1. What do we have?
We own microfilms of the church registers (Kirchenbücher) of all parishes of the Evangelical Church of the State of Württemberg (Evangelische Landeskirche in Württemberg). Since 1952 the State of Württemberg (up to 1918 Kingdom of Württemberg) has been part of the present day State of Baden Württemberg (see map). There are more than 1200 protestant congregations in Württemberg whose registers we have microfilmed.
These microfilms include all registers (baptisms, marriages, deaths) in some cases beginning in the late 1500s up to the year 1875. From 1876 to the present day births, marriages and deaths are recorded at the local Register offices (Standesamt).
Our micofilms also include the family registers (Familienregister) that were begun in 1808. One entry in the family register gives the name of the father (Hausvater) and the mother (Hausmutter) with the dates of their births, marriage and deaths. There are also mentioned the names of the parents of this couple as well as their children. Thus there are three generations on one sheet.
These microfilms can be viewed at our archives. In this case an appointment has to be made by phone beforehand (0711/2149-373). The microfilms will be loaned by written request in Germany and Europe to people willing to refund the postage.
Copies of all our microfilms are also in the possession of the Genealogical Society of Utah. For information ask: Family History Library, 35 North West Temple Street, Room 344, Salt Lake City, Utah, 84150-3440, USA.
2. What can we do for you?
Our general intention is to help people to do their research by themselves. Our staff is not big enough to do research, all we can do is to give you a start.
In most cases those, who are researching today are looking for people who emigrated in the 1900s. This is the time of the family registers (see above). We are willing to look up this family and to make a copy of the entry for this specific family for you.
We are able to give you only a copy and not a translation of the entry for the specific family. If you want more information, for example about former generations you will have to do the research by yourself or hire a professional genealogist. We are able to give you an adress.
Our church registers are not the only source for research. There are for example emigration records in the state archives that also can be searched. If you are looking for ancestors, who emigrated from Württemberg, Baden or Hohenzollern, but you don’t know the exact place of origin or further dates, you might consult the emigration database of the Landesarchiv Baden-Württemberg (www.auswanderer-bw.de).
3. What do we need from you?
It is essential that you give us the name of the place where your ancestor came from. There is no general index for the family names of the 1200 communities mentioned above. So look for documents preferably official ones like birth certificates (Geburtsurkunde), renunciation of citizenship (Bürgerrechtsverzichtsurkunde) and the like. There might also be an old family bible or even letters from the old country. As the old German script is not easy to read for people who are not used to it please just make a copy of your document and send it to us. We'll find out what it says.
It is useless to state that somebody came from a village "near" for example Stuttgart. In a densely populated country like ours there are dozens of villages near a bigger city and nobody will be able to search dozens of registers in hopes of finding a needle in a haystack.
You do not have to write us in German. Almost everybody here is able to read English.
The fee for our services is Euro 8,- per 15 minutes if one of our staff has to work on your questions. Each copy of an entry will cost Euro 0,80. There are other fees for the usage of our reader-printers and for mailing microfilms. If sending a check please remember that those for smaller amounts are mostly eaten up by the fees the banks charge. It is easier and generally safe to send cash in an envelope.
Extract of the Seelenregister of Beutelsbach, entry of Johann Conrad Wölflin, probably an ancestor of Barack Obama