German research begins in the United States. A researcher must first find the U.S. documents naming the German village, county, and state from which the German ancestor came. The following sites will help you get started on your German genealogical research and extend it further once you have the village name.

St. Louis Genealogical Society has an active German Special Interest Group. For more information on the G-SIG, click here.

1. Genealogy Research How-to Information:

Family History Library (FHL, aka Family Search): Assistance&show=all

National Genealogical Society: Click Education or also Videos

National Archives: Also has how-to information and information on its publications

World Library Catalog:

Library of Congress:

Allen County (Indiana) Public Library

Find State Libraries:

Find State Archives:

St. Louis and Missouri research: Free four-page guide; Click here

2. Detailed Information on How to Research U.S. States, Foreign Countries, Ethnicities, Other Topics:

FHL WIKI: On the map, click the continent and choose the country, or type the topic into the search box, such as:


Austro-Hungarian Empire:


3. The German Genealogy Website: Ahnenforschung, Familienforschung, Genealogie. Der Deutsche Genealogieserver. (formerly:

4. East Europeans, Austro-Hungarians, Germans in Russia, Germans Elsewhere in Europe: Foundation for East European Family History Studies:

5. Switzerland, Find the Heimat (Citizenship) Town of a Surname in a Particular Time Period: Familienbuch der Schweiz:

6. Jewish: JewishGen:

7. Polish: The Polish Genealogical Society of America:

8. Maps and Gazetteers:

German States, Current and Historical:

Current German Place Finder, with Current and Historical Jurisdiction Descriptions:

Meyers Orts Gazetteer for the Second German Empire:


FHL: and

Independent Online:

9. Regional German Gazetteers:

10. Converting German Names of Places no Longer in Germany to Language of Current Country:


Fuzzy Gazetteer:

11. Old German Script and Type:

A. Vocabulary: (See also the books listed below.)

B. Dictionaries:

C. Sütterlin Script:

1. Indiana German Heritage Society, Witter’s Deutsch-Englische Schreib-und Lese-Fibel und Neues Erstes Lesebuch für Americanische Freischulen, reprint of 1881 edition (Nashville: NCSSA Literatur, 1987) Buy for $5 (price valid in 2017) at; also online at

2. Edna Bentz, If I Can You Can Decipher Germanic Records (San Diego: Bentz, 1982)

3. Roger Minert, Deciphering Handwriting in German Docs (Provo: GRT, 2001)

4. Tutorial:

5. Scripts and script generator:

6. GenWiki (German website with free fonts):

7. Family History Library:

8. Script generator (website in German):

9. Free Old German fonts:

D. Fraktur type is found on many of the same sites as above.

12. Find Ortssippenbücher, Ortsfamilienbücher, Forfsippenbücher, local heritage books, etc.:

A. Online:

B. Find lists (website is in German; click “Regional,” “Regionale Forschung,” “Deutschland,” then the name of the state, and then “Ortsfamilienbüch.”):

C. Worldcat:

D. Catalogs of the Library of Congress, Family History Library, St. Louis County Library

E. Online books at websites like Google or in book stores in the U.S. and/or Germany

Last modified: 19-Jul-2017 17:24