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German Genealogy

German Newspapers

German newspapers provide a rich source of genealogical data. It was customary to publish death notices listing the birth and death dates, place of burial, and occasionally the place of birth, and the members of the immediate family. Unfortunately, only a few of the German newspapers have been indexed, and research access is difficult.

The Arndt bibliographies listed below give access to every known periodical published in the German language in the United States. There were hundreds of them, dating from earliest immigrants in the American colonies down to modern times. Each entry gives information on dates of publication and the repositories in which copies will be found.

  • ABYZ News Links - Germany - Newspapers and News Sources 
  • Arndt, Karl J. R. and Olson, May E. German-American Newspapers and Periodicals, 1732-1955: History and Bibliography. Heidelberg: Quelle & Meyer, 1961.
  • Arndt, Karl J. R. and Olson, May E. German-American Newspapers and Periodicals, 1732-1955: History and Bibliography. 2d revised edition. New York: Johnson Reprint Corp., 1965. Newspapers listed chronologically by states and counties, with present location of archives. This is a reprint of the 1961 edition with the addition of an appendix, pages 796-810, chiefly listing refugee and prisoner-of-war camp publications of the second world war.
  • Arndt, Karl J. R. and Olson, May E. The German Language Press of the Americas. Munich-Pullach: Verlag Dokumentation, 1973. This is a supplement to the above two titles.

  • Assorted Bavarian German newspaper archives, with intermittent coverage from early 1700′s to 1945. Includes Corburger Zeitung, Der gerade Weg, Grafinger Zeitung, and others. Bayerische Landesbibliothek Online.
  • Brigham, Clarence S. History and Bibliography of American Newspapers, 1690-1820. 2 vols. 1947. Reprint, Hamden, Conn.: Archon Books, 1962. Guide to early American newspapers and the location of their extant issues. Available in larger libraries.

  • Compact Memory — Jewish Newspapers and Periodicals, 1806-1938. In German, appears to be a rich collection with full text search.

  • Deutsche Exilzeitschriften, 1933-1945. Newspaper archives from assorted German exile communities.

  • Freiburger Zeitung (1784-1943), Staufener Wochenblatt (1875-1968) and other German newspaper archive materials. Universitätsbibliothek Freiburg.
  • German American Newspapers and Periodicals.  Lists the Library of Congress holdings of German-American newspapers.
  • German News. (English Edition). To find out the latest news in Germany.
  • Gregory, Winifred. American Newspapers, 1821-1936: A Union List of Files Available in the United States and Canada. 1937. Reprint, New York: Kraus Reprint Corp., 1967. American newspapers and the location of their extant issues, beginning where Brigham’s guide ends. Available in larger libraries.
  • Hamburger Abendblatt, 1948 – present. A simple search in the search box will access the full text archives, but no images.

  • Old German Newspapers (Digitized). By Mark Rabideau. Listing and links to digitized Prussian newspapers.
  • PERSI - the periodical list from the Ft. Wayne Library is available on-line and in print.
  • ProGenealogists, Inc.: German Newspapers in Genealogy (1780-1914) - Describes genealogical uses of German newspapers, availability, and indexing projects.
  • Der Schlüssel; Gesamtinhaltsverzeichnisse mit Ortsquellennachweisen fur genealogische, heraldische und historische Zeitschriftenreihen. [The Key: comprehensive index, including place names, to genealogical, heraldic, and historical periodical series] Hrsg. von Heinz Reise in Verbindung mit der Genealogisch-Heraldischen Gesellschaft mit dem Sitz in Göttingen. 5 volumes. Göttingen, Heinz Reise Verlag, 1950-1965. Literature to the second world war period is indexed in the first four volumes, and the period 1945-60 is indexed in the fifth volume.
  • Der Schlüssel; Gesamtinhaltsverzeichnisse mit Ortsquellennachweisen fur genealogische, heraldische und historische Zeitschriftenreihen. Hrsg. von Heinz Reise in Verbindung mit der Genealogisch-Heraldischen Gesellschaft mit dem Sitz in Göttingen. Göttingen, H. Reise, <1956-1986> v. <3-9> Z5311.S34 LH&G
    CONTENTS (Incomplete): --Bd. 3. Einsiedel, A. v. und Amburger, E. Der Deutsche Herold.--Bd. 4. Ollrog, W. Without special title.--Bd. 5. Ollrog, W. Auswertung aller in der Bundesrepublik erschienenen genealogisch-heraldischen Zeitschriften von 1945 bis 31. Dezember 1960.--Bd. 6. Jager-Sunstenau, H. Auswertung der genealogisch-heraldischen Zeitschriften in ™sterrich und der deutschsprachigen Tschechoslowakei 1871-1944.--Bd. 7. Dietrichs, H. Auswertung der in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland erschienenen genealogisch-heraldischen Zeitschriften, vom 1. Januar 1961 bis 31. Dezember 1975.--Bd. 8. Gerlach, D.H.G. Auswertung der in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland und in den deutschsprachigen Randstaaten erschienenen genealogisch-heraldischen Zeitschriften vom 1. Januar 1976 bis 31. Dezember 1980.--Bd. 9. Ollrog, W. und Gerlach, D.H.G. Without special title. This bibliographical guide provides researchers with a surname, place, and subject index to titles of articles published in selected German genealogical periodicals. Some volumes also index book reviews. Citations refer to articles published from as early as 1860 to as late as 1981. It has information on more than ninety genealogical and heraldic publications for German speaking areas of Europe which would include Germany, Switzerland and Austria. What makes this particular publication so useful to American genealogists are the indexes at the rear of the book. There are three -- a location index, a surname index and a subjects index. Under the subject index family historians can look for things like occupations or articles on German emigration. The surname index includes a listing of families covered in each article. The location index offers family historians an additional means of finding information on an ancestral village. The Family History Library and the Library of Congress have copies of Der Schlüssel.

    Laraine K. Ferguson's article "Locating a Surname, Locality or Topic in German Genealogical Periodicals: Der Schlussel--the Key" in the German Genealogical Digest, v. 9, no. 2 (Summer 1993), pp. 38-44, is a helpful introduction to this important resource. 

  • Der Spiegel, the German weekly magazine, has free, full-image, full text archives dating back to 1947.

  • Sperlings Zeitschriften-Adressbuch Handbuch der deutschen Presse, Die wichtigsten deutschen Zeitschriften und politischen Zeitungen Deutschlands, Deutsch-Österreichs und des europäischen Auslands; Verlag des Börsenvereins der Deutschen Buchhändler zu Leipzig; Leipzig; 50. Ausgabe; 1923; 410 + 64 S.  [Sperlings Magazine Addressbook; handbook of the German press, the most important German magazines and newspapers of Germany, the Austrian-Empire and Europe; 50th edition; 1923].  A list of old German newspapers and magazines.

  • Universitätsbibliothek Heidelberg German newspaper archives. Includes field newspapers from World War I, Heidelberger Zeitung (1861-1919), and Der Heidelberger Student (1929-1938).

  • Villanova University Digital Library has two WWI-era German-American publications in English: The Fatherland, and World War, a translation of the German publication, Weltkrieg.
  • Wittke, Carl. The German-Language Press in America. Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 1957.
  • - German Newspapers 

  • Die Zeit Online has archives dating back at least to 1946. This is one of Germany’s most well-respected newspapers. Interface is in German, and full page images are available.