This site was created as an adjunct to the Alsatian Genealogy page, in order to provide basic information on the communities in Alsace. (For a site with a like purpose devoted to the Schwarzwald, the Black Forest region of southwest Germany, go to The Black Forest Page. Alsace absorbed many immigrants from this area, especially during the 17th and 18th centuries.)
Alsace today consists of the two French départements of Bas-Rhin and Haut-Rhin. However, the Territoire de Belfort, today considered part of Franche-Comté, was historically part of Alsace, and was in the département du Haut-Rhin until the end of the Franco-Prussian War in 1871. For that reason the communities in the Territoire de Belfort are included here along with those in Bas-Rhin and Haut-Rhin.
The communities are listed in two alphabetical sequences. The first is an index, in which the various names (French, German, Latin, etc.) of each community are listed. Each name in this index is linked to the second sequence, where the full entry for each community is found. The basic information in each entry consists of:
Other information may include:
The construction of this site is far from complete. Please be patient. Although skeletal entries for the 1,004 communities in Alsace have been created it will be some time before all the data mentioned above can be added to them. Also, due to the large scope of this project, the extent of this information will vary from community to community, based on our familiarity with it and the ready availability of data. Researchers with expertise in a given community or area are encouraged to share their knowledge with us. Suggestions for increasing the utility of this site to genealogists are welcome.
As Samuel Johnson wrote in the preface to the first edition of A dictionary of the English language (London: Printed by W. Strahan, for J. and P. Knapton; T. and T. Longman [et al.], 1755), v. 1, p. :
"In this work, when it shall be found that much is omitted, let it not be forgotten that much likewise is performed ..."
The most extensive single work dealing with the communities of Alsace is the 12-volume Encyclopédie de l'Alsace (Strasbourg: Éditions Publitotal, 1982-1986). This source gives population figures from 1851, 1900, 1936 and 1982. Although we have used it in some instances, we unfortunately do not have a copy close by. Another very informative source is the series Paroisses et communes de France: dictionnaire d'histoire administrative et démographique, by Jean-Pierre Kintz (Paris: Laboratoire de Démographie Historique de l'École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, 1977 [Bas-Rhin]; Paris: CNRS Éditions, 1994 [Haut-Rhin and the Territoire de Belfort]), which lists population figures from 1720 to the present and data on religious composition. The population figures for 1905 are taken from Staatshandbuch für Elsaß-Lothringen 1910 (Straßburg: Verlag des Statistischen Landesamts, ). Population figures for 1990, as well as information on the administrative location of a community, are taken from Bottin des communes 1997 (Paris: Société du Bottin Administratif, 1996). Latin forms of names for many communities have been taken from Orbis Latinus, by J. G. Th. Graesse (Berlin: Richard Carl Schmidt & Co., 1909), available on the web courtesy of Karen Green and the Electronic Text Service at Columbia University. Other sources used include: L'Alsace ancienne et moderne, ou, Dictionnaire topographique, historique et statistique du Haut et du Bas-Rhin, by Jacques Baquol, 3rd edition, revised by Paul Ristelhuber (Strasbourg: Salomon, 1865); Le Haut-Rhin: dictionnaire des communes, histoire et géographie, économie et société, edited by Raymond Oberlé and Lucien Sittler for the Centre de Recherches et d'Études rhénanes of the Université de Haute Alsace (Strasbourg: Éditions Alsatia, 1980); recent issues of the Annuaire officiel des abonnés au téléphone for Bas-Rhin, Haut-Rhin and the Territoire de Belfort (France Télécom), supplemented by the French telephone directories available on the web at http://www2.eu-info.com/France, http://www.pagesjaunes.fr/pb.cgi? and http://www.annu.com; and the Genealogical Gazetteer of Alsace-Lorraine, by Ernest Thode (Indianapolis, IN: Heritage House, 1986).
Robert Behra developed and published this site in 1997, and maintained it until early 2004. Since that time, it has been maintained by Brian J. Smith. The following paragraph contains Mr. Behra's acknowledgements:
This site would not have been started without the advice and support (both technical and moral) of Rick Heli. Carsten Läkamp, who was creating a similar site at the time this one was announced, kindly shared a large amount of information he had collected; Dr. Étienne Herrbach made frequent invaluable contributions of data; my cousin François Cailac, in addition to sharing information on his branch of the family, has provided helpful data on the Territoire de Belfort; and I wouldn't even be online without the very generous assistance of my brother, Jim, who also provides much-needed technical advice. I am very grateful to have had the help of each of these individuals. The resulting site literally would not be here without them.[Top of Page]