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Surnames/tags: Schleswig_Holstein Germany
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Schleswig-Holstein, Germany/Schleswig-Holstein, Deutschland

This page was created to offer a place to collaborate on Schleswig-Holstein research. You can ask questions in the comments below or offer suggestions on new resources to attach to our resources list.

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Overview of Schleswig-Holstein

Flag and Coat of Arms:
State of the Federal Republic of Germany: 23 August 1946
Capital: Kiel
English: Schleswig-Holstein
German: Schleswig-Holstein
Schleswig-Holstein location in Germany
Schleswig-Holstein is the northernmost of the 16 German states. Historically, it consists of the southern part of the former Duchy of Schleswig, the Hanseatic City of Lübeck and the two former Duchies of Holstein and Lauenburg, as well as the former Lübeck district of the Grand Duchy of Oldenburg and the former Hamburg exclaves of Geesthacht, Großhansdorf and Schmalenbeck. In exchange, the Holstein cities of Altona and Wandsbek as well as several rural communities, including Blankenese, went to Hamburg. The capital city is Kiel; other notable cities are Lübeck, Flensburg and Neumünster.


Schleswig-Holstein occupies the southern third of the Jutland Peninsula. Along its eastern coast is the Baltic Sea, and along its western coast is the North Sea. To the southeast it shares a land boundary with the state of Mecklenburg–West Pomerania. In the South it surrounds the northern part of Hamburg and in the Norths it borders on to Denmark. Schleswig-Holstein includes Fehmarn Island in the Baltic and Helgoland, Sylt, Föhr, Amrum, and other German islands in the North Frisian group.
Coordinates: 54°28′12″N 9°30′50″E


In 1865, Schleswig was administered by Prussia, and Holstein by Austria. The resulting tension led to the Austro-Prussian War Schleswig-Holstein as a unified state was created after the Prussian victory in the Austro-Prussian War of 1866. Prior to that it was a land of changing allegiances, cultures, and divided into Schleswig and Holstein. Beginning early 12th century the Duchy of Holstein was part of the Holy Roman Empire. The areas were twice united under the Danish monarchy, but not incorporated into the Danish state. In 1848, Frederick VII proclaimed the complete union of Schleswig with Denmark sparking the predominantly German population of both Duchies to rebell culminating in the German Confederation taking over the two Duchies. The 1852 Treaty of London re-established the Duchies' personal union with Denmark. In 1863, Denmark again tried to incorporate Schleswig into the state proper, and Prussia and Austria declared war. In 1920 the north part of Schleswig returned to Denmark. In 1937, the city of Lübeck was incorporated into the German state of Schleswig-Holstein.


Germany has a number of different cultures. This area is one of the least visited by Germans or foreigners alike. It is very far north and caught between two seas making it cold. But it has breathtaking natural beauty. It is a maritime area. It is home to over 250 museums scattered throughout its borders. There are medieval town looking untouched by modern hands, archaeological exhibits, palaces, forts, festivals, sailing regattas and more. Its cuisine is naturally influenced by what is available and when it is available with an emphasis on fish and seafood, pork, soups and stews.

Research Help and Regional Resources

Online Resource Compilations

  • 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.
  • Arbeitskreis Volkszahlregister (AKVZ) - AKVZ transfers handwritten censuses and other registers of persons from the period 1671 to 1864 into machine readable form in maximum document fidelity, without changing or interpreting the original (transcription). They are currently concentrated on the former duchies of Schleswig, Holstein and Lauenburg, the Principality of Lübeck and the Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin in Germany. The person database currently contains 2.3 million persons. The site is freely accessible.
  • FamilySearch: Schleswig-Holstein, Prussia, German Empire Genealogy
  • GenWiki: Schleswig-Holstein
  • Genealogy-SH: Genealogy in Schleswig Holstein
  • Parish Erfde
  • GGSMN: Schleswig Holstein
  • Genealogy-SH: Help looking for records in Schleswig Holstein
  • The Ancestor Hunt: free online resources for international newspapers: see the section for Germany.
  • GenWiki, main page
  • German German Genealogy Resources on the Internet
  • WikiTree Category: Germany Genealogy Resources
  • WikiTree: Germany Project Resources

Vital Records

  • FamilySearch: Schleswig-Holstein, German Empire Church Records
  • FamilySearch: Germany, Schleswig-Holstein, Kreis Steinburg, Civil Registration, 1874-1983
  • Danish National Archives
  • Schleswig and Holstein, Denmark and Schleswig-Holstein, Prussia, Germany, Lutheran Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials, 1597-1959
  • Church Records
  • "Die Kirchenbücher Schleswig-Holsteins, der Landeskirche Eutin und der Hansestädte" from 1958 offers a very good overview of the existing church records in Schleswig-Holstein. The book lists the existing church records in all Schleswig-Holstein parishes; in particular it also lists the gaps. Thus, researchers do not have to search unnecessarily for non-existent church books and know that they have to use other aids such as population registers, serf registers, tax lists, etc. for periods of the gaps or for the time before the respective church books. See: PDF image
  • Protestant church records ($subcription site)
  • Matricula: Catholic Church records
  • FamilySearch: Germany Online Genealogy Records
  • FamilySearch: German Church Records
  • FamilySearch: German Civil Registration

Religious Facilities


Local Cemeteries


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.

Local Phone/Address Books

Local Genealogy Groups

WikiTree Free Space Pages and One Place Studies

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WikiTree Categories

Translation Aides

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.

This is an active Germany Project page with up-to-date information.
Last updated by Thiessen-117 19 Jul 2022

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Address books for Kiel from 1904 through 1919 can be found here:
Thanks Gudula! I added the link as a resource above. Best, Traci
posted by Traci Thiessen