For many genealogists researching their immigrant ancestors, one of the most difficult tasks may be in identifying in what city their ancestor lived in or was born in before coming to America. While many filed proper birth, marriage, and death certificates once in the U.S., these records usually did not provide birth places in the home country. For descendants of German ancestors, this can be particularly difficult problem since for the better part of history Germany lacked any type of national-level vital record keeping. Without a specific city or town name, tracing ancestors to their point of origin within Germany could be nearly impossible. One potential saving grace for researchers are church records.

During the mid-1800s, many cities saw growth amongst their German immigrant populations, and no city grew as quickly as New York. In fact, by the late 1800s,  Berlin and Vienna were the only cities in the world with larger populations of Germans than New York. With its large German population and strong Christian heritage, German churches popped up all over the city. The German Churches of Metropolitan New York: A Research Guide, by Richard Haberstroh, was written to help researchers make the connection between their immigrant ancestors and the cities from wince they came. Where traditional vital records fail to identify the immigrants point of origin, many church records provide the desired information.

The book is broken into two main sections. The first part examines the German-American religions and related communities; including, the various Christian denominations and aspects of German church records. Part II is a compendium of German churches in the Metropolitan New York area. In all Dr. Haberstroh has identified over 400 Protestant and Catholic churches which have served the German communities in the present five boroughs of New York City, as well as Jersey City and Hoboken, from the 1600s to the present.

For each church, the reader is provide with the year founded, location(s), whereabouts of records, and in the case of Protestant churches, names of pastors. There are illustrations of selected churches and church records. Maps assist the researcher in identifying churches in a particular neighborhood at given dates. Indexes to church names and Protestant pastors complete this indispensable guide.

 

Table of Contents

Introduction

Part I: Aspects of German-American Religions and Communities

  • Christian Denominations in Germany
  • German-American Communities and Churches in Metropolitan New York
  • The Nature of German Church Records

Part II: Compendium of German Churches in Metropolitan New York

  • Description of the Compendium
  • Compendium of German Churches
  • Church Location Maps

Bibliography

Index to Churches

Index to Protestant Pastors

 

Order The German Churches of Metropolitan New York: A Research Guide from Family Root Publishing; Item #:NYGS02.