The Neumark (region), Brandenburg, Prussia, German Empire Genealogy

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Guide to The Neumark region of Brandenburg ancestry, family history, and genealogy: birth records, marriage records, death records, both church and civil registration, compiled family history, and finding aids.

In this region, part of Germany which was lost to other countries after World War II, many records, both church/parish registers and civil registration records, were damaged, destroyed, or misplaced.

History[edit | edit source]

The Neumark, also known as the New March (Polish: Nowa Marchia) or East Brandenburg (German: Ostbrandenburg (help·info)), was a region of the Prussian province of Brandenburg, Germany, located east of the Oder River.

Known as the Lubusz Land while part of medieval Poland, the territory later known as the Neumark was acquired by the German Margraviate of Brandenburg during the High Middle Ages. As Brandenburg-Küstrin, the Neumark was an independent state of the Holy Roman Empire of the German nation from 1535-1571, after which it was restored to the Electors of Brandenburg. It became part of the Kingdom of Prussia in 1701 and part of the German Empire in 1871. After World War I the entirely ethnic German Neumark remained inside the new Weimar Republic of Germany.

The majority of the Neumark was placed under Polish administration in 1945 after World War II; its expelled German population was replaced largely with Poles. Most of the Polish territory is part of Lubusz Voivodeship, while the northern towns Choszczno (Arnswalde), Myślibórz (Soldin), and Chojna (Königsberg in der Neumark) are in the West Pomeranian Voivodeship. Some territory near Cottbus, administratively part of Regierungsbezirk Frankfurt (Oder) (coterminous with the Neumark) after the Congress of Vienna, remains in Germany. ( source:Wikipedia)


Getting Started with Germany Research

Links to articles on getting started with German research:

Germany Research Tools

Links to tools and websites that assist in German research:

See More Research Tools
Ask the

Emigration[edit | edit source]

Emigrants from the Neumark region predominantly moved eastward to Poland and Russia during the 18th and early 19th Centuries and westward to North America after 1800. Helpful databases for finding a town of origin include

How to Find Birth, Marriage, and Death Records for the Neumark Region of Brandenburg[edit | edit source]

Roughly 80% of the church- and civil registration records of this region were lost as a result of Worl War II. This means that researchers will need to rely more on other sources, such as citizens' lists, land records, tax lists, lists of colonists etc. Many finding tools are available online, in the form of detailed archive inventories. The records can be accessed by visiting the respective Polish state archive. Another option is networking and sharing information via mailing lists. Several online data bases available as town- or county genealogies also provide opportunities for contributing extant information and worldwide collaboration.

Whenever available, most of your genealogical research for Brandenburg will be in three main record types: civil registration, church records, and compiled town genealogies ("'Ortssippenbücher" or "Ortsfamilienbücher" in German). This article will teach you how to use these records

  • on digital databases,
  • as microfilms,
  • or by writing for them.

Take These Online Classes to Prepare[edit | edit source]

  1. Watch the Specific Geography portion to learn how to use and to get the details of the German and Polish names of your town and its higher jurisdictions.
  2. Watch the General Resources portion to learn how to check for parish registers using
    1. The PRADZIAD Database
    2. Szukaj w Archiwach; Tutorial - The Polish Archives
    3. Archion, Cooperative of protestant archives ($)
    4. Archives Portal Europe
    5. Brandenburg State Archives, Online Research
  3. Watch the Brandenburg portion, which begins at about 41:00 minutes.

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Civil Registration (Standesamtsregister, Zivilstandsregister, or Personenstandsregister)[edit | edit source]

Civil registers are government-kept records of births, marriages, and deaths. In Brandenburg, civil registry offices were introduced on 1 January 1876.

Civil registers can now be found in the local Standesamt, which is either in the registry office or town hall.

1. Online Records[edit | edit source]

Follow the instructions in Take These Online Classes to Prepare, to find additional small collections of civil records.

2. Microfilm Copies of Civil Registration From FamilySearch[edit | edit source]

A few, not many, civil registration records will be in the microfilm collection of the Family History Library. The number should increase gradually. These microfilms may be available for viewing at Family History Centers around the world. To find a microfilm:

a. Click on the records of Brandenburg, Germany.
b. Click on Places within Germany, Preußen, Brandenburg and a list of towns will appear.
c. Click on your town. If the town or village is not listed, find the town in Meyer's Gazetteer. See where the Standesamt (StdA.) was. It may have been in different place, because of the size of the town.
d. Click on the "Civil registration" topic, if available. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
c. 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. FHL icons.png. 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.

2. Writing for Civil Registration Certificates[edit | edit source]

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. Write to the district archives if you wish to inquire about more than one town--for example, if you think a couple were married at either the groom's hometown or the bride's, and you want both places searched.

The PRADZIAD Database Finding aid.

Local Standesamt Address[edit | edit source]

Addresses for Neumark Civil Registrars (Standesämter)

Standesamt I Berlin[edit | edit source]

For the Neumark: Standesamt I Berlin officially holds the civil registration information for the former areas of Germany.

Rückerstrasse 9
10119 Berlin

Archive Address[edit | edit source]

During the time that the Neumark was part of Brandenburg, copies of records would have been sent to these archives rather than Polish archives. Here is the address for the district archive, should you decide to write there instead of or in addition to the local Standesamt.

Brandenburg National Archives Potsdam
An der Orangerie 3
14469 Potsdam
(Postal address: Postfach 600499, 14404 Potsdam)
Tel. 0331/292971, Fax: 0331/292971

Brandenburgisches Landeshauptarchiv Service
Am Mühlenberg 3
14476 Potsdam, OT Golm
Postal address:
Postfach 600449
14404 Potsdam
Phone: 0331 5674-0
Fax: 0331 5674-212

How to Write the Letter[edit | edit source]

For localities in Poland:
Detailed instruction for what to include in the letter, plus Polish translations of the questions and sentences most frequently used are in the Poland Letter Writing Guide. For German archives:
Detailed instruction for what to include in the letter, plus German translations of the questions and sentences most frequently used are in the German Letter Writing Guide.

Church Records (Kirchenbuch or Kirchenbuchduplikate)[edit | edit source]

See Germany Church Records to learn more.

  • Entries for baptisms/christenings, marriages, and burials in the local church records are the main source to use prior to 1876, when civil registration began. Often two and sometimes three generations are indicated in the registers, with personal information on the family. Also after 1876, these records might be intact when the civil registers were destroyed, or vice versa. In addition, either the church records and civil records might contain information not it the other record.
  • You should try to determine whether your ancestors were Catholic or Lutheran (Evangelical).
  • You should try to determine where the parish church was that held jurisdiction over your town. Find the town in Meyer's Gazetteer. Click on the "Ecclesiastical" link for information in the menu bar. This will tell you whether the town had its own parish church and give you the names of several nearby parish churches and their distance.
  • This parish register inventory gives greater detail on Catholic and Lutheran :parish locations.
  • The new Kirchenbuchportal (church book portal) has been created by the Association of Church Archives, ecumenical organization, to facilitate access to German-language church records. As of July 2010 several archives have posted detailed inventories of the parish registers in their collections. Details about the participating archives, including links to posted inventories, are found here. A database of all inventoried records, arranged by archive, is found here.

1. Online Church Records[edit | edit source]

Finding Online Parish Registers in Polish State Archives[edit | edit source]


  • 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”. Click orange search button. Use Polish place names, but diacritics are not required. German place names generally will not work. To find the Polish name of a German parish in the Neumark, *click here.
  • 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.

The Georg Grüneberg Collection[edit | edit source]

Kr. Landsberg / Warthe and Warthebruch lists a collection of information from parishes in the Neumark, which can be difficult to locate, in the possession of Georg Grüneberg ($). He will let you know whether he has records to help you for free. Actual records require paid research.

Genealogisches Archiv Georg Grüneberg
Finkenbergstr. 6
D-19309 Lenzen (Elbe)

Tel. 038792 / 7211

The PRADZIAD Database[edit | edit source]

Archives Portal Europe[edit | edit source]

2. Microfilm Copies of Church Records in the FamilySearch Catalog[edit | edit source]

First, try to find church records in the microfilm collection of the Family History Library. These microfilms may be available for viewing at Family History Centers around the world. To find a microfilm:

a. Click on the records of Brandenburg, Germany.
b. Click on "Places within Germany, Preußen, Brandenburg" 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.
c. 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. FHL icons.png. 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 an Priest for Church Records[edit | edit source]

  • Baptism, marriage, and death records may be searched by contacting the local Catholic or Lutheran church or the Catholic diocese archives.

Lutheran Parish Addresses[edit | edit source]

Catholic Parish Addresses by Diocese[edit | edit source]

Writing to a Local Parish[edit | edit source]

Write a brief request in Polish to the proper church using this address as a guide, replacing the information in parentheses:

For a Roman Catholic Parish
Parafia Rzymsko-Katolicka
(street name and number)
(postal code) (name of locality)

For a Protestant Parish
Parafia Ewangelicka
(street name and number)
(postal code) (name of locality)

In Poland approximately 134 protestant parishes exist. Some records formerly found in such parishes may now be archived in local Catholic parishes. For a list of the Protestant parishes in Poland, and their addresses, you can visit the Lutheran Church in Poland for a listing of Lutheran parishes which are in existence today.

Additionally if there was not a local protestant church, many baptisms would be performed by local Catholic churches.

For an Orthodox Parish
Parafia Prawoslawna
(street name and number)
(postal code) (name of locality)

How to write a letter: Detailed instruction for what to include in the letter, plus Polish translations of the questions and sentences most frequently used are in the Poland Letter Writing Guide.

4. Research at a Catholic Diocese Archive[edit | edit source]

  • You can visit these archives yourself to research the records. Privacy rules apply to birth records more recent than 120 years, marriage records 80 years, and death records 30 years. A day fee of about EU 7.00 is charged to use the records. Call in advance to make reservations.
  • Some archives have search services available. Others will refer you to a list of private researchers to hire. Researchers can be found also through Google.

Diocesan Archives Berlin
Bethaniendamm 29
10997 Berlin (Kreuzberg)

Phone: +49 (0) 30 22504580
Fax: +49 (0) 30 22504583

The archive does not provide search services. See Cyndi's List of German professional genealogists.

Other Religious Groups[edit | edit source]

  • To learn how to determine the location of other religious records, namely Jewish, French Reformed, German Reformed, etc., watch Hansen’s Map Guides: Finding Records with Parish Maps beginning at 48:00 minutes, to learn how to locate these congregations. Then go back and watch from the beginning to understand how to use the reference book. This course teaches you how to use a set of reference books found at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. If you are not in Salt Lake City, use the Contact Us feature to request information from the books.

Jewish Records[edit | edit source]

5. Compiled and Published Secondary Sources[edit | edit source]

Caution sign.png

Compiled genealogies and published genealogies are secondary sources, not original or primary sources.

As such, they are subject to human error through translation or transcription errors, mistaken interpretations, and opinion decisions of another researcher.

You should make every effort to base your research on the actual, original records or their digitized images.

Town Compilation of Records (Ortssippenbuch or Ortsfamilienbuch)[edit | edit source]

See class Online Ortsfamilienbücher at See the class, Online Ortsfamilienbücher at, and Wiki article, Germany Town Genealogies and Parish Register Inventories on the Internet. Published town genealogies, Ortssippenbuch (town lineage book) or Ortsfamilienbuch (town family book), generally include birth, marriage, and death data for all persons found in the local records during a specified time period, compiled into families based on the opinion of the author. If one is available, it should only be used as an index or guide to finding the original records. They usually contain errors. Always verify their information in original records.

Finding an OFB[edit | edit source]

Reading the Records[edit | edit source]

German Records[edit | edit source]

  • 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 Genealogical Word List
German Handwriting
  • These video webinars will teach you to read German handwriting:
  • Also online interactive slideshow lessons are available to help you learn to read these records:

This converter will show you how any phrase or name might look in German script:

  • Kurrentschrift Converter (enter German genealogical word, click on "convert", view your word in Kurrentschrift (Gothic handwriting)

Latin Records[edit | edit source]

Records of the Catholic church will usually be written in Latin:

Search Strategy[edit | edit source]

  • Search for the relative or ancestor you selected. When you find his birth record, search for the births of his brothers and sisters.
  • Next, search for the marriage of his parents. The marriage record will have information that will often help you find the birth records of the parents.
  • You can estimate the ages of the parents and determine a birth year to search for their birth records.
  • Search the death registers for all known family members.
  • 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.

Other Resources[edit | edit source]

Resources[edit | edit source]

There are many helpful resources on where to find genealogical information in Brandenburg (Neumark)

These periodicals are important since they contain much helpful family historical information on the families of Brandenburg (Neumark) such as births, deaths, marriages, number and names of children for many locations in Brandenburg (Neumark). These periodicals are found in the collections of the Family History Library of Salt Lake City, Utah, USA. They may be accessed by visiting the Library directly or bylocating a family history center near you.[1]
  • The Neumark Family History Website is a very important tool for the genealogist. It includes a database of genealogical material available online [searchable by surname and town], a gazetteer of the area, lists of resources available on CD-Rom, and other helpful resources.

Societies[edit | edit source]

Rita Sydow
Research Center Ostbrandenburg-Neumark of AGoFF
Veilchenweg 12
D-26203 Wardenburg, Germany
Tel .: + 49-441-5040812

Websites[edit | edit source]

  1. Archiv Ostdeutscher Familienforscher Europe 943B2a Multiple Volumes