The source of this beneath listed information is the German FAQ-site of Heinz Bredthauer: Version 1.7 of 2001-08-01
A special "Thank you" to him for the permission for translating and for the permission for using it at the SCHLESWIG-HOLSTEIN-ROOTS FAQ

Hans Peter Voss, Administrator (Listowner) SH-ROOTS-Mailinglist


Root cause for these Frequently Asked Questions (F.AQ.) were the repeatedly posed queries such as:
-what is the location of such-and-such a place?
-who can tell me how to find the place ...?

To avoid having to answer such questions over and over again, this FAQ will be run at the beginning of each month.
Additions to the previous version will be marked ***.
This FAQ in German can be found on the pages of the German genealogy server.
Heinz (author of this site)


Search Aid

Index of German Postal (ZIP) Codes

Online Indices of Place Names in Germany/Europe

Online Search, global, for place names

Regional Indices of Place Names - online


Topographical Maps

Aerial and Satellite Photographs

Printed Indices of Place Names



Search Aid

Over the past 50 years, many places have officially been declared spas (German: Bad). Frequently, such locations cannot be found under the original name. In such cases it may be helpful to precede the place name with the German word Bad.

to the top of this site


Index of German Postal (ZIP) Codes

The easiest method to determine whether the place name in question exists within the contemporary borders of Germany is the Index of German Postal Codes (Postleitzahlenverzeichnis). These Postal Codes can be accessed via the internet:

Old codes can be converted to current ones at:

to the top of this site


Online Indices of Place Names in Germany/Europe

N.B.: Not all websites mentioned hereunder may have English versions.


Arthur Teschler's GeoServer:

(Covers only the Federal Republic of Germany)

Address an e-mail to (reply will be in HTML version) or to (reply in ASC text version). Message should list the name of the place in question. Further instructions for use will accompany the reply which may arrive on the genealogy server under:


Genealogical Index of Place Names

Subscribers to any one of the projects of the Association for Computer Genealogy (FOKO/GEDBAS/GOV) can register as researchers for as many places as they want. Whenever data concerning a specific place are published, all members with an interest in said place will be notified via e-mail. Participants may publish even incidental findings.


Falk Online

Covers the Federal Republic of Germany.

N.B.: Diacritical marks (Umlauts) must be entered correctly. If your keyboard does not have these German vowels, you may enter "Munchen" instead of "München". However, Muenchen is not acceptable.

http://www/ or



Covers Central and Eastern Europe; lists the old as well as current place name. Soundex (phonetic) search possible.


German place names in the 19th century Deutsche Ortschaften im 19. Jahrhundert)

comprises Germany, Poland, Hungary, Rumania (at present being revised)

to the top of this site


Online Search, global, for place names



Global search for place names; smaller villages may not always be listed.
In case places are not found, the marker will jump to the middle of Germany
Web site will also work with map coordinates:



Similar to Mapquest. Lists map coordinates as well as names.



Similar to Mapquest. Permits Soundex (phonetic) search.


Map coordinates as well as altitude quoted. For regions which formerly belonged to Germany, German place names may be entered for the search.


Map coordinates, for neighbouring villages as well:


Some of the above mentioned indices can also be reached via:

to the top of this site


Regional Indices of Place Names - online


Bavaria: Ortsverzeichnis Bayern


Danube Swabia: Ortsverzeichnis Donauschwaben


Alsace-Lorraine: Ortsverzeichnis Elsass-Lothringen Juxtaposition of German-French and French-German place names


Ortsverzeichnis Hohenzollern


Ortsverzeichnis Lippe-Detmold


Mecklenburg; Lists 3,343 entries, incl. abandoned or renamed places: Orte in Mecklenburg


East Prussia and neighbouring regions; index of place names: Orte und Wohnplaetze in Ostpreußen


Kartenmeister: Place names and residences east of the Oder/Neisse rivers, incl. Posen (now Poland) and Memel (now Lithuania); German and contemporary spelling, renamed places.

By quoting your e-mail address you may be approached by others interested in the same places.


Places in Poland and Rusia: Juxtaposition of German-Polish and Polish-German place names within today's boundaries of Poland and Russia: Ortsnamen in Polen und Rußland


Ortsverzeichnis Schaumburg-Lippe


Silesia: Schlesisches Ortsverzeichnis (by A. & J.Zedlitz). Juxtaposition of German and Polish place names.


Ortsverzeichnis Schleswig-Holstein


Sudetenland (Czech) Juxtaposition of German and Czech place names, districts, jurisdictions, communities and parishes: Index der Orte im Sudetenland (website under construction)


Index of places in the former kingdom of Wuerttemberg as listed in the indices of the ruling authorities:

Ortsverzeichnis des ehemaligen Koenigreichs Wuerttemberg


to the top of this site




ADAC MaxiAtlas Deutschland, scale 1:150,000

Place names in the Federal Republic of Germany, 90,000 listings incl. Postal (Zip) Codes

ISBN: 3-87003-732-6


Falk Maxi-Atlas, scale 1:150,000

ISBN 3-8279-0351-3


Road Map Germany/Europe

Strassenatlas Deutschland/Europa

Special Edition: Ravenstein Publications

Publisher: Haupka & Co., Kartographisches Institut

Auf der Krautweide 24

65812 Bad Soden/Ts, GERMANY


Road Atlas:





Atlas of Imperial Germany A.D.1883

Ravenstein-Atlas of 1883

This Atlas by L. Ravenstein was first published in Leipzig, Germany in 1883 by the Bibliographic Institute (Bibliographisches Institut)

10 pages , scale 1:850,000, with a complete index of all names mentioned on these maps.

Digital version available:

Caution: Lengthy download of PDF format)


City Atlases


For the regions of Silesia, East Prussia, Pommerania and Eastern Brandenburg,

city maps are available from: Rautenberg-Verlag, Leer

to the top of this site


Topographical Maps


First and foremost, there are the state mapping authorities which offer current as well as historical maps, at times on CD-Roms which enable you to search for place names. A list of these state authorities can be found under:


In addition, topographical maps of the former German Eastern regions are available from:

Bundesamt fuer Kartographie und Geodaesie

Richard Strauss-Allee 111

60598 Frankfurt on Main, GERMANY

or online:


Bilingual maps, complementing the indices of place names are available at:

Amongst the many maps by different publishers, the preferred one is the "Generalkarte 1:200000" available in many German bookstores as well as specialty book sellers and university libraries in North America. The pocket edition is more economical for genealogical purposes than the "Marco Polo" version. A total of 20 maps covers all of Germany.

to the top of this site


Aerial and Satellite Photographs

covering Germany and Europe, in various formats, in print or on CDRom available at:


Mainzer Str.116

66121 Saarbruecken, GERMANY

or online:


Aerial and Satellite Photos for some parts of Europe:


Former German territories, photographed between 1939 and 1945:

to the top of this site


Printed Indices of Place Names

Most important is the above mentioned Index of Postal (Zip) Codes, also available on CDRom.


Meyer's Index of Place Names of Imperial Germany, 1912 Edition:

(Meyers Orts- und Verkehrslexicon des Deutschen Reiches),

contains information on every place of residence in Germany, no matter how small. It lists even mills, brick factories and clumps of houses. The 1912 edition is available on microfilm at LDS (Mormon) sites.


Mueller's comprehensive German index of place names:

(Müllers grosses deutsches Ortsbuch)

similar to Meyer's


Neumann's index of place names and traffic network

(Neumanns Orts- und Verkehrslexicon)

similar to Meyer's


Complete lexicon of Imperial German place names and traffic networks

(Grosses Orts und Verkehrslexicon für das Deutsche Reich) (1928) by Henius

based on official records (imperial, state and communal). Published by Dr. H.Hoepker, Berlin, 1928


***Topographical, statistical, historical Lexicon of Germany, for use by private, postal and governmental offices, for travel and newspapers (Topographisch-statistisch-historisches Comptoir-, Amts-. Post-, Reise und Zeitungs-Lexicon von Deutschland) , by Dr.Eugen Huhn, Hildburghausen 1849; reprint 2001, publisher Vilsmeier, Munich


***Index of Place Names in the Federal Republik of Germany (Ortsbuch der Bundesrepublik Deutschland);

loose leaf edition; Publisher Manfred Betz, Verlag für das Standesamtswesen, Frankfurt on Main.


***Index of historical place names for the territory of the former Grand Duchy and republican state of Hessen with indication of county and court jurisdictions as of 1820 up to the changes in community district reform; (Historisches Ortsnamenverzeichnis für das Gebiet des ehem.Grossherzogtums und Volksstaates Hessen mit Nachweis der Kreis- und Gerichtszugehörigkeit von 1820 bis zu den Veränderungen im Zuge der kommunalen Gebietsreform).

Authors: Hans-Georg Ruppel, Karfin Mueller, Verlag des Historischen Vereins für Hessen, Darmstadt, 1976.


***Description of the electoral Duchy of Hessen (Beschreibung des Kurfürstentums Hessen); 2 volumes;

by Georg Landau.

Reprint of the 1842 edition published by Dieter Carl, Vellmar, 2000.


New (since 1800) place names in East Prussia (Neue Ortsnamen in Ostpreußen seit 1800);

Index of changes in place names within the province of East Prussia (original territory) since the beginning of the 19th. century, by Fritz Gause, Königsberg, Prussia.

Hamburg reprint 1983, special edition of the Society for Genealogy in East and West Prussia, vol.53


Changes in Place Names in East Prussia; (Ortsnamenänderungen in Ostpreußen); A collection according to the territorial parameters per 3l Dec.1937, compiled by H.Zipplies, Hamburg, 1983, c/o Verein für Familienforschung in Ost- und Westpreußen e.V.; sources, data etc. relating to traditional Prussian research (QMS) vol.2


***Geographic index of Place Names in East Prussia (Geographisches Ortsregister Ostpreussen)

Publisher: Dietrich Lange, SOL-Verlag, Königslutter, 2000.


***The official Changes in Place Names in the former Eastern Provinces of Prussia prior to 1939 (Die amtlichen Ortsnamenänderungen in den früheren preussischen Ostprovinzen vor 1939)

Author: Georg Reichling, Verlag für Standesamtswesen, Frankfurt on Main, 1991


Residential Sites in the Kingdom of Prussia; (Die Wohnplätze des Königreiches Preussen);

Author: Oskar Brunow, published in 1880 in Berlin. It contains all residential sites, alphabetically, indicating size and administrative districts, parishes and regional courts.


Geographic description of the Prussian parts of Silesia, the County of Glatz and the Prussian Margravate of Ober-Lausitz (Geographische Beschreibung von Schlesien preussischen Antheils, der Grafschaft Glatz und der preussischen Markgrafschaft Ober-Lausitz); by J.G. Knie, J.M.L. Melcher, published by Grass, Barth & Comp., Breslau, 1830.


Index of Silesian Place Names (Schlesisches Ortschaftsverzeichnis); alphabetical index of all cities, towns, villages and other places of residence within the provinces of Lower and Upper Silesia, indicating corresponding counties, population statistics and particularly evangelical and catholic parishes as well as civil authorities of the resp. locations. Based on official records such as the 10th. edition, Breslau 1925.


Topographic Manual of Upper Silesia (Topographisches Handbuch von Oberschlesien); 2 volumes,

publisher: Jan Thorbeck Verlag, Sigmaringen, 1984 (reprint of the original published in 1864)


Index of Place Names East of the rivers Oder and Neisse (Ortsnamenverzeichnis der Ortschaften jenseits von Oder und Neisse);

Author: M. Kaemmerer


German/Czech index of place names (Deutsch-Tschechische Ortslexica)


Name changes of former Prussian parishes between 1850 and 1942 (Namensänderungen ehemals preussischer Gemeinden von 1850-1942);

aAddenda up to 1950; author F. Verdenhalven


Historical Index of place names in Lower Saxony (Geschichtliches Ortsverzeichnis Niedersachsen)

Vol l: State of Bremen (by Dietrich Schomburg)

Vol. 2: State of Brunswick [Braunschweig] (by Hermann Kleinau)

Vol. 3: Bishopric Osnabrueck (by Guenther Wrede)

Vol. 4: Counties Hoya and Diepholz (by Herbert Dienwiebel)

Published by the Historical Commission for Lower Saxony and Bremen, Verlag August Lax, Hildesheim.


Topography of Holstein and Lauenburg

published in 1855 by Johannes v. Schroeder and Hermann Biernatzki in Oldenburg, Schleswig-Holstein


Historical Index of place names in Schleswig-Holstein (Historisches Ortsnamenlexicon von schleswig-Holstein) by:

Wolfgang Laur, 1992, Karl Wachholz Verlag, Neumuenster


Topographic Schleswig-Holstein

Each week, beginning in Dec. 2000, two locations are portrayed in alphabetical sequence, complete with heraldic, aerial photograph and community statistics. there are 1132 parishes in Schleswig Holstein.

In Germany, printed registers of place names are available at many libraries and archives, as well at genealogical societies.


Indices of place names on CD-ROM

***Index of place names in 1876 Bavaria (Das Ortsverzeichnis von Bayern 1876)

Publisher: Verlag Vilsmeier, Munich, 2000

to the top of this site



J.Eggerts FAQ for soc.genealogy.german


E. Quester; Genealogy in East German and Sudeten (Czech) regions



M.L. & A.L.Helm, Genealogy for Dummies



For corrections, additions and suggestions I am indebted to:

Doris Baumert, Henning Böttcher, Ralf Doersam, Helmut Hackenberg, Manfred Härtel, Karel Honings, Uwe Krickhahn, Elke Langner, Lars Mühlenberend, Siegfried Rambaum, Guillaume Roelly, Helge Robitzsch, Nick Rudnick, Uwe Schärff, Burkhard Schenk, Gerd Schmerse, Martin Schuppisser-Bollinger, Dora Selig, Victor Steinfeld, Robert Tornow, Harald Wolf, Jesper Zedlitz


A special THANK YOU for the translation of the German text into English to:

Juergen P. Schultz, Montreal, QC, Canada


Further additions, improvements and suggestions are invited at:

Heinz (author of the German site)

to the top of this site