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Pomeranian Genealogy

Pomeranian Church Records

(Pommern Kirchenbücher)

In 1616 a resolution required all parish clergy to keep a separate book to record names and events which took place in their parish district. The earliest church records in Pomerania start about 1640. The government (civil records) did not begin until 1874. In 1794 churches were ordered to make duplicate church books but most did not start until about 1800-1820. About 30% of these Kirchenbuchduplikate have survived.  Hinterpommern churches were required to turn over their books to the state archives but not all complied. This means there are still a few churches in Poland with German church books. The German Evangelical churches in former Hinterpommern are now in Polish Catholic churches. Most of the current Polish Catholic clergy cannot read the old books.

An estimated 10-15% of original church books have survived. For specific towns there may be entire records, partial records, or no records.

Most of the parish registers in the area that was East Germany are still held by local parish officials. They belong to the parish and their use is controlled by the rules of those parishes. You may or may not get results from sending inquiries to individual parishes for a variety of reasons. Many of the current young pastors are often unfamiliar with genealogical methods or cannot read the old script in which the records were written. Inquiries at times are discarded without a response.  The churches in the area near the Oder River were destroyed during World War II and some of the records have been lost.

The church books of the former Prussian church provinces beyond the Oder-Neisse border are now subject to the new term of copyright of the Archives Law of the Evangelical Church of the Union (EKU) of 6 May 2000, according to which church books cannot be put to use of until 10 years after the death or 90 years after the birth of the person concerned have passed. Baptismal registers can be read until 31 December 1909, confirmation registers until 31 December 1924, and marriage registers until 31 December 1929.

Franz Schubert started a series of marriage book indexes for Pomerania from available church books. Information given could be very complete or could be only the name of the couple, date and in which parish they were married.  Bibliographic information on these books is given below.

"Evangelische" in Germany and Pomerania means virtually the same as "Lutheran" (followers of Martin Luther), but in Switzerland "Evangelische" means the same as "Reformed" (followers of Zwingly and Calvin). Historically, in both of these areas "Evangelische" was a term adopted by the Reformers to distinguish their "Protestant" positions from that of the Roman Catholic Church which they were opposing.


Church Records by Individual Pommern Kreis (County)
Click on the Kreis to access the lists by Kreis

Anklam Arnswalde Belgard
Bublitz Bütow Cammin
Demmin Deutsch Krone Dramburg
Flatow Franzburg-Barth Friedeberg
Fürstentum Greifenberg Greifenhagen
Greifswald Grimmen Köslin
Kolberg-Körlin Lauenburg Naugard
Netzekreis Neustettin Pyritz
Randow Regenwalde Rügen
Rummelsburg Saatzig Schilvelbein
Schlawe Schlochau Schneidemühl
Stargard Stettin Stolp
Stralsund Ückermünde Usedom-Wollin

Military Church Records in Various Kreise.


  • Arbeitsgemeinschaft pommersche Kirchengeschichte.

  • Architektura Sakralna Pomorza Zachodniego - Pictures of former Pommern churches in Poland. Click on A to Z on the right and it brings up church pictures from many different cities/villages. It gives the Polish name with the German name in smaller letters below.
     
  • Bischöfliches Zentralarchiv, Regensburg. Bishopric Central Archive, Regensburg. Contact information. (In German)

  • Bugenhagen, Johannes, Norbert Buske, and Lore Wirth-Poelchau. Pomerania. Schwerin: Helms, 2008.
     
  • Catholic Churches in Germany. Click on "Bistümer" for a list of Archdiosese. (In German)
     
  • Church Archives in Greifswalde. List of the village church records held at the Church Archives of Greifswalde. It does not indicate what years are included.
     
  • "The Cloisters in Pomerania Brought Culture and Progress." (Pommern Klöster brachten Kultur und Fortschritt). Translated by Martha and Les Riggle from Pommersches Heimatbach 2008. Die Pommerschen Leute. 31, 2 (Summer 2008): 26-27.
     
  • Deutsche Zentralstelle für Genealogie, Sächsisches Staatarchiv, Schongauerstrße 1, 04329 Leipzig, Germany. Has a few parish records for Pomerania. (In German and English)
     
  • Diözesan-Archiv Berlin. Diocesan archive of Berlin. Contact information. (In German)
     
  • Diözesanarchiv Köslin (Koszalin) Diocesan archive of Köslin. Contact information. (In German)
     
  • Diözesanarchiv Posen (Poznan). Diocesan archive of Posen. Contact information. (In German, with English link)
     
  • Diözesanarchiv Stettin-Cammin(Szczecin-Kamien Pom.) Diocesan archive of Stettin and Cammin. Contact information. (In German)
     
  • Evangelical Churches in Germany. Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland .Click on "Gemeinden A-Z" for a list of parishes. (In German)
     
  • Evangelisches Zentral-Archiv in Berlin .
    Bethaniendam 29
    10997 Berlin, Germany
    E-mail: kirchenbuchstelle@ezab.de
    Telephone: 011 49 30 22 50 45 36
    The archive preserves the records of the Evangelishe Kirche in Deutschland (EKD-Evangelical Church of Germany) and the Evangelische Kirche der Union (EKU-Evangelical Unifed Church) The archive's collections include Evangelical church holdings from former German areas now in other countries as well as from the Bundesrepublik Deutschland (Federal Republic of Germany) Evangelical parish records from the 17th-20th centuries are available.

  • Germany Church Records, 1544-1945: Pommern.  FamilySearch.  Digitized church records for various Pomeranian churches.

  • Grüneberg, Georg. Kirchenbücher, Kirchenbuch-Duplikate und Standesamtsregister der ehemals brandenburgischen Kreise Königsberg, Soldin, Landsberg, Arnswalde, Friedeberg, Ost- und Weststernberg, Crossen, Züllichau-Schwiebus, Guben und Sorau (östl. der Neisse), Schwerin, Meseritz, Bomst ; Bestandsverzeichnis 2006. Lenzen (Elbe) Grüneberg 2006.

  • Haus-ostpommern.de. Die Internetseite des Vereins Ostpommern e. V. - Verein für Familienforschung und Heimatkunde. Click on the Kreis site on the map and it will list all of the villages for the Kreis, including population 1905, the village where they attended church, the name of the town for civil registration and the name of the town where the district court (like our courthouse) was located.

  • Heyden, Hellmuth. Die Bugenhagenkirche : [Zur 25. Wiederkehr des Tages der Grundsteinlegung]. [s. l.] : [s. n.] , [1931].

  • Heyden, Hellmuth. Der Evangelische Bund in Pommern, 1890-1940 : Aus d. Geschichte d. Pommerschen Hauptvereins zu s. 50jähr. Bestehen.  Berlin : Verl. d. Evang. Bundes, 1940.

  • Heyden, Hellmuth. Die evangelischen geistlichen des ehemaligen Regierungsbezirkes Stralsund-Insel Rügen. Greifswald : Evangelisches Konsistorium, 1956.

  • Heyden, Hellmuth. Die evangelische Kirche Pommerns in der Zeit von der Aufnahme der Reformation bis zur Gegenwart. Stettin: Fischer & Schmidt. 1938.

  • Heyden, Hellmuth; Evangelisches Konsistorium Greifswald. Die Evangelischen Geistlichen des ehemaligen Regierungsbezirkes Stralsund. Greifswald : Evangelisches Konsistorium, 1956-

  • Heyden, Hellmuth. Der evangelische Pfarrerstand in Pommern. Stettin : Evang. Pressverband für Pommern, [1938].

  • Heyden, Hellmuth. Die Kirchen Stettins und ihre Geschichte. Stettin : Fischer & Schmidt, 1936.
  • Heyden, Hellmuth. Die Kirchen Greifswalds und ihre Geschichte. Berlin : Evang. Verl.-Anst., 1965.

  • Heyden, Hellmuth. Kirchengeschichte von Pommern. Stettin: Fischer & Schmidt, 1937-38.

  • Heyden, Hellmuth. Kirchengeschichte Pommerns. Köln-Braunsfeld: R. Mueller, 1957.

  • Heyden, Hellmuth. Kirchengeschichte von Pommern 1 Von den Anfängen des Christentums bis zur Reformationszeit. Stettin: Fischer & Schmidt, 1937.

  • Heyden, Hellmuth. Neue Aufsätze zur Kirchengeschichte Pommerns. Köln: Böhlau, 1965.

  • Heyden, Hellmuth. Die Notwendigkeit einer einigen evangelischen Reichskirche im dritten Reich. Berlin : Buchdruckerei Albert Fischer, 1934.

  • Heyden, Hellmuth. Pommerns Glaubenstreue im Dreissigjährigen Krieg. Berlin : Evang. Pressverband f. Deutschland ; [Leipzig] : [H. G. Wallmann], [1937].

  • Heyden, Hellmuth. Pommersche Geistliche vom Mittelalter bis zum 19. Jahrhundert. Köln: Böhlau, 1965.

  • Heyden, Hellmuth. Die pommersche Kirchenordnung [Kercken-Ordeninge des gantzen Pamerlandes] von 1535. Stettin : Fischer & Schmidt, 1937.

  • Heyden, Hellmuth. Protokolle der pommerschen Kirchenvisitationen. Köln, 1961-1964.

  • Heyden, Hellmuth. Verzeichnis von Büchern und Aufsätzen zur Kirchengeschichte Pommerns; Mit einem Anhang: Literatur zur Kultur-, Landes- und Stadt- Geschichte. Hannover: [Archivamt der Evangelischen Kirche in Deutschland] 1952.

  • Heyden, Hellmuth. Vom Neubau der Kirche. [Stettin, Elisabethstr. 69] : Provinzial-Verein f. innere Mission in Pommern, [1929].

  • Heyden, Hellmuth. Wie Luthers Lehre in Pommern Eingang fand Festschrift zur 400-Jahrfeier des Landtags von Treptow a. d. R. Stettin: Evangelischer Pressverband, 1934.

  • Kirchenbuch Pommern. Project started in May 2011 to index Pomeranian church records. Gunthard Stübs and the Pommersche Forschungsgemeinschaft, Impressum.

  • Kirchenbücher im Evangelischen Zentralarchiv, Berlin.
     
  • Kirchenbücher im Landeskirchlichen Archiv, Greifswald.

  • Kirchenbücher im Staatsarchiv Köslin.

  • Kirchenbücher in der Zentralstelle für Genealogie, Leipzig.

  • Kirchenprovinz Pommern. Information on location of Pommern church records. (In German)
     
  • Landeskirchliches Archiv, Greifswald.
    Pommersche Evangelische Kirche archives
    Rudolf-Petershagen-Allee 3   (früher Karl-Marx-Platz 15, Nähe Bhf.)
    Postfach 187
    17489 Greifswald, Germany
    E-mail: archiv@pom-ev-kirche.de
    Telephone: 011 49 38 34 57 25 33
    This is an archive for church-run institutions and the state church offices and establishments. Although the archive is almost completely unindexed, it is organized into: Records: provincial and state religious assemblies, bishop's chancellery, church administration, consistory from 1945 on; Collections: photo collections with about 600 photographs from the 19th and 20th centuries; Church Records: from Hinterpommern, as well as duplicates from Vorpommern and some military parish records. A short overview of church records can be found in the book Schnellüberblick Kirchenbuchbestand. Greifswald: Landeskirchliches Archiv, 1995.
     
  • Lutheran Records in Pomerania & Brandenburg - Society for German Genealogy in Eastern Europe

  • Lux, Jürgen: Viele Ostpommersche Kirchenbücher sind gerettet! In: Lux, Jürgen (Bearb.): Jahrbuch Pollnow 1995. Herausgegeben von der Heimatgruppe Pollnow. Schönaich, 1995. S. 98ff
     
  • Marriage Records: Mecklenburg Marriage Information and Pommern Marriage Information. Edited by Carol Gohsman Bowen. (In English)

  • Die Organisation der Kirchen in Deutschland 1871-1945.  Churches in Germany, 1871-1945.

  • Personenstandsbücher im Standesamt I in Berlin.
     
  • Pommerndatenbank. Information about church books and civil records and where to locate them. From the database for genealogy in Pommern by Gunthard Stübs. Click on the third link for "Church Books and Civil Records. (In German and English)
     
  • Pommersche Evangelishe Kirche, Evangelisch-Lutherische Landeskirche Mecklenburgs. Researching family history in the Pomeranian Protestant Church -- how and whom to contact. English pages.
     
  • Pommersche Evangelishce Kirche, Landeskirchliches Archiv, Rudolf-Petershagen-Allee 3, 17489 Greifswald, Germany. Email: archiv@pom-ev-kriche.de.  Holds some original records from eastern Pomerania, as well as duplicate records from some western Pomeranian churches.  Most of these church records have not been filmed by the Mormons.

  • Pommersche Kirchenbücher und Personenstandsbücher.
     
  • Protestant Churches in Germany. In German, with some English. It has a page for every "church province" and the addresses and web sites of church communities by location.
     
  • Rodig, Uwe. Verzeichnis der Pommerschen Kirchenbücher im Vorpommersches Landesarhiv Greifswald. (Index to Pomeranian church records at the civil archive in Greifswald). The Archive, 1996. ISBN 3-86108-707-3. The church records are listed alphabetically by town name, and the years covered for each category (baptism, marriage, death, confirmation) are given. An annotated copy that includes additional information is available for use at the library of the Pommerscher Verein Freiststadt.

  • Rodig, Uwe. Verzeichnis der pommerschen Kirchenbücher im Vorpommerschen Landesarchiv Greifswald. Bremen : Edition Temmen, 1996.

  • Schnellüberblick Kirchenbuchbestand. Greifswald: Landeskirchliches Archiv der Pommerschen Evangelischen Kirche, 1995.

  • Schroeder, John D., Wanda M Oelrich and Bill Oelrich. Cowboy preacher : the Old West journals of the Rev. J.D. Schroeder. [S.l.] : Wanda M. Oelrich, ©1989. Pastor Schroeder was born in 1872 in the province of Oldenburg, Germany. He wrote this series of articles in 1930 in German. They describe his experiences as a circuit preacher for the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod in Nebraska, South Dakota, Wyoming and Montana from 1892-1895. A great look at mission efforts on the early frontier, told in humorous detail.
     
  • Schubert, Franz. Trauregister aus den ältesten Kirchenbüchern von den Anfängen bis zum Jahre 1704. Göttingen: Selbstberglag. 10 volumes of marriage records from earliest Vorpommern church books up to 1704. Inhalt: Bd. 1. Die Insel Rügen -- Bd. 2. Kreis Franzburg/Barth -- Bd. 3. Stadt Anklam -- Bd. 4. Kreis Anklam (Land), Kreis Demmin -- Bd. 5. Kreis Grimmen -- Bd. 6. Stadt Stralsund -- Bd. R1-6. Register zu Band 1-6 -- Bd. 7. Stadt Stettin -- Bd. 7a. Stadt Stettin, Proklamationen St. Jacobi -- Bd. 7b. Stadt Stettin (Register) -- Bd. 8. Stadt Wolgast -- Bd. 9. Raum Greifswald-Usedom -- Bd. 10. Treptow, Ueckermünde, Randow -- Bd. R8-10. Register zu Band 8-10.
     
  • Schubert, Franz. Trauregister aus den ältesten Kirchenbüchern von 1705 bis 1750. Göttingen: Im Selbstverlag. 8 volumes of Vorpommern marriage records from 1705-1750. Contents: v. 1. Die Insel Rügen -- v. 2. Kreis Franzburg/Barth -- v. 3. Kreis Anklam -- v. 5. Kreis Grimmen -- v. 6. Stadt Stralsund -- v. 7. Stadt Stettin -- v. 7a. Stadt Stettin, franz. ref. Gemeinde, Register -- v. 8. Wolgast.
     
  • Schubert, Franz. Hinterpommern Trauregister vor 1876. Göttingen: Im Selbstverlag. So far only Kreis Naugard is available.

  • Stache, Christa (Bearb.): Verzeichnis der Kirchenbücher im Evanglischen Zentralarchiv in Berlin - Teil 1: Die östlichen Kirchenprovinzen der Evangelischen Kirche der altpreußischen Union. 2. Aufl., Berlin 1993. ISBN 3-9801646-4-0

  • Stache, Christa. Verzeichnis der Kirchenbücher im Evangelischen Zentralarchiv in Berlin 1. Die östlichen Kirchenprovinzen der Evangelischen Kirche der altpreussischen Union. Berlin: Evang. Zentralarchiv, 1985.
     
  • Synode der Pommerschen Evangelischen Kirche. Beschlüsse, Berichte, Fakten, Vorträge der Landessynode der Pommerschen Evangelischen Kirche. (In German)
     
  • Verzeichniss der Geistlichen in der Provinz Pommern. Salt Lake City, Utah : Gefilmt durch The Genealogical Society of Utah, 1961. 1 reel of microfilm. List of the Evangelical pastors of the former Prussian Province of Pomerania. Mikrofilm vom Original: Stettin : L. Pasenow, 1861-1871. 28, 40 S.l,
     
  • Wehrmann, Martin. Die Kirchenbücher in Pommern. Published in 1892, this works gives the beginning years of baptism, marriage and death records in a primary parish and its affiliate. This list can be found in Baltische Studien Band 40-41 and begins on page 201. Stettin: Saunier, 1892. (Family History Library Ref943.81 K23w; microfiche 6053534).

  • Wermes, Martina (Bearb.): Bestandsverzeichnis der Deutschen Zentralstelle für Genealogie Leipzig. Teil I: Die Kirchenbuchunterlagen der östlichen Provinzen Posen, Ost- und Westpreußen, Pommern und Schlesien. Neustadt/Aisch: Degener, 1994. 2. Auflage. ISBN 3-7686-2063-8
     
  • A good source on the post-war status of Pommern church and civil records is "In Search of Your German Roots," 4th edition by Angus Baxter.  Details how church authorities in various centers ordered the ministers of the Evangelical church to bring all church records to the west near Frankfort for storage in mine shafts.  After the war many of these church records were damaged by thieves and arsonists, and many were destroyed.  At the end of WWII, Paul Langheinrich, a member of the LDS Church, instituted a search for church books and records in the areas occupied by Soviet forces.  He was very successful in this effort and later obtained permission from the Soviet government to take all the books he had found to Berlin.