Happy New Year! Already in the middle of the first month, can you believe it?  Time is going fast and now is the time to start thinking of travel plans for the spring or summer.  I wanted to talk a bit about our upcoming trip to the Northwest of Germany in May.  One of our outings on this trip will be to visit with members of the Osnabrück Genealogical Society.

We have the opportunity to visit their library and we usually have one of the members give us a lecture on their Society, emigration from the area and the problem of researching in this area due to farm names.  If you have an ancestor from up this way, you may be surprised to learn once you get back into the church books that your family surname could have been something completely different.  I will explain more about that perhaps in another blog post.  But what I wanted to tell you about today is the Osnabrück Society’s re-designed website.   Of course it is in German but if you have Google Chrome web browser you can get it translated but sometimes it is better to view in the original German because the translator may translate a German hometown name into two English words.  So that is why I wanted to give you some direction through the site.


First off look under Verein and then Bibliothek – this will show you  a picture of  their library (where we visit) and it also says that the members of the society have transcribed over 38 Church books from the Osnabrück area and 32 local heritage book are available here.

Under Datenbanken the first link is Kirchbuchen (church books) – This then lists the church book indexes or transcriptions they have in the library.

Some translations of what is on the page: (Kartei – card index – Abschrift – copies – Index –index

Taufen means Baptisms, Trauungen- Weddings, Beerdigungen – Funerals

Second, under Datenbanken is Ortsfamilienbücher – click on this and it will show you what towns they have some Ortsfamilienbüch for.  These are family register books, (from church books or civil records) which list families and links them together back through all dates listed.

Third, under Datenbanken is Höfe – click on this and this list the Farm owners names in different Parishes. First column lists Farm Name – second column tells how they owned it, which means:

Vollerbe – means full heir

Halberbe – half heir

Erbkotter – Cottager heir

Markkotter – Mark cottager (mark is common owned land)

Kirchhöfer – I suppose means church farm

Third column is who the land lord was or where they lived.

Finally under Datenbanken is Kirchspiele.  This lists parishes and shows pictures and names of the Church.  The data shown to the right are the church book years they are missing.

Under Publikationens – Vereinsnachrichten is a list of their quarterly publications (PDF’s)

Bücher, Schriften und CD’s – lists books and CD’s for sale.

Karten – shows maps of the area during different time periods.

Make sure to check out the page under LINKS – these are homepages of members and/or family names from this Northwest area. Some are in English.

Under Links – Vereins are lists of genealogy clubs.

Regionen – are different links for societies or homepages of genealogists from the Region around Osnabrueck.

Datenbanken – more links for genealogy sites.

Nachbarvereine – neighboring societies.

So, hopefully this will help you navigate the site and help you in your research. I hope it inspires you to want to travel with us to visit this beautiful area of Germany. For more information on this trip click here. http://familytreetours.com/northwest-germany-tour/

Here is a link for a video of pictures from our past five years of Heritage tours.  Check it out you may see yourself!