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*Use [[Germany Finding Town of Origin|'''Germany Finding Town of Origin''']] as a guide in finding evidence in United States records proving your ancestors' town of origin. Also see [[Germany Emigration and Immigration|'''Germany Emigration and Immigration''']], especially for immigration to countries other than the United States.
==Maps==
{|
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<center>'''Modern STATEGERMANSTATE''' </center>
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<center>'''Former States Now in<br>STATEGERMANSTATE'''</center>
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|style="border: solid black 2px; padding-right:30px"|
KREIS MAP For a larger map, click here.
|}
<span style="color:DarkViolet">Germany was first unified as a nation in 1871. For German research prior to 1945, the Research Wiki, FamilySearch Catalog, and FamilySearch Historical Records are organized by the place names in use from 1871 to 1945. For research in that time period, use the Wiki links in the chart below:</span>
*To find the 1871 duchy or province for your town, use [http://www.meyersgas.org '''Meyer's 1871 Gazetteer Online.''']
<br>
{| class="wikitable"
|style="width:10%"|
<center>'''1871 Region'''<br>
'''History and Background'''
|style="width:50%"|
<center>'''Geo-Political Differences Today'''</center>
|style="width:10%"|
<center>'''FamilySearch Catalog'''</center>
'''<center>(organized by 1871 Meyer's Gazetteer)'''</center>
|style="width:30%"|<center>'''Wiki Page'''<br>
'''Instructions for Research Before 1945'''
</center>
 
|}
 
==Finding Civil Registration Records==
'''After 1945, the main source for research will be civil registration. ''' Civil registration records are records of births, marriages, and deaths kept by the government. In Brunswick (Braunschweig), 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:
*'''[[Germany Civil Registration#Births (Geburtsregister)|Births (Geburtsregister)]]'''
*'''[[Germany Civil Registration#Marriages (Heiraten, Ehen, or Trauungen)|Marriages (Heiraten, Ehen, or Trauungen)]]'''
*'''[[Germany Civil Registration#Deaths (Sterberegister or Totenregister)|Deaths (Sterberegister or Totenregister)]]'''
 
==Privacy Laws==
Since 2009, birth records have been public after 110 years, marriages after 80 years and deaths after 30 years. A direct relationship (direct descendants and direct ancestors)
to the subject of the record sought will be required in cases where the required time period has not yet elapsed. Even then, the records may be accessible if it can be shown that all "participating parties" have died at least 30 years ago. Participating parties are both parents and the child in birth records, and both spouses in a marriage.
 
=== Determining the Location of a Civil Registration Office ===
Research your town name in [http://www.meyersgaz.org '''MeyersGaz.org'''] to find the location of the registry office (''Standesamt''). It is indicated by the abbreviation '''"StdA"'''. <br>
 
'''However, some of the offices were merged in 1970's, so the record location might be different than that listed in MeyersGaz.'''
*For a small town within a larger municipality:
:*To find the '''current Standesamt''', go to the [https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Hauptseite '''German Wikipedia'''], and enter the name of the town in the search box. An article about the town will start with a first line such as: "Besse with about 3200 inhabitants is the largest district of the '''''municipality Edermünde''''' in Hessian Schwalm-Eder-Kreis ." It is probable that the Standesamt is now located in the '''municipality''' (in this example Edermünde).
:*To e-mail the municipality to '''verify that the civil registry for your town is there'''.
::#From the Wikipedia town article, click on the name of the municipality that links to that article.
::#There will usually be an infobox on the right side of page that lists the address and the '''website of the municipality.'''
::#Click on the website. Look for '''"Kontakt (Contact)"''' information, which should provide an e-mail address.
::#Send a message asking whether you have the correct office for your ancestors' home town. You can
*For larger towns which constitute a municipality:
:*To find the '''current Standesamt''', go to the [https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Hauptseite '''German Wikipedia'''], and enter the name of the town in the search box.
:*This type of article will '''not''' state that the town belongs to another municipality, because it is itself a municipality.
:*The infobox that lists the address and the website of the municipality will appear directly on a this first page that comes up.
:*Follow the above instructions #2-4 above.
 
===Writing for Civil Registration Records===
Civil registration records for Germany can be obtained by writing to the local civil registry (Standesamt) or the district archives. Records may have been lost at one location of the other, so you might end up checking both. The first office you contact might choose to forward your request to the other location if necessary.
 
====Local Standesamt Address====
 
====How to Write the Letter====
'''Detailed instruction for what to include in the letter, plus German translations of the questions and sentences most frequently used are in [[German Letter Writing Guide|the '''German Letter Writing Guide'''.]]'''
<br>
 
== More Research Strategies and Tools ==
*[[Germany Online Classes and Tutorials]]
*[https://www.familysearch.org/ask/learningViewer/38 Reading German Handwritten Records] Practice exercises to build your skills and confidence.
*[http://altdeutsche-schrift.de/adsschreiben.php#schrifftfeld 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.<br>
*[[Germany Research Tips and Strategies|Research Tips and Strategies]]
==Search Strategy==
*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.'''
<br>
Guide to '''Rhineland-Palatinate (Rheinland-Pfalz) ancestry, family history and genealogy:''' birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, parish registers, and military records.
{{Click|Image:Rhineland ORP.png|Rhineland Online Genealogy Records}} {{Click|Image:Germany ORP.png|Germany Online Genealogy Records}} [[File:Ask the Community Button New Version.jpg|link=FamilySearch Genealogy Research Groups]]<br>
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{{Rhineland-Palatinate imagemap}}
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