Pommerscher Verein Freistadt
The Pomeranian Society of Freistadt
The Pomeranian Society of Freistadt

Pomeranian Church Records

Pommern Kirchenbücher

In 1616 a resolution required all parish clergy to keep a separate book to record names and events which took place in their parish district. The earliest church records in Pomerania start about 1640. The government (civil records) did not begin until 1874. In 1794 churches were ordered to make duplicate church books but most did not start until about 1800-1820. About 30% of these Kirchenbuchduplikate have survived. Hinterpommern churches were required to turn over their books to the state archives but not all complied. This means there are still a few churches in Poland with German church books. The German Evangelical churches in former Hinterpommern are now in Polish Catholic churches. Most of the current Polish Catholic clergy cannot read the old books.

An estimated 10-15% of original church books have survived. For specific towns there may be entire records, partial records, or no records. 

Most of the parish registers in the area that was East Germany are still held by local parish officials. They belong to the parish and their use is controlled by the rules of those parishes. You may or may not get results from sending inquiries to individual parishes for a variety of reasons. Many of the current young pastors are often unfamiliar with genealogical methods or cannot read the old script in which the records were written. Inquiries at times are discarded without a response. The churches in the area near the Oder River were destroyed during World War II and some of the records have been lost.

The church books of the former Prussian church provinces beyond the Oder-Neisse border are now subject to the new term of copyright of the Archives Law of the Evangelical Church of the Union (EKU) of 6 May 2000, according to which church books cannot be put to use of until 10 years after the death or 90 years after the birth of the person concerned have passed. Baptismal registers can be read until 31 December 1909, confirmation registers until 31 December 1924, and marriage registers until 31 December 1929. 

Franz Schubert started a series of marriage book indexes for Pomerania from available church books. Information given could be very complete or could be only the name of the couple, date and in which parish they were married.  Bibliographic information on these books is given below.

"Evangelische" in Germany and Pomerania means virtually the same as "Lutheran" (followers of Martin Luther), but in Switzerland "Evangelische" means the same as "Reformed" (followers of Zwingly and Calvin). Historically, in both of these areas "Evangelische" was a term adopted by the Reformers to distinguish their "Protestant" positions from that of the Roman Catholic Church which they were opposing.


Church Records by Individual Pommern Kreis (County)
Select the Kreis to access the lists by Kreis

Anklam Arnswalde Belgard
Bublitz Bütow Cammin
Demmin Deutsch Krone Dramburg
Flatow Franzburg-Barth Friedeberg
Fürstentum Greifenberg Greifenhagen
Greifswald Grimmen Köslin
Kolberg-Körlin Lauenburg Naugard
Netzekreis Neustettin Pyritz
Randow Regenwalde Rügen
Rummelsburg Saatzig Schilvelbein
Schlawe Schlochau Schneidemühl
Stargard Stettin Stolp
Stralsund Ückermünde Usedom-Wollin

Military Church Records in Various Kreise.‚Äč

  • Arbeitsgemeinschaft pommersche Kirchengeschichte.
     
  • Archion.de. A subscription web site for viewing over 90,000 digitized church book records shared from protestant churches in Germany. Includes Pomeranian records from Evangelical Zentralarchiv Berlin and Landeskirchliches Archiv der Evangelical-Lutheran Kirche.
     
  • Architektura Sakralna Pomorza Zachodniego - Pictures of former Pommern churches in Poland. 
     
  • Bischöfliches Zentralarchiv, Regensburg. Bishopric Central Archive, Regensburg. Contact information. (In German)
     
  • Bugenhagen, Johannes, Norbert Buske, and Lore Wirth-Poelchau. Pomerania. Schwerin: Helms, 2008. 
     
  • Catholic Churches in Germany. Select "Bistümer" for a list of Archdiosese. (In German)
     
  • "The Cloisters in Pomerania Brought Culture and Progress." (Pommern Klöster brachten Kultur und Fortschritt). Translated by Martha and Les Riggle from Pommersches Heimatbach 2008. Die Pommerschen Leute. 31, 2 (Summer 2008): 26-27.
     
  • Deutsche Zentralstelle für Genealogie, Sächsisches Staatarchiv, Schongauerstrße 1, 04329 Leipzig, Germany. Has a few parish records for Pomerania. (In German and English)
     
  • Diözesan-Archiv Berlin. Diocesan archive of Berlin. Contact information. (In German)
     
  • Diözesanarchiv Köslin (Koszalin) Diocesan archive of Köslin. Contact information. (In German)
     
  • Evangelical Churches in GermanyEvangelische Kirche in Deutschland.  (In German) 
     
  • Evangelisches Zentral-Archiv in Berlin
    Bethaniendam 29
    10997 Berlin, Germany
    E-mail: kirchenbuchstelle@ezab.de
    Telephone: 011 49 30 22 50 45 36
    The archive preserves the records of the Evangelishe Kirche in Deutschland (EKD-Evangelical Church of Germany) and the Evangelische Kirche der Union (EKU-Evangelical Unifed Church) The archive's collections include Evangelical church holdings from former German areas now in other countries as well as from the Bundesrepublik Deutschland (Federal Republic of Germany) Evangelical parish records from the 17th-20th centuries are available.

     
  • Metasearch at genealogy.net. A search engine which give results from multiple databases at one time. This search is for first names and surnames.
     
  • Germany, Prussia, Pomerania Church Recordsm 1544-1945.  FamilySearch. Digitized church records for various Pomeranian churches. Some images are indexed and others can be browsed.
     
  • Germany, Prussia, Pomerania, Labes, Church Records, 1647-1764. FamilySearch. Browse images of Kichenbücher of Labes, Pommern.
     
  • Germany, Prussia, Pomerania, Stralsund, Church Book Indexes, 1600-1900. FamilySearch. Browse images of indexes in Stralsund, Pommern.
     
  • Grüneberg, Georg. Kirchenbücher, Kirchenbuch-Duplikate und Standesamtsregister der ehemals brandenburgischen Kreise Königsberg, Soldin, Landsberg, Arnswalde, Friedeberg, Ost- und Weststernberg, Crossen, Züllichau-Schwiebus, Guben und Sorau (östl. der Neisse), Schwerin, Meseritz, Bomst; Bestandsverzeichnis 2006. Lenzen (Elbe) Grüneberg 2006.
     
  • Heyden, Hellmuth. Die Bugenhagenkirche : [Zur 25. Wiederkehr des Tages der Grundsteinlegung]. [s. l.]: [s. n.], [1931].
     
  • Heyden, Hellmuth. Der Evangelische Bund in Pommern, 1890-1940: Aus d. Geschichte d. Pommerschen Hauptvereins zu s. 50jähr. Bestehen. Berlin: Verl. d. Evang. Bundes, 1940.
     
  • Heyden, Hellmuth. Die evangelischen geistlichen des ehemaligen Regierungsbezirkes Stralsund-Insel Rügen. Greifswald: Evangelisches Konsistorium, 1956.
     
  • Heyden, Hellmuth. Die evangelische Kirche Pommerns in der Zeit von der Aufnahme der Reformation bis zur Gegenwart. Stettin: Fischer & Schmidt. 1938.
     
  • Heyden, Hellmuth; Evangelisches Konsistorium Greifswald. Die Evangelischen Geistlichen des ehemaligen Regierungsbezirkes Stralsund. Greifswald: Evangelisches Konsistorium, 1956-.
     
  • Heyden, Hellmuth. Der evangelische Pfarrerstand in Pommern. Stettin: Evang. Pressverband für Pommern, [1938].
     
  • Heyden, Hellmuth. Die Kirchen Stettins und ihre Geschichte. Stettin: Fischer & Schmidt, 1936.
     
  • Heyden, Hellmuth. Die Kirchen Greifswalds und ihre Geschichte. Berlin: Evang. Verl.-Anst., 1965.
     
  • Heyden, Hellmuth. Kirchengeschichte von Pommern. Stettin: Fischer & Schmidt, 1937-38.
     
  • Heyden, Hellmuth. Kirchengeschichte Pommerns. Köln-Braunsfeld: R. Mueller, 1957.
     
  • Heyden, Hellmuth. Kirchengeschichte von Pommern 1 Von den Anfängen des Christentums bis zur Reformationszeit. Stettin: Fischer & Schmidt, 1937.
     
  • Heyden, Hellmuth. Neue Aufsätze zur Kirchengeschichte Pommerns. Köln: Böhlau, 1965.
     
  • Heyden, Hellmuth. Die Notwendigkeit einer einigen evangelischen Reichskirche im dritten Reich. Berlin : Buchdruckerei Albert Fischer, 1934.
     
  • Heyden, Hellmuth. Pommerns Glaubenstreue im Dreissigjährigen Krieg. Berlin : Evang. Pressverband f. Deutschland ; [Leipzig] : [H. G. Wallmann], [1937].
     
  • Heyden, Hellmuth. Pommersche Geistliche vom Mittelalter bis zum 19. Jahrhundert. Köln: Böhlau, 1965.
     
  • Heyden, Hellmuth. Die pommersche Kirchenordnung [Kercken-Ordeninge des gantzen Pamerlandes] von 1535. Stettin : Fischer & Schmidt, 1937.
     
  • Heyden, Hellmuth. Protokolle der pommerschen Kirchenvisitationen. Köln, 1961-1964.
     
  • Heyden, Hellmuth. Verzeichnis von Büchern und Aufsätzen zur Kirchengeschichte Pommerns; Mit einem Anhang: Literatur zur Kultur-, Landes- und Stadt- Geschichte. Hannover: [Archivamt der Evangelischen Kirche in Deutschland] 1952.
     
  • Heyden, Hellmuth. Vom Neubau der Kirche. [Stettin, Elisabethstr. 69] : Provinzial-Verein f. innere Mission in Pommern, [1929].
     
  • Heyden, Hellmuth. Wie Luthers Lehre in Pommern Eingang fand Festschrift zur 400-Jahrfeier des Landtags von Treptow a. d. R. Stettin: Evangelischer Pressverband, 1934.
     
  • Kirchenbücher im Evangelischen Zentralarchiv, Berlin.
     
  • Kirchenbücher Online Pommern. (In German)
     
  • Landeskirchliches Archiv Pommersche Evangelische Kirche archives
    The National Church Archive of the EVangelical Lutheran Church in Northern Germany (Nordkirche) is the archive for the regional church. It headquarters are in Kiel with two branch offices in Greifswald and Schwerin. The Griefswald archive is currently closed. The Kiel archives is located at Winterbeker Weg 51, 24114 Kiel. The Schwerin archives is at Am Dom 2, 10966 Schwerin.
     
  • Lux, Jürgen: Viele Ostpommersche Kirchenbücher sind gerettet! In: Lux, Jürgen (Bearb.): Jahrbuch Pollnow 1995. Herausgegeben von der Heimatgruppe Pollnow. Schönaich, 1995. S. 98ff.
     
  • Matricula Online. Holds church registers from Austria, Germany, Poland and Serbia.
     
  • Die Organisation der Kirchen in Deutschland 1871-1945.  Churches in Germany, 1871-1945.
     
  • Personenstandsbücher im Standesamt I in Berlin.
     
  • Pommersche Evangelishe Kirche, Evangelisch-Lutherische Landeskirche Mecklenburgs. Researching family history in the Pomeranian Protestant Church - how and whom to contact. English pages.
     
  • Pommersche Kirchenbücher und Personenstandsbücher.
     
  • Pommerscher Greif. Kirchenbuch online search by Kreis and town. (in German and English)
     
  • Pomorskie Towarzystwo Genealogiczne. Pomeranian Genealogical Association. Indexes include baptism, marriage, death, cemeteries and monuments for over 5 million records. (in German)
     
  • Protestant Churches in Germany. In German, with some English. It has a page for every "church province" and the addresses and web sites of church communities by location.
     
  • Rodig, Uwe. Verzeichnis der Pommerschen Kirchenbücher im Vorpommersches Landesarhiv Greifswald. (Index to Pomeranian church records at the civil archive in Greifswald). The Archive, 1996. ISBN 3-86108-707-3. The church records are listed alphabetically by town name, and the years covered for each category (baptism, marriage, death, confirmation) are given. An annotated copy that includes additional information is available for use at the library of the Pommerscher Verein Freiststadt.
     
  • Rodig, Uwe. Verzeichnis der pommerschen Kirchenbücher im Vorpommerschen Landesarchiv Greifswald. Bremen: Edition Temmen, 1996.
     
  • Schnellüberblick Kirchenbuchbestand. Greifswald: Landeskirchliches Archiv der Pommerschen Evangelischen Kirche, 1995.
     
  • Schroeder, John D., Wanda M Oelrich and Bill Oelrich. Cowboy preacher: the Old West journals of the Rev. J.D. Schroeder. [S.l.]: Wanda M. Oelrich, ©1989. Pastor Schroeder was born in 1872 in the province of Oldenburg, Germany. He wrote this series of articles in 1930 in German. They describe his experiences as a circuit preacher for the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod in Nebraska, South Dakota, Wyoming and Montana from 1892-1895. A great look at mission efforts on the early frontier, told in humorous detail.
     
  • Schubert, Franz. Trauregister aus den ältesten Kirchenbüchern von den Anfängen bis zum Jahre 1704. Göttingen: Selbstberglag. 10 volumes of marriage records from earliest Vorpommern church books up to 1704. Inhalt: Bd. 1. Die Insel Rügen -- Bd. 2. Kreis Franzburg/Barth -- Bd. 3. Stadt Anklam -- Bd. 4. Kreis Anklam (Land), Kreis Demmin -- Bd. 5. Kreis Grimmen -- Bd. 6. Stadt Stralsund -- Bd. R1-6. Register zu Band 1-6 -- Bd. 7. Stadt Stettin -- Bd. 7a. Stadt Stettin, Proklamationen St. Jacobi -- Bd. 7b. Stadt Stettin (Register) -- Bd. 8. Stadt Wolgast -- Bd. 9. Raum Greifswald-Usedom -- Bd. 10. Treptow, Ueckermünde, Randow -- Bd. R8-10. Register zu Band 8-10.
     
  • Schubert, Franz. Trauregister aus den ältesten Kirchenbüchern von 1705 bis 1750.Göttingen: Im Selbstverlag. 8 volumes of Vorpommern marriage records from 1705-1750.Contents: v. 1. Die Insel Rügen -- v. 2. Kreis Franzburg/Barth -- v. 3. Kreis Anklam -- v. 5. Kreis Grimmen -- v. 6. Stadt Stralsund -- v. 7. Stadt Stettin -- v. 7a. Stadt Stettin, franz. ref. Gemeinde, Register -- v. 8. Wolgast.
     
  • Schubert, Franz. Hinterpommern Trauregister vor 1876. Göttingen: Im Selbstverlag. So far only Kreis Naugard is available.
     
  • Stache, Christa (Bearb.): Verzeichnis der Kirchenbücher im Evanglischen Zentralarchiv in Berlin - Teil 1: Die östlichen Kirchenprovinzen der Evangelischen Kirche der altpreußischen Union. 2. Aufl., Berlin 1993. ISBN 3-9801646-4-0
     
  • Stache, Christa. Verzeichnis der Kirchenbücher im Evangelischen Zentralarchiv in Berlin 1. Die östlichen Kirchenprovinzen der Evangelischen Kirche der altpreussischen Union. Berlin: Evang. Zentralarchiv, 1985.
     
  • Synode der Pommerschen Evangelischen Kirche. Beschlüsse, Berichte, Fakten, Vorträge der Landessynode der Pommerschen Evangelischen Kirche. (In German) 
     
  • Verzeichniss der Geistlichen in der Provinz Pommern. Salt Lake City, Utah: Gefilmt durch The Genealogical Society of Utah, 1961. 1 reel of microfilm. List of the Evangelical pastors of the former Prussian Province of Pomerania. Mikrofilm vom Original: Stettin: L. Pasenow, 1861-1871. 28, 40 S.l.
     
  • Wehrmann, Martin. Die Kirchenbücher in Pommern. Published in 1892, this works gives the beginning years of baptism, marriage and death records in a primary parish and its affiliate. This list can be found in Baltische Studien Band 40-41 and begins on page 201. Stettin: Saunier, 1892. (Family History Library Ref943.81 K23w; microfiche 6053534).
     
  • Wermes, Martina (Bearb.): Bestandsverzeichnis der Deutschen Zentralstelle für Genealogie Leipzig. Teil I: Die Kirchenbuchunterlagen der östlichen Provinzen Posen, Ost- und Westpreußen, Pommern und Schlesien. Neustadt/Aisch: Degener, 1994. 2. Auflage. ISBN 3-7686-2063-8
     
  • A good source on the post-war status of Pommern church and civil records is In Search of Your German Roots, 4th edition by Angus Baxter. Details how church authorities in various centers ordered the ministers of the Evangelical church to bring all church records to the west near Frankfort for storage in mine shafts. After the war many of these church records were damaged by thieves and arsonists, and many were destroyed. At the end of WWII, Paul Langheinrich, a member of the LDS Church, instituted a search for church books and records in the areas occupied by Soviet forces. He was very successful in this effort and later obtained permission from the Soviet government to take all the books he had found to Berlin.

Nov. 2020