==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 register 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 [[Finding Aids For German Records|'''Finding Aids For German Records''']] 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)''']]
'''For a comprehensive understanding of civil registration, study the article''' [[Germany Civil Registration|'''Germany Civil Registration.''']]
=Finding Civil Registration Records =