Saarland, Germany Genealogy

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Saarland, Germany

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

  • The area which became Saarland was included in the First French Empire as part of the much larger département Sarre between 1798 and 1814. Prior to the French occupation, its territory had been divided between the Electorate of Trier, Nassau-Saarbrücken and the Electorate of the Palatinate (the Duchy of Zweibrücken and the County of Veldenz).
  • After Napoleon was defeated in 1814, most of the Sarre department became part of Prussia, with smaller parts assigned to Duchy of Oldenburg (Birkenfeld) and Bavaria.
  • Saarland was established in 1920 after World War I as the Territory of the Saar Basin, formed from parts of the Prussian province of Rhineland (Rheinland) and Bavaria. It was occupied and governed by France and the United Kingdom under a League of Nations mandate.
  • Saarland was returned to Germany in the 1935.
  • Following World War II, the French military administration in Allied-occupied Germany organized the territory as the Saar Protectorate from 1947, becoming a protectorate of France. The Territory comprised portions of the Prussian Rhenish Trier Region and the Bavarian district of the Palatinate.
  • Between 1950 and 1956 Saarland was a member of the Council of Europe.
  • Saarland joined the Federal Republic of Germany as a state on 1 January 1957. Wikipedia

Research Before 1920[edit | edit source]

For help with research in the time before Saarland was created, see:

Getting Started[edit | edit source]

Getting Started with Germany Research

Links to articles on getting started with German research:

See More Research Strategies

Germany Research Tools

Links to tools and websites that assist in German research:

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Historical Geography[edit | edit source]

Saarland, Created in 1920

DE Locator Saarland Lebach.png

Territory of the Saar Basin Protectorate, 1930-1935

Saarbeckengebiet map.gif

Modern Saarland

Saar-Pfalz-(kreis or county) Was Bavarian

All Other Counties Were Prussian (Rheinland)

2000px-Saarland, administrative divisions - de - colored.svg-1.png For a larger map, click here.

Finding Birth, Marriage, and Death Records for Saarland, Germany[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.
Also, see:

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.

Germany was first unified as a nation in 1871. An important gazetteer, Meyers Orts- und Verkehrs-lexikon des deutschen Reichs, "Meyer's Gazetter" for short, details the place names of villages, towns, counties (kreise), and higher jurisdictions used at that time. In the Research Wiki, FamilySearch Catalog, and FamilySearch Historical Records, the records of Germany are organized using those place names.

At the end of both World Wars, the boundaries of the states were changed dramatically, as areas of Germany were distributed among the Allied nations. Eventually, after re-unification in 1990, the states of Germany settled into what they are today. It is also necessary to understand Germany by this system, as it affects the locations of civil registration offices, archives, and mailing addresses used in correspondence searches.

3. For birth, marriage, and death records beginning in 1798, use civil registration.[edit | edit source]

Follow the instructions in Saarland, Germany Civil Registration.

4. For baptism, marriage, and death records, use church records or parish registers.[edit | edit source]

Follow the instructions in Saarland, Germany Church Records.

More Research Strategies and Tools[edit | edit source]

  • 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: