Records on emigration archives usually relate to applications of passports, reports of public administration, correspondence or related matters. Only very few census records in Germany did survive. Some archives have duplicates of church books, some have civil registration records. From 1875 onwards, civil registration and vital statistics were filed at the Standesämter (Civil registry offices). Addresses are available through the cities' public administration. Use may be restricted or by appointment, only. Church archives keep church books, and in some cases local genealogical societies did compile family history books from these records.
German archives. This site is hosted by the Deutsche Archivschule at Marburg and lists addresses of archives in Germany. Mostly in German. Some archives have English websites.
The website of the Evangelical Church in Germany lists the member archives which are listed by cities and regions. Please note that church records may not necessarily be kept in these centralized repositories but may be kept in local church offices.
These are the major websites for research and travel in Germany compiling resources of emigration, historical and biographical databases, record lists, research strategies and services, as well as biographies, articles, timelines and links to academic institutions, tourist organizations and other useful information. The sites are well established in the genealogical community and most of them are constantly updated.
Website of Research and Travel. Compilation of resources and tools for emigration and historical biographical research in Germany. Many links to a variety of regional and local databases. Also links to German tourist organizations. Research and travel services are offered for fees.
Compilation of German emigration online records, lists, resources. Useful links, orientation and explanations.
Well-known list with numerous links including orientation on general resources. Well established in the genealogical community, constantly updated.
Extensive German-American links and information, well-known portal including timelines, historic chapters, biographies.
German Verein für Computergenealogie: valuable links, resources. Important: this site links to the genealogical societies in the German federal states (Bundesstaaten) and many local history sources.
Directory for genealogists provided by Genealogie-Service de GmbH Germany. Links to online book shops, paid services as well as free resources.
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Well-known website of the Genealogical Society of Utah/Mormon church. Site links to the popular International Genealogical Index (IGI) which is their widely used collection of data, mainly from microfilmed church registers, many entries for Germany.
The Federation of East European Family History Societies links to various databases which contain names in Eastern European regions including former German settlements, also genealogical aids, maps, links, etc.
The American Historical Society of Germans from Russia website.
Link to a special interest group for Germany: www.jewishgen.org/GerSIG which then refers to resources, databases, valuable information, etc.
Genealogical finding aids, websites, general information that covers the federal states or historic regions of Germany are provided by various genealogical societies. A list of these societies is displayed in cooperation with the ‘Verein für Computergenealogie’: wiki.genealogy.net. For more detailed listings of local databases, please refer to www.routes.de and www.genealogienetz.de
At the Deutsche Auswandererhaus/German Emigration Center in Bremerhaven your ticket to the exhibit includes use of the museum's Family Research with access to extensive databases including the complete collections of ancestry.de and ancestry.com, and the Bremen Passenger Lists 1920 – 1939 (Die MAUS).
The state archive presents crew lists of 19th century ships online. Among the repositories of the archive (access only for visitors) are also files on displaced persons who emigrated through Bremerhaven between 1947 to 1952.
Online database on European emigrants who left for the US between 1820 and 1939, primarily from German ports. Work in progress, the current data stock contains passenger manifests for the periods 1820-1833, 1840-1848, 1850-1891, 1904 and 1907. Online search and search orders are available for visitors at the "Historisches Museum/Morgenstern-Museum" in Bremerhaven, Germany. Museum charges fees for search orders and for printouts of search results. Portions of data available at www.castlegarden.org and at www.ellisislandrecords.org.
The Hamburg emigration museum “Ballinstadt – Port of Dreams” offers visitors free access to its research center including the complete ancestry.com and ancestry.de collections.
The Hamburg State Archive is the curator for the Hamburg departure lists. Microfilms as well as access to the ancestry website are available for visitors. Online finding aids to other resources (Bestandsbeschreibungen) in PDF format are available on the archives website.
Projects include an emigrant database and transcriptions of Schleswig Holstein Census records which can be accessed online.
Emigrant lists and other genealogical sources.
The database of the Nordfriisk Institut at Bredstedt has data of publications, literature, and about 5,000 overseas emigrants from North Frisia and the Northwest of the former Duchy of Schleswig, today Danish territory.
Lower Saxonian State Archives. Click on Auswandererquellen/Emigrant Data. This opens emigrant databases for Braunschweig/Wolfenbüttel, Hannover and Osnabrück. Online research is possible, however findings are in the form of reference file numbers for archival holdings only, no detailed records are available online.
The regional Databases Northern Germany cover counties of Cloppenburg, Vechta, Cuxhaven, Delmenhorst and Bad Laer with a total of 19,000 names, detailed, precise information, time covered varies by county 1830-1890. Access also via www.routes.de
At the University of Oldenburg the former Research Center German Emigrants in the U.S.A. has collected microfilms with passenger arrivals at U.S. ports (19th century). These copies from the National Archives, Washington, D.C., are available to the public in the library of the Oldenburg University. No online research, no complete indexes. Online research on same data pool available at www.ancestry.com. Portions of data available at www.castlegarden.org and at www.ellisislandrecords.org.
The Ostfriesen Genealogical Society of America is a very active society and has compiled many links on East Frisian Heritage. Helpful navigation in English.
The Upstalsboom – Gesellschaft is organized in cooperation with the East Frisian Historical Society at Aurich. They are well known to researchers on genealogy in East Frisia and have at their disposal a vast collection of Ortssippenbücher (family and local history books) as well as other resources. They have limited opening hours.
The Oldenburg Society for Family Research provides a free database for emigrants out of the former (grand-)duchy of Oldenburg.
Emigration from Southwestern Germany/Württemberg. Documentation of Hauptstaatsarchiv Stuttgart – online database. More than 50.000 emigrant names from Württemberg and additional data concerning place of birth, destination, reasons for emigrating, year of emigration and number of accompanying relatives.
Website of Haus der Bayerischen Geschichte in Munich. In 2004 and 2005 the Haus der Bayerischen Geschichte did presented an extensive exhibit “Bye Bye Bayern – Grüß Gott America". Catalog may still be available.
Network of archives at North Rhine-Westfalia. Including links to two important genealogical archives – Personenstandsarchive at Brühl and Detmold. It proved itself valuable to many researchers with 300,000 card files on Palatine emigrants, literature, resources, and publications.
Palatines to America is a genealogical society dedicated to the study of ancestors from all German-speaking lands; not only just the Palatinate but they also have a special focus on the Palatinate.
The Museum displays the history of emigration from the Palatinate to America. Some reference literature and name lists. Limited opening hours.
The following list provides the most popular and widely used resources on passenger lists. Some are free to use, while others require subscription or demand fees.
Ancestry.com is a Utah-based private company with no religious affiliation. It is one of the most extensive online databases with more than 80 million images of records online, more than five billion names. The U.S. Immigration Collections gives access to arrivals at New York, Baltimore, Boston, New Orleans, Galveston, Philadelphia, California and some other places mainly 1820 to 1957 (varies for ports), requires fees.
These are the only surviving departure lists for Bremen and Bremerhaven in the time period 1920-1939. A project by the Bremen Genealogical Society in collaboration with the Bremen Chamber of Commerce.
The Immigrant Ships Transcribers Guild (ISTG) is a long-standing group of volunteers who transcribe various ship manifests. The index page lists manifest per year, ship name, port, etc. Especially important for ships prior to 1800.
Contains a collection of transcribed passenger manifests along with related information. Rich content and links.
From 1855 to 1890, Castle Garden located at Manhattan's southern end was America's first official immigration center. Online database for 10 million immigrants from 1830 through 1892.
Ellis Island – online database. Access to more than 22 million passengers who came through Ellis Island and the port of New York from 1892 to 1924.
Pier21 – Canada's Historic Soul. Visitors may search electronically for the basic arrival information and country of residence of anyone who immigrated through a Canadian port between 1925 and 1935. Many of them continued their journey to the U.S.