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==Finding Birth, Marriage, and Death Records for Elsass-Lothringen==
<span style="color:DarkViolet">'''Most of the information you need to identify you ancestors and their families will be found in two major record groups: civil registration and church records. To locate these records, follow the instructions in these Wiki articles.'''</span>
===1. Find the name of your ancestor's town in family history records.===
Records were kept on the local level. You must know the town where your ancestor lived. If your ancestor was a United States Immigrant, use the information in the Wiki article '''[[Germany Finding Town of Origin]]''' to find evidence of the name of the town where your ancestors lived in Germany.<br>

===2. Use gazetteers and/or parish inventories to learn more important details.===
Your ancestor's town might have been too small to have its own parish church or civil registration office. Find the location of the Catholic or Lutheran (Evangelical) parish that served your ancestor's locality. Find the name of the civil registration office (standesamt) that serves your ancestor's locality. Use the Wiki article [[Studying Your German Locality|'''Studying Your German Locality''']] for step-by-step instructions.

Germany was first unified as a nation in 1871. An important gazetteer, [http://www.meyersgaz.org '''''Meyers Orts- und Verkehrs-lexikon des deutschen Reichs''], "Meyer's Gazetter" for short''', details the place names of villages, towns, counties (kreise), and higher jurisdictions used at that time. In the Research Wiki, FamilySearch Catalog, and FamilySearch Historical Records, the records of Germany are organized using those place names. <br>
====Translating the German Town Name to French====
When you look for church and civil registration records in the Department Archives of France, it will help to know the name of your ancestors' town in both languages. Use this gazettee4r:<br>
*[http://www.roelly.org/~genealogie/entraide/doerferad.htm '''German place names in Elsass-Lothringen and French equivalents''']

===3. For birth, marriage, and death records after 1792, use civil registration.===
Civil registration records are records of births, marriages, and deaths kept by the government. In Elsass-Lothringen, they were started in 1793. German terms for these records include ''Standesamtsregister'', ''Zivilstandsregister'', or ''Personenstandsregister''. In French, they are '''état civil'''. They are an excellent source for information on names and dates and places of births, marriages, and deaths.
*[[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)''']]
<br>
'''For a comprehensive understanding of civil registration, study the article''' [[Germany Civil Registration|'''Germany Civil Registration.''']]
<br>


==Finding Civil Registration Records ==

==1. Online Records==
Civil registration records are digitized and made available in the archive records of the Departments of France:<br>
*[http://www.archives57.com/index.php/recherches/archives-en-ligne/registres-paroissiaux '''Department Archives of Moselle''']
*[http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/s/1/etat-civil/? '''Department Archives of Muerthe-et-Moselle''']
*[http://archives.bas-rhin.fr/registres-paroissiaux-et-documents-d-etat-civil/ '''Department Archives of Bas-Rhin''']
*[http://archives.vosges.fr/recherche-en-ligne/base-de-donnees-et-images-numerisees '''Department Archives of Vosges''']
*[http://www.archives.haut-rhin.fr/search?preset=44&view=list '''Department Archives of Haut-Rhin''']<br>

See [[Using France Online Department Archives|'''Using France Online Department Archives''']] for step by step instructions on finding and reading these records. For a demonstration of navigating archives websites, watch the video, [https://www.familysearch.org/ask/learningViewer/1735 '''Using France Department Archives Online.''']
*Use this gazetteer to find the current French name of your ancestors' town: <br>
::[http://www.roelly.org/~genealogie/entraide/doerferad.htm '''German place names in Elsass-Lothringen and French equivalents''']


==2. Digital Copies of Civil Registration From FamilySearch==
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 the [https://familysearch.org/locations/ '''Family History Centers'''] near you, and/or by members of supporting organizations. To find records:
:::a. Click on this link to [https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/results?count=20&placeId=34028&query=%2Bplace%3A%22Germany%2C%20Elsa%C3%9F-Lothringen%22 '''records of Germany, Elsass-Lothringen'''].
:::b. Click on '''Places within Germany, Elsass-Lothringen''' and a list of towns will appear.
:::c. Click on your town. If the town or village is not listed, find the town in [http://www.meyersgaz.org '''Meyer's Gazetteer]. See where the Standesamt (StdA.) was. It may have been in different place, because of the size of the town. Use the town found in Meyer's Gazetteer, not the current, merged office.
:::d. Click on the '''"Civil registration"''' topic, if available. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
:::e. Choose the correct '''record type and time period''' for your ancestor. '''"Geburten"''' are births. '''Heiraten''' are marriages. ''' "Verstorbene"''' are deaths.
:::f. Some combination of these icons will appear at the far right of the microfilm listed for the record. [[File:FHL icons.png|75px]]. 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 for Civil Registration Certificates==
France has no single, nationwide repository of civil registration records. Birth, marriage, divorce, and death records may be found by contacting or visiting local registrars' offices or departmental archives in France. To protect the privacy of living persons, records of the most recent 100 years are confidential and have restrictions on their use and access.

Local registrars' offices [bureau de l'état civil] will usually mail one or two birth, marriage, or death certificates at no charge. However, they are busy and they may not respond to requests for more than two certificates at a time. If the records are less than 100 years old, they are confidential and will be sent only to direct descendants. Records more than 100 years old are more accessible at the departmental archives.

[[France Search Strategies for Births, Marriages and Deaths|French Search Strategies]] and [[France Letter Writing Guide|French Letter-Writing Guide]] give details about how to write to town registrars and departmental archives in France for genealogical information.

If the reply does not have the information you request, try to get help from the local genealogical society.

[[Category:Elsass-Lothringen, German Empire]] [[Category:Germany Civil Registration]]

===4. For baptism, marriage, and death records, use church records or parish registers.===
Guide to '''Elsass-Lothringen, German Empire''' ancestry, family history, and genealogy '''before 19120''': birth records, marriage records, death records, family history, and military records. In 1920, Elsass-Lothringen became [[Alsace-Lorraine, France Genealogy|'''Alsace-Lorraine''']] in [[France Genealogy|'''France''']]. See those articles for further information.
{{Click|File:Elsass-LothringenOGR.png |Elsass-Lothringen, German Empire Online Genealogy Records|225px}} {{Click|Image:Germany ORP.png|Germany Online Genealogy Records}}[[File:Ask the Community Button New Version.jpg|link=https://community.familysearch.org/s/group/0F93A000000LhYOSA0/germany]]

'''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:
*[[Germany Church Records#Baptisms (Taufen)|'''Baptisms (Taufen)''']]
*[[Germany Church Records#Marriages (Heiraten)|'''Marriages (Heiraten)''']]
*[[Germany Church Records#Burials (Begräbnisse)|'''Burials (Begräbnisse)''']]
*[[Germany Church Records#Confirmations (Konfirmationen)|'''Confirmations (Konfirmationen)''']]
*[[Germany Church Records#Family Registers (Familienbücher)|'''Family Registers (Familienbücher)''']]
<br>
'''For a comprehensive understanding of church records, study the article''' [[Germany Church Records|'''Germany Church Records.''']]
__NOTOC__

== Finding Church Records==
==1. Online Church Records==
The church records are digitized and made available in the archive records of the Departments of France, except for Haut-Rhin:
*[http://www.archives57.com/index.php/recherches/archives-en-ligne/registres-paroissiaux '''Department Archives of Moselle''']
*[http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/s/1/etat-civil/? '''Department Archives of Muerthe-et-Moselle''']
*[http://archives.bas-rhin.fr/registres-paroissiaux-et-documents-d-etat-civil/ '''Department Archives of Bas-Rhin''']
*[http://archives.vosges.fr/recherche-en-ligne/base-de-donnees-et-images-numerisees '''Department Archives of Vosges''']
See [[Using France Online Department Archives|'''Using France Online Department Archives''']] for step by step instructions on finding and reading these records. For a demonstration of navigating archives websites, watch the video, [https://www.familysearch.org/ask/learningViewer/1735 '''Using France Department Archives Online.''']
*Use this gazetteer to find the current French name of your ancestors' town: <br>
::[http://www.roelly.org/~genealogie/entraide/doerferad.htm '''German place names in Elsass-Lothringen and French equivalents''']

== 2. Digital Copies of Church Records in the FamilySearch Catalog ==
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 [https://familysearch.org/locations/ '''Family History Center'''] near you, and/or by members of supporting organizations. To find records:
:::a. Click on this link to [https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/results?count=20&placeId=34028&query=%2Bplace%3A%22Germany%2C%20Elsa%C3%9F-Lothringen%22 '''records of Germany, Elsass-Lothringen'''].
:::b. Click on '''Places within Germany, Elsass-Lothringen''' 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. [[File:FHL icons.png|75px]]. 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 the Local Parish==

Church records after 1792 in France are available by writing to the parish. Parishes will usually answer correspondence in French. However, most researchers have more success by contacting civil registration offices first. Your request may be forwarded if the records have been sent to another archive. To obtain the address of a given parish, write to the mayor of the town. The mayor will know if the parish office is in his town or in a nearby town. For help writing a letter in French, see [[French Letter Writing Guide|'''French Letter Writing Guide''']].

==Reading the Records==
*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 Word List|'''German Genealogical Word List''']]
:::[[French Genealogical Word List|'''French Genealogical Word List''']]
:::[[Latin Genealogical Word List|'''Latin Genealogical Word List''']]
*These video webinars will teach you to read German handwriting:
:*[https://familysearch.org/ask/learningViewer/375 '''Old German Script Part 1''']
:*[https://familysearch.org/ask/learningViewer/377 '''Old German Script Part 2''']
:*[https://familysearch.org/ask/learningViewer/426 '''Old German Script (German Church and Civil Records) Part 3''']
:*[https://www.familysearch.org/ask/learningViewer/38 '''Reading German Handwritten Records'''] (Three parts) Practice exercises to build your skills and confidence.
:*[https://script.byu.edu/Pages/German/en/intro.aspx '''German Script Tutorial''']
*[https://script.byu.edu/Documents/List_of_Names_-_German.pdf '''List of Names in Old German Script'''] A comprehensive list of German given names, written in old script, with possible variations.
*[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>
===Downloadable Handouts===
*Print these handouts for ready reference when reading German Handwriting:
**[https://ps-services-us-east-1-914248642252.s3.amazonaws.com/s3%2Fhelp-learningcenter-fh1-prod-s3%2F2017%2F05%2F02%2F921f0807-6f69-4694-91d3-47917fa95871%2FKurrent+Letters+Handout.pdf Kurrent Letters Handout]
**[https://ps-services-us-east-1-914248642252.s3.amazonaws.com/s3%2Fhelp-learningcenter-fh1-prod-s3%2F2017%2F05%2F02%2Fb1462e9c-7c83-42b5-ac39-9d1dad62472b%2FNumbers+Handout.pdf Numbers Handout]
**[https://ps-services-us-east-1-914248642252.s3.amazonaws.com/s3%2Fhelp-learningcenter-fh1-prod-s3%2F2017%2F05%2F02%2Fb13f88fc-7663-4776-8270-1d8a9ad7c28e%2FBirth+Record+Handout.pdf Birth Records Handout]
**[https://ps-services-us-east-1-914248642252.s3.amazonaws.com/s3%2Fhelp-learningcenter-fh1-prod-s3%2F2017%2F05%2F02%2Fff318037-9021-4e4d-acba-9c4770ebc806%2FMarriage+Record+Handout.pdf Marriage Records Handout]
**[https://ps-services-us-east-1-914248642252.s3.amazonaws.com/s3%2Fhelp-learningcenter-fh1-prod-s3%2F2017%2F05%2F02%2Fe9549fa8-1bc0-46da-94fa-0ac2975a8704%2FDeath+Record+Handout.pdf Death Records Handout]
**[https://ps-services-us-east-1-914248642252.s3.amazonaws.com/s3%2Fhelp-learningcenter-fh1-prod-s3%2F2017%2F05%2F02%2Fedbdbf50-fd9f-47a9-8a3c-087140ec8baa%2FDays+and+Months+Handout.pdf Days and Months Handout]
**[https://ps-services-us-east-1-914248642252.s3.amazonaws.com/s3%2Fhelp-learningcenter-fh1-prod-s3%2F2017%2F05%2F02%2F6c132970-9cab-46e6-bccf-457d2f90fa6d%2FCommon+Symbols+Handout.pdf Common Symbols Handout]
**[https://ps-services-us-east-1-914248642252.s3.amazonaws.com/s3%2Fhelp-learningcenter-fh1-prod-s3%2F2017%2F05%2F02%2F5a5a76b2-f785-4378-b86b-2aef51fe9107%2FCommon+Abbreviations+Handout.pdf Common Abbreviations Handout]
**[https://s3.amazonaws.com/ps-services-us-east-1-914248642252/s3/research-wiki-elasticsearch-prod-s3bucket/images/1/15/Fraktur_Font_help_-_Wiki.pdf Fraktur Font]--Many forms and books are printed in this font.

===French Records===
*[[French Genealogical Word List|French Genealogical Word List]]
*[[Latin Genealogical Word List]]
*Reading French Handwritten Records
**{{LearningCenter2|83|1: The French Alphabet}},
**{{LearningCenter2|84|2: Key Words and Phrases}}
**{{LearningCenter2|86|3: Reading French Records}}
*[https://cfhg.byu.edu/Downloads/French_Extraction_Guide/Default.htm '''French Records Extraction Manual, Full Manual''']
**[https://cfhg.byu.edu/Downloads/French_Extraction_Guide/French_Extraction_Guide-Chapter_1.pdf 1: OLD FRENCH RECORDS] <br>
**[https://cfhg.byu.edu/Downloads/French_Extraction_Guide/French_Extraction_Guide-Chapter_2.pdf 2: PARISH CHRISTENING AND CIVIL BIRTH ENTRIES] <br>
**[https://cfhg.byu.edu/Downloads/French_Extraction_Guide/French_Extraction_Guide-Chapter_3.pdf 3: MARRIAGE ENTRIES]<br>
**[https://cfhg.byu.edu/Downloads/French_Extraction_Guide/French_Extraction_Guide-Chapter_4.pdf 4: OTHER ENTRIES] <br>
**[https://cfhg.byu.edu/Downloads/French_Extraction_Guide/French_Extraction_Guide-Chapter_5.pdf 5: FRENCH HANDWRITING AND SPELLING] <br>
*[[French Republican Calendar]]

===Latin Records===
Records of the Catholic church will usually be written in Latin:
*[[Latin Genealogical Word List|'''Latin Genealogical Word List''']]

=== Feast Dates ===
*[https://familysearch.org/ask/learningViewer/881 '''Calendar Changes in France, Germany, Switzerland, and the Low Countries''']--class
*Each day of the year had several patron saints and was a feast day to honor those saints. Some vital events are recorded in church records only by the holy day (feast day) on the church calendar. For example, the feast day called “All Saints Day” (Allerheiligentag) is “1 November.” An [http://people.albion.edu/imacinnes/calendar///Ecclesiastical_dates_files/widget1_markup.html '''online feast date calculator'''] may be found at the Albion College website. Simply enter the year and click "Calculate."

==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. 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.'''
<br>
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