Jump to navigation Jump to search
→Finding Aids For German Records for Important Details
==Finding Aids For German Records for Important Details==
*To begin using the records of Germany, knowing that your family came from Germany will not be enough to use the records of Germany. Records are kept on the '''local level''', so you will have to know '''the town they lived'''
in. Even when you know the town, the records for that town might be stored in the '''records of a church in a nearby town'''.
*Here are important details you must identify about your ancestors' town:
**if you have only a village name,
you will need the name of the larger '''municipality''' it was part of .**the county (Kreis) snd the '''province or duchy''' governing that town, **where the '''civil registration office ("Standesamt")''' was and now is,
**where the ''' Evangelical Lutheran or Catholic parish church''' overseeing that town was (depending on their religion),
**Eventually, you might need to know the names of '''neighboring towns''' and the '''churches who served them. ''' When you come to a dead-end in your research, you will need to look at the records of near-by towns. People tended to not move very far away, and sometimes you will be able to pick up the research again in these towns.
Germany has many "cultural regions" and "geographical landscapes", smaller, informal areas that were not political entities
. You are might be familiar with the Black Forest , the Ruhr, the Saar, or Frisia (Friesland). Your ancestors might have left records or family traditions that they were from one of these areas. This list of [http://wiki-de.genealogy.net/Kategorie:Landschaft '''"landscapes" by GenWiki'''] can help you identify these regions. Once you know that the information is a cultural region not a town, you will know that you need to search further to narrow down your ancestros' town.
== Determining the Location of a Civil Registration Office ==