How an Ortsfamilienbuch is DevelopedFamilienbuch of Wasserliesch. I have found this particular Ortsfamilienbuch to be exemplary among others of the region.
The illustration contains one page from the Familienbuch of Igel, which was prepared by Franziska Kandel. Her document results from using only the church registers.
The author of the Familienbuch of Wasserliesch was Peter Kohns (perhaps born in1881 to Matthias Kohns and Maria Reinert). I surmise his process followed these steps:
- First review the marriage entries. Place each married couple identified in the marriage records on an index card, and record the volume, page, and entry number of the marriage.
- Review the baptismal entries, and add each child’s information on the card prepared for the parents' marriage. Record the volume, page, and entry number of the baptism on this card. Ignore any information provided on birth date and time.
- When a baptismal entry identify parents who were not listed in the marriage entries, make a new index card for them, and add the child to this card. (This new card may require further research in the civil records.)
- Review the burial entries, and assign burial information to persons listed on the index cards, and record the volume, page, and entry number of the burial.
- When the burial entries identify single persons or surviving widows or widowers who are not already on index cards, create a new index card for the person or couple.
- Arrange all index cards in alphabetic order, by the name of the male head of the household. If several males have the same name, place them in chronolgical order.
- Use Standesamt registers to fill in gaps and to verify questionable entries.
- Assign numbers to each family, in strict sequence through the alphabetic listing.
ExampleHere is the first complete family listing (numbered family 3) in the Familienbuch of Wasserliesch:
3From this entry we know the following.
ACKVA Nikolaus (Bodenmeister-Aspirant aus Hetzerath wohn. in Karthaus x 05.09.1854)
oo 16.05.1889 KB 9,102,9
GRUBERT Maria (T.v. Peter u. Katharina KRING [Nr. 402] aus Wasserliersch x 08.06.1861)
x 16.09.1890 Anna Katharina KB 9,42,30 oo 1920 Fried. Wilh. VOHRATH in Karthaus
Paten aus : Hetzerath
- The husband Nikoalus Ackva is named first, followed by his occupation (Bodenmeister-Aspirant) and town of origin (Hetzerath). The note "wohn. in Karthaus" means that he resided in Karthaus at the time of the record. Most records of the husband would also identify his parents (with "S.v. [son of] Johann u. Maria GIWER" for example), but this man was 35 years old at this marriage, and a well-established journeyman. Perhaps his parents had died already, or were unable to attend the wedding. The note "x 05.09.1854" means that he was born or baptized on the 5th of September, 1854. (German dates are always in the order of day, month, year; they still are in modern Germany.) Most records would include the husband’s death date as "+ 31.12.1900" if the death was documented in the Kirchenbuch or the Standesamtsregister.
- The marriage (the oo symbol) occurred on 15 May, 1889. The marriage was recorded in Kirchenbuch volume 9, page 102, entry 9.
- The bride was Maria Grubert. She was the daughter of (T.v. means "Tochter von") Peter Grubert and Katharina Kring. Married women are always identified with their birth name, except in the burial records. The burial records may use a married name or birth name, according to the practices of the priest who entered the record. In square brackets is a PDF link to the marriage entry for Maria’s parents. Maria came from "Wasserliersch" as the town name was spelled in 1889. The compiler was scrupulous in recording names exactly as written, or as read in the actual record. Thus one will see four or five variants of the name that is now Wasserliesch, as well as variants on family names and other towns. Maria was baptised on 8 June 1861. No death information is provided.
- The couple had one child who was baptised at St. Aper: Anna Katharina on 16 September 1890, recorded in Kirchenbuch volume 9, page 42, record 30. She married Friedrich Wilhelm Vohrath in 1920 in Karthaus.
- The absence of death information may allow the reader to arrive at two possible conclusions: 1) either the husband and wife had not died by the time of Peter Kohns’ work, or 2) the family had moved from the Wasserliesch parish and Konz Standesamt before their deaths. With the presence of a single child’s birth information, it is possible the family moved before a second child or any later children were born.
- At least one baptismal sponsor (Pate, Paten) at the baptism came from Hetzerath.
Go to the Original SourceIf your research has found an Ortsfamilienbuch, don't stop there with your research. Go to the original source! Even the most conscientious researcher can make errors, and even typographic errors can distort important information. For example, I found many errors related to my ancestors in the Igel Familienbuch.
Lists of FamilienbücherYou need to know first of all the town where your ancestor was born or married. Only then can your research for a Ortsfamilienbuch be productive. Some websites try to list several—but not all—Ortsfamilienbücher of an area. For example:
- First, search for a community's documents at the LDS Family History Library.
- From the Verein für Computergenealogie, a superb collection of information that has a few pages translated to English
- Another listing from the same organization, under the name GenWiki.
- Author submissions at GoBookee.net.
- A listing of documents prepared by members of Oldenburgische Familienkunde.
- Listing of books prepared by members of die Maus.
- Listing of books prepared by the Sudetendeutscher Familienforscher.
- An announced start of an Ortsfamilienbuch as a city's communal work for Mülhausen and as work for Scheeßel and Westervesede ...
- Listing by ahnenforschung.net.
- List by Volkmar Weiss.
- List of OFBs for some towns near Cochem/Zell.
- List of OFBs for some towns in Austria.
- List of OFBs for some towns in Schlesien (Silesia, Ostpreußen, present-day southern Poland).
- Another list of OFBs for Schlesien.
- A list of listing websites!
- Listing of OFBs self-published on the web and Familienbücher. (One example of many publishing sites.)
- Listing of books for sale on Amazon. (Buyer beware!)
- Listing of books for sale on Ebay. (Buyer beware!)
- Note: also use Google.com or another search engine with the search terms "Ortsfamilienbuch" or "Ortssippenbuch" or "Familienbuch" or "One-place study" plus the town name.
- German-language description of an Ortsfamilienbuch.
- Guide to writing an Ortsfamilienbuch.
- A downloadable program to build your own OFB.