Germany Town Genealogies and Parish Register Inventories on the Internet

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What is an Ortssippenbuch or Ortsfamilienbuch?

An Ortssippenbuch (town clan book) or Ortsfamilienbuch (town family book) includes birth, marriage, and death data for all persons found in the local records during a specified time period, compiled into families. Sources may include the local parish registers, civil registration records, court- and land records, and sometimes published material. In the printed book, this information is then arranged in a standardized format, usually alphabetically by surname and chronologically by marriage date. Family entries are identified by sequential numbers. Town genealogies are known by various names, including “town lineage book,” “local heritage book,” “one-place-studies,” “Ortssippenbuch (OSB),” and “Ortsfamilienbuch (OFB).” This article will use the term “town genealogy” and the abbreviation OFB when referring to compilations that include all or a large part of a town’s population. “Häuserbűcher, ” or house books, constitute a unique version of a town genealogy. These books are usually arranged by house number or address and list the successive home owners and their families. Renters and others who did not own their homes may not be included in such a compilation. A few house books have also been published on the Internet.