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Bavaria (Bayern), German Empire Genealogy

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Bavaria (Bayern)
Bavaria (Bayern),
German Empire Wiki Topics
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Getting Started
Major Bavaria (Bayern)
Record Types
Reading the Records
Additional Bavaria (Bayern)
Record Types
Bavaria (Bayern) Background
Local Research Resources
Germany Record Types
Germany Background


Guide to Bavaria (Bayern), German Empire ancestry, family history, and genealogy before 1945: birth records, marriage records, death records, family history, and military records.

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Historical Background[edit | edit source]

  • The Kingdom of Bavaria (German: Königreich Bayern) was a German state that succeeded the former Electorate of Bavaria in 1805 and continued to exist until 1918.
  • Most of Bavaria's present-day borders were established after 1814 with the Treaty of Paris, in which Bavaria ceded Tyrol and Vorarlberg to the Austrian Empire while receiving Aschaffenburg and Würzburg.
  • With the unification of Germany into the German Empire in 1871, the kingdom became a federal state of the new Empire and was second in size, power, and wealth only to the leading state, the Kingdom of Prussia.
  • In 1918, Bavaria became a republic, and the kingdom was thus succeeded by the current Free State of Bavaria, after the abolition of monarchy in the aftermath of World War I.
  • Bavarians foster different cultural identities: 
    • Franconia in the north, speaking East Franconian German;
    • Bavarian Swabia in the south west, speaking Swabian German; and 
    • Altbayern (so-called "Old Bavaria”), the regions forming the “historic" Bavaria, at present the districts of the Upper Palatinate, Lower and Upper Bavaria, speaking Austro-Bavarian.
  • Moreover, by the expulsion of German speakers from Eastern Europe, Bavaria has received a large population that was not traditionally Bavarian. In particular, the Sudeten Germans, expelled from neighboring Czechoslovakia, have been deemed to have become the "fourth tribe" of Bavarians.
  • Following the end of World War II, Bavaria was occupied for a while by US forces, who reestablished the state on 19 September 1945, and during the Cold War it was part of West Germany.
  • The Rhenish Palatinate was detached from Bavaria in 1946 and made part of the new state Rhineland-Palatinate. Wikipedia

Getting Started[edit | edit source]

Getting Started with Germany Research

Links to articles on getting started with German research:

See More Research Strategies

Germany Research Tools

Links to tools and websites that assist in German research:

See More Research Tools

Historical Geography[edit | edit source]

Bavaria (Bayern) within the German Empire

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Bavaria (Bayern) 1871-1946

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Modern Bavaria (Bayern)


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History of Bavaria (Bayern) in the German Empire
Geo-Political Differences Today
FamilySearch Catalog
(organized by 1871 Meyer's Gazetteer)
Wiki Pages

Bavaria (Bayern)

1920: current state of Bavaria annexed Coburg, from Saxe-Coburg-Gotha
1945: Lost the Pfalz (Palatinate) to Rhineland-Palatinate (Rheinland-Pfalz).
1957: The Saar-Pfalz became part of the current state of Saarland (Map)

Bavaria: Bayern
Coburg: Sachsen-Coburg-Gotha

Finding Birth, Marriage, and Death Records for Bavaria (Bayern)[edit | edit source]

Most of the information you need to identify you ancestors and their families will be found in two major record groups: civil registration and church records. To locate these records, follow the instructions in these Wiki articles.

1. Find the name of your ancestor's town in family history records.[edit | edit source]

Records were kept on the local level. You must know the town where your ancestor lived. If your ancestor was a United States Immigrant, use the information in the Wiki article Germany Finding Town of Origin to find evidence of the name of the town where your ancestors lived in Germany.
Also, see:

2. Use gazetteers and/or parish inventories to learn more important details.[edit | edit source]

Your ancestor's town might have been too small to have its own parish church or civil registration office. Find the location of the Catholic or Lutheran (Evangelical) parish that served your ancestor's locality. Find the name of the civil registration office (standesamt) that serves your ancestor's locality. Use the Wiki article Finding Aids For German Records for step-by-step instructions.

Germany was first unified as a nation in 1871. An important gazetteer, Meyers Orts- und Verkehrs-lexikon des deutschen Reichs, "Meyer's Gazetter" for short, details the place names of villages, towns, counties (kreise), and higher jurisdictions used at that time. In the Research Wiki, FamilySearch Catalog, and FamilySearch Historical Records, the records of Germany are organized using those place names.

3. For birth, marriage, and death records after 1 January 1876, use civil registration.[edit | edit source]

Follow the instructions in Bavaria (Bayern), German Empire Civil Registration.

4. For baptism, marriage, and death records, use church records or parish registers.[edit | edit source]

Follow the instructions in Bavaria (Bayern), German Empire Church Records.


More Research Strategies and Tools[edit | edit source]