Pomerania (Pommern), German Empire Civil Registration
Civil registration records are records of births, marriages, and deaths kept by the government. In Pomerania (Pommern), they were started 1 January 1876. German terms for these records include Standesamtsregister, Zivilstandsregister, or Personenstandsregister. They are an excellent source for information on names and dates and places of births, marriages, and deaths. These records are kept by the civil registrar (Standesbeamte) at the civil registry office (Standesamt). Study these links to learn what information can be found in them:
- Births (Geburtsregister)
- Marriages (Heiraten, Ehen, or Trauungen)
- Deaths (Sterberegister or Totenregister)
For a comprehensive understanding of civil registration, study the article Germany Civil Registration.
Determining the Location of a Civil Registration Office (for areas of Pomerania (Pommern) now in Poland)[edit | edit source]
The online gazetteer Kartenmeister most efficiently tells you the location of the civil registration office:
Finding Civil Registration Records[edit | edit source]
In this region, part of Germany which was lost to other countries after World War II, many records, both church/parish registers and civil registration records, were damaged, destroyed, or misplaced.
1. Online Records[edit | edit source]
Pommerscher Greif[edit | edit source]
This is the most important and comprehensive website for information about and links to existing records.
- Pommerscher Greif e. V., Association for Pomeranian Family and Local History.
Ancestry.com ($)[edit | edit source]
Ancestry.com can be searched free of charge at your local Family History Center.
- Eastern Prussian Provinces, Germany (Poland), Selected Civil Vitals, 1874-1945, index and images, incomplete.
Other Collections and Indexing Projects[edit | edit source]
2. Locating Records at the Family History Library[edit | edit source]
- a. Click on the Places within Germany, Preussen, Pomerania (Pommern) drop-down menu] and select your town.
- b. Click on the "Civil registration" topic. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
- c. Choose the correct record type and time period for your ancestor. "Geburten" are births. Heiraten are marriages. "Verstorbene" are deaths.
- d. Some combination of these icons will appear at the far right of the microfilm listed for the record. . 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. Writing to a Letter to Local Standesamt or an Archive[edit | edit source]
Locating Records in Archives[edit | edit source]
Standesamt I Berlin
- This civil registration office has at its disposal an index called "Standesregister und Personenstandsbücher der Ostgebiete im Standesamt I Berlin".
- Two more indexes called "Kirchenbücher und Personenstandregister in polnischen Staatsarchiven" (church books and civil registration indexes in Polish State Archives) and "Deutsche Personenstandsbücher und Personenstandseinträge von Deutschen in Polen" (Civil Registration records of Germans in Poland) give further information about ancestors who lived in Posen.
This website will help identify civil registration records located in a variety of archives.
- Pommerndatenbank:The Database for Genealogy in Pomerania. This program will tell you which archives holds the records for your locality.
- Kirchenbücher und Standesregister: Go to Suche. > Enter locality name. > Click Suche. > Find your Kreis. > Find your Parish > Click on the archive link to get contact information for the archive.
Writing the Letter[edit | edit source]
Using these addresses as guides, replacing the information in parentheses. If you do not know the street address of a Standesamt, you can omit it.
For a Civil Registration Office
Urząd Stanu Cywilnego
(street name and number)
(postal code) (name of locality)
For State Archive
Urząd Stanu Cywilnego
(street name and number)
(postal code) (name of locality)
How to write a letter: Detailed instruction for what to include in the letter, plus Polish translations of the questions and sentences most frequently used are in the Poland Letter Writing Guide.
In some cases, the records are held in archives in Germany. For letters in German, including addressing the letter, plus German translations of the questions and sentences most frequently needed, use the the German Letter Writing Guide.
Melderegister[edit | edit source]
Since 1874, there is an official registration of residential addresses in Germany. These data were collected by the police stations. They are kept in the civil registration office. Some offices keep them historically from their start. Other offices destroyed records for people once they died.
These registration cards were available for each respective householder. Noted on the card were his wife and any children, dates of marriage or death, and a history of resident addresses. The value of these cards is their use to determine which civil registration office might hold birth, marriage, and death certificates for the family members.
Follow the German Letter Writing Guide, and use questions 16 and 17 to request these records.
4. Compiled and Published Secondary Sources[edit | edit source]
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 Genealogy.net and the 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.
- Over 620 online town genealogies are currently accessible at Online Ortsfamilienbücher.
- A list of published Ortssippenbücher is found at:Category: Family Book on the same website.
- For more information and online searchable collections of town genealogy books, by region, see Germany Town Genealogies and Parish Register Inventories on the Internet.
- A bibliography of OFBs held by the Central Office for Person and Family History, and available in their archive in Frankfurt am Main-Höchst, is listed here. You can arrange for copied pages to be sent to you for a fee or donation. Use the "Find" function on your keyboard to search the bibliographies, as they are not alphabetical.
Pommernkontakte[edit | edit source]
The Pommernkontakte allows you to contact over 5,000 other Pomeranian researchers who may also be researching your ancestors, or have other helpful information to your search.
Reading the Records[edit | edit source]
German 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.
- These video webinars will teach you to read German handwriting:
- List of Names in Old German Script A comprehensive list of German given names, written in old script, with possible variations.
- Old German Script Transcriber (alte deutsche Handschriften): See your family names in the script of the era. Type your name or other word into the font generator tool. Click on the 8 different fonts. Save the image to your computer and use it as you work with old Germanic records.
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.
- The marriage certificate will show the birth date, birth place, and parents of the bride and the groom.
- 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.