Brandenburg, Germany Genealogy

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Guide to Brandenburg ancestry, family history and genealogy: birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, parish registers, and military records.

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Information about Brandenburg, Germany

See also, How to Find Birth, Marriage, and Death Records for Brandenburg, Germany.

For German Research, You Must Know Your Ancestors' Town

  • To begin using the records of Germany, knowing that your family came from Brandenburg will not be enough to use the records of Germany. Records are kept on the local level, so you will have to know the town they lived in.
  • Details about the town will also help:
    • the county or "Kreis" of that town,
    • where the closest Evangelical Lutheran or Catholic parish church was (depending on their religion),
    • where the civil registration office ("Standesamt") was, and
    • if you have only a village name, you will need the name of the larger town it was part of.

Research to Find the Town

If you do not yet know the name of the town of your ancestor's birth, there are well-known strategies for a thorough hunt for it.

**See especially, Brandenburg, Prussia Emigration Records, index, ($).

If You Know the Town, Next Use Meyers Gazetteer

Once you know the town name you need, the other facts you need are contained in Meyers Orts- und Verkehrs-lexikon des deutschen Reichs, the gazetteer on which the FamilySearch catalog for Germany is based.

  • Use MeyersGaz, the digital gazetteer, to find the details you need, particularly the Kreis (county) it belonged to, found after "Kr" and the Regierungsbezirk (Administrative District) Niederbayern (RB).
  • MeyersGaz Help Guide
  • Abbreviation Table
  • Here is part of an entry from

The most important facts here are:

  1. Wellheim is in Eichstätt Bezirksamt (BA).
  2. It is in Regierungsbezirk (Administrative District) Middle Franconia (MFranken) (RB)
  3. It has its own Standesamt (StdA) or civil registration office.
  4. It has one Catholic parish church (kath. K.).
  5. By clicking on the "Ecclesiastical" option, we learn that the Protest church for Wellheim is in Eichstätt. We also find other nearby churches.

Main Entry Page


Comparison of Brandenburg in 1871 and Modern Brandenburg

At the end of World War II, a large section of 1871 Brandenburg, the Neumark, was ceded to Poland. As the Neumark lay east of the Oder-Neisse line which formed the new border between Allied-controlled Germany and Poland, the region was put under Polish administration. Germans remaining in the region were expelled and their land and possessions confiscated. A small part of the German population, mostly technicians for the water supply companies, were retained and used for compulsory labour; they were allowed to emigrate to Germany in the 1950s. According to the Centre Against Expulsions, 40,000 Neumarkers were killed in action as soldiers, 395,000 fled to West or East Germany by 1950, and 208,000 died, disappeared, or were murdered during the course of flight or expulsion by Polish and Soviet troops.

Brandenburg Prior to Partition (Click on the map to see a larger version.)

Province of Brandenburg Kingdom of Prussia, 1905, Administrative Map-1.png

Modern Brandenburg

(Click on the map, and then click on link "Original version" to see a larger version.) Karte der Ämter in Brandenburg.png

Kreise of the Neumark in 1873
  1. For the 1871 Meyers Gazettee and the Family History Library Catalog, these counties will be listed as part of Brandenburg.
  2. When dealing with modern locations, archives, and parish correspondence, they will be part of Poland.
  3. For help with research in the Neumark region, see Neumark (region), Brandenburg, Germany.


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