Comprehensive Guide to German Genealogy Websites

Are you curious to discover your German heritage? It can be a thrilling and fulfilling journey! With so many online resources available today, exploring your family’s history is easier than ever. This guide looks at fantastic German genealogy websites, from general platforms to specialized databases and regional archives. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced genealogist, these resources will give you everything you need to uncover your family’s past. So, let’s get started!

Quick Tips:

  1. Understand German Naming Conventions: German names often follow a specific pattern, with given names, middle names, and surnames passed down through generations. Be aware of common prefixes like “von” or “zu” and how they might impact your research.
  2. Explore Online Forums and Communities: Engage with fellow researchers on forums like or the German Genealogy Group. These communities can provide valuable insights, share experiences, and offer guidance on overcoming research challenges.
  3. Collaborate with Local Researchers and Experts: Reach out to local genealogical societies, historians, or professional researchers in the specific regions your ancestors came from. Their expertise and local knowledge can be instrumental in breaking down brick walls in your research.
  4. Make the Most of Available Resources: Utilize online and offline resources. While websites are potent tools, local archives, historical societies, and physical records play a crucial role in comprehensive genealogical research.

Now, let’s delve into the German genealogy websites that will aid you in your quest for ancestral information.

German Genealogy Websites: A Comprehensive Overview


Overview of the Website: is the German arm of the renowned platform, offering various tools and resources for genealogical research. The website boasts extensive census data, birth and marriage certificates, and military records.

Key Features and Tools: provides users with a user-friendly interface, allowing easy navigation and exploring of their family tree. The platform’s robust search capabilities enable users to filter results based on various criteria, such as location, date, and familial relationships.

Subscription Options and Pricing: While some basic features are accessible for free, a subscription unlocks the full potential of Subscription options include monthly and yearly plans, often offering cost savings for committed researchers.

2. MyHeritage Germany

Overview of the Website: MyHeritage Germany is an international genealogy platform dedicated to German ancestry. In addition to a vast database of historical records, the platform also offers DNA testing services, allowing users to connect with relatives and discover their genetic heritage.

Genealogical Tools and Features: MyHeritage Germany provides users with advanced tools to build and visualize their family tree. The platform’s unique Smart Matches and Record Matches features automatically connect users to relevant historical records and potential relatives, streamlining the research process.

DNA Testing Options: One distinctive feature of MyHeritage is its DNA testing service, which can unveil ethnic origins and help connect with living relatives who share common ancestors. This additional layer of exploration can significantly enhance your understanding of your family’s roots.


Introduction to the FamilySearch Platform: is a free, non-profit genealogy platform maintained by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It offers a vast collection of digitized records and archives, making it a valuable resource for researchers worldwide.

Collaboration and Community Features: encourages collaboration among researchers. Users can connect with others researching the same ancestors, share findings, and benefit from collective insights. The platform’s community-driven approach fosters a sense of shared discovery.

Access to Digitized Records and Archives: One of the strengths of is its extensive collection of digitized records, including vital records, census data, and military records. The platform’s commitment to free access makes it an invaluable resource for researchers on a budget.

Specialized German Genealogy Websites

4. Archion

Focus on Church Records: Archion specializes in digitized church records, making it an essential resource for those tracing German ancestors with strong ties to religious institutions. The platform collaborates with various archives to provide a comprehensive collection of church documents.

Availability of Digitized Documents: Archion’s emphasis on digitization ensures that users have online access to a wealth of baptism, marriage, and burial records. This can benefit researchers seeking information on ancestors from specific regions or periods.

Subscription Details: Access to Archion’s extensive database requires a subscription. The platform offers various subscription tiers, allowing users to choose a plan that aligns with their research needs and budget.

5. German Digital Library (Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek)

Digital Archives and Collections: The German Digital Library is a treasure trove of digitized archives and collections from various cultural and scientific institutions. While not exclusively focused on genealogy, it contains valuable resources for researchers interested in historical documents and images.

Access to Historical Documents and Images: Researchers can explore various materials, including manuscripts, maps, and photographs. The German Digital Library’s user-friendly interface facilitates easy navigation through its extensive collection, opening up possibilities for unexpected discoveries.

Free Resources for Genealogical Research: One of the notable advantages of the German Digital Library is that many of its resources are freely accessible. This makes it an excellent starting point for researchers exploring a wide range of materials without financial constraints.

6. CompGen

Overview of the Genealogy Society: CompGen, short for “Computer Genealogy,” is a German genealogy society dedicated to advancing genealogical research through digital tools and collaboration. The society actively engages in various projects and initiatives to enrich the genealogical community’s knowledge base.

Research Databases and Projects: CompGen hosts several research databases and projects covering diverse aspects of German genealogy. These resources include surname databases, regional research projects, and collaborative efforts to transcribe and index historical records.

How to Participate and Contribute: Researchers interested in contributing to the genealogical community can actively participate in CompGen projects. The society welcomes volunteers and collaborators, providing an opportunity for individuals to contribute their expertise and expand the collective understanding of German genealogy.

Regional and Local Archives

7. State Archives in Germany

Overview of Regional Archives: Germany has various states with regional archives. These archives house a wealth of historical records, including vital records, land deeds, and court documents, making them essential for in-depth genealogical research.

Access to State-Specific Records: State archives play a crucial role in preserving and providing access to records relevant to specific regions. Researchers should familiarize themselves with the archives of the state their ancestors originated from to maximize the chances of uncovering pertinent information.

Contact Information and Visiting Details: To make the most of state archives, researchers should know contact information, opening hours, and any specific requirements for accessing records. Planning visits or contacting archive staff for assistance can significantly enhance the research experience.

8. Local Historical and Genealogical Societies

Importance of Local Societies: Local historical and genealogical societies are valuable resources for researchers seeking information on specific towns, villages, or regions. These societies often have in-depth knowledge of local history and can provide access to resources not available elsewhere.

Online Resources and Databases: Many local societies maintain online databases and resources, allowing researchers to access information remotely. These resources may include transcribed records, family histories, and other materials that can aid in constructing a detailed family tree.

Membership Benefits: Becoming a member of local genealogical societies can offer additional benefits, such as access to exclusive resources, networking opportunities with other researchers, and support from individuals with a deep understanding of the local genealogical landscape.

Tips and Strategies for Effective Research

1. Understanding German Naming Conventions

German naming conventions vary, and understanding them is crucial for accurate research. In addition to the common given names and surnames, prefixes like “von” (of) or “zu” (at) are often used. These prefixes denote nobility or specific locations and may provide valuable clues about your ancestors.

2. Utilizing Online Forums and Communities

Engaging with online genealogy forums and communities can be a game-changer. Platforms like and the German Genealogy Group provide spaces for sharing experiences, seeking advice, and connecting with others researching similar regions or surnames. Don’t hesitate to ask questions or share your findings; collective knowledge is powerful.

3. Collaborating with Local Researchers and Experts

Local expertise is invaluable in German genealogy research. Contact local historians, genealogists, or researchers familiar with the regions your ancestors lived in. They may have insights into local records, traditions, and resources that can significantly advance your research.

4. Making the Most of Available Resources

Combine online and offline resources for comprehensive research. While websites like and offer extensive databases, don’t overlook the importance of physically visiting local archives, libraries, and historical societies. The synergy between online and offline resources can provide a more holistic view of your family history.


Tracing your German ancestry is an exciting journey that allows you to explore history, culture, and personal identity. With a wide range of genealogy websites, databases, and archives available, researchers have access to an extensive collection of resources. By understanding the unique features of each platform and implementing effective research strategies, you can confidently unlock the doors to your ancestral past. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced genealogist facing research obstacles, these resources will provide you with all the necessary tools to uncover the fascinating stories of your German heritage.

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