1. German’s Phonetics and Structure

      Das deutsche Alphabet – The German Alphabet

            Document 1–1: Army Volunteers from Bavaria

      Phonetics and Orthographics: The Sounds of Hochdeutsch



            Consonants and Consonant Combinations


            Definition of Terms

            German Declensions

            Declension of the Definite Article, der

            Declension of the Demonstrative Pronoun dieser

            Declension of the Indefinite Article, ein


                  Strong Declension of Adjectives

                  Weak Declension of Adjectives

                  Mixed Declension of Adjectives


                  Masculine Nouns

                  Feminine Nouns

                  Neuter Nouns

            The Chopping Block


                  Personal Pronouns

                  Relative Pronouns

                  Declension of the Relative Pronoun der

                  Possessive Pronouns and Adjectives

                  Demonstrative Pronouns

                  Reflexive Pronouns


                  Present Tense

                  Past Tense

                  Auxiliary Verbs

                  Future Tense

                  Present Perfect Tense

                  Past Perfect Tense

                  Indicative, Imperative, and Subjunctive Moods


                  Passive Voice



            German Word Order

                  Nouns and Adjectival Phrases

                  Verb Components


                  German Numerals

            Days of the Week





2. Locating Records in America That Lead Back to Europe

      A. Church Records

      Document 2-1: Page from a Marriage Register for a German Roman Catholic Parish in Chicago, Illinois

      B. Civil Vital Records

      C. Naturalization Records

      D. Passenger Lists

      E. Social Security

      F. Probate Records

      G. Fraternal Organizations and Clubs

      H. Parish or Congregation Histories

      I. Obituaries and Cemetery Inscriptions

      J. Enemy Alien Files

      K. Consular Records: Passport Applications

      L. Military Records

      M. Insurance and Fraternal Organization Death Claim Records

3. German Documents Created in North America

      Birth and Baptismal Records

            Document 3-1: Sacramental Register for Trinity Lutheran Church in Cleveland, Ohio

                  Document 3-1a: An Index to a Parish Register

                  Document 3-1b: An Index of Names Appearing in the Register

                  Document 3-1c: An Excerpt from Page 50 of the Register

            Document 3-2: Baptismal Records from St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in New York City

            Document 3-3: Baptismal Certificate from a Lutheran Church in Newark, New Jersey

            Document 3-4: Newspaper Lists

      Marriage Records

            Document 3-5: Marriage Entries in the Trinity Lutheran Church Register, Cleveland, Ohio

            Document 3-6: Marriage Register Entries from St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, New York City

                  Document 3-6a: An 1863 Entry from St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, New York City

                  Document 3-6b: An 1864 Marriage Entry from St. Peter’s Lutheran Church

                  Document 3-6c: An 1892 Entry from St. Peter’s Lutheran Church

            Document 3-7: An Entry in a Roman Catholic Register with Information in German

            Document 3-8: A Lutheran Marriage Certificate

      Death Records

            Document 3-9: Death Entries from Trinity Lutheran Church, Cleveland, Ohio

            Document 3-10: From the Death Register of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, New York City

                  Document 3-10a: Name Index for Deaths from St. Peter’s Lutheran Church

                  Document 3-10b: 1871 Excerpts from St. Peter’s Death Register

                  Document 3-10c: 1888 Excerpt from St. Peter’s Death Register

            Document 3-11: A Newspaper Obituary – 1853 Excerpt from a New Orleans Newspaper, Die deutsche Zeitung

            Document 3-12: 1912 Death Notices from Pittsburgh’s Volksblatt und Freiheits-Freund

            Document 3-13: 1914 Death Notices from the Providencer Anzeiger

      Other Sources of Information

            Document 3-14: List of Confirmations from Trinity Lutheran Church, Cleveland, Ohio

            Document 3-15: A Certificate Commemorating Confirmation

            Document 3-16: A Card Used to Recruit German Immigrants to Wisconsin

                  Document 3-16a: Front Side of a Card Recruiting Immigrants

                  Document 3-16b: The Back Side of the Card Recruiting Immigrants

            Document 3-17: Various Newspaper Announcements

            Document 3-18: A Membership Certificate in the Order of the Sons of Hermann

            Document 3-19: A German-Language Will from Clinton County, Pennsylvania

                  Document 3-19a: The First Paragraph of the Will

                  Document 3-19b: The Will Itself

            Document 3-20 through 3-25: Tombstone Inscriptions

                  Document 3-20: A Lutheran Tombstone

                  Document 3-21: Another Lutheran Tombstone

                  Document 3-22: Another Lutheran Tombstone in English and German

                  Document 3-23: A Catholic Tombstone

                  Document 3-24: Another Catholic Grave in St. Mary’s Cemetery

                  Document 3-25: One Last Tombstone for a Catholic

4. Finding the Right Place, and Writing the Found Place

      I’ve Found It—Where Is It?

            Figure 4-1: Das Deutsche Reich, 1871–1918

            Figure 4-2: The German Partition of Poland


            German-Language Gazetteers

            Document 4-1: A Sample Page from Meyers Orts-und Verkehrslexikon

            Document 4-2: A Sample Page from the Gemeindelexikon für das Königreich Preußen

            Document 4-3: Sample from Barthel’s Gazetteer of ... East and West Prussia

            Document 4-4: Sample from the Słownik geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego

            Other Sources

            Gazetteers for Former Austrian Territory

            Document 4-5: Page X from the Bukowina Volume of the Gemeindelexikon der im...

                  Definitions of Terms Indicated by the Symbols

            Document 4-6: Pages 2 and 3 from the Bukowina Volume of the Gemeindelexikon der im

            Document 4-7: Pages 14 and 15 from the Mähren Volume of the Gemeindelexikon der im

            Document 4-8: Sample from Jan Bigo’s Gazetteer of Galicia

            Document 4-9: Sample of the Primary Community List in Genealogical Gazetteer of Galicia

            Document 4-10: Sample of the German Name List in Genealogical Gazetteer of Galicia

      Regarding German Place Names in Chapter Six

      Maps of European Countries That Have or Had Large German Populations, Showing Modern Administrative Divisions


            Czech Republic



            Selected German Terms for Administrative Units, Past and Present




            Grand Duchy of Luxembourg

Writing the Found Place

      State and Regional Archives of Germany

      Archives Outside of Germany

      Civil Registration Offices and Town Archives

      Church Parish Offices

      Historical and Genealogical Societies

      “Deutsche Archive im Internet”

      Other Archives of Interest in Germany

      Ecclesiastical Archives in Germany

            Catholic Archives



            Lutheran Archives

      Archion – Online Portal

      Austrian State Archives

      Austrian Diocesan Archives

      Swiss State Archives

      Polish State Archives

            Regional Archives

      Ecclesiastical Archives in Poland

      Protestant Records in Poland

      Jewish Records in Poland

      Czech State Archives

      German Letter-Writing Guide

5. German Documents Originating in Europe

      Parish Registers – Birth and Baptismal Records

            I. Columnar-Form Original Entries in Registers

Document 5-1: A 1682 Parish Baptismal Entry from Olomouc, Czech Republic

Document 5-2: 1815 Baptismal Entries from Wiśnicze, Śląskie, Poland (Silesia)

Document 5-3: An 1837 Protestant Baptismal Register from Passau, Bavaria

Document 5-4: Catholic Baptismal Entries from Blansko, Czech Republic

Document 5-5: Jewish Birth Entries from Bernartice near Milevsko, Czech Republic

Note on Terms for Occupations and Social Status

Document 5-6: A Protestant Baptismal Register from Chodzież, Wielkopolskie, Poland

            II. Paragraph-Form Original Entries in Baptismal Registers

Document 5-7: A Baptismal Record from Bigonville, Luxembourg

Document 5-8: An 1809 Birth Record from Waldsolms, Hessen, Germany

Document 5-9: An 1860 Birth in Hardheim, Baden-Württemberg, Germany

            III. Certificates Drawn up on the Basis of Original Entries in Registers

Document 5-10: A Transcript from an 1831 Birth Record, Seulberg, Hessen, Germany

Document 5-11: An 1897 Birth/Baptismal Certificate from Kärnten, Austria

Document 5-12: A 1911 Baptismal Certificate, Brzozie, Kujawsko-Pomorskie, Poland

Document 5-13: A 1900 Jewish Certificate for an 1899 Birth, Suceava, Romania

Document 5-14: An 1876 Birth Certificate from Wysławice, Wielkopolskie, Poland

Document 5-15: A Baptismal Certificate on a Postcard, Halle (Salle), Germany

      Marriage Entries and Certificates

            I. Columnar-Form Original Entries in Registers

Document 5-16: An Index to a Protestant Marriage Register from Klagenfurt, Austria

Document 5-17: An 1863 Entry from the Klagenfurt Protestant Marriage Register

Document 5-18: Columnar Entries from the Catholic Parish in Smilov, Czech Republic

Document 5-19: An 1874 Entry from the Catholic Parish Marriage Register in Smilov

Document 5-20: Jewish Marriage Entries from Kozliv, Ukraine (Formerly Galizien)

Document 5-21: Entries from a Handwritten Protestant Register, Northeastern Germany

Document 5-22: An 1870 Columnar Entry from a Czech Military Register

            II. Paragraph-Form Original Entries in Registers

Document 5-23: An 1854 Marriage Record from Itzig, Luxembourg

Document 5-24: A Handwritten Entry from Żelazna, Opolskie, Poland

Document 5-25: A Printed Form from Wysławice, Wielkopolskie, Poland

Document 5-26: Notice of Intent to Marry in Municipal Files of Dinkelsbühl, Germany

      Death Entries and Certificates

            I. Columnar-Form Original Entries in Registers

Document 5-27: Index to a Death Register for Klagenfurt, Austria

Document 5-28: 1863 Entries from the Protestant Death Register for Klagenfurt

Document 5-29: A Jewish Man’s 1881 Coroner’s Record from Rozdil, Ukraine (Galizien)

Document 5-30: 1793–1795 Death Entries from České Budějovice, Czech Republic

Document 5-31: An 1843 Military Death Record from a Czech Parish

Document 5-32: A 1917 Entry from an Austro-Hungarian Military Death Register

            II. Paragraph-Form Original Entries in Registers

Document 5-33: 1589 Death Records from the Area of Baden, Germany

Document 5-34: An 1864 Printed Form from Bigonville, Luxembourg

Document 5-35: An 1853 Entry from a Death Register in Landau in der Pfalz, Bavaria

Document 5-36: An 1880 Death Entry from Bolszewo, Pomorskie, Poland

Document 5-37: An 1885 Death Entry from an Asylum in a Suburb of Berlin, Germany

            III. Certificates Drawn Up on the Basis of Death Register Entries

Document 5-38: A 1936 Death Certificate from Hamburg, Germany

            IV. Other Death-Related Records

Documents 5-39 through 5-41: Medical Examiners’ Certificates from Bukowsko, Podkarpackie, Poland (formerly Galizien)

Document 5-42: An 1858 Death Notice from a Newspaper in Munich, Germany

      Other Documents of Genealogical Value

            I. Censuses, Revision Lists, Police Registration Records, Etc.

Document 5-43: Records from the 1867 Census in Mecklenburg-Schwerin

Document 5-44: Revision List Entries for Bauska, Latvia (formerly Russian Empire)

Document 5-45: Revision List Entries from Kleinliebenthal, Now in Ukraine

Document 5-46: A 1916 Persons- und Melde-Nachweis from Lviv, Ukraine

Document 5-47: Identification Papers in Nazi-Occupied Poland

      II. Papers for Citizenship, Right of Domicile, Etc.

Document 5-48: A Transcription of a 1670 Citizenship Request, Basel, Switzerland

Document 5-49: An 1840 Bürgereid or “Citizen’s Oath,” Bremen, Germany

Document 5-50: A 1906 Request for Heimatrecht, Right of Domicile, in Passau, Bavaria

Document 5-51: A “Homeless” Woman’s Request for Aid in Passau, Bavaria

Document 5-52: An 1845 Hessen Heimathschein or Certificate of Domicile

      III. Property Records

Document 5-53: Cadastral Entries for Cheremoshnia, Ukraine (Formerly Galizien)

Document 5-54: Receipts in the Land Records of Český Těšín, Czech Republic

Document 5-55: A Property Transfer and Marriage Contract, Nove Mesto, Slovenia

Document 5-56: Pages from a Probate Record, Schwäbisch Hall, Württemberg, Germany

      IV. Military Documents

Document 5-57: A Haupt-Grundbuchblatt, Page from Austrian Military Service Records

Document 5-58: A Pre-World War I German Militärpaß

German Abbreviations

Document 5-59: A Draft Lottery and Muster Certificate

Document 5-60: A Führungs-Attest or Military Good Conduct Certificate

      V. Papers Needed by Civilians

Document 5-61: Travel Authorization for a Civilian, Kamen, Germany

Document 5-62: An 1886 Certificate for a Journeyman Smith’s Test, West Prussia

Document 5-63: A Servant’s Employment Booklet from the Krosno, Poland Area

Document 5-64: A Servant’s Employment Booklet from Former West Prussia

Document 5-65: An 1841 Berlin Certificate of Citizenship for a Jewish Man

Document 5-66: An 1833 Request for Schutzgeld from a Jewish Resident

Document 5-67: A 1942 Letter Appealing a Resettlement Order from the Łódź Ghetto

Document 5-68: An 1854 Prussian Reise-Paß or Travel Pass

Document 5-69: An 1821 Austrian Reisepaß or Travel Pass

Document 5-70: A Cieszyn Commandant’s Leave for a Man to Travel to America

Document 5-71: A Prussian Passport Booklet

Document 5-72: A Polish-German-Ukrainian Passport for Livestock

VI. Items Connected with Emigration

Document 5-73: A Brochure Distributed in Prussia to Promote Michigan

Document 5-74: A Shipping Line’s Advertisement in a Jewish Newspaper

Document 5-75: An Abmeldeschein or “Unregistration” Certificate

Document 5-76: A Shipping Contract from Bremen to Suffield, Connecticut

Document 5-77: A Hamburg-America Line Passenger List

VII. Papers Unique to the Nazi Period

Document 5-78: A 1934 Letter Requesting Proof of Aryan Descent

Document 5-79: An Ahnenpaß or “Ancestor Pass”

6. German Vocabulary

      Latin Titles Indicating Social Status, and Their Significance

      Causes of Death and Other Death-Related Vocabulary

      Family Relationships

      Numbers, Cardinal and Ordinal

      Months of the Year

      Days of the Week

      Rendering of Dates

      Master Vocabulary List

      Symbols and Abbreviations Used in This Book

      Symbols Seen in Records

7. German Given Names and Equivalents

8. Acknowledgements and Bibliography

9. Index