Cover image for Ancestors in German archives : a guide to family history sources
Ancestors in German archives : a guide to family history sources
Wright, Raymond S., III.
Publication Information:
Baltimore, MD : Genealogical Pub., [2004]

Physical Description:
x, 1189 pages ; 24 cm
General Note:
Includes indexes.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
CS614 .A53 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Grosvenor Room-Reference-Ethnic Collection

On Order

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

According to the 2000 census, nearly 43 million Americans--about 15 percent of respondents--claim to have German ancestry, making them the largest ethnic group in the U.S. People who are serious about exploring their German roots will find that sooner or later they need to turn to German archives, and this book was designed to help. It is one result of the German Immigrant Ancestors Project launched at Brigham Young University in 1996 to survey and catalog all the relevant public and private records in the Federal Republic of Germany. Information was collected from questionnaires sent to German archivists. Following an introductory chapter are two chapters that describe German government and religious archives, the two most common record repositories. Each of the remaining chapters covers a German state. The state chapters are divided into sections for state, city and regional, church, and family archives, with an additional section for other archives for which a Web site was found or questionnaire was returned. Within each section, archives are organized alphabetically by the name of the city in which they are located. The listing for each archive provides contact information (including Web sites and e-mail addresses when available) and summaries of the jurisdiction of each archive; what kinds of records it contains (for example, emigration records, military records, civil registration records); and how the records are organized. More than 2,000 archives are listed. Eighteen simple line maps help pinpoint locations. The volume concludes with an index of archives (by city) and an index of localities. Researchers will find this well-organized guide to be very helpful in sorting through the maze of German records. It belongs in all libraries holding large genealogy collections or serving an interest in German heritage. --Mary Ellen Quinn Copyright 2004 Booklist

Library Journal Review

German genealogical research challenges even the experienced researcher: it requires not only using records written in a foreign language but also identifying extant materials in another country. Wright (The Genealogist's Handbook) and his coauthors provide some respite to those challenges with this collection of data about genealogy-related materials in German archives. Using information culled from questionnaires sent to some 2000 archives, the authors have created an easy-to-use guide to records housed in federal, state, local, and church repositories. For each archive, they provide the name, address, email, and web site, if available, a detailing of the archive's jurisdiction, a description of how the archive's records are organized, and a listing of any published guides and/or collection descriptions for the archives. Helpful maps of modern Germany and its states are located throughout. Bottom Line While similar information is provided by myriad books on German genealogical research, such as Ernest Thode's Address Book for Germanic Genealogy or Frank Schumacher and Annette Marciel's Archives in Germany, none offers the amount of detail found in Wright's book. Recommended for genealogical, academic, and large public libraries. Elaine M. Kuhn, Allen Cty. P.L., Ft. Wayne, IN (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Wright and his associates provide a guide to about 2,000 archives located in Germany, giving basic information about each archive--address, phone number, Web site--and telling what kinds of records are available. Much of the information from major archives was gathered by looking at the archives' Web sites and translating the information into English. The compilers used direct contact to gather information from many smaller city and family archives that lack Web sites, or to enhance information supplied on Web sites. The arrangement is geographical, with the federal archives listed first. A very helpful introduction provides context and includes some history and maps. Although the book is massive and well worth the price, a significant number of entries simply say "no information available" after their basic information. This is to be expected in such a large undertaking and leaves room for updates. For the next edition, the compilers might usefully include microfilm numbers from the Family History Library in Salt Lake City for collections that have already been filmed. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Libraries and persons with strong interest in German family history. J. O. Christensen Brigham Young University