German Interest Group of the Iowa Genealogical Society to Sponsor Conference in Des Moines June 6, 2009

The German Interest Group of the Iowa Genealogical Society (IGS) will hold their Seventeenth Annual German Conference on Saturday, June 6, 2009 at the Des Moines Botanical Center. The speaker will be Baerbel K. Johnson, a professional genealogist who works at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City as International Reference Consultant.

Individuals who missed last year’s conference due to the floods, will be pleased to hear that Baerbel is returning for this year’s conference, although she will have different topics this year. There will again be a session at the IGS Library on Friday evening, June 5th at 7 P.M.

This session is free and open to the public. For more information e-mail to: or telephone 515-276-0287.

Thanks to my friend, Larry Benedict, for the above announcement.

Family Search Indexing Update

The following Family Search Indexing update information was received from Paul Nauta, Public Affairs Manager for FamilySearch.

February 6, 2009: FamilySearch volunteers wrapped up 14 online indexing projects already in 2009 and continue to make good progress on the 38 open projects. There are two new projects from the 1930 Mexico Census this week, and the Colorado 1920 U.S. Census project is also new.

As FamilySearch continues to expand into international record collections, there is a growing, continual need for indexers who can read the respective languages. Even if a volunteer can only dedicate a few hours a month to an indexing project, when multiplied by thousands of online volunteers, small contributions of time by individuals can have a significant impact. Volunteers can register and participate immediately at

I have rearranged the following data by category.

Recently completed projects are those that have been removed from the available online indexing batches and will now go through a final completion check process in preparation for future publication.


  • Arkansas Marriages [Part 1]
  • Massachusetts Death Records 1906-1915
  • New Hampshire Early to 1900 Births


  • Kentucky– 1870 US Census (Part 2)


  • Arizona – 1920 US Federal Census
  • Illinois – 1920 US Census
  • Florida – 1920 US Census
  • Massachusetts– 1920 US Federal Census


  • New Brunswick 1861 Census
  • Nova Scotia 1861 Census
  • Prince Edward Island 1861 Census


  • Guanajuato – 1930 Mexico Census
  • Guerrero – Censo de Mexico de 1930
  • Queretaro – Censo de Mexico de 1930



  • Vermont Militia Records – English – 15%


  • Arkansas Marriages – Part 3 – English – 27%
  • Arkansas Marriages 4 – English 34%
  • Massachusetts Marriage Records 1906-1915 – English – 84%
  • New Hampshire – Early to 1900 Deaths – English – 83%


  • Ohio Tax Records – 2 of 4 – ENGLISH – 66%


  • Florida 1885 Census – English – 26%
  • Florida 1935 Census – English – 67%
  • Massachusetts – 1855 State Census – English – 76%
  • Massachusetts – 1865 State Census – English – 33%


  • Arkansas – 1920 US Federal Census – English – 32%
  • Colorado – 1920 US Federal Census – English – NEW
  • Connecticut – 1920 US Federal Census – English – 55%


  • Argentina Censo 1869 – Buenos Aires 2 – Spanish – 84%
  • Argentina Censo 1869 – Cordoba y San Luis – Spanish – 55%


  • Belgique – Registres Des Décès (Français) – French – 14% – (Death Registers)
  • België – Overlijdens Registers – In het Nederlands – Dutch, Flemish – 14% (Death Registers)
  • Belgium – Antwerp Foreigners Index – English – 17%


  • Nova Scotia Antigonish Church Records – English – 52%
  • Ontario 1861 Census – English – 20%

FLANDERS (in present-day Belgium, France, and the Netherlands)

  • Flanders Death Registration – French, Dutch, Flemish – 37%


  • France, Coutances, Paroisses de la Manche (church records) – French – 8%


  • Brandenburg Kirchenbücher (church books) – German – 35% – This percentage refers to a specific portion of a larger project.
  • Bremer Schifflisten (Bremen ship lists) – German – 20%


  • Nayarit – Censo de Mexico de 1930 – Spanish – 12%
  • Sonora – Censo de Mexico de 1930 – Spanish – NEW
  • Tabasco – Censo de Mexico de 1930 – Spanish – NEW
  • Tlaxcala – Censo de Mexico de 1930 – Spanish – 82%


  • UK – Cheshire – Church Records – English – 51%
  • UK – Cheshire – Land Tax – English – 9%
  • UK – Cheshire – School Records – English – 4%


  • Ukraine Kyiv 1840-1842 – Russian – 1%


  • Venezuela Mérida Registros Parroquiales (church records) – Spanish – 1%


  • Nicaragua, Managua Civil Records – Spanish – 9%


  • Norway 1875 Census part 1 – Norwegian – 2%


  • St Petersburg Kirchenbuchduplikat 1833-1885 – German – 1%


  • España Lugo Registros Parroquiales (church records) [Part 1] – Spanish – 15%
    España Ávila Registros Parroquiales (church records) Spanish – 16%

New Digitized and Indexed Records at FamilySearch

The following news release was just received from Paul Nauta, with FamilySearch:

30 January 2009 – Since the last update on January 5, 2009, FamilySearch added over 40 million new records to its Record Search pilot. Individuals with international roots from Argentina, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Germany, Netherlands, and the Philippines will find some nice surprises in the newly added collections.

Birth, marriage, and death records were added for the Netherlands and Ireland. Irish researchers in particular have been anxiously awaiting the 23 million records from the Irish Civil Registration indexes. These records date from 1845-1958 and are also known as the Statutory Registration Records. Statutory registration for Protestants began in 1845 and for Catholics in 1864.

Many thanks to the thousands of online FamilySearch Indexing volunteers who helped make these wonderful records available.

See the chart below for more details. The new records can be searched for free at (Click Search Records, then Record Search pilot).
New at Familysearch 01-31-09

German Chancellor Angela Merkel Visits the Stasi Archives

German Chancellor Angela Merkel got the grand tour of the former East Germany’s secret police, the Stasi, Archives today. What filesstasiheadquarters may reside there of interest to genealogists I do not know, but I guarantee that there must be a lot of them. Following is a teaser from an article published in the January 15, 2009 edition of the Earth Times.

“It has been shown that the opening of the Stasi files has contributed to reconciliation, and not division” the chancellor said during her first visit to the former Stasi-headquarters, situated in east Berlin’s Lichtenberg area.

Merkel, of east German origin, was shown around by the head of the documentation centre, Marianne Birthler. Birthler has campaigned for funding to allow the work of the centre to continue for a further 10 years….

People can find out through the agency whether they were being monitored by the former East German authorities, and gain access to any existing files.

The archive holds more than 43 kilometres of Stasi files and millions of record cards. Last year around 87,000 requests were made to view records.

After reunification in October 1990 the records were also used to find out whether civil service job applicants had previously worked as informants in East Germany.

During Thursday’s visit, the chancellor spoke in favour of continuing the work being carried out at the centre. She recognised the particular importance of this work in 2009, the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Read the full article.

Escapee Program File – with Names – File Found in Bad Arolsen Attic

We tend to identify the Bad Arolsen, Germany – based International Tracing Service with the files and/or index entries of 17.5 million persons folks killed or persecuted by the Nazis. However, AP reporters recently located a file marked “Escapee Program” in the attic of the archive. These files contain a list of thousands of names of people who escaped the Iron Curtain that divided Europe after World War II. Many of these people relocated to the United States.


The file adds yet another previously unknown element to this Cold War episode. It seems that for years a humanitarian group dedicated to family reunification ran background checks on the escapees – all at the United States’ request.

Each name on the list found in the file gave a reference to a case file. The “Escapee Program” files reviewed by the AP gave personal details, names of relatives, movements and jobs before and after they fled to the West. As of today, how many people were involved is not known, but the ITS says it handled more than 7,400 cases in the program’s first year.

For more information, see the article in the January 4, 2009 edition of the San Francisco Chronicle.

German Town Names Now Found at Family Roots Publishing Website

As you folks know, we publish the Map Guide to German Parish Registers series of books. All the books currently in print (23 as of today) are available at the Family Roots Publishing website. With the exception of Volume 23 – which is an index to the Bavarian towns in volumes 13 through 22, as well as a Bavarian Gazetteer, I have placed a town index within the description of each book.

Since the indexes are posted within the descriptions, a visitor to the website can simply type the name of the community they are interested in – in the “Product Search” box, and quickly see what German States (and Map Guide) that place is found in. (Note that if the town name includes an umlaut, that should be included in the Product Search.)

As an example, I searched for a place called Wagenbach, and found that a place by that name is located in both Baden, and the Donaukreis area of Württemberg – with links to both soft and hard cover books that give information about the parishes of those communities.


Also note that the series is only about 1/2 done, so all of Germany isn’t covered yet – meaning that all German towns are not found on the website yet… But we’re working on it.

Bavaria Series Complete for Map Guide to German Parish Registers

It took us about a year, but the entire ten volumes covering Bavaria were recently completed by Family Roots Publishing.


Written by Kevan Hansen, and edited by Patty Meitzler, the German Map Guide series now has 23 volumes in print. The series is meant to do the following:

  • Identify the parish where an ancestor worshipped based on where they lived.
  • Give the Family History Library microfilm number for the family’s parish records – allowing you to often view the Parish Registers that include the vital records of your ancestors at a Family History Center near you!
  • Identify nearly every city, town, and place that included residents.
  • Visually identify church parishes for Lutherans & Catholics in each district.
  • Identify adjoining parishes in case an ancestor attended an alternate parish.
  • Aid in area searches, particularly across district or regional borders.
  • Provide visual identification of search areas in which to look for a family.
  • Help in determining proximity of one area to another.
  • Aid in determining reasonable distances of travel from one area to another.
  • Identify population centers in each parish.
  • Identify archives, repositories, and other resources.
  • Aid in identification of the location of minority religions.

Volume 23, which was published in December, is an index to the Bavarian places found in volumes 13 through 22, as well as a Bavarian Gazetteer.

The Guides are published in library-quality hard-back binding, as well as soft-cover editions. Click on the links to learn more or order online. Visa and Mastercard are accepted at the site. Libraries my also order by purchase order only.

Rhineland Map Guides Now Shipping

It’s taken a while to get back into production, but the Map Guide to German Parish Registers is again being authored by Kevan Hansen, with the three Rhineland volumes (11 through 13) coming off the press first.


Family Roots Publishing is now shipping German Map Guide Volume 11 – which covers the Regierungsbezirks of Aachen and Düsseldorf – in both Soft cover and Hard cover.
Also shipping is German Map Guide Volume 12 – covering Regierungsbezirks Köln and Koblenz – in Soft cover. We will be shipping the Hard bound volumes on Wednesday, May 9.
The Rhineland III volume is in final edit and will be shipping soon.
Please note that this is a reconstructed post from May 6, 2007. Adds About 300 New Online Resources from GPC

On August 24, posted 301 new items, including many books that I’m familiar with. In running through the list, I find that the books seem to all be those published by Genealogical Publishing Company. These books cover many topics including: Irish, Germanic, Revolutionary War, and various countywide and statewide titles (including many for New York State). This is a major expansion of digitized books at Previously, the majority of digitized books at were duplicates of those available at HeritageQuest Online.

Hamburg Permits to Emigrate Have Been Filmed

Permits to Emigrate (Reisepass Protokolle), applications for Permits or Passports of persons sailing from Hamburg to America, have been microfilmed for the years 1851 to 1929. The applications, indexed, required the physical description of the applicant, the former place of residence, and names of family members. In the Family History Library Catalog (, enter “Reisepasse Protokolle.” The 323 films are listed by number.
From the January 2006 Immigrant Genealogical Society Newsletter