German Genealogy Online Databases and Records

Research your German family tree online in this collection of online German genealogy databases and records. Available resources include German birth, death and marriage records, as well as census, immigration, military, and other genealogy records. While many German records are not available online, these German genealogy databases are a good place to begin researching your German family tree. Many of the records of my German mother-in-law's family are online - maybe your ancestors are as well!

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FamilySearch's German Historical Record Collections

six people in costumes at German festival

Tim Graham/Getty Images

If you know what you are looking for, or are willing to go beyond searching to browsing digitized images and indexes, then don't miss the superb collection of free digitized records available online at FamilySearch. Scroll through the list to find records ranging from city directories and church books, to emigration records and civil registers. Records are available from Anhalt, Baden, Bavaria, Brandenburg, Hesse, Hessen, Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Prussia, Saxony, Westfalen, Württemberg, and other localities.

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Germany Births & Baptisms, 1558–1898

A free, partial index to transcribed births and baptisms from around Germany, compiled primarily from the LDS record extraction project previously found in the International Genealogical Index (IGI). While not all baptisms and births in Germany from the covered time period are included, over 37 million are available from Baden, Bayern, Hessen, Pfalz, Preußen, Rheinland, Westfalen and Württemberg, Germany.

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Hamburg Passenger Lists, 1850–1934

This collection includes an index and digitized images of passenger manifests for ships departing the German port of Hamburg between 1850 and 1934 from (available by subscription only). The searchable index is complete for 1850–1914 (to the start of WWI) and 1920–1923. Unindexed passenger manifests can be accessed by using the companion database, Hamburg Passenger Lists, Handwritten Indexes, 1855-1934 to look up a name alphabetically by year to find the departure date or page number of the passenger list and then return to this database and select the volume (Band) that covers that date range and then browsing to the correct departure date or page number.

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National German Military Grave Registration Service

This free German genealogy database contains the names of more than two million German soldiers dead or missing from WWI or WWII. The site is in German, but you can find the words you need to fill in the database in this German Genealogy Word List or use their handy drop down menu to translate the site into English or other language.

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Bremen Passenger Lists, 1920–1939

While most of the Bremen, Germany passenger departure records were destroyed—either by German officials or during WWII—2,953 passenger lists for the years 1920 – 1939 have survived. The Bremen Society for Genealogical Investigation, DIE MAUS, has put transcriptions of these surviving Bremen passenger records online. An English version of the site is also available - look for the little British flag icon.

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German Marriages, 1558–1929

Over 7 million marriage records from across Germany have been transcribed and are available in a free online index from FamilySearch. This is only a partial listing of the many German marriages recorded, with the bulk of the records coming from Baden, Bayern, Hessen, Pfalz (Bayern), Preußen, Rhineland, Westfalen, and Württemberg.

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German Deaths & Burials, 1582–1958

A fairly small collection of indexed burial and death records from around Germany is available free on Over 3.5 million records are searchable, including deaths and burials from Baden, Bayern, Hessen, Pfalz (Bayern), Preußen, Rhineland, Westfalen, and Württemberg.

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Online Ortsfamilienbücher

Explore over 330 online local community heritage/lineage books containing the names of over 4 million people living in Germany. Typically, these privately published books list all of the families who lived in the village built on church records, court records, tax records, land records, etc.

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Poznań Marriage Indexing Project

Over 800,000 marriages have been transcribed and made available from both Catholic and Lutheran parishes of the former Prussian province of Posen,now Poznań, Poland. This volunteer-supported database is free for all to access.

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Emigration from Southwest Germany

The Landesarchiv Baden-Württemberg has a large searchable online database of emigrants from Baden, Württemberg, and Hohenzollern to locations around the world.

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Südbadische Standesbücher: Baden-Wuerttemberg Birth, Marriage & Death Registers

Birth, marriage, and death registers of 35 Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish communities in southern Baden are available online in digitized format from the State Archives of Freiburg. This includes approximately 870,000 images with more than 2.4 million genealogical records for towns in the administrative district of Freiburg for the period 1810-1870. The collaborative project of FamilySearch and the State Archive of Baden-Wuerttemberg will be adding additional records from the districts of Wuerttemberg.

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Auswanderer aus dem GroBherzogtum Oldenburg

The Oldenburghische Gesellschaft fur Familienkunde (Oldenburg Family History Society) has created this online database of emigrants from the Grand Duchy of Oldenburg, including research to put them in family groups.

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West Prussian Land Register of 1772–1773

This is largely a head of household registration, not a poll tax, and names male and some female head of households in West Prussia and the District of the Netze River by Prussia. Also included is a numerical indication of the children living in each household in 1772, generally designated as the number over and under 12 years of age.

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Poznań Marriages Database

Indexes and transcriptions of Poznan marriage records, including basic information such as the date, spouse, and parish where the marriage was contracted. Parents' names are generally recorded as well, if they exist in the original records.

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BASIA: Poznan Database of Archival Indexing System

This community indexing project is transcribing and indexing the scans of vital records which have been made online by the Polish National Archives. Search the records transcribed to date, or join the project and help to build the database.

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Virtual Church Book of the Bayreuth, Bavaria, Lutheran Archive

This non-profit association has scanned images and transcriptions of over 800 Lutheran registers online from twenty-six parishes. To view the records you will need to join an association and pay monthly dues, as well as an additional fee to access specific records.

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Matrikelbücher Online

Explore digitized church records from the Diocese of Passau, Diocese of Hildesheim, Evangelical Church of the Rhineland, Evangelical Church of Kurhessen-Waldeck, and the Evangelical Central Archive in Berlin. Only data over 100 years is available.

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Baden Registry Books, 1810–1870

Access digitized parish record duplicates covering the years 1810–1870 from parishes in Baden, Württemberg, available through the Landesarchiv Baden-Wuerttemberg. Organized by court district and parish.

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Civil Registers of Jewish Communities in Württemberg, Baden and Hohenzollern

Browse digitized microfilms of Jewish birth, marriage, and death records from Baden, Wuerttemberg, and Hohenzollern available through the Landesarchiv Baden-Wuerttemberg.

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Retro Bib

This site provides fully-searchable, online access to the "Meyers Konversationslexikon," 4th ed. 1888–1889, a major German language encyclopedia, as well as other general reference works.

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Meyers Orts Gazetteer of the German Empire - Digital Version

Originally compiled in 1912, Meyers Orts- und Verkehrs-Lexikon des Deutschen Reichs is

gazetteer to use to locate place names in Germany. This digitized version is available online for free from FamilySearch.

gazetteer to use to locate place names in Germany. This digitized version is available online for free from FamilySearch.

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Genealogy Indexer: Historical City Directories

Search 429,000 pages of historical directories and 28,000+ pages of 64 yizkor books (Holocaust memorial books focused around individual communities), primarily from countries in Central and Eastern Europe, including Germany.

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Your Citation
Powell, Kimberly. "German Genealogy Online Databases and Records." ThoughtCo, Sep. 8, 2021, Powell, Kimberly. (2021, September 8). German Genealogy Online Databases and Records. Retrieved from Powell, Kimberly. "German Genealogy Online Databases and Records." ThoughtCo. (accessed May 31, 2023).