Brandenburg, Germany Genealogy
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Guide to Brandenburg, Germany ancestry, family history, and genealogy after 1945: birth records, marriage records, death records.
Historical Background[edit | edit source]
- Brandenburg was established in 1815 from the Kingdom of Prussia's core territory, and comprised the bulk of the historic Margraviate of Brandenburg and the Lower Lusatia region.
- It became part of the German Empire in 1871.
- From 1918, Brandenburg was a province of the Free State of Prussia.
- It was dissolved in 1945 after World War II, and replaced, with reduced territory, as the State of Brandenburg in East Germany, which was later dissolved in 1952.
- Following the reunification of Germany in 1990, Brandenburg was re-established as a federal ‘’’state of Germany, becoming one of the new states. Wikipedia
Getting Started[edit | edit source]
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:
Historical Geography[edit | edit source]
Finding Civil Registration Records[edit | edit source]
After 1945, the main source for research will be civil registration. Civil registration records are records of births, marriages, and deaths kept by the government. In Brunswick (Braunschweig), they were started 1 January 1876. German terms for these records include Standesamtsregister, Zivilstandsregister, or Personenstandsregister. They are an excellent source for information on names and dates and places of births, marriages, and deaths. These records are kept by the civil registrar (Standesbeamte) at the civil registry office (Standesamt). Study these links to learn what information can be found in them:
- Births (Geburtsregister)
- Marriages (Heiraten, Ehen, or Trauungen)
- Deaths (Sterberegister or Totenregister)
Melderegister[edit | edit source]
Since 1874, there is an official registration of residential addresses in Germany. These data were collected by the police stations. They are kept in the civil registration office. Some offices keep them historically from their start. Other offices destroyed records for people once they died.
These registration cards were available for each respective householder. Noted on the card were his wife and any children, dates of marriage or death, and a history of resident addresses. The value of these cards is their use to determine which civil registration office might hold birth, marriage, and death certificates for the family members.
Follow the German Letter Writing Guide, and use questions 16 and 17 to request these records.
Privacy Laws[edit | edit source]
Since 2009, birth records have been public after 110 years, marriages after 80 years and deaths after 30 years. A direct relationship (direct descendants and direct ancestors) to the subject of the record sought will be required in cases where the required time period has not yet elapsed. Even then, the records may be accessible if it can be shown that all "participating parties" have died at least 30 years ago. Participating parties are both parents and the child in birth records, and both spouses in a marriage.
Determining the Location of a Civil Registration Office[edit | edit source]
Research your town name in MeyersGaz.org to find the location of the registry office (Standesamt). It is indicated by the abbreviation "StdA".
However, some of the offices were merged in 1970's, so the record location might be different than that listed in MeyersGaz.
- For a small town within a larger municipality:
- To find the current Standesamt, go to the German Wikipedia, and enter the name of the town in the search box. An article about the town will start with a first line such as: "Besse with about 3200 inhabitants is the largest district of the municipality Edermünde in Hessian Schwalm-Eder-Kreis ." It is probable that the Standesamt is now located in the municipality (in this example Edermünde).
- To e-mail the municipality to verify that the civil registry for your town is there.
- From the Wikipedia town article, click on the name of the municipality that links to that article.
- There will usually be an infobox on the right side of page that lists the address and the website of the municipality.
- Click on the website. Look for "Kontakt (Contact)" information, which should provide an e-mail address.
- Send a message asking whether you have the correct office for your ancestors' home town. You can
- For larger towns which constitute a municipality:
- To find the current Standesamt, go to the German Wikipedia, and enter the name of the town in the search box.
- This type of article will not state that the town belongs to another municipality, because it is itself a municipality.
- The infobox that lists the address and the website of the municipality will appear directly on a this first page that comes up.
- Follow the above instructions #2-4 above.
1. Online Records[edit | edit source]
- Brandenburgische Genealogische Gesellschaft (BGG) "Roter Adler" eV: Standesämter im Forschungsgebiet/Registry offices in the research area, index and images. Registration of all registry offices in the historical Brandenburg as well as name index for their births, weddings and deaths.
Ancestry.com ($)[edit | edit source]
Ancestry.com can be searched free of charge at your local Family History Center.
- Angermünde Deaths, 1874-1950, index and images. These records for Angermünde cover: Altkünkendorf, Angermünde, Biesenbrow, Bruchhagen, Crussow, Frauenhagen, Gellmersdorf, Greiffenberg, Güntersberg, Neukünkendorf, Polssen, Steinhöfel, and Stolpe.
- Dahme-Spreewald Deaths, 1874-1950, index and images. These records for Dahme-Spreewald cover: Bornsdorf, Langengrassau, and Wehnsdorf.
- Eberswalde, Germany, death register 1874-1966, index and images. These records for Eberswalde cover: Ahrensfelde, Altenhof (Werbellin), Amt Neuendorf, Basdorf, Biesenthal, Biesenthaler Forst, Blumberg, Britz, Brodowin, Chorin, Chorin (Sandkrug), Chorin (Theerofen Forsthaus), Chorin (Neuehütte), Chorinchen, Eberswalde, Eiche, Eiche (Hellersdorf), Eiche (Mehrow), Eichhorst, Finow, Finowfort, Golsow, Gross Schönebeck, Grüntal, Grüntal (Sydow), Heegermühle, Hirschfelde, Hohenfinow, Klosterfelde, Kupferhammer, Kwydzin, Lanke, Lichterfelde, Liepe, Lindenberg, Löhme, Lunow, Mehrow, Niederfinow, Oderberg, Parstein, Prenden, Rüdnitz, Ruhlsdorf, Schönerlinde, Schönerwalde, Schöpfurth, Schwanebeck, Spechthausen, Steinfurth, Stolzenhagen, Trampe, Vorwerk Steinberg, Wandlitz, Werbellin, Werneuchen, Willmersdorf, Wolfswinkel, Zepernick, and Zerpenschleuse.
- Ostprignitz-Ruppin Deaths, 1874-1971, index and images. These records for Ostprignitz-Ruppin cover: Alt Ruppin, Babitz, Bantikow, Barsikow, Bechlin, Blasindorf, Blumenthal, Breddin, Brunne, Dabergotz (Kränzlibn), Dabergotz (Werder), Dessow, Dierberg, Dossow, Dransa, Dreetz, Fehrbellin, Flecken Zechlin, Fretzdorf, Freyenstein, Friedenshorst, Gadow, Ganzer, Garz, Gross Zetlang, Heiligengrabe, Herzberg, Katerbow, Königsberg, Köritz, Kyritz, Lindow, Linow, Linum, Lohm, Manker (Lüchfeld), Mechow, Nackel, Neuendorf, Neuglienicke, Neuruppin, Neustadt/Dosse, Papenbruch, Plänitz, Radensleben, Rheinberg, Roddahn, Rüthnick, Schönberg, Schönermark, Segeletz, Sieversdorf, Teetz, Vielitz, Walchow, Walsleben, Wildberg, Wittstock, Wulfersdorf, Wusterhausen/Dosse, Wustrau, Wuthenow, Zaatzke, Zechlinerhütte, Zempow, and Zernitz.
- Prenzlau Deaths, 1874-1950, index and images. These records for Prenzlau cover: Dedelow, Klinkow, Prenzlau, and Seelübbe.
- Landkreis Teltow-Fläming with Blankenfelde-Mahlow Deaths, 1874-1968, index and images.
2. Writing for Civil Registration Records[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.
Local Standesamt Addresses[edit | edit source]
How to Write the Letter[edit | edit source]
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.
More Research Strategies and Tools[edit | edit source]
- Germany Online Classes and Tutorials
- Reading German Handwritten Records Practice exercises to build your skills and confidence.
- Old German Script Transcriber (alte deutsche Handschriften): See your family names in the script of the era. Type your name or other word into the font generator tool. Click on the 8 different fonts. Save the image to your computer and use it as you work with old Germanic records.
- Research Tips and Strategies
Search Strategy[edit | edit source]
- Search for the relative or ancestor you selected. When you find their birth record, search for the births of their brothers and sisters.
- Next, search for the marriage of their parents. The marriage record will have information that will often help you find the birth records of the parents.
- Search the death registers for all known family members.
- The marriage certificate will show the birth date, birth place, and parents of the bride and the groom.
- 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.