Saarland, Germany Genealogy
Historical Background[edit | edit source]
- The area which became Saarland was included in the First French Empire as part of the much larger département Sarre between 1798 and 1814. Prior to the French occupation, its territory had been divided between the Electorate of Trier, Nassau-Saarbrücken and the Electorate of the Palatinate (the Duchy of Zweibrücken and the County of Veldenz).
- After Napoleon was defeated in 1814, most of the Sarre department became part of Prussia, with smaller parts assigned to Duchy of Oldenburg (Birkenfeld) and Bavaria.
- Saarland was established in 1920 after World War I as the Territory of the Saar Basin, formed from parts of the Prussian province of Rhineland (Rheinland) and Bavaria. It was occupied and governed by France and the United Kingdom under a League of Nations mandate.
- Saarland was returned to Germany in the 1935.
- Following World War II, the French military administration in Allied-occupied Germany organized the territory as the Saar Protectorate from 1947, becoming a protectorate of France. The Territory comprised portions of the Prussian Rhenish Trier Region and the Bavarian district of the Palatinate.
- Between 1950 and 1956 Saarland was a member of the Council of Europe.
- Saarland joined the Federal Republic of Germany as a state on 1 January 1957. Wikipedia
Research Before 1920[edit | edit source]
For help with research in the time before Saarland was created, see:
Getting Started[edit | edit source]
Getting Started with Germany Research
Links to articles on getting started with German research:
Germany Research Tools
Links to tools and websites that assist in German research:
Historical Geography[edit | edit source]
Saar-Pfalz-(kreis or county) Was Bavarian
Finding Birth, Marriage, and Death Records for Saarland, Germany[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.
- Emigrants from the Rhineland (19th century), click on "Zum Findbuch 211.22.01" at the bottom of the page and it will download an excel spreadsheet with the full list of emigrants.
- Male immigrants from Rheinland and Westfalen, Prussia
- Female immigrants from Rheinland and Westfalen, Prussia
- Bavaria & Pfalz Emigrants
2. Use gazetteers and/or parish register 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.
At the end of both World Wars, the boundaries of the states were changed dramatically, as areas of Germany were distributed among the Allied nations. Eventually, after re-unification in 1990, the states of Germany settled into what they are today. It is also necessary to understand Germany by this system, as it affects the locations of civil registration offices, archives, and mailing addresses used in correspondence searches.
3. For birth, marriage, and death records beginning in 1798, use civil registration.[edit | edit source]
Follow the instructions in Saarland, Germany Civil Registration.
4. For baptism, marriage, and death records, use church records or parish registers.[edit | edit source]
Follow the instructions in Saarland, Germany Church Records.
More Research Strategies and Tools[edit | edit source]
- Germany Online Classes and Tutorials
- Reading German Handwritten Records Practice exercises to build your skills and confidence.
- Old German Script Transcriber (alte deutsche Handschriften): See your family names in the script of the era. Type your name or other word into the font generator tool. Click on the 8 different fonts. Save the image to your computer and use it as you work with old Germanic records.
- Finding Aids for German Records
- Research Tips and Strategies
- Print these handouts for ready reference when reading German Handwriting:
- Kurrent Letters Handout
- Numbers Handout
- Birth Records Handout
- Marriage Records Handout
- Death Records Handout
- Days and Months Handout
- Common Symbols Handout
- Common Abbreviations Handout
- List of Names in Old German Script A comprehensive list of German given names, written in old script, with possible variations.
- Fraktur Font--Many forms and books are printed in this font.
- German Research, BYU Independent Study, no cost.