Surnames/tags: Baltic-Germans Deutschbalten Germany
This page is part of the Germany Project
This is the team page for the Baltic-German Team, a group of Wikitreers devoted to developing Baltic-German profiles across the centuries.
Who are the Baltic-Germans?
The Baltic-Germans (Deutsch-Balten) are a German-speaking minority from the historic regions of Estland, Livland, and Kurland (collectively known in German as the Ostseeprovinzen), now part of modern-day Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. German-speakers were settled in the region from the twelfth century and amounted to almost 200,000 individuals at the population's peak in the late nineteenth century, but were overwhelmingly displaced during the upheavals of the twentieth century and now consist of a world-wide diaspora as well as a few thousand still residing in their historic homeland.
What is the Baltic-German Team's mission?
The mission of the team is very simple: to add and improve Baltic-German profiles on Wikitree and to do so collaboratively, pooling our knowledge and resources to create the best genealogical and biographical resource possible.
What are the team's current aims?
At present, the aims of the team are as follows:
- Gather together interested researchers.
- Continue developing profiles within the Baltic-German Nobility and Baltic-German Notables categories.
- Expand and categorise coverage of non-noble Baltic Germans.
- Develop tools and resources for researchers.
The team is also putting into practice the theories of the 100 Circles project by working on the circles of the Baltic-German philosopher Hermann Graf von Keyserling. For information and to participate in this project see the 100 Circles of Hermann Graf von Keyserling.
How can I help?
Contact the Team Leader (Kelsey Jackson Williams), join the project's trusted list, and chat with others to see what you can do to best help!
We are remarkably fortunate that many of the key resources for tracing Baltic-German ancestry are digitised and freely available. These are listed below. If you want to read more about how to begin tracing a Baltic-German pedigree, you might find this series of blog posts helpful.
Church Books and Revision Lists
- This is the digital home of the National Archives of Estonia and the Tallinn City Archives. It contains images of church books for all parishes in what is now Estonia (historic Estland and part of Livland), revision lists, and other essential resources. Free to use, but account required.
- This is the digital home of the State Historical Archive of Latvia. Like Saaga, it contains images of church book for all parishes in what is now Latvia (part of historic Livland and Kurland) as well as some outwith the state's present borders, revision lists, and other documents. Free to use, but account required.
Church Books of the St. Petersburg Lutheran Consistory (Familysearch)
- This collection of images contains duplicates of the church books of Lutheran congregations within the consistory of St. Petersburg (broadly western and northern Russia excluding the Baltic provinces) between 1833 and 1885. Many Baltic-Germans can be found here, but it is important to remember that the index is incomplete; consult the record images themselves. Free to use, but account required.
Biographical Dictionaries and Printed Sources
- This collaborative digitisation project between the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek and the Universitätsbibliothek Tartu includes scanned images of some of the key printed resources for Baltic-German genealogy, including the essential Genealogische Handbuch der baltischen Ritterschaften. Free to use.
- This is the digital version of the standard Baltic-German biographical dictionary. Its coverage is extensive and it is an important resource when exploring the life of any notable Baltic-German.
- This extensive collection of digital books hosted by the University of Tartu contains numerous published genealogies and other works relevant to the study of Baltic-German individuals and families.
Genealogisches Handbuch der baltischen Ritterschaften
This is the standard printed work on the matriculated nobility of the Baltic provinces and has been digitised as follows (note that only the Estland and Oesel volumes were completed - the Livland and Kurland volumes contain only a moiety of the total number of noble families in those provinces).Kurland Ritterschafts Archive, Geschlechtsregister (Familysearch)
- This collection of pedigrees from the archive of the Kurland knighthood is the essential first port of call for studying any noble family from that province, though be wary that they may not always be entirely accurate or complete.
- This collection contains the massive study of Estland noble families prepared by Georges Baron Wrangell and Nikolai von Essen in the 1920s and 1930s. It is exceptionally accurate, well-documented, and detailed - an essential resource for genealogical research in Estland.
- Baltic-German Team Live and Seeking Volunteers Jul 10, 2019.
- Login to edit this profile and add images.
- Private Messages: Contact the Profile Managers privately: Germany Project WikiTree and Kelsey Jackson Williams. (Best when privacy is an issue.)
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