Reuss Younger Line (jüngere Linie), German Empire Church Records

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Reuss Younger Line
(jüngere Linie)
German Empire Wiki Topics
Blick vom Rathausturm über Gera.jpg
Getting Started
Reuss Younger Line
(jüngere Linie)
Major Record Types
Reading the Records
Additional Reuss Younger
Line (jüngere Linie)
Record Types
Reuss Younger Line
(jüngere Linie)
Reuss Younger Line
(jüngere Linie)
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 Inventory[edit | edit source]

Online[edit | edit source]

Books[edit | edit source]

  • U. Petra Suess, "Gazetteer of localities and evangelical parishes of Thuringia (Thüringen)", Germany (Salt Lake City, Utah : Corporation of the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, c1991) (FHL Location: FHL INTL book 943.22 K23gs) WorldCat

  • U. Petra Suess, "Thuringia, Germany : protestant parishes and affiliates gazetteer" (Salt Lake City, Utah : Corporation of the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2011) (FHL Location: FHL INTL Ref 943.22 K24s) WorldCat

  • Karl Güldenapfel, “Die evangelischen Kirchenbücher Thüringens” (Görlitz : Verlag für Sippenforschung und Wappenkunde C. A. Starke, 1931); included in Archiv für Sippenforschung und alle verwandten Gebiete, 8. Jahrg. 1931, S. 4-11, 69-72, 89- 92, 134-135, 173-175, 210-214, 247-249, 277- 281, 352-359. Description of the Protestant church records of Thuringia, Germany. Includes Reuß- jüngere-Linie, Sachsen-Altenburg, Sachsen-Coburg-Gotha Sachsen-Meiningen, Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach, Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt, and Schwarzburg-Sondershausen. (FHL Location 1: FHL INTL film 1181595, it. 12) (FHL Location 2: FHL INTL fiche 6053533 or 6053525) WorldCat

1. Online Church Records[edit | edit source] collections can be viewed free-of-charge at a Family History Center near you.

Listed under Schuldistrikt Reuss jüngere linie (Reuss Younger Line) (in the right sidebar under Browse this collection): Gera, Schwaara, Unterkoskau, Wurzbach, and Zollgrün.
Listed under Schuldistrikt Bavaria (in the right sidebar under Browse this collection): Leumitz,
Listed under Schuldistrikt Saxony (in the right sidebar under Browse this collection):Dorna, Heinersdorf, Lobenstein, Neundorf, and Weckersdorf.
Listed under Schuldistrikt Thuringia (in the right sidebar under Browse this collection): Heinersdorf and Löhma (Schleiz).
Listed under Schuldistrikt Hannover (in the right sidebar under Browse this collection): Dragensdorf, Wurzbach Reuss

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 records of Germany, Reuß jüngere Linie" (Reuss Younger Line)".
b. Click on Places within Germany, Reuß jüngere Linie" 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.

Lutheran Archives[edit | edit source]

  • Evangelisch-lutherische Kirche in Thüringen
    Landeskirchenarchiv Eisenach
    Schloßberg 4a (Kreuzkirche)
    99817 Eisenach
    Tel: 03691-881465
    FAX: 03691-7339120
  • List of holdings

Covers the territories of the former territorial states of Saxony-Weimar-Eisenach, Saxony-Gotha, Saxony-Altenburg, Saxony-Meiningen, Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt, Schwarzburg-Sondershausen and Reuss. This also gives information about the locations and addresses of the approximately 750 parish and 18 superintendent archives.

Catholic Archives[edit | edit source]

Diocesan Archives of the Diocese of Dresden-Meissen
At the Petrikirche 6, 02625 Bautzen

Postal address:Bishops' Ordinariat
Käthe-Kollwitz-Ufer 84, 01309 Dresden

Phone:03591 - 35195 0
Fax:03591 - 35195 22
Website Source:GenWiki
Covers the Deanery of Gera, the Catholics of the former territorial states Reuss younger and older line and Saxony-Altenburg.

State Archives[edit | edit source]

Thüringisches Hauptstaatsarchiv Weimar
Postal address: PF 27 26
99408 Weimar


Older holdings (before 1920):
Thüringisches Hauptstaatsarchiv Weimar
Beethovenplatz 3, Weimar

Telephone: (0 36 43) 87 198-315
Fax: ( 0 36 43) 87 198-350

Newer inventories (after 1920):
Thüringisches Hauptstaatsarchiv Weimar
Marstallstraße 2, Weimar

Telephone: (0 36 43) 870-0
Fax: (0 36 43) 870-100

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

  • Baptism, marriage, and death records may be searched by contacting the local Catholic or Lutheran church or the Catholic diocese archives.

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[edit | edit source]

Until 2004, most of Thuringia was part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Thuringia, except for the district of Erfurt, which was part of Evangelical Church of the Saxon Church. In 2004 the two churches combined to form the Evangelical Church in Central Germany (Protestant Church in Central Germany, EKM).

Catholic[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)

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.

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.

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.

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.
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:


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.