Catholic church records for the diocese of Munich in Bavaria.
    • Direct link to parish registers: in progress
      • Click on the + sign to open alphabetical index.
      • Click on the + sign before the letter to open a list of parishes.
      • Click on the + sign before your parish to open a list of record types available.
      • Click on the + sign in front of the record type. Links to the digitized images now become available.
      • Click on the blue page before the image range you want.
      • A detailed description of the contents in that image range will appear. Click on the Open in the Mets Viewer link at the bottom of the box. The images load somewhat slowly.
    • Links to parishes, complete list:
      • Click on the + sign to open Archiv des Erzbistums München und Freising.
      • Click on the + sign to open Seelsorgeeinheiten.
      • Click on the + sign to open Pfarreien und Kirchenstiftungen.
      • Click on the + sign to open parish numbered file by name and date.
      • Click on the + sign to open Pfarrliche Seelsorge und Pfarramtsverwaltung.
      • Click on the + sign to open Pfarramtsverwaltung.
      • Click on the + sign to open Taufbücher (Baptisms), Traubücher/Sponsalien (Marriages), Sterbebücher (Deaths), or Seelenstandsbeschreibungen, Familien- und Hausbücher (Family books).
      • Click on the blue page icon for the time period you wish to search.
      • A detailed description of the contents in that image range will appear. Click on the Open in the Mets Viewer link at the bottom of the box. The images load somewhat slowly.
  • Archion: Landeskirchliches Archiv der Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Bavaria , ($).
  • Matricula, church books for several Catholic parishes from the Passau, Bavaria, area.
  • 1600-1925 - Germany, Rhineland-Palatinate Church Record Extractions and Family Registers, 1600-1925 at FamilySearch Historical Records, free, browsable images, incomplete.
These records cover the following parishes: Alsenborn, Alsenbrück, Bann-Queidersbach, Boos, Enkenbach, Glan-Münchweiler, Ludwigshafen, Marnheim, Münchweiler, Pfalz-Schweizer, Sembach, Studernheim, Südpfalz, and Wattenheim. ($)[edit | edit source] can be searched free of charge at your local Family History Center.

Other Contributors[edit | edit source]

2. Digital Copies of Church Records in the FamilySearch Catalog[edit | edit source]

Try to find records in the collection of the FamilySearch Library. Many microfilms have been digitized for online viewing. Gradually, everything will be digitized, so check back occasionally. Some have viewing restrictions, and can only be viewed at a Family History Center near you, and/or by members of supporting organizations. To find records:

a. Click on the the Places within Germany, Bayern.
b. Click on Places within Germany, Bayern and a list of towns will appear.
c. Click on your town if it appears, or the location which you believe was the parish which served your town or village.
d. Click on the "Church records" topic. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
e. Choose the correct record type and time period for your ancestor. "Geburten" are births. "Taufen" are christenings/baptisms. "Heiraten" are marriages. "Tote" are deaths.
f. Some combination of these icons will appear at the far right of the microfilm listed for the record. FHL icons.png. The magnifying glass indicates that the microfilm is indexed. Clicking on the magnifying glass will take you to the index. Clicking on the camera will take you to an online digital copy of the microfilm.

3. Research in Church and State Archives[edit | edit source]

Church records or duplicates may have been gathered from the local parishes into central archives, either by the churches or the state. Older records are frequently given to these archives for safekeeping. Some gaps in the church records of local parishes could be filled using these records.

  • Pdf Archive Inventory: "Part 1 of 2: Church records in Archives" - is an inventory of localities and the location or archive where their records should be found. The sixth column, "Archives", gives a number. To find the name and contact information, look up that number in the second column of this .pdf: Part 2: Archive Addresses.  It is not clear how up-to-date this inventory is.

Some archives offer searches for a fee. Archives might be unable to handle genealogical requests, but they can determine whether they have specific records you need, sometimes perform very brief research, such as just one record, or they may recommend a researcher who can search the records for you. Archivists are required to speak English.

E-mail[edit | edit source]

  • You can e-mail archives and ask whether they have records for a parish. Also, you should inquire whether they provide research services and what their fees are. You can communicate with the archives in English.

Church Archives[edit | edit source]

Catholic Archives[edit | edit source]

Bavaria Catholic Dioceses.png

Because the Catholic Church is so pre-dominant in Bavaria (Bayern), there are six dioceses. To find the correct diocese archives, look up your parish in The Catholic Directory for Germany. Click on "View Full Listing" to find the diocese for that parish.

Augsburg[edit | edit source]

Pfarrhausstrasse 4
86154 Augsburg

Phone: 0821 - 3166 8561
Fax: 0821 - 3166 8569

Archiv des Erzbistums Bamberg[edit | edit source]

Regensburger Ring 2
D-96047 Bamberg

Tel 0951/40747-0, Fax 0951/40747-50

Diözesanarchiv, Bistum Eichstätt[edit | edit source]

Luitpoldstr. 1
D-85072 Eichstätt

Tel: 08421/50-761, Fax: 08421/50-769
List of Holdings

Archiv des Erzbistums München und Freising[edit | edit source]

Karmeliterstr. 1
D-80333 München
Mailing Address: Postfach 330360
D-80063 München

Tel: 089-2137-1346

Archiv des Bistums Passau[edit | edit source]

Luragogasse 4
94032 Passau

Phone: 851-393-386, Fax: 851-393-449

Bischöfliches Zentralarchiv Regensburg[edit | edit source]

St. Petersweg 11-13
D-93047 Regensburg

Phone: 49-941-597-2520
Fax: 49-941-597-2521
Church book inventory

Diocesan Archives Würzburg[edit | edit source]

Domerschulstraße 17
97070 Würzburg

Phone: 0931 - 386 67 100
Fax: 0931 - 386 67 101

Evangelical Lutheran (Protestant) Archives[edit | edit source]

Landeskirchliches Archiv der Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bavaria
Veilhofstraße 8
90489 Nuremberg


State Archives[edit | edit source]

Here are the addresses for the district archive, should you decide to write there instead of or in addition to the local Standesamt. Bamberg (for Upper Franconia/Oberfranken)
Staatsarchiv Bamberg
Hainstr. 39
96047 Bamberg
Tel. 0951/26861

Postfach 2668
96017 Bamberg

Internet: Website of the State Archives

Coburg (for the city and kreis/county of Coburg, covers Saxony-Coburg)
Staatsarchiv Coburg
Herrngasse 11
96450 Coburg
Phone: 09561/92833
Internet: Website of the Staatsarchivs

Nuremberg (for Middle Franconia/Mittelfranken)
State Archives Nuremberg
Archivstr. 17
90110 Nürnberg
Tel. 0911 / 357-437
Internet: Website of the State Archives

Würzburg (for Lower Franconia/Unterfranken)
State Archives Würzburg
Residenz-Nordflügel 17
97070 Würzburg
Phone: 0931 / 35529-0
Internet: Website of the State Archives

Augsburg (for Swabia/Schwaben)
State Archives Augsburg
Salomon-Ilder-Str. 2
86159 Augsburg
Tel. 0821/575025
Internet: Website of the State Archives

Amberg (for Upper Palatinate/Oberpfalz)
Staatsarchiv Amberg
Archivstr. 3
92224 Amberg
Tel. 09621/307270
Internet: Website of the State Archives

Amberg (for Upper Palatinate/Oberpfalz)
Staatsarchiv Amberg
Archivstr. 3
92224 Amberg
Tel. 09621/307270
Internet: Website of the State Archives

Munich (for Upper Bavaria/Oberbayern)
Staatsarchiv Munich
Schöfeldstr. 5, 80539 München Germany (P.O. Box) Postfach 221 152
80501 Munich
Tel 089 / 28638-525
Internet: Website of the State Archives

Landshut (for Lower Bavaria/Niederbayern)
State Archives Landshut
Burg Trausnitz
84034 Landshut
Tel. 0871/22515
Internet: Website of the State Archives

4. Writing to a Local Priest for Church Records[edit | edit source]

Most church registers are still maintained by the parish. You might obtain information by writing to the parish. Parish employees will usually answer correspondence written in German. Your request may be forwarded if the records have been sent to a central repository.

Evangelical Lutheran (Protestant)[edit | edit source]

Catholic Addresses[edit | edit source]

E-mail[edit | edit source]

  • Because many churches now have known e-mail addresses, you can quickly check whether the parish records are stored at the parish church or have been moved to archives. If possible, do this before sending a more detailed inquiry or any money. Links for church addresses are found on the wiki pages for the individual states and counties of Germany.

I. Are the parish records for _________to ___________ (time period range) at your church still?  

1. Sind die Kirchenbücher für den Zeitraum von _____ bis _____ noch in Ihrer Kirchengemeinde?

2. If they have been moved to an archive, can you tell me where they are now?

2. Falls sie nun in einem Archiv sind, können Sie mir bitte sagen, wo sie sich jetzt befinden?

Writing to a Local Parish[edit | edit source]

Write a brief request in German to the proper church using this address as a guide, replacing the information in parentheses:

For a Protestant Parish:

An das evangelische Pfarramt
(Insert street address, if known.)
(Postal Code) (Name of Locality)

For a Catholic Parish:

An das katholische Pfarramt
(Insert street address, if known.)
(Postal Code) (Name of Locality)

How to Write a Letter[edit | edit source]

Detailed instruction for what to include in the letter, plus German translations of the questions and sentences most frequently used are in the German Letter Writing Guide.

Other Religious Groups[edit | edit source]

To learn how to determine the location of other religious records, namely Jewish, French Reformed, German Reformed, etc., watch Hansen’s Map Guides: Finding Records with Parish Maps beginning at 48:00 minutes, to learn how to locate these congregations. Then go back and watch from the beginning to understand how to use the reference book. Also, you can read Map Guide to German Parish Registers. This video and handout teach you how to use a set of reference books found at the FamilySearch Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

5. Compiled and Published Secondary Sources[edit | edit source]

Caution sign.png

Compiled genealogies and published genealogies are secondary sources, not original or primary sources.

As such, they are subject to human error through translation or transcription errors, mistaken interpretations, and opinion decisions of another researcher.

You should make every effort to base your research on the actual, original records or their digitized images.

Town Genealogies (Ortssippenbuch or Ortsfamilienbuch)[edit | edit source]

See the class, Online Ortsfamilienbücher at, and Wiki article, Germany Town Genealogies and Parish Register Inventories on the Internet. Published town genealogies, Ortssippenbuch (town lineage book) or Ortsfamilienbuch (town family book), generally include birth, marriage, and death data for all persons found in the local records during a specified time period, compiled into families based on the opinion of the author. If one is available, it should only be used as an index or guide to finding the original records. They usually contain errors. Always verify their information in original records.

Finding an OFB[edit | edit source]

Reading the Records[edit | edit source]

  • It's easier than you think! You do not have to be fluent in French and German to use these records, as there is only a limited vocabulary used in them. By learning a few key phrases, you will be able to read them adequately. Here are some resources for learning to read German records.
German Genealogical Word List
French Genealogical Word List
Latin Genealogical Word List
  • These video webinars will teach you to read German handwriting:

Downloadable Handouts[edit | edit source]

These printable handouts can be used for ready reference when reading German Handwriting.

Vocabulary found on Specific Records:

Dates, Numbers, Abbreviations:

Miscellaneous Vocabulary:


  • Fraktur Font--Many forms and books are printed in this font.

Latin Records[edit | edit source]

Records of the Catholic church will usually be written in Latin:

Feast Dates[edit | edit source]

Search Strategy[edit | edit source]

  • Search for the relative or ancestor you selected. When you find their birth record, search for the births of their brothers and sisters.
  • Next, search for the marriage of their parents. The marriage record will have information that will often help you find the birth records of the parents.
  • Search the death registers for all known family members.
  • Calculate the birth date of the parents, using age at death and/or marriage to search for their birth records.
  • Repeat this process for both the father and the mother, starting with their birth records, then their siblings' births, then their parents' marriages, and so on.
  • If earlier generations (parents, grandparents, etc.) do not appear in the records, search neighboring parishes.