Guide to German Genealogy at the
Los Angeles Regional Family History Center (LARFHC)

[Outline maps of Germany, Europe and the World]

Go back to Greg's Guide to German Genealogy

General resources

Research Outline - Germany (on sale at the sales desk)
A Genealogical Handbook of German Research by Larry Jensen (microfiche #6000366 through -8)
German Research (red 3-ring binder at LARFHC)
Germanic Genealogy: a Guide to Worldwide Sources and Migration Patterns 943 D27br
Classes at the LAFHC on Family History Catalog, I.G.I., Finding parents and birth places, Naturalization records, Passenger lists, Germans from Russia, Jewish research
Genealogy for Dummkopfs (grin) ... Dispelling the Myths [essay, at this site]

I. Need to determine: immigrant's place of birth/marriage (town), spelling(s) of name and town, approximate birthdate, and religion.

Research Outline - Tracing Immigrant Origins (available at the sales desk)

U.S. Records

Finding Birthplaces and Parents (red 3-ring binder and class at L.A.F.H.C.)
Un-Misspelling German Names [essay, at this site]

Immigration records

Hamburg, the Emigrant City [essay, at this site]
Resource Guide - The Hamburg Passenger Lists, 1850-1934 - (at sales desk)
Germans to America (40+ vols.) - Passenger List Area 973 W2ger
"Filby's" Passenger lists (17 vols.) - Passenger List Area 973 W32p
German Immigrants 1837-1867 (3 vols) - Pass. List Area 974.71 W3g

Indexes of German records

International Genealogical Index (IGI) - (on computer and microfiche)
The Alsace Emigration Book (2 vols.) - Pass. List Area 944.38 W2s
The Baden Emigration Book - Pass. List Area 943.4 W2s
The Wuerttemberg Emigration Index (4 vols.) - Pass. List Area 943.47 W22st

Bibliography of Immigration records

"Filby's" Passenger & Emigration Lists Bibliog. - Pass List Area 973 W33p 1988

II. German geography, printing, handwriting, German/Latin language

Germany, 1871-1918: (These are the boundaries used in FHLC & IGI)

3 independent cities: Bremen, Hamburg, Lübeck
8 minor states: Anhalt, Braunschweig, Hessen (Hesse-Darmstadt), Lippe, Mecklenburg-Strelitz, Oldenburg, Schaumburg-Lippe, Waldeck
8 major states: Baden, Bayern (Bavaria), Elsaß-Lothringen (Alsace-Lorraine), Königreich Sachsen (Kingdom of Saxony), Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Preußen (Prussia), Thüringen (Thuringia), Württemberg
13 provinces within the state of Preußen: Brandenburg, Hannover, Hessen-Nassau, Hohenzollern, Ostpreußen, Pommern, Posen, Rheinland, Provinz Sachsen (Province of Saxony), Schleswig-Holstein, Schlesien (Silesia), Westfalen (Westphalia), Westpreußen
German Historical Geography for Genealogists [essay, at this site]

III. Establish the location in Germany (using maps & gazetteers)

A. Find the correct spelling and the names of nearby towns

Post-1945 gazetteers:
Gazetteer to AMS Maps of Germany (Map Area 914.3 Un3; fiche 6002180)
Mullers Grosses Deutsches Ortsbuch (fiche 6000340-6000354).
Gazetteer used by Salt Lake City for 1871-1918 boundaries:
Meyers Orts- und Verkehrs-Lexikon des Deutschen Reichs (microfiche #6000001-6000029) to find parish (Pfk.), civil regist. office (StdA.), county (Kr.).
Modern atlas: Der Grosse Shell Atlas - Map Area 912.43 M286
1871-1918 atlas: Karte des Deutschen Reiches - fiche # 6,000,063 -197
Maps of civil registration districts:
Atlantic Bridge to Germany (5 vols.) Map Area 943 D25hc

VI. Obtaining German records

The Availability of German Church records [essay, at this site]

A. Contact someone who's already done research on your family

Genealogical Research Directory 929.1025 G286grd (annual volumes)

B. Find records microfilmed by LDS Church

Research Outline - Germany by the Salt Lake FHC (on sale at the sales desk)
German Sources -- Beyond Vital Records [essay, at this site]
Records from each state of Germany that have been microfilmed by the Salt Lake Library [essay, at this site]

Family History Library Catalog - on computer, microfiche & on the Web.

Minimal German vocabulary for using the FHLC:
Evangelische Evangelical (Lutheran)
Familienbuch Family register
Geburten Birth
Heiraten Marriage
Katholische Catholic
Kirche (K.) Church
Kirchenbuch Church records book
Konfirmationen (Konfirm.) Confirmation
Kreis (Kr.) District (county)
Pfarrei, Pfarrkirche (Pfk.) Parish, Parish church
Standesamt (StdA.) Civil registration office
Taufen Baptism
Tote Death
Zivilstandsregister Civil registration records

C. Write to Germany

1. Archives - Libraries - Family History Societies

Archive addresses: Address Book for German Genealogy JGS 943 D27t 1991
1993 Updated Addresses to German Repositories 943 J5su, 943 E4u
Current postal codes: Das Postleitzahlenbuch Map Area 943 E8p 1993
Form letters: German Letter-Writing Guide (available at the sales desk)

Das Standesamt (for civil registration office)
or Das Katholische Pfarramt (for Catholic parish)
or Das Evangelisch-Lutherische Pfarramt (for Lutheran parish)
[Postal Code] [Name of City or Town]



Ahnenstammkartei des Deutschen Volkes
Card index of names. See the FHLC under Germany - Genealogy

Archiv for Sippenforschung
Genealogy periodical. Issues available on fiche at LARFHC.

German telephone books ... (There's one on the web, in German or English)
Write to someone with your uncommon name.


Post your surnames on the Roots Surname List (RSL)
See their web page for instructions

Online Services (America Online, Prodigy, Compuserve)
Electronic bulletin boards, classes given in chat rooms, etc.


Church directories
List of microfilms in red binder German Research (at Los Angeles Regional Family History Center)

Church record inventories

Go back to Greg's Guide to German Genealogy

This page was last updated July 18, 2000