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1

Saturday, November 5th 2011, 1:21am

Questions about Ortsfamilienbücher

Hello/Hallo,
I have been wondering the Ortsfamilienbücher. The information I've found so far has been great. So that led me to thinking about them as a resource. Are they mostly/entirely based on church records or are there individual family records also incorporated into them?

Secondly how were the online OFBs were created? That is, how was this data converted into an online database? Did individuals copy the information from the records books into a suitable format? Was it on microfilm already?

Third, if I wanted to see the original record, how would I do that?

Last, for documentation purposes, what kind of citation would one use for data that is obtained from an online Ortsfamilienbüch?

I apologize if this information is somewhere in this forum or another.

Thank you in advance,
Karen

This post has been edited 1 times, last edit by "kasie23" (Nov 5th 2011, 3:36am)


Anke

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Location: San Jose, CA

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2

Saturday, November 5th 2011, 4:35am

Hi Karen,
I have been wondering the Ortsfamilienbücher. The information I've found so far has been great. So that led me to thinking about them as a resource. Are they mostly/entirely based on church records or are there individual family records also incorporated into them?
Church records are one important resource for Ortsfamilienbücher. But there are also others. Civil birth/marriage/death records are available for all of Germany starting from about 1875 (in some regions - those that were occupied by Napoleon - they are available for as early as about 1800). Other civil records are tax registers, invoices and all other kinds of records that towns/villages kept.
So basically, Ortsfamilienbücher are created by individuals who dig through all records available for a certain village and try to combine the indivdual names they find into families. This takes a very long time since records because of all kinds of difficulties like illegible records, missing/destroyed records, incomplete records, similar names of different individuals, etc.
Secondly how were the online OFBs were created? That is, how was this data converted into an online database? Did individuals copy the information from the records books into a suitable format? Was it on microfilm already?
As far as I know, the online OFBs are based on actual hardcopy OFBs. I think some of them only contain name lists and you have to buy the hardcopy Ortsfamilienbuch to get all the data. However, some OFBs are available for download.


Third, if I wanted to see the original record, how would I do that?
Some of the church records are still kept in the parishes but most of them are stored in church archives. For the civil documents, they are in various town, state & county archives. Most of these have opening times where you can go and look at these records. Which can be really exciting when you get to touch records that are several hundred years old, which might even contain the actual signature of your ancestor.
Since you are located in North America, I think the easiest way to view those records would be via LDS (Church of Latter Day Saints). They have microfilm copies of lots of German church records and you can access them in their research centers (you pay a fee for ordering the films).
Last, for documentation purposes, what kind of citation would one use for data that is obtained from an online Ortsfamilienbüch?
I usually enter the URL and as much information about author/title/publishing date/publishing place as I can find.


Anke

3

Saturday, November 5th 2011, 4:54pm

Anke,
Thank you very much for your very informative reply. I definitely applaud the originators of this great idea.

The primary book that I've used so far is the Ortsfamilienbuch Groß-Bieberau. For the most part the entries I've been interested in list 'Kirchb.Groß-Bieberau' in the source area, which is probably why I thought that it was mostly church records. How can I tell if there is a book available for purchase or download? (This may be a language question; my German is quite limited.)

And thank you for the suggestion regarding the LDS. I find their new site more challenging in terms of finding source information and films. I've been looking for the source for a particular German baptismal entry and still haven't been able to figure that out. But I'll have another try at their website, or maybe go back to the old one.

Thank you again,
Karen

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