Flag of Mecklenburg

Research Help
by Carol Gohsman Bowen

Flag of Mecklenburg H

Do you want to know how and where to get started on your German research? Do you want to know what records are available and how to find them? Go to Help and Tips for information. Another place to get started is on the German newsgroup, soc. genealogy. german. Go to Frequently Asked Questions to find out more research tips and also get information on the newsgroup. Another good source for beginners is Genealogy - The Complete Resource Guide at Background Checks.org.

Most genealogists do their research at the Family History Centers of the Mormon Church. These centers are open to the public and are available for your use at no charge. They have extensive microfilm records for the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern area. To find the Family History Center near you, go to Family History Centers in the United States and Canada. For Family History Center locations in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, go to Family History Centers in Europe.

If you want to know how to write letters to archives or churches, go to How to Write Letters.

If you would like help translating your letters into German from English, you can make use of the German genealogy volunteer translation service administered by Arthur Teschler.

Send e-mail to trans@genealogy.net.

The first line of the message body should read:
#GER>ENG (for a German to English translation,)
#ENG>GER (for an English to German translation, or)
#S (for a snail mail/fax translation, fee by arrangement).

The rest of your message should be the text to be translated, no more than 40 lines. For the snail mail/fax service, you mail or fax a copy of the original document to the translator, and receive a translation by e-mail. For more information go to Translation Service. For larger documents or for guaranteed precision, professional translation is recommended.

If you want to know how to send money to Germany to pay for your research requests or other items, go to How to Send Money to Germany.

Robert Albert, Jr. will do searches for your ancestors in Mecklenburg-Schwerin and Mecklenburg-Strelitz at a reasonable price. I have personally used his services and can recommend them.

Karl-Heinz Steinbruch is a researcher located right in Mecklenburg. He will do searches for you in Mecklenburg-Schwerin and Mecklenburg-Strelitz. Check out Karl-Heinz Steinbruch for information on what Mr. Steinbruch's qualifications are and what he can do. He comes highly recommended.

If you want to know the towns or parishes where your surname was found in Mecklenburg-Schwerin in the 1800s, check the 1819 census for the listings of your surname. The Immigrant Genealogical Society will search the indexes for you and provide you with a list of towns that had residents with that surname. They will also search the 1751 and 1704 census books.

The Family History Centers added a set of microfisch to their catalog on November 17th, 1997. These are a Mecklenburg-Schwerin 1819 Census Index. With this index you should be able to determine where your surname was located in 1819. You can then look at the microfilms of those areas themselves to see if you can find your ancestors. Fisch numbers are 6001788, 6001787, 6001786, 6001785, 6001784.

The Immigrant Genealogical Society has indexes for the tax lists for Mecklenburg-Strelitz in 1704 and marriages ca 1680-1720. There is also a 1727 list of Landowners and maps showing by surname the plat they owned. This may be of interest after you have located your ancestral town. Maps for all areas did not survive. Inquire from the IGS.

Do you need to know what parish a village was in so you can find the church records? If you go to the Genealogical Association pages and look under "locations", you will find a location search feature and a list of villages with parishes. If you have access to an LDS Family History Center, D.A. Endler and Edmund Albrecht have published a "Mecklenburgs familiengeschichtliche Quellen" which contains an alphabetical list of all localities in both Mecklenburg-Schwerin and Mecklenburg-Strelitz with the parishes to which they belong. This work is available on Fiche #6000834/1-2 and should be at most Family History Centers. It is also available on microfilm (reel#0496473, item 8).

If you want to translate German websites, you can do it by using the German translation software Here.

Karin Schoepke will do lookups for you in Mecklenburg and Vorpommern from books she has in her collection. Check Karin's Home Page for her list of books and lookups available.

Donna Kjendlie will do lookups for you in Vorpommern Marriage Records for Insel Rugen only. You can contact Donna by e-mail at Donna Kjendlie. Her list of books is: Marriage Index for Insel Rugen, Vorpommern 1. VORPOMMERN I. Trauregister aus den ältesten Kirchenbücher von 1705 bis 1750 for Insel Rugen only. 2.VORPOMMERN I Trauregister aus den ältesten Kirchenbüchern von den Anfagen bis zum Jahre 1704. for Insel Rugen only

Dieter Garling specializes in the Mestlin/ Ruest area of Mecklenburg Schwerin, particularly from 1700 to 1850. He is originally from there, although he currently lives in Berlin. If you have research questions on that area, check out "Mecklenburg Pages by Garling" under our main page for more information. Dieter is willing to help those who are looking for information or relatives in Mestlin/Ruest.

For samples of entries from the Emigration Index from Mecklenburg and also a sample of an Emigration original document, go to "Mecklenburg Pages by Garling" under our main page. This index normally shows surname, profession, village and record number.

The "Institute for Migration and Ancestral Research" for Mecklenburg is headed by Anja Alert, Ph.D. According to its literature, IMAR is in Mecklenburg and helps the descendants of Mecklenburg emigrants to trace the family roots in Mecklenburg. It says it is able to locate the origins of the ancestors and searches for local branches of the family. The web site that provides the mailing address is Institute for Migration and Ancestral Research. IMAR is not directly on the Internet and you must write to Rostock, Germany to communicate with them. The Immigrant Genealogical Society has indexes for the names in their database.

The magazin "Zeitschrift fuer Niederdeutsche Familienkunde" (content: www.genealogy.net/vereine/GGHH/publikationen.html ) is a publication of the Genealogische Gessellscharft, Sitz Hamburg, e.V. (a genealogical society). This society can be reached at

Genealogische Gesellschaft Hamburg e.V.
Postfach 302042
20307 Hamburg
E-Mail: info@gghhev.de
Website: gghhev.de

for back issues of the magazine. This magazine is normally not available in North America, but it is a cited reference in "Passenger and Immigration Lists Index" by P. Wm. Filby. For example, the July 1972 issue had 4 pages of emigrants from 1850 to 1857, Jabel church records. The July 1972 Zeitschrift indicated birthplace and date. You could write or e-mail them for what other information is contained in back issues (published in German only.)

If you are working in the area of the Darß-Peninsula, contact either André Schmidt or Carolin von Reissner. They prepare a regional genealogical publication dealing with the genealogical history of a part of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern known as the Peninsulas of Fischland, Darß and Zingst. Included places are: Wustrow and Ahrenhoop at the Fischland, Born, Wieck / Bliesenrade and Prerow at the Darß and Zingst / Müggenburg at Zingst. Of special interest are the families of sailors and shipowners in this region both under Swedish and Pommeranian/German rule.

Would you like to know how to locate people with your surname who currently live in the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern area or any other area of Germany? Go to Teleauskunft, The German Telephone Directory. It will give you the names of people with your surname who have a telephone and their addresses. Click on the "T" for Telefonbuch, then click on English. You can put in just your surname, or you can enter the German zipcode for the area you are looking for to get a smaller search result.

If you would like to find people with your surname who have an e-mail address, go to Bigfoot, InfoSpace, WhoWhere, or Switchboard. Enter your surname. If a country code is required, use "DE". This will give you the person's name, their e-mail address, and the town they live in. You can search for German e-mail accounts as well as those in the United States and other countries. Another site for e-mail addresses is German E-mail (site in German only).

Bill Wangelin has a list of Charter Members who formed St. Peter Lutheran Church, Macomb, Macomb County, MI. in 1882. Most are from the northern part of Mecklenburg. Bill has information for these families which includes complete decendants up to 1982 for all 30 families, to present for many, ancestors in Germany, immigration information, and specific dates and places of birth, baptism, confirmation, etc for a few. Go to Bill's Page for more information. Bill is centralizing his work to the families from Retschow and Steffenshagen, MSC. He would be very glad to help anyone in those areas. His contacts in Mecklenburg are the Lutheran Church of Steffenshagen and Retschow, and the Mecklenburgisches Kirchenbuchamt, which has all the church books of Mecklenburg and is an extremely useful source. Bill Wangelin

James Derheim of European Focus Photography takes professional pictures of towns and villages in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern for a fee that is much less than the cost of going to Europe yourself. He provides not only photographs, but also detailed information about the town and area. James spends five months on average per year working in Germany. He also arranges private, personal tours direct to your ancestral towns or villages for the ultimate experience in genealogy. Go to European Focus Photography for more information.

Official State calendars exist for each year from 1777 in Mecklenburg-Schwerin, and from 1790 in Mecklenburg-Strelitz. A few of these calendars are available through the Family History Center libraries. However the most complete sets are probably held by the Mecklenburgische Landesbibliothek, Am Dom 2, D-19055 Schwerin, Germany. The surviving records of the grand duchies of Mecklenburg-Schwerin and Mecklenburg-Strelitz are both deposited in the Staatsarchiv Schwerin, Graf-Schack-Allee 2, D-19053 Schwerin, Germany.

Design & Production: Carol Goshman Bowen, Dieter G. H. Garling info@eMecklenburg.de