The experienced family researcher with ancestors in Pomerania knows the situation. The sources for family research in Pomerania are archived, due to the special historical and legal situation, in the various archives and offices in Germany and Poland. The church books and civil registry office documents are distributed on:

  • State archives in Poland (State Archive Stettin or Köslin)
  • Diocese-Archive Stettin and Pelplin
  • Different local civil registry offices in Poland and Germany
  • Civil Registry Office No. 1 in Berlin (Standesamt I Berlin)
  • Provincial Archive Berlin (Landesarchiv Berlin)
  • Evangelical Central Archive Berlin (Evangelisches Staatsarchiv Berlin)
  • Central Office Genealogy Leipzig (Zentralstelle Genealogie Leipzig)
  • Provincial Archive Greifswald (Landesarchiv Greifswald)
  • Provincial Church Archive Greifswald (Landeskirchliches Archiv Greifswald)
  • Different local parish archives in Poland and Germany

The “Quellensuche” currently comprises round about 180 different archives. So you can see that it is very difficult to get an overview about all the different archives.

In addition, more and more digitized sources have been added over the last few years. In particular, the polish state archives put a variety of digitized church books and registry office documents into the net, which are available on:

Free and fee-based providers, such as FamilySearch.org, Ancestry.com, or Archion.de also expand their offerings permanently.

On the one hand, this is a very pleasing situation, but represents a very difficult situation for the interested family researcher, because there is a lack of a central overall view of the available sources, their repositories, and online resources in our research areas in Pomerania.

In order to get a complete overview of the “scattered” sources, the so-called “Quellensuche” was developed by the Pommerscher Greif e.V. (The “Quellensuche“ has been online since September 14, 2017.)


But what is the “Quellensuche,” and how can it help in our research?

The starting point for the researcher is the integrated location search. So the user starts searching for a place where the ancestors lived or came from.

Figure 1: Start Page of the “Quellensuche”

After selecting a search result, you will be taken to an overview page, where you can find first information about the place on top of the overview page. The geographical location of the place is showed on a map and the affiliated registry office and parish are listed.

Figure 2: General place information (Zarben – Kreis Greifenberg)

For the institutions all sources for family research (civil registry documents/ church books) are clearly listed in different categories. They contain information on time spans, storage locations and links to online available digitized data. In addition, any existing “Find Aids” will be displayed. These are for example directories of contents, name registers and transcripts of sources.

Figure 3: Online registry documents of Hagenow – Kreis Greifenberg)

Additionally, there are some more possibilities in the “Quellensuche” to get an overview about sources for family research.

Figure 4: Additional menus

On the bottom of the start page, you can find the menus

  • Kirchenbuch online (church books online)
  • Kirchenbuch gesamt (all church books)
  • Standesamt online (registry office online)
  • Standesamt gesamt (all registry office)

These functions allow you to view all or all online church records or registry office documents for the different Pomeranian counties.

The “Ortsverzeichnis” (Place-Index) show all places of a county in alphabetical order. After selecting a place from the list, the user will be referred to the place overview page described before.

Status

So far, the stock data from 180 different offices and archives have been collected. There are currently information of about 750 different civil registry offices and about 1100 parishes or affiliated churches.

Certainly there are still gaps, especially in the Western Pomerania church book collections. Therefore, we look forward to receiving reports about missing or incorrect sources via the email address quellen@pommerscher-greif.de. We need your support to complete this project and help all family researchers with it. Of course we are also grateful about comments and suggestions for improvement.

The source search can be found in the menu “www.pommerscher-greif.de“ -> “Forschung“ -> “Quellensuche” or directly under pommerscher-greif.de/quellensuche.html

Readers who are unfamiliar with the German language can use the automatic Google translation on the left menu on the page to translate it to English.

A nice example with extensive sources in various archives and digitized source of several providers, is the page of Zarben, Kreis Greifenberg.

www.pommerscher-greif.de/ortsuebersicht.html?userort=ZARBENJO74RC

Leave a Comment