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My mother's maiden name was Brandenburg. I have been working on this for a long time. I have them back to Germany, but unsure how to proceed.  I need to find out how to research Germany records online, if possible.

Can anyone give me advise?


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Hi, just out of curiosity where were your Brandenburgs from in the USA? I also have that surname in my tree.
See and for list of various online sources.

I would also recommend checking the catalog at for the geographic area in which you are interested and then renting the microfilms via your local Family History Center. In addition to the usual bmd records, you may find that your area's church has a familienbuch (family book) which does not replace bmd information but is a very useful tool and is similar to a census. Information is by family unit and gives birth, marriage, and death info on a couple and their children. In addition, it gives the names of the parents of the couple. It may also give cross-references between family units (i.e., the page of the parent's records, or a child's family after marriage). The familienbuchen began around 1800 and included everyone who was alive at that time and were maintained going forward, so you may find info on some people back to 1730 or so, if they were still alive in 1800 when the familienbuch was first created.

When you get to the German records, they will not only be written in German (or Latin in Catholic churches), but will be written in some form of Gothic script, which is significantly different than the Roman script we're used to. Printed and handwritten Gothic are different and you will probably see both. For assistance with the script, see and
You don't say if you know where in Germany they lived. Without this information (down to the village and the church) you won't be able to decide which FHL records to order). Do you have the passenger list for the ship on which they arrived (if they came late enough it might say something other than just "Germany"). When did the men become naturalized (records from after about 1910 might give detailed information on where they came from, the ship, etc.)? If anyone in the family was still classified as an alien in the late 1940s, they would have had to register under the Alien Registration Act of 1940 (you can find info on this Act on the USCIS website, and even ask them to search their records). Again, the detail required for this paperwork included village of origin, family members and other data. Good luck!



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