For many German-Americans, tracing their history is not so easy. Records were lost or destroyed, and the old script can be difficult to read. While I am by no means an expert, I have found some German Genealogy Databases online that can help you find a little more about your German Ancestry.
I’ve also included links to a few groups who help Germans with American Fathers connect with their family in the US.
Finally, there is an online Bulletin board for family searches… you can input your information, and hopefully it will help you find the person you lost.
If you know of any websites or pages that would be helpful, please let me know in the comments, or email me at Germangirlinamerica@gmail.com.
Quick Look at the Contents
- German Genealogy Databases Online
- German Script Experts
- Facebook Groups that Help with Genealogy Research
- Maps of Germany / Find Places in Germany
- Database of German POWs in Soviet POW Camps WW2
- Records From Bordering Countries
- Information About the Original 13 German Families that Settled Germantown
- Finding People in Germany TODAY
- These are Sites to help German Children Find their American Father/Relatives
- Military Records
- Locating Lost Family Bulletin Board
- Legal Terms in Genealogy Records
- Books to help you with your Search
German Genealogy Databases Online
German Genealogy Site
Online German Genealogy Records and Databases
– Lists a number of websites including, emigration lists, grave records, Casualty lists, Hamburg Passenger lists, Historical Address books. Also lists some sites that are specific to different German States.
The German Genealogy Group
My Heritage (German Site)
You do need to sign up for this one
Top 100 Geneaology Websites
Lists 100 different Genealogy websites to use…. both paid and free (as of 2015)
A site that is logging all of the Graveyards and headstones around the world. Free to join and participate.
German Immigrants and Immigration
-German Genealogy Resources including Archives and Atlases… Also includes specific immigration information for Australia
Germany Births and Christenings
-the site also has tips to help you in your search
Early Immigration Records
-Castle Garden has records of had an immigrants who came to New York after 1820 and before 1892
German Script Experts
-Ute Brandenburg worked as a German research specialist for a nationally recognized company. Today she focuses on transcription and translation, as well as research projects in German church records.
Using German Church Records
-good tips for making sense of the Old German Alphabet and many of the symbols used in old Church Records.
Sites to help with German Script
German Gothic Letters
Omniglot- German Writing
Facebook Groups that Help with Genealogy Research
German Genealogy Records Transcription
The Germanna Foundation
The German American Heritage Museum
Geneaology East and West Prussia
International Pommeranian Mailing List
This site is in English and German. Not all records are available to everyone.
Maps of Germany / Find Places in Germany
-The borders of Germany have changed over the years… these older maps may have the cities you are looking for. Be aware, that some of the names of the towns were changed with the borders… I’ve included links to find those as well.
Detailed Maps of Germany
Germany in 1914- http://www.lib.k-state.edu/depts/spec/rarebooks/geography/atlas-1914-p73.jpg
Germany in 1938- http://www.probertencyclopaedia.com/photolib/maps/Map_of_Germany_1938.htm
Map of Surname Distribution
Where does your surname appear currently in Germany?
German Place Names That Were Changed After WW2
Included in this database are the following provinces: Eastprussia, including Memel, Westprussia, Brandenburg, Posen, Pomerania, and Silesia.
Database of German POWs in Soviet POW Camps WW2
DOCUMENTATION CENTER DRESDEN
These databases are not complete… but it might help find lost relatives. The site is in German, but you can translate by clicking the squares on the right end of the URL bar in the Chrome Browser
The Memorial Society Archive
This group maintains the databases for all the Soviet Camps. Inquiries can be sent to them.
Records From Bordering Countries
Records from 19th century marriage records from the historic Greater Poland (then Prussian Province of Poznan)
A lot of Catholic Germans and traders would cross border to The Netherlands. So one brother would be off to The Netherlands and on to the States. This might give you a clue in your searches.
(This site is in Dutch, but you can translate it if you are using Chrome… tap the two squares at the right end of the URL bar)
Information About Specific Cities/States
Information about families in Bremen… Lots of information here.
This genealogical web site is for researching your families and ancestors on the Island of Fehmarn, Großenbrode, and Heiligenhafen in Schleswig Holstein. The four church parishes in the city of Burg and the villages of Bannesdorf, Landkirchen, and Petersdor
Street names in Breslau that changed from German to Polish
(this site is in German)
Lüben – Pictures, History and Documents
(this site is in German)
A German site that lists the dead who are buried in the Alten Friedhof Sterberegister der Bad Nauheimer Kirchenbücher.
Information About the Original 13 German Families that Settled Germantown
Finding People in Germany TODAY
German Red Cross Tracing Service
History of the Red Cross Tracing Service- https://www.drk-suchdienst.de/en/about-us/history-grc-tracing-service
Submit a trace to the Red Cross- https://www.drk-suchdienst.de/en/initiate-tracing-requests
US Embassy Website- How do I find my Relatives and Friends in Germany
-lists current information, as well as some historical information
German Phone book White Pages
These are Sites to help German Children Find their American Father/Relatives
German children search for their father in the US
US Army Germany Searching
-us army Germany searching for lost relatives and friends
This website is a directory of links to online military indexes and records for USA genealogy research. Included are rosters, databases of soldiers, draft card databases for World War I and II, and listings of military and war casualties.
FindMyPast has a special collection of Military records from English Speaking countries… Australia, England, the US and more…
Locating Lost Family Bulletin Board
-Use this bulletin board to search for lost relatives and missing people by name or keyword and check to see if someone is looking for you by posting a query.
Legal Terms in Genealogy Records
Genealogy and the Law
Often you will come across legal terms or abbreviations…. this page has definitions for all of these terms
Books to help you with your Search
Tools to help you keep it organized.
In Search of Your German Roots. Fourth Edition, UpdatedA collection of upwards of thirty thousand names of German, Swiss, Dutch, French and other immigrants in Pennsylvania from 1727 to 1776…The Family Tree Guidebook to Europe: Your Essential Guide to Trace Your Genealogy in EuropeFinding Your German Ancestors: A Beginner’s Guide (Finding Your Ancestors)
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