Posen, Prussia, German Empire Genealogy
Guide to Posen, German Empire ancestry, family history, and genealogy before 1945: birth records, marriage records, death records, both church and civil registration, compiled family history, and finding aids.
|Major Posen Record Types|
|Reading the Records|
|Local Research Resources|
|Germany Record Types|
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.
Historical Background[edit | edit source]
- The Grand Duchy of Posen was annexed by Prussia in the Polish partitions of 1815.
- It became the ‘’’Province of Posen ‘’ in the Kingdom of Prussia in 1848.
- It became part of the German Empire in 1871.
- Posen was part of the Free State of Prussia within Weimar Germany from 1918, but was dissolved the following year when most of its territory was ceded to the Second Polish Republic by the Treaty of Versailles.
- In1922, the remaining German territory was re-organized into Posen-West Prussia, a province of the Free State of Prussia within Weimar Germany.
- Posen-West Prussia (Grenzmark Posen-Westpreußen) was formed from merging three remaining non-contiguous territories of Posen and West Prussia, which had lost the majority of their territory to the Second Polish Republic.
- From 1934, Posen-West Prussia was de facto ruled by Brandenburg until it was dissolved in 1938, and its territory divided between the Prussian provinces of Silesia, Pomerania, and Brandenburg.
- Today, the province is entirely contained within the modern state of Poland. The region roughly coincides with the present-day Greater Poland Voivodeship (wielkopolskie).
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]
Region (Regierungsbezirk) of Bromberg: Green
Click on the map to enlarge it.
Finding Birth, Marriage, and Death Records for Posen[edit | edit source]
Most of the information you need to identify you ancestors and their families will be found in two major record groups: civil registration and church records. To locate these records, follow the instructions in these Wiki articles.
1. Find the name of your ancestor's town in family history records.[edit | edit source]
Records were kept on the local level. You must know the town where your ancestor lived. If your ancestor was a United States Immigrant, use the information in the Wiki article Germany Finding Town of Origin to find evidence of the name of the town where your ancestors lived in Germany.
- List of colonists from the Netzedistrict (Posen) of 1776-1798, by Lena Bellée-Vogt. Available on Worldcat.
- Aus- und Einwanderungs-Beförderungen, 1816-1883, Emigration and immigration papers for the district of Bromberg, Posen, Germany, now Bydgoszcz, Poland.
- Ausweisungen von preußischen Unterthanen aus fremden Staaten, 1864-1919, Deportation of Prussian citizens from other countries to Bromberg, Posen, Germany.
- Erteilung von Naturalisationsurkunden an Ausländer, 1849-1917, Naturalizaion of new citizens at Bromberg, Posen, Germany.
- Landesverweisungen, 1817-1919, Deportations from Bromberg, Posen, Germany; now Bydgoszcz, Poland.
- Nachweisungen ausgewiesener polnischer Flüchtliche, 1885-191, Claims and proofs of deported Polish refugees made at Bromberg, Posen, Germany; now Bydgoszcz, Poland.
- Germany Displaced Persons Research: If your ancestors were evacuated from their homes at the end of World War II, see this article.
2. Use gazetteers and/or parish register inventories to learn more important details.[edit | edit source]
Your ancestor's town might have been too small to have its own parish church or civil registration office. Find the location of the Catholic or Lutheran (Evangelical) parish that served your ancestor's locality. Find the name of the civil registration office (Standesamt) that serves your ancestor's locality. Use the Wiki article Finding Aids For German Records for step-by-step instructions.
Consult Kartenmeister for parish and Standesamt information.[edit | edit source]
If Kartenmeister is having temporary technical difficulties, check back later.
For the provinces of East Prussia (Ostpreussen), Posen, Pomerania (Pommern), Silesia (Schlesien), parts of Brandenburg, and West Prussia (Westpreussen), areas which no longer belong to Germany, the online gazetteer Kartenmeister most efficiently tells you parish information:
Kartenmeister Search Engine
A Typical Kartenmeister Record
The most important information points here are the
name of the Lutheran parish, the name of the Catholic parish, and the location of the civil registry office (Standesamt):
3. For birth, marriage, and death records from 1 October 1874, use civil registration.[edit | edit source]
Follow the instructions in Posen, German Empire Civil Registration.
4. For baptism, marriage, and death records, use church records or parish registers.[edit | edit source]
Follow the instructions in Posen, German Empire Church Records.
More Research Strategies and Tools[edit | edit source]
- Germany Online Classes and Tutorials
- German Paleography Seminar - Lessons on German Handwriting
- 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.
- Finding Aids for German Records
- Research Tips and Strategies
- German Research, BYU Independent Study, no cost.
- These printable handouts can be used for ready reference when reading German Handwriting.
- Vocabulary found on Specific Records:
- Dates, Numbers, Abbreviations:
- Miscellaneous Vocabulary:
- Fraktur Font -- Many forms and books are printed in this font.
- German Given Names:
- List of Names in Old German Script -- A comprehensive list of German given names, written in old script, with possible variations.
Take These Online Classes to Prepare[edit | edit source]
- German Research: Strategies and Sources for Eastern Provinces. Be sure to download the class syllabus.
- Watch the Specific Geography portion to learn how to use MeyersGaz.org and Kartenmeister.com to get the details of the German and Polish names of your town and its higher jurisdictions.
- Watch the General Resources portion to learn how to check for parish registers using
- Watch the Posen portion, which begins at 36:19 minutes.
References[edit | edit source]
- Wikipedia contributors, "Province of Posen," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Province_of_Posen (accessed June 19, 2019).
- Wikipedia contributors, "Posen-West Prussia," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Posen-West_Prussia (accessed June 19, 2019).