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Reading Old German Church Records

 
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roger.pape
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Joined: 17 Mar 2009
Posts: 385
Location: Liverpool, NY

PostPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2011 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reading Old German Church Records Reply with quote

Recently, I have started tracing some of my ancestors in old German church records. Fortunately, some of these Kirchenbuch have been preserved and microfilmed. The FamilySearch website has one of the best collections of those records. One way to check whether records are available for one of your ancestors is to go to the FamilySearch website. Enter the surname of your relative and see if any German church records show up in the search. Note that on this website, one can locate a family name if the particular records have been digitized and indexed. Since this effort is not complete, one can also check whether church records are available for a particular location by doing a place search in the library catalog at the FamilySearch catalog. (This assumes you know the village for the church where your ancestors were members.) This will show if there are any microfilms are available for that church.

While the goal of the LDS is to eventually make all of these records available on the Internet, the effort is only partially completed. It may be some time before the complete collection will be digitized, fully indexed, and posted on-line. Instead, one may have to borrow copies of the microfilms and work from these films. Actually, this is a worthwhile effort because there is a lot of family information in these books that may not be indexed on-line. I am fortunate to have a local LDS Family History Center near me, so this was feasible.

One of the major problems in reading the films is to understand the contents of each of the columns in the pages. So, I have written a quick guide to interpreting these old records (See German Church Records. ) Good luck to those of you who want to read them.
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