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Sources of Information

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Emsland - Church Records

Records for parishes in Emsland are not available through the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints

Unfortunately, the Catholic Church records for parishes in Emsland were not filmed by the Latter Day Saints although there are a couple of exceptions as noted below. Most of the parish records can only be viewed in Germany - in either Osnabrueck or Meppen.

Records for the Napoleonic period in northern Germany (ca 1807-14) were considered civil documents and for that reason some records (birth/baptism, marriage and death) for those years can be found on microfilm at the LDS Family History Ceters. There are also some Emsland parish records on microfilm for part of the second half of the 19th century. The reason for this exception is unknown to me. Searching at a Family History Center under the town or village name where the parish was located will let you know what records, if any, were filmed for that parish.

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Osnabrueck Catholic Diocesan Archive

Catholic parish records for the Diocese of Osnabrueck (which includes Emsland) are on microfiche and can be viewed at the diocesan archive in Osnabrueck on Wednesdays. If you intend to look at records there it is usually necessary to contact the archive several months in advance to reserve a microfiche reader (cost 5 EUR/day.)

Dioezesanarchiv, Bistum Osnabrueck
Grosse Domsfreiheit 10
49074, Osnabrueck, Germany
Telephone: (05 41) 3 18-418
Fax: (05 41) 3 18-425
http://www.bistum-osnabrueck.de/index.php

Medien & Informationen > Dioezesanarchiv > Familienforschung > Kontakt

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Meppen Catholic Family Research Facility

The same Catholic parish records found in Osnabrueck are also available, on microfiche, at the Katholische Familienforschungsstelle in Meppen, Emsland. A reservation for a fiche reader is necessary there too (cost 5 EUR/day). They are open on Thursday and Friday of every week plus the morning of the first Saturday of each  month.

Katholische Familienforschungsstelle
Domhof 18
49716, Meppen
Telephone 05931-1 24 44 (M-F 8:30-12:00 & 4:00-6:00)
email address - fam.archive@KGVerband-Meppen.de

Information (in German) about the Katholische Familienforschungsstelle in Meppen can be found on the webpage of the Kirchengemeinde Meppen  (www.KGVerband-Meppen.de > Familienforschung.) Besides information about the facility there are photos of it and a link to a page which will let you know what years (before 1875) are available for the churchbooks of the various parishes in the diocese of Osnabrueck (which includes Emsland.)

Requests to this facility for family research should be limited to one ancestor at a time and one generation at a time. Before sending such a request you should have a good idea about what parish to search and an approximate year of birth for your ancestor and include parents' names if you have them. If the information can be found, you will normally receive a detailed transcription of the birth/baptism record for your ancestor and for siblings baptized at the same parish and marriage information for the parents, if married in the same parish. There is of course a fee for this research but it is quite reasonable. Research involving very early records may cost a little more.

Baccum Family Database (Ortsfamilienbuch Baccum) - online

There is an online database with genealogical information for villagers who belonged to the parish in Baccum. http://www.online-ofb.de/baccum/. Most of the information appears to have come from Catholic Church records.

Berssen Family Database (Ortsfamilienbuch Berßen) - online

There is an online database with genealogical information for villagers who belonged to the parish in Berssen. http://www.online-ofb.de/berssen. Most of the information appears to have come from Catholic Church records.

Emsbueren Family Database (Ortsfamilienbuch Emsbüren) - online

There is an online database with genealogical information for villagers who belonged to the parish in Emsbueren http://www.online-ofb.de/emsbueren/. Most of the information appears to have come from Catholic Church records.

Herzlake parish records - online

Dr. Stefan Remme' website Zur Geschichte von Dohren im Emsland (http://www.ewetel.net/~stefan.remme) contains interesting information (in German) about the villages of Klein and Gross Dohren, located in the parish of Herzlake. His website also has spreadsheets of transcribed Herzlake parish records of baptisms, marriages and burials for all villages in the parish.

Hesepe Family Database (Ortsfamilienbuch Hesepe) - online

There is an online database with genealogical information for villagers who belonged to the parish in Emsbueren. http://www.online-ofb.de/hesepe/. Most of the information appears to have come from Catholic Church records.

Twist Family Database (Ortsfamilienbuch Twist) - online

There is an online database with genealogical information for villagers who belonged to the parish in Twist. http://www.online-ofb.de/twist/. Most of the information appears to have come from Catholic Church records.

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Status Animarum (Church census taken in 1749)

The Status Animarum was a census taken in 1749-50 by the Bishop of Muenster in Oberstift Muenster, land he owned in what later became Westfalen, and in Niederstift Muenster, land he owned in what later became Niedersachsen. The original census document was filmed by the Latter Day Saints and is available on microfilm through the Family History Centers:
#0920122 - for Niederstift Muenster
#0920120 - for Oberstift Muenster.

The Status Animarum for that portion of Niederstift Muenster which was located within the boundaries of present-day Emsland, Niedersachsen, has been transcribed and printed in three volumes:
1) Status Animarum 1749 in den Gerichten Meppen, Haren und Haseluenne
2) Status Animarum 1749 in den Gerichten Aschendorf, Lathen, Huemmling und im Patrimonialgericht Papenburg
3) Status Animarum 1749 in den Kirchspielen Emsbueren, Salzbergen und Schepsdorf
It was transcribed by Norbert Tandecki and Reinhard Cloppenburg and makes up volume 3 of the series Beitraege zur Emslaendischen und Bentheimer Familienforschung. The three volumes were published in 1995 by the Emslaendischen Heimatbund e.V., Schloss Clemenswerth, Soegel

This census lists all members of every household within the area covered, sometimes including the surname of wife and farmhelp but not always. There is a surname index and a village index in the back of each volume. The three books can be found at the St. Louis County Library Headquarters on Lindbergh - R943 S797 v.1-3.

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Protestant Church records

Although Emsland was, and still is, predominantly Catholic, there were some Protestants living there too. I've been told that Evangelical records for the former Grafschaft Lingen (roughly the southern third of Emsland) are available to researchers at a state archive in The Hague, Holland. There may also be some central place in Niedersachsen where they can be found but I'm not aware of any such location. Sometimes a village or town may have its own copy of old church records for one or both religions. These locally-kept records, however, are often not available to outside researchers although a local family history group in the village may respond to a written request for information from such records.

Information about parish registers of the Ev-luth. Landeskirche Hannover, Church district Emsland Bentheim can be found at the website http://www.hist.de/yemsland-bentheim.htm.

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Emsland - Civil Records

Emigration lists at the Staatsarchiv in Osnabrueck

There is a series of books on the shelves of the reading room in the Staatsarchiv (civil archives) in Osnabrueck which lists emigrants from that region (including those from Emsland) whose names were taken from official records. more on this subject

Travel Passes

A travel pass was issued to those who registered their intention to emigrate with the proper authorities. These passes exist today only in cases where they were preserved by descendants of the emigrants. A Rakers descendant in Cole County, MO, is fortunate to still have this document.
image of travel pass issued in 1840 by the Kingdom of Hannover

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Walter Tenfelde's book listing emigrants from the former district of Lingen:

Auswanderungen und Auswanderer aus dem ehemaligen Kreise Lingen nach Nordamerika, publ: Heimatverein Lingen (Ems), Lingen 1998, ISBN: 3-9800064-6-8

This book has been a tremendous resource in putting together this website because the former Kreise Lingen covered more than a third of present-day Emsland. The book made possible the identification of many Emslanders in the Mid-West who may have otherwise gone unnoticed.

The St. Louis County Library Headquarters on Lindbergh has a copy of the book (R 973.04359 T292A) as does the Quincy Public Library in their Illinois Room (REF I 304.8 Ten.) Nancy Moss in Clinton County has created a helpful on-line index for this book (on the Clinton County GenWeb page.)

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Emigrants from Varenrode

Emigrants from the village of Varenrode in southern Emsland can be found on that village's website:
http://www.varenrode.de/Schuetzenverein/Sonstiges/home.html > Auswander in die USA.

Records during the Napoleonic Period in Northern Germany at the LDS Family History Centers

For a short period of time in the early 19th century Emsland was actually a part of France and because of that, births, marriages and deaths had to be registered with civil authorities. At least some of those records have been filmed by the LDS and are available on microfilm at Family History Centers in the U.S. They are often listed with the Evangelical records for a particular town.

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Passenger Lists and Indexes

Family Tree Maker's Family Archives CDs  - indexes to Passenger Lists

Passenger and Immigration Lists: New Orleans, 1820-1850 (CD# 358) - an index
The entries on this CD seldom have a passenger's village of origin mentioned even when that information appears on the original passenger list.
Passenger and Immigration Lists: Baltimore, 1820-1852 (CD# 259) - an index
Entries often have the village of origin mentioned
Passenger and Immigration Lists: New York, 1820-1850 (CD# 273) - an index
Normally, the village of origin is not mentioned on the CD.
Passenger and Immigration Lists: Germans to America, 1850-1874 (CD# 355) and 1875-1888 (CD#356) - an index
The entries on these 2 CDs seldom have the village of origin mentioned even in cases where it was noted on the original passenger list. Also, the port of arrival (debarkation) is often missing and sometimes also the name of the ship. That information can be found in the Germans to America book series (see below) which lists ship arrivals chronologically. In cases where even the date of arrival is missing on the CD, there's not much one can do to find the port of arrival, date and ship name which one needs to find the original passenger list.

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Germans to America series of books listing passenger arrivals

This series of books (numbering 67 volumes at present and covering the years 1850-97) was edited by Ira A Glazier and P. William Filby and can be found on the shelves of the St. Louis County Library Headquarters on Lindbergh (R929.3G393), and at many other libraries with genealogical holdings.

The series (arranged chronologically by arrival date at the US port) starts in 1850 and goes at least through 1888, listing German passengers who arrived at various US ports. Each book in the series has an index. Unfortunately, the place of origin for listed passengers is often simply given as Germany even when the actual village of origin may have been specified on the original list. It is always worth checking the original passenger list on microfilm after you find your ancestor's ship's name and date and port of arrival.

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Original Passenger Lists on microfilm

The original passenger lists for ships arriving at the ports of New York, Baltimore and New Orleans are available on microfilm at the St. Louis Public Library downtown and at other libraries and archives in MO and IL. The New Orleans passenger lists are available at the St. Louis County Library Headquarters on Lindbergh. The lists are probably also available through the LDS Family History Centers.

The type of information which appears on a passenger list varies from ship to ship but it is a resource always worth checking. In most cases the name, age, profession, country of origin and destination of each passenger is given and in some fortunate cases the village of origin is actually listed. In some unforturnate cases only the head of household is listed and sometimes without even his age, although you may find out that he brought on board 2 trunks and a pistol.

image from microfilm of a passenger list page and detail from that page

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Bremerhaven

Most Emslanders left Germany from the port of Bremerhaven, harbor town for the city of Bremen. A short history (in English) of emigration from Bremerhaven can be found at the following website.

http://www.deutsche-auswanderer-datenbank.de/ > German Emigrants Database > Information > History.

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[Home]
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Emigrants with entries found on this website, alphabetical by surname
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Surname Index


Comments or additional information concerning
emigrants listed on this website can be sent to Barbara Salibi.
Contact info is at the bottom of Home page.