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soc.genealogy.german Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ), Part 4/4

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Archive-name: genealogy/german-faq/part4
Posting-Frequency: monthly
Last-modified: 2005/01/01
Version: 2.9

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     soc.genealogy.german Frequently Asked Questions List, Part 4/4
     Copyright (c) 2005 by Jim Eggert,
     Version 2.9, 1 Jan 2005.  All Rights Reserved.

Subject: 23. How can I send money to Germany? The most convenient and economical way to send money overseas is to use a credit card for payment. Then you avoid bank fees and get a good exchange rate. For small amounts you might consider sending European cash, which you should be able to procure at most banks, with a somewhat worse exchange rate and also an exchange fee. For larger amounts you might want to send a bank wire. Checks drafted in foreign currency may also be obtained from International Currency Express Inc. for a US$10 fee. See <> or call +1-888-278-6628. In Germany, International Reply Coupons (IRCs) can only be redeemed for postage, and even then only one coupon per piece of outgoing international mail. Thus IRCs are not a general means of payment. International postal money orders are not accepted in Germany.
Subject: 24. What is the IGI? The International Genealogical Index is maintained by the FHL and is available on microfiche or CD-ROM at your local LDS FHC, and online at <>. It contains millions of birthdates, christening dates, marriages, etc., indexed by surname. It is by no means a complete index to all records, however. Furthermore, it should be considered to be just an index; you should always consult the source documents for IGI entries of interest, as they may contain more information and the IGI may have errors in transcription. Batch numbers enable town-selective searches in the IGI. A batch number index for German records in the IGI can be found at <>
Subject: 25. Where can I find passenger lists or ship information? Ship passenger lists appear in two basic types: embarkation and arrival lists. German emigrants after 1850 typically embarked in Hamburg or Bremen; before the 1830s the usual ports were Le Havre, Antwerp, Rotterdam, and Amsterdam. The Bremen passenger lists of 1832-1872 were destroyed in 1875 by governmental decree owing to want of storage space. Thereafter only the current and two previous years were kept, until the destruction ceased in 1907. The lists of 1906-1931 were placed in the Statistisches Landesamt Bremen, which was bombed on 6 October 1944, resulting in the destruction of the remaining Bremen lists. An incomplete name index of the lists for 1904-1914 is held at the Bundesarchiv Koblenz, with microfilms available via your local LDS FHC. The Bremen Handelskammer archives has an apparently complete duplicate of the lists for 1920-1923,1925-1939 and a few lists back to 1834. The Hamburg embarkation lists 1850-1934 are available on microfilm via your local LDS FHC. They are indexed and usually indicate the last residence of the emigrant, an important datum for researchers. A few Bremen and Hamburg embarkation lists otherwise unavailable were published in the Allgemeine Auswanderungs-Zeitung (1847-1871, Rudolstadt). Some of these have been republished by Clifford Neal Smith and others. Arrival lists are available for many American ports, but are not quite as useful as the embarkation lists in determining place of last residence. The US arrival lists are available at the US National Archives, many large research and genealogical libraries, and through your local LDS FHC. Many of the New York City arrival lists in the period 1892-1924 are available online at <> The arrival lists are also partially indexed in the book series _Germans to America_. See also the pages at <> <> <> <> Some passenger ship information can be found online at <> <> <> <>
Subject: 26. What is _Germans to America_? _Germans to America_ is a book series devoted to indexed transcriptions of passenger lists of vessels carrying Germans to America. It will cover the period 1840-1897. It does not index all Germans who emigrated to America, and it does have problems with its inclusion criteria and transcription fidelity. But it is very easy to use and often quite helpful. It should be considered to be just an index; you should always consult the source passenger lists for entries of interest, as they may contain more information and the index may have errors in its transcription of the source information. Note also that 000 means either Obermoellrich or (usually) an unknown place! The volumes that have appeared so far are listed on the German genealogy server at <> The books themselves are not on the Internet, but they are available at many large research and genealogical libraries. A list of holding libraries is available on the same server. A portion of the series is also available on CD-ROM.
Subject: 27. What German archives and/or genealogical organizations are there? Andreas Hanacek maintains a list of German archives of genealogical interest as part of an excellent offering at <> Information about archives is also available in the regional pages on the German genealogy server at <> Polish archives are listed at <> There is a list of German and German-related genealogical organizations on the German genealogy server at <>
Subject: 28. How do I find a book about abc or xyz? If you know the title and author, go to your favorite library and ask the librarian for help. They can often get books through interlibrary loan; fees may be involved. If you don't know exactly what you are looking for, try browsing one of the online library catalogs. Some of the best are Harvard University <> University of California (UC) <> US Library of Congress (LOC) <> Gemeinsamer Verbundkatalog (GVK) <> Karlsruher Virtueller Katalog (KVK) <> Search engine for a number of German online catalogs. For lists of other such online catalogs, and there are many, try <> <> <> To find German-language books in print, use the Verzeichnis Lieferbarer B"ucher at <> To purchase books from Germany, try an online German bookseller: <> B"ucherzentrum Sch"onhuber <> Sack/Struppe & Winckler <> Osiandersche Buchhandlung <> Bouvier/Gonski <> <> R"osslitor (Swiss) Lists of publishers and bookstores with an Internet presence are at <> <>
Subject: 29. Should I buy a surname/crest/family history book sold by mail? Be careful. Some unscrupulous firms offer books that are compiled mostly from phone lists you can get for free on the Internet. The books also contain some general and often erroneous information on the origin of the family name and a crest. More information is available from the National Genealogy Society's Consumer Protection Committee at <>
Subject: 30. Where do I go on the Internet for German genealogy? The first place to go is the German genealogy server at <> <> It offers many useful articles, reports, reviews, and links to other Internet resources. The Federation of Eastern European Family History Societies has lots of information useful to German researchers, including maps, at <> The German GenWeb project is at <> Adalbert Goertz has written several regional German FAQs: <> Many regional German genealogy e-mail lists are available. See <> <> <> The Virtual University German Study Group has materials at <> For lists of German genealogy sites, see <> <>
Subject: 31. What are soc.genealogy.german, soc.genealogy.surnames.german, and de.sci.genealogie? The two Usenet newsgroups of interest to German genealogists are soc.genealogy.german and de.sci.genealogie. If you are trying to understand something, find a resource, get advice, or find relatives, post to soc.genealogy.german. If you prefer to read German-language postings only, then read de.sci.genealogie. Soc.genealogy.german is an unmoderated Usenet news group for queries and discussion of all matters relating to German genealogy. "German" here refers to language, and thus explicitly includes German, German- American, Austrian, Swiss, Alsatian, Luxembourger, Liechtensteiner and Eastern European German genealogy. The newsgroup is available at <news:soc.genealogy.german> and its original charter can be found at <> When posting, only simple text should be used; MIME, HTML, enclosures, binaries, and pictures should be avoided. Commercial postings should go to soc.genealogy.marketplace, not soc.genealogy.german. New posters automagically receive a warm and informative welcome e-mail. For those without news access, soc.genealogy.german is mirrored to e-mail lists in digest, message, and index mode. Subscription requests should be sent to if you want individual postings combined into circa 32KB digests as MIME attachments (normal digest mode), to if you want the 32KB digests sent as one long message (non-MIME digest mode), to if you want messages sent individually (mail mode), or to if you want only message subject lines in a daily index (index mode). Put the word "subscribe" in the message body, no quotes. You will receive a confirmation and additional instructions. To unsubscribe, send the message "unsubscribe" instead, with no quotes, to the request address for which you are subscribed, from the account that is subscribed. Postings by e-mail (not subscription requests) go to See also <> The gen-de archives from 8 Dec 1995 onwards may be searched online at <> Postings may also be viewed online in threaded format at <> There have been short periods when the gen-de to soc.genealogy.german mirror has failed, resulting in the existence of a few messages only in the newsgroup and others only in the e-mail lists. Thus you may also wish to consult a Usenet archive such as <soc.genealogy.german">> Soc.genealogy.surnames.german was an automoderated Usenet newsgroup with strict subject line requirements. It has not functioned since 22 June 2000. Its archives are still useful, however. See <> De.sci.genealogie is an unmoderated German-language-only Usenet newsgroup for genealogy and related subjects, regardless of geographical region or ethnicity. Its FAQ may be found at <>
Subject: 32. Are there other online resources for genealogy? Lots. Here are a few excellent starting points: <> <> <news:soc.genealogy.computing> There are also online resources for general German information: <news:soc.culture.german> German cultural newsgroup <> FAQ for above <> German info site
Subject: 33. How can I possibly repay you for all your help? Please repay help freely given by helping other genealogical researchers to the best of your ability. Publishing your results, perhaps by submitting them to the FHL, is an excellent way of helping others. A thank you would also be nice.
Subject: 34. Acknowledgements Thanks go to the following people: Nate Blaylock, Henning Boettcher, Ed Brandt, Heinz Bredthauer, Cynthia Dean, Steve Dhuey, Adalbert Goertz, Manfred Groth, Andreas Hanacek, Kjell Ove Nyb/o; Hattrem, Rick Heli, Reinhold Herrmann, Gail Hitchcock, Bob Kuehl, Friedrich Lehmkuehler, Brigitte Gastel Lloyd, Lynn Main, Christel Monsanto, Joachim Nuthack, Marianne Muthreich Southworth, Michael Palmer, Detlef Papsdorf, Fred Rump, Bernhard A. M. Seefeld, Wolf Seelentag, Johannes Sempert, Uwe Sentner, Christa Sobczak, Joan Somers, Gunthard Stuebs, Arvo Tars, Arthur Teschler, Rolf Ulbing, Julie Vigna, Don Watson, Robert Weinland, William Westphal, Alan Wiener, Paul Zebe, and the many contributors to soc.genealogy.german. Suggestions for additions or improvements should be sent to the author, Jim Eggert

User Contributions:

I'm trying to find German Naval records (Prussian navy I believe) for my Uncle who served in Trieste, Italy from approx. 1879 to 1890 from that port. (and he traveled around the world). I need some advice, any advice, on how I could find a record of him being there or even any record of him being in the German Navy there. A genealogist that could help, or where the records might be housed. I did see on another post that some German records were destroyed in Berlin in 1945, but I don't know those details. I appreciate any comments. Thank you.
Sep 6, 2021 @ 7:19 pm
I think I am looking for a needle in a haystack. Want to find my ancestor, name is Wolfgang AUMANN, of Grafenkirche, Germany, who fought with Napoleon as a mercenary. Maybe a book titled Koniglich-Baierisches Reigierungsblatt.
Thank you
Doris Dunlap
Oct 30, 2021 @ 3:15 pm
How do I find my Father's POW records. He was in WWI, Prussian military. Infanterie Regiment 140. He was captured in France, but said the POW camp guards were British.
Dec 21, 2021 @ 5:17 pm
How do I find my grandfathers war records. He was stationed at the eastern front in WW2 then captured and was POW in England

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