Surnames/tags: North_Rhine_Westphalia Germany Nordrhein_Westfalen
North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany/Nordrhein-Westfalen, Deutschland
This page was created to offer a place to collaborate on North Rhine-Westphalia research. You can ask questions in the comments below or offer suggestions on new resources to attach to our resources list.
How Can You Help Improve Profiles In This Region?
- There are extensive profile improvements that need to be done in this region and we could really use your help. See links, below.
- Members with knowledge of this region can answer questions and offer guidance on this page, our Google Group and on G2G.
- Ensure the information and links on this page are up-to-date (especially for archival and research site information)
- Do you live in North Rhine-Westphalia? You can offer archive, library, church, etc. research visits for other members.
- Create new Space pages for region-specific geographical, topical, or other, that include images, history, and anything helpful for collaborating and helping other researchers.
- We'd appreciate your help with sourcing, connecting, merging and fixing database errors on the profiles in this region. Click the links below to get lists of profiles in North Rhine-Westphalia that need some love (click "get profiles" in the left column to generate a list):
- UNSOURCED PROFILES: to get a list of unsourced profiles that need reliable sources added, click HERE to search "North Rhine-Westphalia", click HERE to search "Nordrhein-Westfalen". For more information/instruction on sourcing, see Germany Project Sourcerers Team
- UNCONNECTED PROFILES: to get a list of unconnected profiles that need to be connected to the main tree, click HERE to search "North Rhine-Westphalia", click HERE to search "Nordrhein-Westfalen". For more information/instruction on connecting profiles, see Germany Project Connectors Team
- UNMERGED MATCHES: To get a list of unmerged matches that need research and sourcing, with the goal to ultimately merge or reject the match, click HERE to search "North Rhine-Westphalia", click HERE to search "Nordrhein-Westfalen". For more information/instruction on merging and unmerged matches, see Germany Project Arborists Team
- SUGGESTIONS: To get a list of suggestions aka database errors that need data doctor attention, click HERE to search "North Rhine-Westphalia", click HERE to search "Nordrhein-Westfalen". For more information/instruction on clearing database errors, see Germany Project Data Doctors Team.
Overview of North Rhine-Westphalia
- Flag and Coat of Arms:
- State of the Federal Republic of Germany: 1946
- Capital: Düsseldorf
- English: North Rhine-Westphalia
- German: Nordrhein-Westfalen
- Previous locations: Province of Westphalia, Lippe
|NRW location in Germany|
- Located in Western Germany, it is the most populated (over 17.5 million people) non-city-state in Germany while being the fourth largest in area. Ten of Germany’s largest cities are located within its borders.
- Land.NRW: Official website
- Wikipedia: North Rhine-Westphalia
- WikiVoyage: North Rhine-Westphalia
- Britannica: North-Rhine-Westphalia
- MyGermanCity: North Rhine Westphalia
- NationsOnline: Nordrhein-Westfalen
- North Rhine-Westphalia encompasses the plains of the Lower Rhine region and parts of the Central Uplands (die Mittelgebirge) up to the gorge of Porta Westfalica. The state shares borders with Belgium (Wallonia) in the southwest and the Netherlands (Limburg, Gelderland and Overijssel) in the west and northwest. It has borders with the German states of Lower Saxony to the north and northeast, Rhineland-Palatinate to the south and Hesse to the southeast.
- Coordinates: 51°28′N 7°33′E
- Meyers Gazetteer Search
- GoogleMaps: North Rhine-Westphalia
- Wikipedia: Geographic map of North Rhine-Westphalia
- WikiVoyage: Regions of North Rhine-Westphalia
- Wikipedia: Map of the Two Regional Authorities (Landschaftsverbände)
- OpenStreetMap: North Rhine-Westphalia (62761)
- Wikipedia: Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region, the largest conurbation of the European continent (population: 11 million)
- The modern state was established by the British military’s “Operation Marriage” on August 23, 1946. It merged the provinces of the Rhine and Westphalia. Then that of the former state of Lippe was added on January 21, 1947. Ancient history goes back with documentation of various tribes in the time of Julius Caesar. By late Roman times tribal groupings now referred to as the Franks, crossed the Rhine. By the end of the 5th century, Franks had conquered all the left bank lands of North Rhine-Westphalia. The consolidation of these lands took place in the 9th century under Charlemagne.
- Wikipedia: History of North Rhine-Westphalia
- LWL.org Internet Portal Westfalische-Geschichte
- Land.NRW: WIR in NRW - History
- This Day in History: March 7, 1936
- TotallyHistory.com: Remilitarization of the Rhineland
- HistoryontheNet.com: Nazi Germany – The Rhineland
- HistoryToday.com: The Treaty of Westphalia
- NewAdvent.org: - Westphalia
- Wikipedia: Principality of Lippe
- Britannica: Lippe
- Zum.de: History of Lippe
- Germany has a number of different cultures. Shaped by Prussian traditions, Ruhr Valley traditions, and traditions of the big cities within its borders. It is one of the most diverse areas of Germany. It has lowlands in the north and forested low mountains in the south. It has a mostly temperate climate. A number of rivers and lakes are home to various water sports. Coal and steel are principal industries. It is home to a sophisticated canal system and two of the largest European ports, Dortmund and Duisburg ports. It boasts a number of castles, World Heritage Sites, Archaeological sites, and large cities each with its own diverse culture. Boating, sailing, snow and water skiing, horseback riding, hiking trails and has two indoor ski centers where winter sports are possible all year long. Its cuisine is described as hearty and substantial. The most well-known foods from North Rhine-Westphalia include Sauerbraten, waffles, potato pancakes and hearty soups and stews.
- TheCultureTrip.com: The Best Things to do in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
- Land.NRW: Welcome North Rhine-Westphalia
- TravelMyne.com: North Rhine-Westphalia - Economy and Culture at the Rhine
- TripAdvisor: Things to Do in North Rhine-Westphalia
- WikiVoyage North Rhine-Westphalia
- UNESCO World Heritage Sites: North Rhine-Westphalia
- TripAdvisor: Museums in North Rhine-Westphalia
- Archaeology Travel
- Wikipedia: Xanten
- Wikipedia: Colonia Ulpia Traiana, Tricensimae, Archäologischer Park Xanten
- Wikipedia: List of German Dishes - Rhineland
- Wikipedia: List of German Dishes - Westphalia
- NRWTourism.com: The Cuisine of North Rhine-Westphalia
- GermanFoods.org: Rhineland Specialties: Foods
- Travel-to-Germany.info: German Cuisine: North Rhine-Westphalia
Research Help and Regional Resources
Online Resource Compilations
- Genealogy.net: Online Familienbücher aka OFBs (regional family books). Also see THIS PAGE for Familienbücher that are not available online, but our members will do lookups for you.
- Archive.nrw.de: NRW Archive Portal
- FamilySearch: North Rhine-Westphalia (Nordrhein-Westfalen), Germany Genealogy
- RootsWeb: North Rhine-Westphalia GenWeb Project
- Stemwede Genealogy Home Page
- JewishGen.org: Westphalian Jews
- The Ancestor Hunt: free online resources for international newspapers: see the section for Germany.
- Genealogy.net: GenWiki, main page
- German Roots.com: German Genealogy Resources on the Internet
- WikiTree Category: Germany Genealogy Resources
- WikiTree: Germany Project Resources
- FamilySearch: North Rhine-Westphalia Online Genealogy Records
- FamilySearch: Westphalia (Westfalen) Online Genealogy Records
- Forebears: North Rhine-Westphalia
- Genealoger: Nordrhein-Westfalen
- Archion.de: Protestant church records ($subcription site)
- Matricula: Catholic Church records
- FamilySearch: Germany Online Genealogy Records
- FamilySearch: German Church Records
- FamilySearch: German Civil Registration
- TripAdvisor: Attractions North Rhine-Westphalia
- FamilySearch: Germany Church Directories
- FamilySearch: German Jewish Records
- Wikipedia: Religion in Germany
Newspapers and Obituaries
- Zeitungsportal zeit.PunktNRW: a free, searchable newspaper archive for Nordrhein Westfalen, with loads of local historical newspapers.
- The Totenzettel-Sammlung of the Westdeutsche Gesellschaft für Familienforschung e.V: currently nearly 570.000 Totenzettel (obituaries) in German. Great resource for the area, free and searchable without an account.
- Obits at https://sich-erinnern.de/
- Germany Genealogy Group: German Emigration Database
- Historisches Museum Bremerhaven: German Emigrant Database
- Immigrant Ships Transcribers Guild: Transcribed Ships Manifests Departing from Germany. Ports of departure include: Altona, Bremen, Bremerhaven, Cuxhaven, Geestemunde, Hamburg, Stettin, Swinemunde (currently Swinoujscie, Poland), German Unspecified Ports
- GermanRoots.com: Online German Emigration Records, Lists and Indexes
- lippe-auswanderer.de; Emigration from Lippe to the USA
- GermanyRoots: Ship's Database
- WikiTree Immigration/Emigration Categories:
- WikiMedia Category: Cemeteries in North Rhine-Westphalia
- FindAGrave: List of Cemeteries in Nordrhein-Westfalen
- Wikipedia: List of Cemeteries in Nordrhein-Westfalen
- WikiMedia Category: Jewish cemeteries in North Rhine-Westphalia
- German War Cemetery Geldern: North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
- Wikipedia: Balve
Colleges and Universities
- They often have local records and have professors who are versed in local lore so can be a wonderful resource and many are multilingual. North Rhine-Westphalia is home to 14 universities and over 50 partly postgraduate colleges
- Wikipedia: Education in North Rhine-Westphalia
- Wikipedia Category: Universities and colleges in North Rhine-Westphalia
- 4ICU.org: Top Universities in North Rhine-Westphalia
- TopUniversities.com: German Universities in North Rhine-Westphalia
Local Phone/Address Books
- Library of Congress Address/Telephone Directories from Germany
- PhoneBookoftheWorld.com: Essen
- PhoneBookoftheWorld.com: Aachen
- PhoneBookoftheWorld.com: Cologne
- PhoneBookoftheWorld.com: Düsseldorf
- Bonn address book
Local Genealogy Groups
- WikiTree Space: List of Addresses for Family Research in Germany
- Westdeutsche Gesellschaft für Familienkunde - West German Society for Family Studies) WGFF.de: this site has resources for research in the former Prussian Rhine Province; today North Rhine-Westphalia (admin districts Dusseldorf and Cologne) and Rhineland-Palatinate (admin districts Koblenz and Trier)
- FamilySearch: North Rhine-Westphalia (Nordrhein-Westfalen) Societies
WikiTree Free Space Pages and One-Place Studies
- Have you created a page that you'd like included below? Add a profile comment below with a link to what you would like to contribute. The following pages were created by our project members:
- North Rhine-Westphalia, Cemeteries
- Nordrhein-Westfalen, Unsourced Profiles
- Districts and Independent Cities of North Rhine-Westphalia
- In Germany a number of different written languages and dialects were used. Below are some links to sites which may help you with old documents.
- Germany Handwriting
- Brockhaus 1894 Deutsche Mundarten (map)
- Latin phrases because many old records are written in Latin this is a handy list of commonly used Latin phrases.
- Genealogy Glossary of multiple languages using common genealogy related words.
Last updated by Traci Thiessen: 19 Jul 2022