Berlin, Brandenburg, German Empire Genealogy
|Berlin, Brandenburg |
|Reading the Records|
|Local Research Resources|
Guide to Berlin ancestry, family history and genealogy: birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, parish registers, city directories, and reference aids. During the German Empire, 1871-1945, Berlin belonged to the province of Brandenburg.
- 1 Historical Background
- 2 Getting Started
- 3 Maps
- 4 Finding Birth, Marriage, and Death Records for Brandenburg
- 4.1 1. Find the name of your ancestor's street in family history records.
- 4.2 2. Use gazetteers, parish register inventories, and city directories to learn more important details.
- 4.3 3. For birth, marriage, and death records from 1 October 1874 on use civil registration.
- 4.4 4. For baptism, marriage, and death records, use church records or parish registers.
- 5 More Research Strategies and Tools
Historical Background[edit | edit source]
First documented in the 13th century and situated at the crossing of two important historic trade routes, Berlin became the capital of
- the Margraviate of Brandenburg (1417–1701),
- the Kingdom of Prussia (1701–1918),
- the German Empire (1871–1918),
- the Weimar Republic (1919–1933),
- the Third Reich (1933–1945),
- East Germany (1945-1990),
- and modern unified Germany.
Berlin in the 1920s was the third largest municipality in the world. After World War II and its subsequent occupation by the victorious countries, the city was divided. West Berlin became a West German exclave, surrounded by the Berlin Wall (1961–1989) and East German territory. East Berlin was declared the capital of East Germany, while Bonn became the West Germany capital. Following German reunification in 1990, Berlin once again became the capital of all of Germany. 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:
Maps[edit | edit source]
Finding Birth, Marriage, and Death Records for Brandenburg[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 street in family history records.[edit | edit source]
Records were kept on the local level. You must know the parishes and civil registration districts within Berlin where your ancestors 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 parish, suburb, or even street where your ancestors lived in Berlin.
About 50% of immigrants stating that they were from Berlin meant it as kind of a catch-all phrase for the region--not as their exact residence. It may be necessary to keep looking for more specific clues to tjeir town of origin.
Ancestry.com ($)[edit | edit source]
Ancestry.com can be searched free of charge at your local Family History Center.
- Emigration records:
- Emigration records:
- Brandenburg, Prussia Emigration Records - at Ancestry.com, index ($)
- Emigrants from the Mark Brandenburg to Poland and Russia, compiled by Stefan Rückling
- Germany Displaced Persons Research: If your ancestors were evacuated from their homes at the end of World War II, see this article.
- Indexed comprehensive vital records:
- Indexed comprehensive vital records:
- Berlin, Germany, Births, 1874-1906
- Berlin, Germany, Marriages, 1874-1920
- Berlin, Germany, Deaths, 1874-1920
2. Use gazetteers, parish register inventories, and city directories to learn more important details.[edit | edit source]
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 served your ancestor's locality.
Using Berlin City Directories to Narrow Down Your Parish or Registry
See, Berlin Evangelical Parish Jurisdictions and Berlin Civil Registration, to learn how you can use city directories to find the parish and civil registration district in Berlin where your ancestors lived.
Using the Communion Card Index to Narrow Down Your Parish or Registry
The communion card index stored in the ELAB is a general help tool for Old Berlin . Alt-Berlin means here the six inner city districts Mitte, Friedrichshain, Prenzlauer Berg, Kreuzberg, Tiergarten and Wedding. These index cards contain, in alphabetical order, all Protestant baptisms in Alt-Berlin from 1750 to 1874. The garrison community and the French-reformed community are not taken into consideration. For information about requesting research, Click here. A request for a search of this index can help narrow down which parish the family lived in.
3. For birth, marriage, and death records from 1 October 1874 on use civil registration.[edit | edit source]
Follow the instructions in Berlin, Brandenburg, German Empire Civil Registration.
4. For baptism, marriage, and death records, use church records or parish registers.[edit | edit source]
Follow the instructions in Berlin, Brandenburg, German Empire Church Records.
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.
- Finding Aids for German Records
- Research Tips and Strategies
- Print these handouts for ready reference when reading German Handwriting:
- Kurrent Letters Handout
- Numbers Handout
- Birth Records Handout
- Marriage Records Handout
- Death Records Handout
- Days and Months Handout
- Common Symbols Handout
- Common Abbreviations Handout
- List of Names in Old German Script A comprehensive list of German given names, written in old script, with possible variations.
- Fraktur Font--Many forms and books are printed in this font.
- German Research, BYU Independent Study, no cost.