Thuringia, Germany Genealogy

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

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After the extinction of the reigning Ludowingian line of counts and landgraves in 1247 and the War of the Thuringian Succession from 1247 to 1264, the western half became independent under the name of "Hesse", never to become a part of Thuringia again. Some reordering of the Thuringian states occurred during the German Mediatisation from 1795 to 1814, and the territory was included within the Napoleonic Confederation of the Rhine organized in 1806.
In 1930 Thuringia was one of the free states where the Nazis gained real political power. Wilhelm Frick was appointed Minister of the Interior for the state of Thuringia after the Nazi Party won six delegates. In this position he removed from the Thuringia police force anyone he suspected of being a republican and replaced them with men who were favourable towards the Nazi Party. He also ensured that whenever an important position came up within Thuringia, he used his power to ensure that a Nazi was given that post.

Thüringia (Thüringen): Reuss Older Line, Reuss Younger Line, Saxony-Altenburg, Saxony-Meiningen, Saxony-Weimar-Eisenach, Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt, Schwarzburg-Sondershausen

Today's state of Thüringia was created after the Second World War by uniting the countries Reuss Older Line, Reuss Younger Line, Saxony- Altenburg, Saxony-Meiningen, Saxony-Weimar-Eisenach, Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt, and Schwarzburg-Sondershausen.

Finding Birth, Marriage, and Death Records for Thuringia

For German Research, You Must Know Your Ancestors' Town

  • To begin using the records of Germany, knowing that your family came from Thuringia 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.

This database contains the names of 1,890 people who immigrated from the province of Sachsen-Coburg, Germany. This list is taken from newspapers of the period and passport information.
This database contains the names of 3,152 people who immigrated from the province of Sachsen-Meiningen, Germany. This list is taken from newspapers of the period and passport information.

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.

Here is part of an entry from (The whole entry can be studied at Heusenstamm, MeyersGaz.)

The most important facts here are:

  1. Heusenstamm is in Offenbach Kreis (Kr).
  2. It has its own Standesamt (StdA) or civil registration office.
  3. It has its own Catholic parish church.
  4. By clicking on the "Ecclesiastical" option, we learn that the closest protestant church is 2 miles away in Bieber.

  • If you find several towns of the same name, checking each one for the birth record of your ancestor may be needed to narrow down the field.

Jurisdictions and Records

Former States Now in Thuringia (Thüringen)

From these historic areas
now in Thuringia (Thüringen),
click below'on the related
article for the region.

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Former States Now in Thuringia (Thüringen)


Modern Administrative Districts

Thuringia, administrative divisions.png

Research Tools

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