We spent a day in the lovely town of Freiburg, which is in very southern Germany. Our first stop was to the Staatsarchiv Freiburg. We had a wonderful overview of the Archive by a Herr Strauss. He had
prepared a great lecture and showed us how to navigate their website by showing us what is available online (Baden church book duplicates back to 1810 are online) and of course their emigrant database. He also explained that Baden-Wuerttemberg has 4 administrative districts and there is a Staatarchiv for each of them plus a couple of other misc.
Archives. They are located in Freiburg, Tübingen, Karlsruhe, Stuttgart and Sigmaringen.
Here is the link for the main site for the archives: http://www.landesarchiv-bw.de/web/48823 I would open this in Google Chrome so that it translates it or put the link in Google translate so you can read the pages. Or I think there may be an English button on the top row but I’m not sure if that does all pages. Here is link for the newest addition of Northern Baden online church books:
Herr Strauss told us to find these Archive locations on a map and whatever is the closest to where your ancestor was born that is where you should start. It doesn’t do any good to write to an archive that is in southern Baden if your people were from the north of Baden. Of course the most interesting link they have is the Baden-Wuerttemberg emigrant database. Try this at: www.auswanderer-bw.de We then were taken through some of the stacks in the Archive. Previously I
had found some of my ancestors in the emigrant database and although I had sent away to Freiburg for my ancestor’s records, I was able to see the original emigrant documents for my family. These emigrant records are some of the most interesting to us genealogists and these are kept at these Staatarchives. So if you find your family in the database there will be an emigrant ID # and it will tell you what archives the documents are kept in. You can write that Archive and give them the ID # and you can order your families’ papers.
So after our tour of the Archive we stopped for lunch and then did a tour of Freiburg with the Black Forest Girl. She was in character and costume of a young girl from the Black
Forest getting ready to swap her red pom-pom hat (meaning you are unmarried) for a black pom-pom hat (married). She led us to some interesting spots in Freiburg and told us of how life was in the olden days. Interesting stop was the wonderful Minster (Cathedral) of Freiburg. This cathedral was started in 1200 and finished about 1330 and miraculously was not damaged during the bombing of 1944. A minister means it was owned (payed for) by the people of Freiburg. We were shown some interesting carvings on the outside of the church. In the Middle Ages the market was held around the church, with stalls of many vendors selling their wares. To make sure you were not cheated by any of these vendors on the outside of the church walls there were drawings of what size the loaf of bread should be. The smaller one was the size of the loaf during times of bad harvest. If anyone was caught cheating the courts were held in the market square also.
We ended our tour in the wine cellar of the oldest restaurant in Freiburg with a little of the bubbly. Sehr gut!
We made it through the tour before the rains came but we still managed to get a little shopping in before heading home. All in all a good day.