November 2022 Program
Revisiting Online Research of German Ancestors
Presented by Richard K. Konkel, Esquire
This presentation will examine the vast number of original German genealogical records that are currently available online for the amateur or more advanced researcher. The primary websites examined will be archion.de, matricula-online.eu, familysearch.com, and ancestry.com , as well as websites of regional archives in France and Switzerland. Many of these websites have greatly expanded their records in recent years, and some are actively currently adding new records.
This archived presentation may be watched here.
Summary of websites from handout:
1. https://www.familysearch.org/en/ - This resource is from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) and is free but requires that you register and sign in to use it. Some records are available for home use especially LDS generated indexes of original records, some of which are organized into data bases. Other records are only available at Family History Centers or affiliated libraries such as the York County History Center. Some areas of Germany are well covered and others not at all. Some microfilm holdings have not been digitalized and are only available on microfilm in Salt Lake City, Utah.
2. https://ancestry.com/ – Well known as a huge genealogical website. You need a World Explorer or All Access plan to access the German records. Church records as well as some civil birth, marriages, and deaths are available but not for every region. Place names are often misleading or incorrect. Many are translated and transcribed, but with varying degrees of accuracy. You also need to really search for some of the records.
3. https://www.archion.de/ – German website costs approximately €178.00 per year for full access. Established as a website for German Protestant church records digitalized online in partnership with various Protestant (evangelische) church archives. Two Roman Catholic Dioceses have added their records to this website as well. Started about 10 years ago. New records are added every day. There are approximately 150,000 church record books on the site. These are copies of original records. There are no transcribed or translated records.
4. https://www.icar-us.eu/en/cooperation/online-portals/matricula/ – This is a free website with Roman Catholic church records primarily from Germany, Austria, Lichtenstein, Luxembourg, and Slovenia. It is constantly adding records as well, but not quite as fast as archion.de. As with achion.de, this is a resource that has records for some areas that can be found nowhere else online.
5. https://archives.bas-rhin.fr/ – Excellent archive website from Strasbourg, France for the Alsace region. Complete church records to 1792 and civil records from that date. Website is now back online.
6. https://www.staatsarchiv.sta.be.ch/en/start.html – State archives for Canton Bern, Switzerland. A large number of church records available online for free.
7. https://sh.ch/CMS/Webseite/Kanton-Schaffhausen/Beh-rde/Regierung/Staatskanzlei/Staatsarchiv-9664482-DE.html - Online church records for Canton Schaffhausen, Switzerland.
8. https://suche.staatsarchiv.djiktzh.ch/suchinfo.aspx – Online church records for Canton Zürich, Switzerland.
9. https://wiki.genealogy.net/Hauptseite – Large free German website with information on finding genealogical records for a given locality. Also has Online Ortsfamilienbücher.
10. https://www.badische-ortsfamilienbuecher.de/ – list of Ortsfamilienbücher for Baden.
Richard K. Konkel is Vice President of the South Central Pennsylvania Genealogical Society.