Central European Group
Our informal meetings provide an opportunity for sharing problems and successes. Often members find others researching a family of interest. We also provide help in locating towns and villages.
Our meetings feature a short talk or workshop relevant to Central European research: use of the library, finding towns, reading old German records, or locating the correct parish.
The Group meets on the fourth Saturday in January, March, May, July, September, and November between 10.00 am and 12.00 noon at:
QFHS Family History Research Centre
46 Delaware Street
All members (or prospective members) interested in Central Europe are welcome.
NEW - Notes available for QFHS members:
Emigration from Germany: a 19th German's voyage to the other side of the world
Maps and gazetteers: essential resources
German records: what might you find?
Land regulation, immigration, and land orders 1861-1862: an overview
Familiennamen: the origin and meaning of some German family names
The QFHS Family History Research Centre has acquired a number of resources at the suggestion of the Central European Group.
An extensive collection of sheet maps covering the eastern end of the former German Empire. These are mostly reprints of maps originally published in the 1930s. No index of towns or villages is included with these maps.
- State Maps (scale 1:300000 or 1 cm: 3 km) of Ostpreussen (East Prussia), Pommern (Pomerania), Brandenburg, Schlesien (Silesia), and Nieder Schlesien (Lower Silesia).
- Kreis (County) Maps (scale 1:100000 or 1 cm: 1 km) for many of the Kreise of the former German eastern territories.
Large scale (1:200000 or 1:300000) modern road atlases of many European countries, including Germany, Poland, Italy, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Hungary, the Benelux countries, and France. These include indexes to towns and villages.
- The Wuerttemberg emigration index, call number W(GER)2 25 2
- Emigrants from Hamburg to Australasia, available in book, microfilm and digital form.
For example, the books have call number W(GER)7 40 3
Gazetteers to the old German Empire
- Meyers Orts- und Verkehrs-Lexikon (Located in microfilm area)—This microfilm copy of a book, published about 1910, is probably the most comprehensive list of cities, towns, villages, groups of houses, and obscure localities for the old German Empire. The information given allows you to locate villages on the sheet maps, as well as the appropriate Standesamt (Civil Registration Office) and sometimes the Pfarramt (the parish office). The book is printed in the old Gothic Type and contains many abbreviations. We suggest you read the notes on the use of this book, before attempting to use it.
- Deutsches Orts Verzeichnis (Call number W(GER)8 54 10)—The facsimile edition of a book, published about 1931, is easier to use, though less comprehensive, than Meyers Lexikon. It contains a comprehensive list of cities, towns, and villages for the German Empire of 1930. The information given allows you to locate villages on the sheet maps, as well as mentioning the appropriate Standesamt (Civil Registration Office). The book is printed in the modern Latin Type (the same as we use) so is easy to read, but it contains many abbreviations. Again, we suggest you read the notes on the use of this resource, before attempting to use it.
- Gemeindelexikon für den Freistaat Preußen (Located in microfilm area)—A microfilm copy of a number of books, published in 1931, has a most comprehensive list of cities, towns and villages for the State of Prussia as it existed in 1931. The books provide fascinating statistics from the 1925 census, but of most interest to the researcher is the name of the Protestant and Catholic parish for each town and village, essential for the researcher to allow the church book records to be accessed. The books were printed in the old Gothic Type. We suggest you read the notes on the use of this resource, before attempting to use it.