Sunday, October 18, 2009
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Seems like I just got home from my last trip but I am already deep in the planning stages for the next ones. May 2010 is going to be Northwest Germany and 2010 September we are thinking of moving east to Ansbach, Bavaria, which is a little west of Nuremberg.
But before we talk about that, I wanted to give a little information on some of the Archives we visited in Germany. First one for today is the ZentralArchiv for Evangelishen Kirche in der Pfalz. (Protestant church records for the Pfalz area). This archive is located close to the Dom (Cathedral) at one end of Maximillanstrasse.
Here is basic information about this Repository:
Basic information on genealogical research in the Central Archives of the Protestant Church of the Palatine:
The church registers from parishes of the Protestant Church of the Palatine (Evangelische Kirche der Pfalz) are available on microfilm and microfiche.
From 1 January 1876 on forward, the civil registry offices [Standesamt] are responsible for personal/marital status cases. For legal reasons, microfilms and microfiches can only be provided up to 1875.
Microfiche and microfilm readers and work stations for archive users are limited, therefore appointments are required:
Phone: 0049 6232-667-181 / e-mail: please see their site:
For the use of our archives, the following fees are charged according to the scale of charges and fees:
Up to ½ day: 5.00 Euro
Up to 1 day: 8.00 Euro
Copies of microfiches and microfilms made by our staff members upon customer request are 1.50 Euro each.
Copies of microfiches made by the customer himself/herself are 0.50 Euro each.
Orders for copies of microfiches and microfilms will be accepted only until 2 p. m. Up to 3 copies will be made immediately, orders of 4 or more copies will be sent to you by mail (fees plus postage).
At the present time, there is a waiting period for written requests. If at all possible, we therefore suggest that you do your own research.
The archive charges the following fees for written inquiries:
15.00 Euro for each half hour of research, up to a maximum of 120.00 Euro (4 working hours)
The bank charges a fee of 7.50 Euro for checks from outside of Europe
Certification of transcripts, excerpts or copies is 5.00 Euro per page
If you are interested, an archive library is available with literature in reference to local history and geography and general history (genealogical tables, citizen books, town chronicles)
Principal repository for the administrative and judicial records of the protestant church authority in the palatinate. The archives contain the files of various protestant organizations and clubs, private collections of prominent church leaders, twenty Dekanatsarchive, more than 300 parish archives, and ca. 3,500 parish registers and church books dating back to the sixteenth century. In addition the archives collect audiovisual materials, press files, and graphic materials that document the history of the protestant church of the palatinate. A substantial library of more than 11,000 volumes specializes in local and church history.
Here are some pictures, as you can see it is not very big but the lady we talked with was very friendly, spoke English and we are going to use her to give us a tour of this Archive the next time we are in Speyer. As always, my suggestion is to check if your German town’s records have been filmed by the LDS and try researching these at home. Only use the Archives for things you can’t get at home. Of course the Church records are a little easier to use/read than some other records, if you have had a little experience looking at them before. Plus you get to be in Speyer, Germany! Too fun.
Friday, October 2, 2009
Everyone arrived on Sunday and we settled down in our hotel in
I love the small town feel of this city on the
Onn Monday we headed out to a close by town called Neustadt an der Weinstrasse to catch the bus up to the
Then off to the Wurst Fest in Bad
Dürkheim. This was a festival on the
Tuesday was the day everyone went out to visit their ancestral hometowns, armed with their train times and contact names, off they went. There was a couple of us left behind and we had decided to visit a town north of Speyer called Alzey to see an exhibit at their Heimat museum on 300 years of Pfalz Emigration. We had been in contact with a history Professor from the
Wednesday – Today was our lecture with Roland Paul at the Palatine Folk life Institute in
Afterwards we took Herr Paul to lunch at a local restaurant in one of the oldest buildings in
Then train back to
Thursday – was another day of learning about researching in
They do a good job of working with our group to explain how
the different Archives in
After our lecture we had a choice to visit another facility in
Friday was our day to transfer from
Saturday – was another free day and some folks headed out to their hometowns again. The rest of the group had a chance to explore Würzburg. With the charming town square, the Marienberg Fortress high on the hill above the city, or the
us to his home. His wife had kaffee und kuchen waiting and she made me eat 2 pieces! Really she did. Now remember we are strangers to these people, but they were very, very sweet. His home was filled with books, books, and more books. He had a set of over 20 books kind of like an Encyclopedia Britannica of Germany from the 1700’s. Then he showed us room after room of more research books, town histories and the greatest thing of all was in his basement he actually had the kind of rolling shelves that Archives have, filled with books. 550 of them were town Ortssippenbuch’s (family heritage books from different towns). Matthias and I were in heaven. But like I said he uses these things for his own research and he is currently writing a history (or Ortsippenbuch) for a couple of his hometowns which coincindently happened to be one of our tour member’s hometowns. So he looked in his database and lo and behold he is related to her way back and had a big piece of the puzzle for her, as her ancestor had been born illegitimate and all she had was the father’s name. He filled in a few generations back for her. So it was great day. He does not want to be inundated with emails about his database but I sure hope that he realizes what a treasure this would be for so many people. We are going to try to stay in his good graces and perhaps get to use some of his resources. Returned to Würzburg and gave our tour member the good news about her found ancestor and as she was already on cloud 9 from her day out to more ancestral towns, she couldn’t hardly stand all the excitement.
Sunday - Today the group headed out to the
Monday – Last full day for sightseeing and we were taking a bus down to the extremely charming town of
and we learned a lot. Fun day. We headed back home to our Farewell dinner, where we traded stories, enjoyed some local wine and said our good-byes. It was a great group and I think the hometown visits were a success and we all got to experience the culture and embrace this homeland of our ancestors.
Tuesday – Most folks headed home, some people extended their trips and went off to
Until later, Auf Wiedersehen!!
If interested in upcoming tours or would like help planning your own ancestral trip,please contact Kathy at firstname.lastname@example.org
I will be posting more pictures, so check back for link.