German Residential Records For Genealogists: Tracing Your Ancestor From Place to Place in Germany

German Residential Records For Genealogists: Tracing Your Ancestor From Place to Place in Germany

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German Residential Records For Genealogists: Tracing Your Ancestor From Place to Place in Germany; Roger P. Minert, Ph.D., A.G.; 2018; Soft Cover; 193 pp; 8.5x11; ISBN: 978-1-62859-214-6; Item #: FR0652.

The volume is also available in a hardbound edition.

Sometime before the completion of Dr. Roger Minert's 2016 book, German Census Records, 1816-1916, he found himself studying one of the best examples of residential registration he had found in four decades of Germanic family history research. The page established for Theresia Baumgärtner, who arrived in Würzburg from München in 1889, is replete with details about her partner and their illegitimate children. Roger began to research the origins of the practice of documenting strangers and foreigners in Germany - finding that the practice was used all over Germany - and goes back for centuries in some areas. Thus this book was conceived.

German residential records are found in archives all over Germany, and yes - many have been microfilmed and are available through the Family History Library. This book, German state by German state, details the history of these records. Tremendous numbers of these records were made, in that residential registration is a fact of life in Germany, an idea that's foreign to American researchers. The volume not only details the laws for each historic area of the Germany Empire, but includes examples, and state-by-state information on accessing these documents.

The following is from the Table of Contents:

  • Acknowledgements
  • A History of Residential Registration in Germany
  • Chapter 1: Anhalt
  • Chapter 2: Baden
  • Chapter 3: Bayern (Bavaria)
  • Chapter 4: Brandenburg
  • Chapter 5: Braunschweig (Brunswick)
  • Chapter 6: Bremen (Hansestadt Bremen)
  • Chapter 7: Elsaß-Lothringen (Alsace-Lorraine)
  • Chapter 8: Hamburg (Hansestadt Hamburg)
  • Chapter 9: Hannover (Hanover)
  • Chapter 10: Hessen (Hesse)
  • Chapter 11: Hessen-Nassau (Hesse-Nassau)
  • Chapter 12: Hohenzollern
  • Chapter 13: Lippe
  • Chapter 14: Lübeck (Hansestadt Lübeck, Luebeck)
  • Chapter 15: Mecklenburg-Schwerin
  • Chapter 16: Mecklenburg-Strelitz
  • Chapter 17: Oldenburg
  • Chapter 18: Ostpreußen (East Prussia)
  • Chapter 19: Pommern (Pomerania)
  • Chapter 20: Posen
  • Chapter 21: Reuß älterer Linie (Reuss Elder Line)
  • Chapter 22: Reuß jüngerer Linie (Reuß Younger Line)
  • Chapter 23: Rheinprovinz (Rhineland Province)
  • Chapter 24: Sachsen-Altenburg (Saxe-Altenburg)
  • Chapter 25: Sachsen-Coburg-Gotha (Saxe-Coburg-Gotha)
  • Chapter 26: Königreich Sachsen (Kingdom of Saxony)
  • Chapter 27: Sachsen-Meiningen (Saxe-Meiningen)
  • Chapter 28: Provinz Sachsen (Province of Saxony)
  • Chapter 29: Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach (Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach)
  • Chapter 30: Schaumburg-Lippe
  • Chapter 31: Schlesien (Silesia)
  • Chapter 32: Schleswig-Holstein
  • Chapter 33: Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt
  • Chapter 34: Schwarzburg-Sondershausen
  • Chapter 35: Waldeck
  • Chapter 36: Westfalen (Westphalia)
  • Chapter 37: Westpreußen (West Prussia)
  • Chapter 38: Württemberg (Wuerttemberg)
  • Appendix A: Writing to Archives in Germany, France, and Poland
  • Appendix B: Conducting Residential Research in Archives in Germany, France, and Poland
  • Appendix C: The States of the German Empire from 1871 to 1918
  • Appendix D: Glossary
  • Index
  • About the Author

Following are comments made about German Residential Records for Genealogists:

  • Wouldn't you know! Roger P. Minert has pounced on still another German research topic. And he's shared it with German family historians. We’ve known for a long time about the existence of these residential registration records, but we've not known much of anything about how to put those records to work in our own research. Now we can learn not only the background of these records – what this “signing in” and “signing out” business was all about through German centuries – but most important – now we can learn how to go about finding these ancestral “traveling around” records. When Minert recently found dramatic examples of these long-ago German “comings and goings” records, they lighted a spark in him that fired up this book. Shirley Riemer, author, and German genealogy research professional

  • Roger Minert has done it again! He has discovered yet another German record type that is universal, of utmost value to family historians, not widely recognized as a genealogical source, and has shown us how to use it. This time it is residential registrations. Minert describes the genesis of his book and the German legal basis behind such records, and he elucidates terms such as Polizei and Fremde and Heimat that can be misleading to Americans. Following the same format he successfully used in his groundbreaking German census book, German state by German state, he methodically spells out each state’s laws, provides sample record forms or records, and suggests how best to obtain records from archives. Hint: Local is best. I can vouch for the usefulness of this type of record. When I recently obtained my father’s citizenship file from USCIS, I was amazed to learn his place of residence every day from birth until his emigration from two jurisdictions in Schleswig-Holstein, including the exact dates when he went to work on my uncle’s farm in different years and when he came back to his parental home. Each local residential registration office keeps records of all arrivals and departures of everybody, and he needed to document his good standing with the residential policing authority in each place in order to get his visa to emigrate. Like German census records, residential registration records are underrepresented in FHL microfilm and internet sites and hardly ever used as a genealogical source even by Germans, partly because they are described by many dissimilar terms in different areas. But at least now we know how to look for them, thanks to Minert’s book. Ernie Thode - author, researcher, and lecturer in Germanic family history

About the Author

Roger P. Minert is a Nebraska native with ancestry in Hannover, Baden, Sachsen-Provinz, and Württemberg. He received his doctoral degree from the Ohio State University in German language history and second language acquisition theory. He taught German language and history for ten years, and then became a professional family history researcher. Accredited by the Family History Library for research in Germany and Austria, he has more than 38,000 hours of research experience. In August 2003, Dr. Minert became a professor of family history at Brigham Young University. The author of more than 150 books and articles, he is currently directing the research project “German Immigrants in American Church Records” that has already resulted in 25 large hard-bound volumes under this title. His next publication will be a book entitled “Austrian Family History Research: Sources and Methods.” He and his wife Jeanne have four daughters and 21 grandchildren.