Review : Archion : A Portal for German Church Books

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Archion start page, English version; screenshot, Archion (https://www.archion.de : accessed 14 February 2016).

If you’re as anxious to search for your German ancestors in original German records as I am, you will want to check out Archion. Archion is a relatively new German subscription website that provides digital images of church books (records of baptisms, marriages, burials, etc.) from Germany. I’m a recent subscriber, and it is keeping me busy!

Archion’s holdings are extensive but by no means comprehensive. At this time it appears only Evangelisch (Protestant) records are available. Many of their church book images are not available elsewhere outside the holding institution, although I have noticed that some had already been made available on microfilm via FamilySearch. FrankenGen readers may be interested to know that the site does include some holdings from the Mittelfranken region of Bavaria, from where many of the settlers of the Saginaw Valley’s Franconian colonies emigrated. Records from Gunzenhausen are offered, for example.

The website is in German, of course; however, an English translation is available for parts of the site. The majority of records available are written in German Gothic script. There is no digitized index for the records. Images of hand-written indexes created by the record-keepers are available for some parishes. It will likely take some persistence for users to find their desired records.

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Archion church book record example; screenshot, Archion (https://www.archion.de : accessed 15 February 2016).

Archion is easy to navigate, and the website allows viewers without a subscription to see what parishes have records available. Record sets highlighted in green are available to search; records highlighted in white have not been digitized.

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Archion record sets highlighted in green are available to search; screenshot, Archion (https://www.archion.de : accessed 15 February 2016).

The current subscription cost for individual users is 19,90Euros (currently about 22.00USD) for a month’s access including up to 50 image downloads, or 178,80Euros (currently about 200.00USD) for a year’s access including up to 600 downloads.

I’m very excited about my family history discoveries via Archion, and I hope to share some of them on FrankenGen soon.

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