German Genealogy Online

German Genealogy Databases and Records on the Internet

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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Research German Ancestors
Villagers in costume at beer festival in the village of Klais in Bavaria, Germany. Getty / Tim Graham

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.
Free

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Parish church of St. Sixtux in Schliersee, Bavaria, Germany
Lisa und Wilfried Bahnmüller / Getty Images

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.
Free

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Immigrants Boarding a Ship in Hamburg to America, 1874 Engraving
Craig McCausland / Getty Images

This collection includes an index and digitized images of passenger manifests for ships departing the German port of Hamburg between 1850 and 1934 from Ancestry.com (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.
Ancestry.com subscription required

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German military cemetery with 1463 graves from the Second World War.
Hans-Peter Merten / Getty Images

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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Group of immigrants arriving in New York City
SuperStock / Getty

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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Over 7 million marriage records from across Germany have been transcribed and are available in this 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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This fairly small collection of indexed burial and death records from around Germany, is available free on FamilySearch.org. 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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Browse digitized images of city directories from Berlin, from the period 1799–1943. Some directories are arranged alphabetically by the name of the head of house, while others are arranged street names and house numbers.

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This free searchable database compiled in collaboration with the museums of the city of Delmenhorst, includes details on about 1,000 individuals from the former county of Delmenhorst.

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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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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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The Genealogy Work Group of Schleswig-Holstein makes available several online databases for Schleswig-Holstein, including census transcriptions and databases of emigrants.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Originally compiled in 1912, Meyers Orts- und Verkehrs-Lexikon des Deutschen Reichs is the gazetteer to use to locate place names in Germany. This digitized version is available online for free from FamilySearch.

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