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Let us say you now have the vital data on your ancestor. It's time to seek out your German roots and meet with your distant relatives.

Vital Records – Virginia Department of Health

Your first problem may be to locate the town in modern Germany. If the person emigrated before unification in , as most of them did, the location of the town probably won't be given as "Germany," but as the state or principality that was later made part of Germany.

There were many of these between the final demise of the Holy Roman Empire in and the establishment of the German Reich by Bismarck in This crazy quilt of squabbling petty states, indeed, was largely responsible for emigration during that period as economic opportunities were few.

Prussia Preussen and Saxony Sachsen present special problems. The name of Prussia has disappeared from the map. The conquering allies after World War II didn't like the images it conjured up of blood, iron and militarism. There is a state named Saxony, but the name Sachsen appears in two other states, Niedersachsen and Sachsen-Anhalt. See the box for some help in locating these provinces. There are many possible sources of information within Germany.


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Census were conducted the areas that became Germany, but the records still are not neatly located in one institution. Present German law does not permit the release of census information on a person until 30 years after his or her death or, if the date of death is not known, until years after birth.

Other sources include church registers primarily for births, baptisms, marriages and deaths , civil registers dates and places of birth, marriage, death, relationships and occupations , school records, military records, emigration records, ship passenger lists and city directories. Some German civil records date back to Napoleonic times, but others only go back to around the s, which might be too late for many people. Church records, however, go back as far as the 15th century. Cemeteries in Germany aren't as useful as they are in the states.

Burial lots here are leased for a specific number of years and if the lease isn't renewed, someone else can be, and usually is, buried there. Checking records for the current spelling of the family name will often present problems.

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Names were not spelled so consistently by Germans in the old days. There were dialects and the literacy level was not as high. And then, after arrival in America, the name was often changed again, perhaps to Miller, to accommodate English speakers. So remember to check for variant spellings.

The website in German is www. It does no research on its own, but can steer you to the regional association of interest to you. The regional associations in turn can probably tell you where the records from your ancestor's home community are kept.

Sometimes they are still in the community, but they often will have been moved to a central archive, perhaps operated by the state. You'll find an extensive list of genealogical organizations on the DAGV's website: www. Many of the listings are simply links to the regional organizations.


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  6. This website also has a wealth of other information, in English, including tips on reading the baffling German handwriting used in earlier times. Here are the states of modern Germany and the historical kingdoms, duchies and the like that they contain. The city-states of Berlin, Hamburg and Bremen contain no such territories. Some areas aren't part of modern Germany. Similarly Alsace Elsass and Lorraine Lothringen are in France, and in each case you must take your research to those countries. How To Germany Newsletter Sign-up.

    Searching for Your German Ancestors Americans with some German blood in them - and that is a lot of Americans - can get German help in tracing their roots.

    Where Are They Now? Brandenburg Western portion of the Prussian Province of Brandenburg. Saxony Kingdom of Sachsen, part of the Prussian province of Silesia. Solemnizer Consent Form. Certificate of Attendance for Marriage Preparation Programme. Please make sure that you have read and understood the Terms and Conditions before proceeding.

    This service is not intended for the purpose of determining the legal capacity to marry of any individual in Singapore or elsewhere. The search will cover marriages registered from 15 September The search may not provide results on marriages contracted within the last 14 days. Each SingPass user is allowed two free online searches over a month period. No other mode of application for the free online search for marriage records will be entertained. This service is not available at ROM office.

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    The State Marriage Register The State Marriage Register is a record of marriages solemnized under the provisions of the Women's Charter Chapter and it -- does not capture records of marriages contracted overseas or under the laws, custom, religion or usage of other countries; does not reflect an individual's current marital status; does not confirm the validity of the marriages recorded; and contains only information recorded at the time of marriage i.

    A search will be made using the exact information provided. If you conduct a search by name, any missing character, blank space, misspelling, dash, other punctuation, re-arrangement of words or any other inaccuracy may result in no record being found. Please see example below.

    Narrow your search (Optional):

    Type of common typo error. Ta Chee Keong Alvin. Alvin Tan Chee Keong. Tan Chee Kiong Alvin.

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    Marriage & Divorce

    Tan - Chee Keong. Tan Chee Keong , Alvin. Search results The search will yield data recorded at the point of marriage registered with ROM, Singapore if an individual has a marriage record on the State Marriage Register, strictly based on the information entered. Users who require a certified hardcopy of an individual's marriage record can apply for a copy through the "Search for Marriage Records" service.

    A standard fee is payable. Overseas marriages are not captured in the State Marriage Register.