Land records in Pomerania were known by various names. Typically “Grundbücher,” or land registry books, will provide you with a clear understanding of what property your ancestors owned. These can be fragmentary at times, but they do provide a much more extensive look at your family’s past if you have the time or the money to spend looking for these records.

To begin, I usually start searching on Archives Portal Europe for the Polish and German versions of the place name. You may try limiting your search to keywords like “Grundbuch,” “Grundbücher,” “Grundakte,” etc. The word “Band” listed in front is the German word for “volume,” as these large documents were typically broken up into smaller, more manageable volume sets. Szukajwarchiwach can also be helpful, as their keyword search seems to work differently than Archives Portal Europe.

The following searches below will yield holdings for the given keywords. It is typically helpful to search for the place name first, unless the search results are too overwhelming to look through. In that case, the using keywords below will help in limiting the results. (Please note that searching just for “Grundbuch” will not return results for the plural form of the word “Grundbücher.” The same can be said about “Hypotheken” records and the variances that can occur. For one of my ancestors, the word “Hypothekenwesen” returns results, but “Hypothen” does not.)

Grundbücher: Land registry records.

Grundakten: The Founding Act, also called a Master File, is a specially created file in parallel with the land registry. It contains all documents and documents which are connected with a corresponding land register of a specific site (§ 10, 12 GBO, § 24 GBO). The documents based on which changes are made in the land register must, in accordance with § 10 GBO from the Land Registry are kept in this Founding Act of the land. These are specifically valuable as they may contain inheritance records listing family members.

Hypotheken: Mortgage deeds.

Erbhofakten: Inherited family farm records.

Kataster/Katasteramt: Best translated as “cadastre,” containing a register of property showing the extent, value, and ownership of land for taxation.