Locating German Records

Locating German Records

Read these tips for locating German birth and marriage records.

Q. My husband’s great-great-grandmother was born in Breslau. Would her baptism and marriage records still be with the Catholic churches there, or were they moved?
A. Breslau (now called Wroclaw) is the largest city in a region of Central Europe known as Silesia, called Schlesien in German and Slask in Polish. Prussia conquered Silesia in 1742, and it later became part of the German Empire. After Germany’s defeat in World War II, the victorious Allies awarded most of Silesia to Poland, with a small piece becoming part of Czechoslovakia. So are your ancestor’s records in Poland or Germany?
Most Catholic church records from pre-WWII Poland have been archived in regional curias (central administration offices), typically in the offices of the presiding archdiocese. It’s likely that your ancestor’s records (if they still exist) have been archived there, rather than Germany. You can see the website for the archdiocese at <www.archidiecezja.wroc.pl> and write the curia at: Kuria Metropolitalna, ul. Katedralna 13, 50-328 Wroclaw, Polska.
Additionally, FamilySearch <www.familysearch.org> has 55 microfilms of Breslau church records. In this case, however, your fastest route to the records is to search as though Breslau/Wroclaw were still a part of Germany; search the catalog for “Germany, Preußen, Schlesien, Breslau.” (Many places include the names Breslau or Wroclaw, so you may need to do some digging to be sure you have the right one.)
From the October/November 2015 issue of Family Tree Magazine

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