Germany, German Lutheran Church Records - FamilySearch Historical Records

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GermanyGotoarrow.png Westphalia

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This article describes a collection of records scheduled to become available at FamilySearch.org.
Germany
Flag of the German Empire.svg.png
Flag of the German Empire, 1871-1917
German Empire - Prussia - Westphalia (1871).svg.png
German Empire blank map.svg.png
Map of the German Empire, 1871-1917
Germany.png
Current Location
This locality is in Germany.
Record Description
Record Type Church Records
Collection years: 1701-1883
Languages: German
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
Hessisches Landesarchiv


What is in this Collection?[edit | edit source]

This collection includes records from German Lutheran parishes from the years 1701 to 1883. It includes births, marriages, and deaths. The Evangelical, or Lutheran, Church was formally established by 1531. Despite persecution by both the Catholic Church and some governments, the Lutheran Church spread throughout Germany and became a prominent religion. Lutherans are more predominant in northern Germany than in southern Germany.

Sample Images[edit | edit source]

Click on images for a larger view.

Birth records may include the following:

  • Name of child
  • Name of parents
  • Birth date and place
  • Name of other relatives (sibling, grandparent)

Marriage records may include the following:

  • Names of bride and groom
  • Names of parents
  • Date of wedding
  • Ages of bride and groom
  • Name of officiator

Death records may include the following:

  • Name of deceased
  • Birth date and place
  • Death date and place
  • Names of parents
  • Date of obituary publication

How Do I Search This Collection?[edit | edit source]

You will be able to browse through images in this collection when it is published.

To search the collection you will need to follow this series of links:

⇒Select "State or Province" on initial collection page 
⇒Select "Amt or Kreis" 
⇒Select "City/Town" 
⇒Select "Record Type, Year Range, and Volume" which takes you to the images 

Look at each image or record comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine if the image relates to them. You may need to look at several images or records and compare the information about the individuals listed to your ancestors to make this determination. Keep in mind there may be more than one person in the records with the same name and you will want to look carefully at dates, places and relations to identify your ancestor from another person. You also may not be sure of your own ancestor’s name if they were known by a nickname or changed their name from the original birth record name. Your ancestor may have used different names or variations of their name throughout their life and may be listed in records with any of those variations. Search the collection by image, comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine if the image relates to them. You may need to look at several images and compare the information about the individuals listed in those images to your ancestors to make this determination.

I Found Who I was Looking for, Now What?[edit | edit source]

  • Use the age in the marriage records to find an approximate birth year to begin your search in church or civil records.
  • Continue to search the records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives who may have been born, married or died nearby. This can help you identify other generations of your family. Repeat this process for each new generation you identify. Compile the entries for every person who has the same surname; this is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual. This compiled list can help you identify possible relations that can be further verified by researching vital records in the country.
  • Church Records often were kept years before government records were required and are a good source for finding ancestors before 1900. If the officiator of a marriage or death was a minister, you may be able to determine to which religion or congregation your ancestor belonged. Look for church records of the birth, marriage, or death which may provide more information on the family.

I Can't Find Who I'm Looking for, Now What?[edit | edit source]

  • Switch to a different record collection. Depending on the time period, German Civil Registration records or German Church records may be useful.
  • Standard spelling of names typically did not exist during the periods our ancestors lived in. Try variations of your ancestor’s name while searching the index or browsing through images. Pay special attention to how the name should have been pronounced and try variations on the pronunciation.
  • Remember that sometimes individuals went by nicknames or alternated between using first and middle names. Try searching for these names as well.
  • Search the indexes and records of local genealogical societies.

Citations for This Collection[edit | edit source]

Citing your sources makes it easy for others to find and evaluate the records you used. When you copy information from a record, list where you found that information. Here you can find citations already created for the entire collection and for each individual record or image. Collection Citation:

Collection Citation:
The citation for this collection can be found on the Collection Details Page in the section Citing this Collection.

Image Citation
This template has been deprecated and is no longer used.

When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen. You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Germany, German Lutheran Church Records, 1701-1883.


How You Can Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki[edit | edit source]

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Historical Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.