The States of Germany
This page was last updated: Wednesday, 26-Mar-2008 15:30:15 MDT. Thank you.
Names of Pre WWII Lands
Between 1918-1933, the Weimar Repubic, Gemany consisted of these lands: Anhalt, Baden, Bayern, Brandenburg, Braunschweig, Hannover, Hessen, Hohenzollern, Lippe, Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Mecklenburg-Strelitz, Nassau, Oldenburg, Ostpreussen, Pfalz, Pommern, Rheinland, Saar, Sachsen, Schlesien, Schleswig-Holstein, Thüringen, Westfalen, Westpreussen, and Wuerttemberg.
Previous to this time, these areas were more orless the same. Remember, this is a gross generalization. Some territorieswere aquired and/or lost, some borders changed, names changed or altered, but their geographic arearemained much the same.
Where they are Today?
Today, most of Ostpreussen (East Prussia), Pommern, Schlesien (Silesia), Westpreussen (West Prussia and Posen, are in Poland. If your research includes these areas, you should submit your sunames and queries on the Poland GenWeb Page. Elsass-Lothringen is a part of France, known as Alsace-Lorraine, and you should submit your surnames and queries on the France GenWeb Page. All other former areas are incorporated into the modern Bundesländer (states).
Things that may mislead you
There are two major things about German researchwhich could mislead you when trying to determine your ancestor's place of origin.
1. HAMBURG and BREMEN. These two cities are today, and in the past have often been provinces or states in their own right. Bremen is closely associated with it's port city, BREMERHAVEN. The vast majority of German migrants left Germany from one of these two cities. Before submitting information about your ancestors with Hamburg or Bremen as a place of origin, please try to determine as best you can, that oneof these cities is the place of origin, and not simply the point of departure.
2. SAXONY. There are three different states in Germany with the word Saxony in their name. The German word is SACHSEN.These areas are: NIEDERSACHSEN, SACHSEN, and SACHSEN-ANHALT. Please be sure that you are choosing the CORRECT Saxony. If you are not sure which one you want, look at a good atlas, or at the map I have provided on the main page (click on Bundesländer).
And last: If you come across the city Frankfurt, there are two: Frankfurt am Main in Hessen and Frankfurt-an-der-Oder in Brandenburg on the Polish border.
The Point of Reading this Page
The point is, as I said at the top, the division of the Germany Genealogy page into the States is to make it easier for YOU to find information, and for me to maintain. This means we are asking you to do a little homework, which is worth your while.
If you know the name of the town where your ancestor originates, but you do not know in which Bundesland (state) the town liesin TODAY, the PLEASE use GEOserv to find it. It is simple and fast. Its database is most complete for former West German towns. The East German towns are being updated. It only covers towns and cities for East &West Germany. If it did not lie within the post 1945 boundaries of eitherGermany, it can not find it. Alternative map site is Calle. This one go as small as a farming hamlet, even most obscure hamlets not found in other map sites.
Please understand, I know that you may not knowwhere they came from, or the town or village simply may not exist today. That is why the Unknown listings are provided.
One final word, please read the Surname Entryand Query Entry instructions CAREFULLY, either those on this site, or those on the volunteers' sites. They are not there to be picky, but to save us from needing to edit. Maintainers of these Surname and Query lists have the right to delete your submission if it does not meet the simple guidelines.This does sound picky, but it saves us a lot of time. I realize that most of the time it was not intentional; perhaps you just left your caps lockbutton on. It does not matter. If you do not see your submission by the end of the following weekend, submit it again, and do so CAREFULLY.
Baden-Wurttemberg (Wuerttemberg) Mike Pantel Bayern (secondary site is down) Mike Rauck Berlin (City) Roger Kennedy Brandenburg Roger Kennedy Bremen (City) Klaus-Peter Wessel Hamburg (City) Hans-Peter and Kirsten Wendt Hessen (Hesse) Don Watson Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Carol Bowen Niedersachsen Jens Th. Kaufmann Nordrhein-Westfalen Jim Hickman
Prussia W. David Samuelsen Rheinland-Pfalz Brandilyn Rae Ruppell Saarland W. David Samuelsen Sachsen (Saxony) Roger Kennedy Sachsen-Anhalt Annette Peebles Schleswig-Holstein Jesper Zedlitz Thüringen (Thuringia) Larry D. Dietzel