Welcome to My Pomerania’s Family Tree Search: Ortsfamilienbuch. This tool is designed to help you share your family’s history with others researching their roots in Pomerania. The Family Tree Search is different than our Pommern Database: Person Search, as that project focuses only on indexed records. The Family Tree Search feature empowers researchers to upload and edit GEDCOM files or to build a family tree from scratch. We hope this walkthrough will help you understand more about how to add and edit your tree.

Once at the login screen, enter your credentials to access the dashboard.

Please remember to choose strong passwords and never share your password with anyone.

Your dashboard will look similar to the image above. If this is your first time using Family Tree Search, you will want to either import a GEDCOM or add a new person.

Setting Up Your Profile

One of the most important and overlooked aspects of publishing your family tree is filling out your profile. The information you provided when registering is private and is not displayed publicly.

Adding Your Contact Information

One of the main reasons for adding your tree is to collaborate with others. We’ve enabled the ability for you to add contact information to your tree so others can find and contact you. This step is optional but highly encouraged. Please don’t forget to do this before proceeding to the other steps!

To edit what information about your tree is publicly viewable, click on “Trees” from the dashboard.

This is where you will want to either click on the edit icon or the tree’s ID. Do not click on the red button; it will permanently delete your tree and is irreversible.

From here, you can add, edit, or remove personal information. At a bare minimum, it’s recommended to include your name and email address so others can contact you.

You can also mark your information as private and no one will be able to see it. Do not check the “Don’t allow” options.

Hit “Save” when you’re done.

How to Import Your Family Tree

From the dashboard, click “Import/Export.” This will take you to the Gedcom Converter Form, enabling you to make bulk changes to your GEDCOM file before importing it. If no changes are necessary, skip the conversion step.

Please make sure that all place names in GEDCOM files are standardized according to our Terms of Use before importing.

Converting a GEDCOM

Click on “Choose File” to select a GEDCOM file for conversion. This will standardize most data to conform with our database. If no conversion is necessary or if the converter fails, please skip this step. Certain GEDCOM formats are not supported and might result in a failed conversion error message.

In the space for “Filename of the converted file,” provide a different and identifiable name for the converted file. This should always end with .ged.

Please ensure that your screen looks exactly like the examples shown below before hitting the “Convert Gedcom File” button.

Click “Save Place Options.” Then click “Convert Gedcom File.”

Depending on the size of your file, the conversion might take a few minutes. Please do not navigate away from the page. When it is complete, it will give a printout of all operations and list any errors. Sometimes, minor error or warning messages appear after conversions. In most cases, these can be ignored as long as the conversion process passed successfully.

At this point, it is safe to click “Import the file you just created.”

Importing a GEDCOM

This step can be completed after file conversion, or you can upload a GEDCOM file directly without any conversion. See the screen below.

Accept data for all new Custom Event Types: allows custom fields from a family tree to be imported. For example, if a “Guild” was added. This is outside the scope of typical GEDCOM data, such as birth, marriage, death, profession, etc.

Import into: for users who have access to multiple trees, this allows users to choose which tree should be edited.

Replace (in selected trees): options for how the data should be added to the tree.

  • All current data: deletes all entries and re-adds them from the GEDCOM file. This is useful for one-way transfers. (This is the best option if the family tree is maintained in software such as Family Tree Maker.)
  • Matching records only: only replaces data for users that share the same person IDs in the GEDCOM file. (This option is best for adding people but maintaining any “private” or “living” tags added using our service.
  • Do not replace any data: adds new entries but does not alter existing records.
  • Append all records: imports everything with new IDs and may result in duplicate entries (not recommended).

Two options you will want to take into consideration:

  • Do not recalculate Living flag: useful for imports if living flags are managed through Family Tree Search: Ortsfamilienbuch.
  • Replace only if newer: only replaces newer entries but maintains older entries unchanged.

When it is finished importing, you can either close the window or go to advanced options.

Advanced options will take you to a tab called “Secondary Processes.”

This is useful for sorting children or spouses by date rather than by when they were added or modified.

Editing Your Tree Online

By clicking on “People,” you can add of modify existing people in your family tree. If your tree is empty or to add an unrelated person, click “Add New.” If you notice two duplicate entries, you can merge them into one person through the “Merge” tab.

Clicking on a person’s ID will allow you to change that entry.

All names should be capitalized normally. Please do not enter any data in all caps. Multiple spellings (example Lemke and Lembke) can be entered by clicking on “Add New” under “Other Events” and choosing “AKA (ALIA).” AKA data can be entered into the “Details” field.

Notes can be added to any entry by clicking on the icon.

Living and Private tags can be added at your discretion. All living people in the EU must be marked as “Private” per European regulations. They will not appear in searches and will only be visible to you. The “Living” tag accomplishes the same thing, but will expire after a person turns 100 if a birth date has been provided.

Parents, Spouses, and Children

These are edited through the family dialogue screens and might be a little confusing to edit at first.

To add a spouse, the individual needs to have a gender selected. If a person is marked as “unknown,” the button to add a spouse will not appear.

To edit the marriage or add children, click on the “Family” identifier (F272 is the family identifier shown above).

Add shared events through “Other Events.” These will show up for both people in the marriage.

Children will display by default in the order in which they were entered. These can be sorted to show by birth date by going to “Import/Export” in the sidebar. Then click “Secondary Processes” and “Sort Children” and “Sort Marriages.” You can also sort them by dragging them into the correct position. To link an individual already in the tree, click “Find” and navigate to the correct person.

Always save individual people before editing family details! Clicking on a family will open an editing box in a new tab. It’s advisable to only edit one individual or family at a time.

Before exiting, always click “Save.”

For editing individuals, you can return to a variety of screens.

For editing families, you can either return to the menu for all families or stay on the current family for further editing.

Standardizing Place Names

Per our Terms of Use, users MUST follow the correct format for entering names. Correct spelling can be checked on www.meyersgaz.org or on http://en.provinz-pommern.de/ Use of umlauts is imperative to this project. If a place was referred to by a former name that was later abandoned, please use the standardized name and include its former name in the description (notes section).

For places in Pommern: Village or City Name, Kreis, Pommern

Examples: Klötzin, Belgard, Pommern // Kolberg, Kolberg-Körlin, Pommern

Do not include “Germany” or “Prussia” or any other indicators of where they are located. Do not include “Kreis” in the county name. Places in Pomerania changed borders frequently throughout the various Kreis reforms, Swedish occupation of Vorpommern, and other historical events. Also, please do not include the Regierungsbezirk. It is not necessary to the project. (Some people choose to write entries: Roggow, Belgard, Köslin, Pommern, Prussia, Germany. This should be corrected to: Roggow, Belgard, Pommern)

Any places with the same city and county names must be repeated for clarification.

Examples: Belgard Stadt, Belgard, Pommern // Stolp Stadt, Stolp, Pommern

We try to maintain all entries in their standardized spellings according to the 1939 Kreis Reforms. Further information can be added in the “Details” field for further clarification. (For example: Klötzin used to belong to Kreis Schivelbein, which was in Neumark territory at the time. It was later incorporated into Kreis Belgard.) We recognize all places as they were formerly known before the dissolution of Kreis Randow on October 15, 1939. For places that were later renamed, please use your best judgment. (Another example: Wendisch Karstnitz was renamed to Ramnitz during the Nazi rule to make it sound more German. It combined the village names of RAM[bow] and [Wendisch Karst]NITZ, hence, Ramnitz. Editor’s note: I typically maintain the spelling as it was prior to these instances.) Also, be careful for older spellings: Kolberg, not Colberg; Köslin, not Cöslin, Kösternitz, not Cösternitz. However, Kreis Cammin, not Kammin, as it retained its older spelling.

A Kreisstadt (city-state) should be incorporated into whichever Kreis it was surrounded by. You can use this Kreis map for reference. Stettin should be included as a part of Kreis Randow (it was a part of Randow until March 16, 1857). Stargard should be listed as belonging to Kreis Saatzig. Stralsund should be considered a part of Franzburg-Barth, and Greifswald, Kolberg, Köslin, and Stolp belonging to their respective Kreise. Please leave Schneidemühl as its own Kreis.

Other places should use the standardization shown above. Do not add country indicators like “Poland”:

  • Schlesien
  • Westpreußen
  • Ostpreußen
  • Neumark
  • Posen

For parts of Brandenburg and Prussia, and modern-day Germany, use current data. If it is important to know which county it belonged to, please list that information in the “notes” section of the event.