Church registers

This guide was last updated in 2009

Germany was more or less 50/50 Catholic and Protestant after the 30 Years War ended in the mid 17th century.

Most parishes will have registers that go back at least that far; though some have been destroyed in wars, fires and other disasters. Some are still in the parish but most will be in the local archives or, especially for places now no longer in Germany, in one of the specialist church archives.

The entries are usually very much fuller than you would find in the equivalent English register. In a baptism record, you will normally find both parents' names, places of origin and the father's occupation. Marriages will give even more information.

Many such registers have been microfilmed by the LDS and are available in Salt Lake City. You can find researchers based there who are willing and able to transcribe the register entries for a fee. If your Latin or German is not so good, this beats corresponding with a German archive

There were several German Protestant churches in Britain from the 17th century onwards, and a Catholic church in London from the 19th century. The surviving registers have been indexed by the Anglo-German Family History Society and can be searched by post. Many entries say where the immigrant came from in Germany.

Town and local archives
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Civil registration
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