Researching in German Civil and Church Records

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Media: BOOK - paperback, 44 pages
Author: E. Kopittke
Year: 2015
ISBN: 9781925323085
Other: b&w & colour photos, maps, bibliog, appendix, index
Publisher: Unlock the Past

'Researching in German civil and church records' answers the question 'How can I obtain a birth or marriage certificate from Germany for an immigrant ancestor?' What the new researcher may not realise is that in Germany the system of births, marriage and deaths by civil authorities, and the issue of associated certificates, has some significant differences to the system that the researcher may be used to.

Prior to the introduction of civil registration, churches kept registers of baptisms, marriages and burials, and such church records may allow the researcher to follow the family back for several hundred years.

This book is a practical guide that, with the aid of many illustrations, will allow the reader to become familiar with the types of information available on German civil certificates of birth, marriage and death and church records of baptism, marriage and burial. The book then explains how to access these records and build on the information given in the companion volume 'Locating your German ancestor's place of origin'.

- Background
Civil registration of births, marriages and deaths
- Background to civil records
- Identifying the appropriate 'Standesamt'
- Civil registration certificates
- Obtaining the certificate
Church records of baptsms, marriages and burials
- Background to the German religious scene
- Identifying the appropriate parish
- Church registers (Baptism records, Marriage records, Burial records, Confirmation)
- Family registers
- Accessing the church registers
An introduction to German handwriting
- Confusing letters
- Websites
- Books
Appendix: Keywords found in civil and church records




1 Review
  • Where to find records of your German ancestors ...?

    Posted by Unknown on 25th Sep 2019

    Eric Kopittke makes the point that to get the maximum benefit from this guide book you must know the exact place of origin of your German ancestor.
    This booklet gives a brief background to the history of Germany or more correctly the Holy Roman Empire as it was known for the last more than a thousand years. I found this interesting as it sets the scene as it were.
    Referring to the Civil and Church records again he sets the scene by discussing the background as to the recording of baptisms etc. and also the change from Church to Civil records. And why this happened. He talks about the different certificates that you might need and more importantly there are a lot of illustrations of these and extracts etc.
    Then he tells you how to access the records and recommends 3 or 4 relevant sites. And the bibliography is very impressive! A very good guide book I think and easy to read into the bargain, with a lot of useful information.

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