FAQ: Pommern

Adalbert Goertz

February 2004

Please send any corrections or suggestions to or


Q1: Where is Pommern (Pomerania)?
Q2: What was Pommern's recent history?
Q3: What were the administrative areas of Pommern (Pomerania)?
Q4: What were the court districts in Pommern province before 1900?
Q5: How do I find locations and maps for Pommern before 1945??
Q6: Are there web sites of interest to Pommern researchers?
Q7: Is there a listserv for Pommern family researchers?
Q8: When were civil registers introduced?
Q9: Are there emigration records available?
Q10: What books discuss hints and sources for East German searchers?
Q11: What German archives are available for Pommern?

Q1: Where is Pommern (Pomerania)?

A1: Pommern was a Prussian province. Its capital was Stettin
Q2: What was Pommern's recent history?

A2: After the 30-Years-War (1648) Pommern consisted of
two areas: Schwedish-Pommern in the West under Swedish rule and
the Eastern area under the rule of the Brandenburg Electors.
After the defeat of Napoleon, Sweden in 1815 renounced all her claims
to areas in Germany incl. Pommern.
Pommern West of the Oder River was also called Vorpommern (Cis-Pomerania),
East of the Oder River Hinterpommern (Trans-Pomerania).
In 1938 areas from the former provinces of Westpreussen and Posen which
were lost after WWI were added in an administrative reform.
Hinter-Pommern was cleansed of its ethnic German population and given to Poland in 1945. 
The Western powers were silent on the ethnic cleansing.
Stettin was renamed Szczecin.

Q3: What were the administrative areas of Pommern (Pomerania)?

A3: In 1895 the province of Pommern had the following districts and
Kreise (counties): 
- * marks areas totally or partially lost to Poland in 1945 -

Regierungsbezirk (district) of Stettin with 13 Kreise (counties):

Regierungsbezirk (district) of *Köslin with (*12) Kreise (counties):
 (Dramburg and Schivelbein were part of the historical Neumark)

Regierungsbezirk (district) of Stralsund with (5) Kreise (counties):
  (This area was the former Swedish-Pommern).

Each Kreis was headed by the Landrat who presided over the Landratsamt.
The Landratsamt records are deposited in the state archives.
The Landrat was in charge of passport and emigrations matters and reported
to the district Regierung who in turn gave data to the provincial
Oberpräsidium in Stettin.

Q4: What were the court districts in Pommern province before 1900?

A4: The highest provincial court was the Oberlandesgericht in Stettin.
The lower courts (Landgerichte) and lowest courts (Amtsgerichte) were

Landgericht Greifswald with (11) Amtsgerichte:

Landgericht Köslin with (12) Amtsgerichte:

Landgericht Stargard with (14) Amtsgerichte:

Landgericht Stettin with (15) Amtsgerichte:

Landgericht Stolp with (7) Amtsgerichte:

The whereabouts of the records for most Landgerichte and Amtsgerichte 
is unknown. Of special interest are the land deed records (Grund- und 
Hypotheken-Acta) with no published survey known todate..
These records usually start with a land title history (=tituli possessionis) 
going back 50 or more years from the beginning of the first deed book (1783).
Legal basis for these land records is the Prussian Hypotheken-Ordnung of 1783 
which initially applied to crownlands only.
The court at that time was called Domainen-Justiz-Amt (until 1806), 
Land- or Stadt-Gericht (1806-1849), Kreisgericht (1849-1879),
Amtsgericht (after 1879).
Last testaments and wills, Erbscheine, orphan records would be
deposited in the local Amtsgericht (in the Hypotheken-Acta, if land
ownership and remarriages were involved).
A remarriage of a widower/widow was always documented in the Amtsgericht
stating in detail the estate rights of surviving children as well as
rights and duties of parents and step parents. This is a source at the
Amtsgericht which is widely unknown and untapped (and unfilmed by the LDS).
If you are looking for records which describe the life and tribulations
of your ancestors, you cannot miss looking at the court records.

For research of estates the estate directories
list the owners and economic information (acreage, lifestock etc.):
 Handbuch des Grundbesitzes im Deutschen Reiche.
  I. Das Königreich Preußen - Provinz Pommern
    1st ed. Berlin 1879
    2nd ed. Berlin 1884
    3rd ed. Berlin 1893
    4th ed. Berlin 1910
    5th ed. Berlin 1924
    6th ed. Berlin 1928
  Niekammers Landwirtschaftliches Güter-Adreßbuch.- Provinz Pommern
     1st ed. Stettin 1892
     2nd ed. Stettin 1905
     3rd ed. Leipzig 1911
     4th ed. Leipzig 1914
     5th ed. Leipzig 1920
     7th ed. Leipzig 1922 
     8th ed. Leipzig 1928
     9th ed. Leipzig 1939

Q5: How do I find locations and maps for Pommern before 1945??

A5: An atlas is usually not the best tool to locate small towns or
villages. Maps of scales 1:25,000 (Messtischblatt) or 1:100,000
(Karte des Deutschen Reiches and Kreiskarten) and gazetteers
(Ortsverzeichnis) are.
     (see the grid map for details)

The best German gazetteer is
  Meyers Orts- and Verkehrslexikon des Deutschen Reiches,1912 edition,
   which is available on microfiche in the LDS Family History Centers
    and gives info on parish, Kreis, Standesamt, court, post office
    etc. on all German locations.

 There is LDS microfilm #068814 available of
   Karte des Deutschen Reiches, scale 1:100000, 1km = 1cm
   which may be loaned thru the LDS Family History Centers.
   It covers Germany for 1914-1917.

   Topographical Maps (Messtischblätter 1:25000) may also be
   purchased from

     Bundesamt fu:r Kartographie und Geodäsie
        Richard-Strauss-Allee 11
        60958 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
 For maps available in the US see 


see also

For German-Polish place name dictionary, see


Historical maps:

   Engel Franz, hrsg.v. Göttinger Arbeitskreis: Staats- und
   Verwaltungsgrenzen in Ostmitteleuropa Historisches Kartenwerk. Teil
   III: Pommern, Oldenbourg Mu:nchen 1955 Okart.
   lichtrand. 9 Texts.,9 Karten 
   Kartenwerk 12.-20. Jahrhundert

Q6: Are there web sites of interest to Pommern researchers?

A6: Here is a sampling of web sites:

  + Pommern/Pomerania:
  + Maps online of German regions:

  + Information on archives:
  + Check the website of German regions:
     Stiftung Martin-Opitz-Bibliothek Herne.
      (ehemals Bücherei des deutschen Ostens)
     Inhalt: über die Bibliothek. Die Martin-Opitz-Bibliothek....
        e-mail: charly@charly.ping.de

     Herder -Institut Marburg e.V. Gisonenweg 5 - 7, 35037 Marburg/Lahn
     Telephon: 06421/184-0, Telefax: 184-139 
        e-mail: herder@mailer.uni-marburg.de....

     Geheimes Staatsarchiv Preu_ischer Kulturbesitz, Berlin.
    Archivstra_e 12-14 D-14195 Berlin (Dahlem) 
    Tel.: (030) 839 01141 Fax: (030) 839 011 80

Polish Archives at Stettin ( =Szczecin):

    Guides to the archival holdings :

          Archiwum ksiQ?Qt szczeciqskich / Jerzy Podralski ; Naczelna
          Dyrekcja Archiwsw Paqstwowych w Warszawie. 
           Archiwum Paqstwowe w Szczecinie. 
            part 1: Szczecin: 1991, pp.1 -249 ; 20 cm Bibliogr.
            part 2: Szczecin: 1991, pp. 250-565

          Szczecinski Informator Archiwalny Nr. 7, Naczelna Dyrekcja
          Archiwom Panstwowych w Warszawie, Archiwum Panstwowe w
          Szczecinie, Szczecin 1992

          Staatsarchiv Stettin - Wegweiser durch die Bestände bis 
             zum Jahr 1945
             bearbeitet von R.Gazinski, P.Gut, M.Szukala
             überesetzt von P.O.Loew;
             Verlag Oldenbourg, München 2004.

     Genealogival sources:
    http://www.feefhs.org/s&f/kbak-ae.html Sources A-E
    http://www.feefhs.org/s&f/kbak-fg.html Sources F-G
    http://www.feefhs.org/s&f/kbak-hk.html Sources H-K
    http://www.feefhs.org/s&f/kblz-lo.html Sources L-O
    http://www.feefhs.org/s&f/kblz-ps.html Sources P-S
    http://www.feefhs.org/s&f/kblz-tz.html Sources T-Z

Q7: Is there a listserv for Pommern family researchers?

A7: There is a mailing list pommern-l for Pommern.

 To subscribe send text: HELP or HILFE
      to: pommern-L-request@genealogy.net

A more general list is  PRUSSIA-ROOTS-L@rootsweb.com

    To subscribe send the word "subscribe" (without the
    quotes) as the only text in the body of a message to

    PRUSSIA-ROOTS-L-request@rootsweb.com (mail mode) or
    PRUSSIA-ROOTS-D-request@rootsweb.com (digest mode).

         Other Mailing lists:

Q8: When were civil registers introduced?

A8: Civil registers  of births,marriages,deaths were introduced in October
    1874. The Civil registry office is called Standesamt.
    Before this time, the Lutheran church records (1815-1874) or special 
    Dissidenten-Register (1847-1874) served as official registers, and a
    duplicate copy was deposited at the local court (Amtsgericht).

Most Standesamt (Polish: Urzed Stanu Cywilnego) records remained in the 
old offices and were taken over by the Polish authorities in the areas annexed by Poland in 1945.
They are listed in the Gazetteer of Polish People's Republic Localities.
published in Warsaw 1968, and on LDS microfilm #844,922.

Q9: Are there emigration records available?

A9: The state archives have many emigration records.

For details see:
     Learned, Marion Dexter, 1857-1917:
    Guide to the manuscript materials relating to American history
          in the German state archives, Washington, D.C.,
    Carnegie Institution of Washington. Publication no. 150 , 1912, 352 p.:
                     -also Kraus reprints NY 1965-

  p.164-167:StA Stettin (AP Szczecin)
  re: Ships leaving the port of Stettin:

     Printed and handwritten ship passenger lists compiled by the various
     shipping companies that transported emigrants to America survive
     among the record groups Pommersches Polizeipräsidium and
     Schifffahrtsdirektion Stettin in 

          Vorpommersches Landesarchiv
          Martin-Andersen-Nex=F6-Platz 1
          D-17489 Greifswald

          Email: LAGreifswald@t-online.de

     The lists cover the years 1869-1902, and contain about 500-800
     passengers per year. 

Q10: What books discuss hints and sources for East German searchers?

A10: Wegweiser für Forschung nach Vorfahren aus den Ostdeutschen und
     Sudetendeutschen Gebieten sowie aus den deutschen Siedlungsräumen
     in Mittel-,Ost- und Südosteuropa (AGoFF-Wegweiser):
     Verlag Degener &Co, 91413 Neustadt, Germany (1991 and later)
        (The out-of-print English edition is being revised presently)

     Germanic Genealogy (by Edward R.Brandt et alii), 2nd edition.
           1997, St.Paul MN, 517 pp.,1st edition, 1995.

   Spruth, Herbert: (1962)
   Landes- und familiengeschichtliche Bibliographie für Pommern
   Neustadt a. d. Aisch (Degener & Co) 1962-1965.
   Raspe 1966
   Raspe, Rister 1966 Geschichtliche und Landeskundliche Literatur
   Pommerns 1956-1960 Mit Nachträgen aus früheren Jahren Marburg/Lahn
   1966. ( = Wissenschaftliche Beiträge zur Geschichte und Landeskunde
   Raspe, Rister 1975
   Raspe , Hans-Ulrich; Rister , Herbert Geschichtliche und
   landeskundliche Literatur Pommerns 1961 - 1970 Mit Nachträgen aus
   früheren Jahren Marburg/Lahn 1975. ( = Wissenschaftliche
   Beiträge zur Geschichte und Landeskunde Ost-Mitteleuropas)

Q11: What German archives are available for Pommern?
A11: Geh.Staatsarchiv Preussischer Kulturbesitz in Berlin-Dahlem has
      XV HA  Pommern
         (Selective record listing)
   Rep. 1    Herzogliche Urkunden
   Rep. 2    Kirchliche Urkunden (Kloster Belbuck)
   Rep. 4    Herzoglich Stettiner Archiv
   Rep. 6    Schwedisches Archiv
   Rep. 7    Staatskanzlei
   Rep. 20    Kriegs- und Domänenkammerbehörden zu
              Stettin bzw. Köslin
   Rep. 28    Lehnsarchiv
   Rep. 29    Tribunal zu Wismar
   Rep. 33    Konsistorium zu Stettin
   Rep. 38b    Städte und Gemeinden (Belgard, Blankenhagen, Charbrow,
              Dassow, Dummadel, Gartz, Güntersberg, Klempin, Kolberg,
              Köslin, Krampe, Marienfelde, Nemitz, Pasewalk,
              Rügenwalde, Rummelsburg, Saatzig, Sassnitz, Schlawe,
              Stargard, Stettin, Stolp, Stralsund, Swinemünde,
   Rep. 38c   Kirchen (Kallies, Rügenwalde, Stettin)
   Rep. 38d   Güter und Familien (Demmin, Drosedow, Dummadel,
              Faulenbenz, Kulsow, Lestin, Sinzlow, Sternin, Streckenthin;
              von Manteuffel, von Puttkamer)
   Rep. 38e   Innungen (Belgard, Bütow, Köslin, Stettin, Stralsund)
   Rep. 40    Handschriften
   Rep. 60    Oberpräsident der Provinz Pommern
   Rep. 62    Provinzialschulkollegium zu Stettin
   Rep. 65 a bzw. b    Regierungen zu Stettin bzw. Köslin
   Rep. 65 c    Regierung zu Stralsund
   Rep. 66    Landratsämter und Kreisausschüsse (Bergen, Stolpe)
   Rep. 68    Hafenbauamt zu Swinemünde
   Rep. 68 a    Katasterämter (Greifswald, Lauenburg, Rummelsburg,Stettin)
   Rep. 71    Domänenamt zu Bütow
   Rep. 75 a und 75 b    Oberlandesgerichte (Stettin, Köslin)
   Rep. 76    Landgerichte (Greifswald, Köslin, Stargard, Stettin, Stolp)
   Rep. 77   Amtsgerichte (Altdamm, Anklam, Bärwalde, Bahn, Baldenburg,
             Barth, Belgard, Bergen, Bublitz, Bütow, Cammin, Demmin,
             Dramburg, Falkenburg, Fiddichow, Franzburg, Gartz, Gollnow,
             Greifenberg, Greifenhagen, Greifswald, Grimmen, Jacobshagen,
             Kallies, Körlin, Kolberg, Labes, Lauenburg, Loitz, Massow,
             Naugard, Neustettin, Neuwarp, Nörenberg, Pasewalk, Penkun,
             Pölitz, Pollnow, Polzin, Pyritz, Ratzebuhr, Regenwalde,
             Rügenwalde, Rummelsburg, Schivelbein, Schlawe, Stargard,
             Stepenitz, Stettin, Stolp, Stralsund, Swinemünde,
             Tempelburg, Treptow a. d. Rega, Treptow a. d. Tollense,
              Ückermünde, Wolgast, Wollin)
   Rep. 77 Stargard    Amtsgericht zu Stargard,  Grundbuchblätter
   Rep. 78  Kreisgerichte (Anklam, Belgard, Bütow, Gollnow, Greifenhagen,
        Köslin, Kolberg, Labes, Neustettin, Pasewalk,
        Schlawe, Stettin, Stolp, Treptow a. d. Rega)
 For pre-1806 Praestations-Tabellen and Mahllisten see
     HA II   Generaldirektorium
         Abt. 12:   Pommern
The Berlin Findbücher (Finding Aid Books) are
         Abt.12:  Pommern

- Bd . 1 : Bestallungssachen. Ämtersachen ( 41 )
- Bd . 2 : Städtesachen  ( 42 )
- Bd . 3 : Materien ( 43 )

   Landesarchiv Greifswald:

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