Finding Parish Registers for Germany Areas Now in Other Countries

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German Boundaries Changes[edit | edit source]

There are wiki articles explaining how to do research in former territories of Germany. Study the map below and click on the correct region in the List of Former German Territories, the Date of the Boundary Change, and the Current Country.

North SchleswigMemelFree City of DanzigFree City of DanzigPomeraniaUpper SilesiaSilesiaHultschiner LaendchenPosenWest PrussiaPosenWest PrussiaSouthern East PrussiaSilesiaNorthern East PrussiaHultschiner LaendchenPomeraniaSilesiaAlsace-LorrainePomeraniaMalmedy-EupenAlsace-LorraineAlsace-LorraineCountries formerly in Germany.png

List of Former German Territories, the Date of the Boundary Change, and the Current Country[edit | edit source]

Alsace-Lorraine (Elsass-Lothringen), 1919: France
Brandenburg: the Neumark region, 1945: Poland
East Prussia, 1945:

Eupen-Malmédy, 1919: Belgium
Free City of Danzig, 1945: Poland
North Schleswig, 1919: Denmark
Pomerania (Pommern), 1945:

Posen, 1919: Wielkie Księstwo Poznańskie, Poland
Silesia (Schlesien), 1945:

The rest of this article deals with finding parish registers for formerly German areas, grouped by modern day country.

Digitized Parish Registers Online[edit | edit source]

  • “Matriken im Netz” (parish registers online), organized by countries or sometimes states. For Poland the listing includes both national and regional resources. (In German.)

Former Austro-Hungarian Empire[edit | edit source]

  • Portafontium- Bavarian-Czech network of digitized parish registers.
  • Matricula online – digitized church records from various European countries (currently Austria, Germany, Poland and Serbia).
  • Crossborder Archives – Written sources of Slovak and Austrian archives online. For digitized parish registers specifically go to Crossborder parish record search . Of special interest may be sacramental records from the military church office in Vienna for 1899-1905. The parents often came from far away, and their birth places are listed in the records.
  • Links to digital archives and online parish registers for the Czech Republic are found on the FamilySearch Wiki Czech portal page under “Online Databases”. Also see land records, school records, and regional noble domain archival collections on FamilySearch. Scroll down the alphabetic list the Czech Republic records. Most collections have not been indexed.
  • Use the gazetteer on to find the state archive that holds the records you need. Free registration with user name and password required. Various indexes are useful in conjunction with online parish registers.
  • Familia-Austria Portal includes links to archive pages for the various Austrian states and those of adjoining countries.

Poland[edit | edit source]

Polish State Archives[edit | edit source]

The Polish State archives platform is located at (archival collections on the Internet).


  • Go to the Polish State archives.
  • Click “English" on the top right.
  • Close the “Databases in State archives” banner that comes up.
  • Because results of simplified search are not very accurate (collections, units and items are mixed), please choose “Advanced search” under the search box.
  • Enter place/parish name [for example: “Grodzisk”] in the search box. Also check the following boxes “collections”, “vital records”, and ”only units with scans” if only material searchable online is desired. Click orange search button. Use Polish place names, but diacritics are not required. German place names generally will not work.
  • Choose a collection.
  • Click on “units” below the title.
  • A page of thumbnail images appears. You can click through those and go on to subsequent pages.
  • For easier viewing, use full screen button (left button on bottom right” or the magnifier (right button on bottom left , marked with a “z”).
  • The arrows for “previous” and “next” are found on the bottom left and right, and scans can be saved using the “download” button in the bottom center.

Another example:

  • Recently, the police registration cards for Gdansk/Danzig were put online, so, to locate those, I entered “Gdansk” in the “search” field and checked both “collections” and “only units/collections with scans". There were two results, and the top one is the one we need “Prezydium Policji w Gdańsku”. Notice the red arrow on “collection”. You can bypass the next arrow: “series” and click directly on “units”. This shows that the collection is alphabetically arranged by last name. Click down to locate the name group you need.
  • Click on “digital copies to bring up thumbnail images. Click on an image, then use forward/back arrows to navigate.
  • Images can be downloaded by clicking on the “expanding screen symbol on the bottom right.
  • If I enter “Gdansk”, then click on “Vital records and civil registers” I get 451 results. These are all records held by this archive. If I also check “only show units/collections with scans, this number changes to zero. So none of these records are available as images online at this point.
Central Archive of Historical Records in Warsaw(AGAD)[edit | edit source]

This archive has records from towns in the eastern areas of Poland that became part of the Ukraine after WWII and from Volhynia. Many of the images available here complement collections available on films through FamilySearch.


  • On the home page click on the collection of interest
  • On the left, click on “inwentarz” (inventory). In some collections, this is subdivided by districts etc.
  • A list of records, arranged alphabetically by locality, then record type, then time period, comes up.
  • You can also check the list of places by clicking on “Haslo”. Search or scroll down the list. If you find your place, go to the bottom to see available records.
  • If scans are available, the entry contains this hyperlink: “galleria ze skanami”.
  • This brings up the first page of thumbnail images.
  • The number of available pages is listed on the bottom, i.e. “strona 1 z 5” = “page 1 of 5”
  • Double-click on a thumbnail to bring up the page.
  • Use left-right arrows on the bottom to bring up the previous/ next page.
  • Click on the house (top center) to get back to the first thumbnail page.
  • To save the scan, right click on the image and choose option:”save picture as”.

Collections include:

Other Archives[edit | edit source]
  • GenBaza, additional images of church and civil registration records. Free registration is required. This website provides access to scans from the following archives:
    • State Archive in Kielce
    • State Archive in Sandomierz
    • State Archive in Grodzisk (available also without login)
    • State Archive in Pułtusk
    • State Archive in Łódź
    • Cath. Church Archive in Kielce.

Instructions for Using GenBaza

Polish Digital Libraries[edit | edit source]

Several Polish state archives have also established extensive digital libraries that include historical publications, genealogy society journals, and some wonderful maps. German-language materials are often categorized as “cultural heritage materials”. Most digital libraries are area-specific. GoogleTranslate helps a lot in navigating these sites.

  • Federation of Digital Libraries, includes a master catalog. For instance, a search for “Gdansk” brings up entries in about 50 different digital collections.
  • Pomorska Biblioteca Cyfrona, good example of a regional digital library that includes historical maps, German-language pre-1945 genealogical journals, indexes etc.
Polish Records Indexes[edit | edit source]

Vital records indexes for formerly German areas now located in Poland include:

Kaliningrad, Russia[edit | edit source]

Lithuania[edit | edit source]

Czechia[edit | edit source]

Denmark[edit | edit source]

Belgium[edit | edit source]

See also: Belgium Church Records

Church records for the area around Eupen that was transferred to Belgium can be found in the FamilySearch Catalog or on the website of the Belgian State Archive.

France[edit | edit source]