How to Find Birth, Marriage, and Death Records in Baden-Württemberg
The current German state of Baden-Württenberg was created in 1952 by merging the German Empire states of Baden, Württemberg, and Hohenzollern. When searching in the FamilySearch Library catalog, use the German Empire state name, as that catalog was organized by place names in the 1871 Meyers gazetteer.
Town Compilation of Records (Ortssippenbuch or Ortsfamilienbuch )
- An Ortssippenbuch (town lineage book) or Ortsfamilienbuch (town family book) generally includes birth, marriage, and death data for all persons found in the local records during a specified time period, compiled into families. If one is available, it can act as an index or guide to finding the original records. However, they may contain errors, so it is best to verify their information in original records.
- Sources may include the local parish registers, civil registration records, court and land records, and sometimes published material. In the printed book, this information is then arranged in a standardized format, usually alphabetically by surname and chronologically by marriage date.
Ortssippenbücher usually end at the time very near to publication, which means that they can run all the way up to the present. They will go back in time to the earliest records of that locality. So, the starting dates vary considerably. In general, the dates begin in the 16th or 17th century, but some go back as far as the 15th century, as do those from the FHL.
How is an Ortssippenbuch organized and what will you find there?
An Ortssippenbuch is usually arranged alphabetically by surname and then chronologically by marriage date. A number of symbols for events are used to save space, such as * for birth, ∞ for marriage, and + for death. Abbreviations will also be used. To the novice, all these special symbols and abbreviations look very imposing and make the books difficult to use. But once these are mastered, the books become easy to use and are a great resource. You will find vital information on persons and possibly be able to link family lines for several generations.
Finding an OFB
Numerous town lineage books have been published for localities in Baden-Württemberg, both in print and online.
- Click here to see OFBs at GenWiki. These are indexed and searchable. OFB Instructions. The site also includes an extensive bibliography of OFBs in print.
- A bibliography of OFBs held by the Central Office for Person and Family History, and available in their archive in Frankfurt am Main-Höchst, is listed here. You can arrange for copied pages to be sent to you for a fee or donation. Use the "Find" function on your keyboard to search the bibliographies, as they are not alphabetical.
- Badische Ortssippenbücher Bibliography
- Württembergische Ortssippenbücher Bibliography
- Badische Ortsfamilienbücher, in print, for purchase.
- The Family History Library has a large collection of OSBs. It has just over 100 from Baden alone. In the FamilySearch catalog, in the "Place" field type the name of the town you are searching; when the list of types of records for that locality appears, click on "Genealogy."
- Evangelische Landeskirche in Baden lists nearly 300 places in approximately 150 books.
- Some Ortssippenbücher can also be found in the Landesarchiv Baden-Württemberg.