Schleswig-Holstein, German Empire Church Records

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Schleswig-Holstein,
German Empire Topics
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Getting Started
Major Schleswig-Holstein Record Types
Reading the Records
Additional Schleswig-Holstein
Record Types
Schleswig-Holstein Background
Ethnicity
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.

Online[edit | edit source]

Books[edit | edit source]

  • Wilhelm Jensen “Die Kirchenbücher Schleswig-Holsteins, der Landeskirche Eutin und der Hansestädte” (Neumünster: Karl Wachholtz Verlag, 1958); included in Quellen und Forschungen zur Familiengeschichte Schleswig-Holsteins, 2. Bd. Description of the parish registers of Schleswig-Holstein, the principality of Lübeck in Oldenburg, and the cities of Lübeck, Bremen and Hamburg. (FHL Location 1: FHL INTL Ref) (FHL Location 2: FHL INTL book 943.512 D2q v. 2)(FHL Location 3: FHL INTL film 1183522, it. 5, 1936 version) WorldCat

1. Online Church Records[edit | edit source]

This area was not Catholic.

Ancestry.com ($)[edit | edit source]

Ancestry.com can be searched free of charge at your local Family History Center.

  • Lübeck Birth Records, ($). 1811-1875. Index and images.
  • Lübeck Deaths, ($). 1811-1875. Index and images.
  • Lübeck, Germany, Marriage Banns, ($). 1811-1871. Index and images.
  • Lübeck, Germany, Marriage Banns, ($). 1871-1875. Index and images.
  • Ostholstein, Germany, Protestant church books, 1597-1959, index and images. Covers: Ahrensböck, Bosau, Curau, Eutin, Gleschendorf, Gnissau, Kiel, Lübeck, Malente, Neukirchen, Rensefeld, Stockelsdorf, Süsel, and West Ratekau.
  • Germany, selected Protestant church books 1518-1921 - at Ancestry.com ($), index and images. This collection includes parish records for Albersdorf, Alkersum, Altenkrempe, Arnis, Aventoft, Bannesdorf, Bargum, Barlt, Basthorst, Bergenhausen, Bialogard, Böel, Bordelum, Boren, Braderup, Brecklum, Bredstedt, Breitenfelde, Brodersby, Brunsbüttel, Brunstorf, Büchen, Burg auf Fehmarn, Büsum, Dagenbüllerkoog, Deezbüll, Delve, Drelsdorf, Eddelak, Eiderstedt, Elbe, Elmenhorst, Emmelsbüll, Enge, Erfde, Esgrus, Fahretoft, Flensburg, Föhr, Friedrichstadt, Garding, Gelting, Glücksburg, Gröde, Gross Berkenthin, Gross Grönau, Gross Solt, Grossenbrode, Grube, Grundhof, Gudow, Gülzow, Hallig, Hamm, Handewitt, Hasselburg, Hattstedt, Havetoft, Henningstedt, Hennstedt, Heide, Heiligenhafen, Hemme, Herzhorn, Hohenhorn, Hollingstedt, Hooge, Horsbüll, Humptrup, Hürup, Insel, Joldelund, Jörl, Kahleby, Kappeln, Karlum, Keitum, Klanxbüll, Klixbüll, Koldenbüttel, Kotzenbüll, Kropp, Krummendiek, Krummesse, Kuddewörde, Landkirchen, Langeness, Lassahn, Lauenburg, Leck, Lehnsen, Lindholm, Loit, Lunden, Lütau, Marne, Medelby, Meldorf, Mildstedt, Mölln, Mönch Neversdorf, Morsum, Munkbrarup, Mustin, Niendorf, Neukirchen, Neuenkirchen, Niebüll, Norderdithmarschen, Nordhackstedt, Nordhastedt, Nordstrand, Nordstrandischmoor, Ockholm, Odenbüll, Oldenburg, Oldenswort, Olderup, Örsberg (Töstrup), Osterhever, Ostenfeld, Pellworm, Petersdorf auf Fehmarn, Poppenbüttel, Pötrau, Quern, Ratzeburg, Rendsburg, Rodenäs, Rüllschau, Sandesneben, Sankt Georgsberg, Sankt Michaelisdonn Holstein, Sankt Peter, Satrup, Schaalby, Schleswig, Schobüll, Schwabstedt, Schwarzbeck, Schwesing, Seedorf, Siebenbäumen, Siebeneichen, Sieverstedt, Sörup, Stare Debno, Steinburg, Sterley, Sterup, Süderdithmarschen, Süderende, Süderhastedt, Süderlügum, Süderstapel, Süderwöhrden, Tarup, Tellingstedt, Tetenbüll, Thumby, Tolk, Tönning, Töstrup, Tønder, Treia, Viöl, Vollerwiek, Wallsbüll, Weddingstedt, Welt, Wesselburen, Windbergen, Witzwort, and Worth.

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 Places within Germany, Preussen, Schleswig-Holstein drop-down menu and select your town.
For localities in Lübeck, click here to select your town.
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. "Taufen" are baptisms/christenings. 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. Writing to or Visiting Archives[edit | edit source]

Church Archives[edit | edit source]

Older church records or duplicates have been gathered from the local parishes into central archives. Some gaps in the church records of local parishes could be filled using these records. Church archives are often unable to handle genealogical requests, but they can determine whether they have specific records you need, or they may recommend a researcher who can search the records for you.

Lutheran Church Archive Addresses[edit | edit source]

There are no church records or family genealogical registers at the Landeskirchliches Archiv der Evangelisch-Lutherischen Kirche Norddeutschlands. Original and copied parish registers are kept in the respective 'Kirchenkreis-Archive" (church district archives). This list gives a link to each archive with its contact information. Short e-mail requests to verify that the church records you are seeking are in the collection are generally honored. Following are the links for districts in Schleswig-Holstein.

Addresses of the church district archives.

Holdings in the church archives Altholstein
Holdings in the church archives Dithmarschen
Holdings in the church district archive Hamburg-Ost
Holdings in the church district archive Hamburg-West / Südholstein
Holdings in the church district archive Lübeck-Lauenburg
Holdings in the church district archives Nordfriesland
Holdings in the church district archive Ostholstein
Holdings in the church district archive Plön-Segeberg
Holdings in the church district archive Rantzau-Münsterdorf
Holdings in the church district archive Rendsburg-Eckernförde
Holdings in the church district archive Schleswig-Flensburg
Visitation Information[edit | edit source]

If you want to visit one of the Kirchenbuchämter, be beware of time restrictions (1 session = 3 hours). The research facilities are small and have only one reader on which to read microfiches. The equipment might be worn out which limits research time even more. It is expected to work independently for the staff cannot/will not assist with research. You must be knowledgeable about their archival records, jurisdictions and of course, have the ability to read old German script. Some archives provide indexes of names, which of course, facilitates a search for ancestors immensely. You will be charged a fee of 5 Euros (2010) for using the facility.

Hiring a Researcher[edit | edit source]

For help with hiring another researcher to visit the archives for you, contact:

Schleswig-Holstein Genealogical Society
Schleswig-Holsteinische Familienforschung e.V.
c/ o Landesarchiv Schleswig-Holstein Prinzenpalais
D-24837 Schleswig Germany
Germany


Catholic Archives[edit | edit source]

Diocesan Archives Archbishopric Hamburg (Visiting Address)
Schmilinskystraße 80
20099 Hamburg
Germany


Diocesan Archives Archbishopric Hamburg (Mail Address)
Am Mariendom 4
20099 Hamburg
Germany

Phone: 040 24877 294
Fax: 040 24877 288
E-mail: colberg@egv-erzbistum-hh.de

State Archives[edit | edit source]

Duplicate records from some parishes are in the state archives. Many of these records have been microfilmed and are available at the Family History Library. However, for records that are not microfilmed, you can sometimes write to the state archives to request brief searches of the duplicates.

Landesarchiv Schleswig-Holstein
Prinzenpalais
24837 Schleswig
Germany

E-mail: landesarchiv@la.landsh.de
Phone: 04621 8618-00
Fax: 04621 8618-01


For Schleswig-Holstein areas annexed to Hamburg:
State Archives Hamburg
Kattunbleiche 19
22041 Hamburg
Germany

4. Local Parishes[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[edit | edit source]

Catholic[edit | edit source]

Writing the Letter[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)
GERMANY

For a Catholic Parish:

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


How to write a letter: 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. This course teaches you how to use a set of reference books found at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. If you are not in Salt Lake City, use the Contact Us feature to request information from the books.

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 Genealogy.net, 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]

  • Click here to see OFBs at GenWiki. These are indexed and searchable. OFB Instructions.
  • 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.

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]

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.
  • The marriage certificate will show the birth date, birth place, and parents of the bride and the groom. If you only have a church marriage record, 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.