Finding Parish Registers for Germany Areas Now in Other Countries
|Germany Research Topics|
|Reading the Records|
|Local Research Resources|
- 1 German Boundaries Changes
- 2 Poland
- 3 Kaliningrad, Russia
- 4 Lithuania
- 5 Czechia
- 6 Denmark
- 7 Belgium
- 8 France
German Boundaries Changes[edit | edit source]
There are wiki articles explaining how to do research in former territories of Germany. Study the map below and click on the correct region in the List of Former German Territories, the Date of the Boundary Change, and the Current Country.
List of Former German Territories, the Date of the Boundary Change, and the Current Country[edit | edit source]
- Southern East Prussia, (Warmia) and (Masuria), and Soldau became part of Poland.
- Northern East Prussia was divided between:
- Western Pomerania is in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany
- Pomeralia (Gdansk Pomerania, or East Pomerania): Poland
- mostly in Poland
- The Hlučín Area of Moravian-Silesian Region: Czech Republic
- the small Lusatian strip west of the Oder-Neisse line: Saxony
- Upper Silesia, 1919: Poland
- West Prussia, 1919: Pomeranian Voivodeship, Poland
The rest of this article deals with finding parish registers for formerly German areas, grouped by modern day country.
Digitized Parish Registers Online[edit | edit source]
- Portal: “Matriken im Netz” (parish registers online), organized by countries or sometimes states. For Poland the listing includes both national and regional resources. (In German.)
- Portal: GenWiki: Kirchenbücher online, arranged by country/state, includes Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Estonia, and Latvia.
Former Austro-Hungarian Empire[edit | edit source]
- Portafontium- Bavarian-Czech network of digitized parish registers.
- Matricula online – digitized church records from various European countries (currently Austria, Germany, Poland and Serbia).
- Crossborder Archives – Written sources of Slovak and Austrian archives online. For digitized parish registers specifically go to Crossborder parish record search . Of special interest may be sacramental records from the military church office in Vienna for 1899-1905. The parents often came from far away, and their birth places are listed in the records.
- Links to digital archives and online parish registers for the Czech Republic are found on the FamilySearch Wiki Czech portal page under “Online Databases”. Also see land records, school records, and regional noble domain archival collections on FamilySearch. Scroll down the alphabetic list the Czech Republic records. Most collections have not been indexed.
- Use the gazetteer on Genteam.at to find the state archive that holds the records you need. Free registration with user name and password required. Various indexes are useful in conjunction with online parish registers.
- Familia-Austria Portal includes links to archive pages for the various Austrian states and those of adjoining countries.
Poland[edit | edit source]
Polish State Archives[edit | edit source]
The Polish State archives platform is located at https://www.szukajwarchiwach.gov.pl/ (archival collections on the Internet).
- Go to the Polish State archives.
- Click “English" on the top right.
- Close the “Databases in State archives” banner that comes up.
- Because results of simplified search are not very accurate (collections, units and items are mixed), please choose “Advanced search” under the search box.
- Enter place/parish name [for example: “Grodzisk”] in the search box. Also check the following boxes “collections”, “vital records”, and ”only units with scans” if only material searchable online is desired. Click orange search button. Use Polish place names, but diacritics are not required. German place names generally will not work.
- Choose a collection.
- Click on “units” below the title.
- A page of thumbnail images appears. You can click through those and go on to subsequent pages.
- For easier viewing, use full screen button (left button on bottom right” or the magnifier (right button on bottom left , marked with a “z”).
- The arrows for “previous” and “next” are found on the bottom left and right, and scans can be saved using the “download” button in the bottom center.
- Recently, the police registration cards for Gdansk/Danzig were put online, so, to locate those, I entered “Gdansk” in the “search” field and checked both “collections” and “only units/collections with scans". There were two results, and the top one is the one we need “Prezydium Policji w Gdańsku”. Notice the red arrow on “collection”. You can bypass the next arrow: “series” and click directly on “units”. This shows that the collection is alphabetically arranged by last name. Click down to locate the name group you need.
- Click on “digital copies to bring up thumbnail images. Click on an image, then use forward/back arrows to navigate.
- Images can be downloaded by clicking on the “expanding screen symbol on the bottom right.
- If I enter “Gdansk”, then click on “Vital records and civil registers” I get 451 results. These are all records held by this archive. If I also check “only show units/collections with scans, this number changes to zero. So none of these records are available as images online at this point.
Central Archive of Historical Records in Warsaw(AGAD)[edit | edit source]
This archive has records from towns in the eastern areas of Poland that became part of the Ukraine after WWII and from Volhynia. Many of the images available here complement collections available on films through FamilySearch.
- On the home page http://www.agad.gov.pl/inwentarze/testy.html click on the collection of interest
- On the left, click on “inwentarz” (inventory). In some collections, this is subdivided by districts etc.
- A list of records, arranged alphabetically by locality, then record type, then time period, comes up.
- You can also check the list of places by clicking on “Haslo”. Search or scroll down the list. If you find your place, go to the bottom to see available records.
- If scans are available, the entry contains this hyperlink: “galleria ze skanami”.
- This brings up the first page of thumbnail images.
- The number of available pages is listed on the bottom, i.e. “strona 1 z 5” = “page 1 of 5”
- Double-click on a thumbnail to bring up the page.
- Use left-right arrows on the bottom to bring up the previous/ next page.
- Click on the house (top center) to get back to the first thumbnail page.
- To save the scan, right click on the image and choose option:”save picture as”.
- Księgi metrykalne gmin ewangelicko-augsburskiego i helweckiego wyznania, 1764-1939, Lutheran and Reformed records – divided by church district. HINT: Town genealogies exist for many of these parishes, available for purchase on CD-Rom, or accessible on the Family History Library Computers (Search the Catalog for “Galiziendeitsche Familienbücher” – CD-Rom no. 6850. See also Galizien German Descendants.
- Księgi metrykalne gmin wyznania mojżeszowego z terenów tzw. zabużańskich, 1789-1943, Jewish records from areas East of the Bug river.
- Księgi metrykalne parafii wyznania rzymskokatolickiego z archidiecezji lwowskiej, 1604-1945, Roman Catholic records from Lviv Diocese.
- Księgi metrykalne i akta parafii prawosławnych z terenów Wołynia i Polesia, 1823-1909, 1929-1939, Orthodox records Polesia (a region) and Volhynia.
- Księgi metrykalne parafii wyznania rzymskokatolickiego z diecezji łuckiej i wileńskiej, 1799-1905, Roman Catholic records form the dioceses of Lutzk and Vilnius.
- Księgi metrykalne parafii wyznania rzymskokatolickiego z diecezji przemyskiej, 1590, 1600-1943, Roman Catholic records from Przemysl Diocese
- Księgi metrykalne gmin wyznania ewangelicko-augsburskiego z zachodnich guberni Cesarstwa Rosyjskiego/(wschodnich woj. II Rzeczypospolitej, 1790-1940, Lutheran records from the Western provinces of the Russian Empire (mostly Volhynia).
- Księgi metrykalne i akta parafii i gmin różnych wyznań i obrządków (Ormianie, Autokefaliczna Cerkiew Prawosławna, Baptyści, Mennonici, Ewangeliczni Chrześcijanie)z terenów tzw. zabużańskich, 1685-1942, church records from other denominations, including Mennonites, Baptists, Evangelical Christians etc… from areas east of the Bug river–a relatively small collection, but much of it hasn’t been filmed.
Other Archives[edit | edit source]
- Olszstyn Allenstein, formerly East Prusssia, state archive--digital archive, search by German and Polish place name using the “Ctrl-F” search function.
- GenBaza, additional images of church and civil registration records. Free registration is required. This website provides access to scans from the following archives:
- State Archive in Kielce
- State Archive in Sandomierz
- State Archive in Grodzisk (available also without login)
- State Archive in Pułtusk
- State Archive in Łódź
- Cath. Church Archive in Kielce.
- Society of German Genealogy in Eastern Europe.This page links to pages that list Baptist and Lutheran parishes in Russian Poland, Volhynia, Kiev, and Podolia, with links to images and some indexes.
Polish Digital Libraries[edit | edit source]
Several Polish state archives have also established extensive digital libraries that include historical publications, genealogy society journals, and some wonderful maps. German-language materials are often categorized as “cultural heritage materials”. Most digital libraries are area-specific. GoogleTranslate helps a lot in navigating these sites.
- Federation of Digital Libraries, includes a master catalog. For instance, a search for “Gdansk” brings up entries in about 50 different digital collections.
- Pomorska Biblioteca Cyfrona, good example of a regional digital library that includes historical maps, German-language pre-1945 genealogical journals, indexes etc.
Polish Records Indexes[edit | edit source]
Vital records indexes for formerly German areas now located in Poland include:
- Pommerscher Greif e. V., Association for Pomeranian Family and Local History.
- Pommerndatenbank:The Database for Genealogy in Pomerania. Information on which archives hold records for a location.
- Ksiegi-parafialne (Parish registers)-Lists localities for which indexed church- or civil registration records are online. Arranged by modern Polish regions and former Polish areas. Specifies town/parish, religion, record type(s) and time period, web site(s) where the index is located.
- Genetka Genealodzy– includes entries from most Polish regions; see title page for breakdown.
- PTG Pomorskie Towarzystwo Genealogiczne - Pomeranian Genealogical Association (includes a lot of former West Prussia).
- Poznan province marriage index
- BaSia-indexed vital records from Greater Poland, almost one million entries.
Kaliningrad, Russia[edit | edit source]
Lithuania[edit | edit source]
Czechia[edit | edit source]
Denmark[edit | edit source]
Belgium[edit | edit source]
See also: Belgium Church Records
Church records for the area around Eupen that was transferred to Belgium can be found in the FamilySearch Catalog or on the website of the Belgian State Archive.