The Oldenburg Society for Family Research has been founded in 1927 as a sub-group of the Oldenburg Historical Society (Landesverein für Geschichte, Natur- und Heimatkunde e.V.).
The scope of activity of the society is genealogical research, with particular emphasis on the area of the former grand duchy of Oldenburg. Around 1800 this area had 78 lutheran parishes and 29 catholic parishes, the latter ones concentrated in the southern part of the dukedom, within the counties of Cloppenburg and Vechta. See list of parishes for details on each of the church communities.
Services of the society:
During the months from October to April of every year there are 6 lectures or presentations on genealogical or local historical subjects. To the attendees these lectures provide insights and ideas for their own genealogical research. For details see: OGF-Lectures.
For our members we publish a genealogical journal ‘Oldenburgische Familienkunde’. In this journal we cover a broad scope of research summaries, details on new genealogical sources and other subjects of common interest to society members. Until 2009 the ‘Oldenburgische Familienkunde’ was published in 4 books per year. Sometimes 2 books are combined into a double-issue. We have regularly published this way for 50 years. Since 2009, the ‘Oldenburgische Familienkunde’ is publish as yearbook instead of 4 single brochures. Most of the books are still available. See list of available publications at OGF-publications. Available publications can be ordered at our Online-Shop.
Our library as well as many research results of our members are located at the Niedersächsiche Landesarchiv Oldenburg, Damm 43. They can be consulted there during office hours (ask for: Bestand OGF). In order to prepare for a productive use of the archive, we have prepared a book titled ‚Bücherverzeichnis OGF’. It contains 5000 titles, with ancestry charts, descendency charts and other genealogical material included. This Catalog shows the inventory until 2001. Currently, our library is integrated into the online catalog ↑ of the Nieders. Landesarchiv Oldenburg.
Conversion of church registers:
The original church records of our area are very old. Many of them are in a critical condition and all of them are difficult to read. A team of volunteers is working on converting the original church records into computer files. Mr. Dierk Feye, Fichtenstr. 8, 26315 Varel, is coordinating the activity of the different team members. A lot still needs to be done. Whoever wants to contribute to this work is asked to contact Dierk Feye (E-mail: Dierk Feye).
The records of several parishes are published as Ortsfamilienbuch (OFB) on CD-ROM. See a description of available OFB’s on Ortsfamilienbücher, the CD’s can be ordered at our Online-Shop.
The Oldenburg Genealogical Societgy does not have its own office. If you need help in genealocial research in this area, we recommend the following:
- If you know the name of the parish, look first at our list of parishes. For many of our parishes you will find there experts, who can help you.
- if no expert is named for you parish in this list, you can ask
- a local professional genealogist, for instance Irmi Gegner-Sünkler or Swantje Heuten.
- those institutions which are named as location for church records. We recommend to adress yourself to the central offices (State Archive, Offizialat, lutheran church council) rather than to the individual parish offices. Give your full postal home adress, if you decide to write per e-mail to the State Archive (email@example.com), Bischöfliches Offizialat in Vechta (firstname.lastname@example.org) or to the lutheran church council (email@example.com).
- for general questions, and if you do not know the name of the parish, ask the Oldenburg Genealogical Society, E-mail: Gerold Diers.
We ask you to be patient in expecting answers. In many cases this research implies significant work as well as travel expenses and fees to pay at the public archives. In those cases we will advise you of the approx. payments due, before we start working on your request.
New members are always welcome. If, besides membership, you have interest, time and energy to not only search for your own roots but to help working actively on the goals of our society, the better. If you are interested in membership please fill the membership request form.
If you live in a country outside the european union and have no bank account for direct debit, you can pay your membership fee via PayPal to firstname.lastname@example.org. In this case, fill any single character into the ‘must fill’ fields for the bank account and make a note at the Notiz field.
The membership fee is 25,- € annually for members living in Germany. Because of the substantially higher postal fees we have to ask 30,- € annually from members living outside Germany. The membership renews automatically if you not terminate it until 31. of December.
Our bank account is:
Landessparkasse zu Oldenburg, IBAN: DE20 2805 0100 0000 4075 77 – BIC-/SWIFT-Code: SLZODE22XXX
Genealogical sources for the Oldenburg area:
The church records are located as follows.
- For the parishes of the Oldenburg Lutheran Church (Ev.-luth. Oldenburgische Landeskirche):
- the original records are kept at the office of the local parishes. (only in a few exceptions, these originals have been given to the state archive). Records begin in some parishes as early as 1573 (Blexen) or 1578 (Eckwarden). In most cases records start during the 17th century.
- Mikrofiches of all church records, up to approx. 1810, are stored in the archive of the church council. ( ev.-luth. Oberkirchenrat, Philosophenweg 1, 26121 Oldenburg, Tel. 0441-7701-0). They can be consulted there during office hours. Please reserve time in advance.
- Copies of all church records after 1800 (for the Jever area after 1825) are stored at the state archive. (Nieders. Landesarchiv Oldenburg, Damm 43, 26135 Oldenburg, Tel. 0441-9244-100 ). They can be consulted there during office hours.
- Digitized copies of several books can be found at the Kirchenbuchportal Archion. They will charge you for use.
- For the parishes of the catholic church.
- Copies of all church records of the Oldenburger Münsterland (the southern part of Oldenburg, the counties Cloppenburg and Vechta), are kept at the archive of the Bischöflich Münstersches Offizialat, Bahnhofstr.6, 49377 Vechta, Tel. 04441-872-0. They can be consulted there during office hours. Records for these parishes start in general during the 17th century.
- Digitized copies of several books can be found at the portal Matricula Online. This site is free of charge.
Civil records about birth, marriage and death of all persons regardless of religion are maintained at the public community offices since 1876. Older records not restricted by data protection rools are archived in the community archiv (for larger towns) or in the state archiv (Nieders. Landesarchiv) in Oldenburg. Questions for copies have to be directed to the responsible archiv. Newer records are kept in the community were the sought person resided, questions have to be directed to the communities Standesamt.
Other information resources for genealogists
Niedersächsisches Landesarchiv Oldenburg (Oldenburg State Archive)
A lot old documents can be found in the Oldenburg State Archive. You’ll find there medieval documents, tax registers, fire insurance records and many other items which have been recorded in ancient times within the area of the dukedom Oldenburg.
Other historical or genealogy related societies:
Besides the Oldenburg genealogical Society ( Oldenburgische Gesellschaft für Familienkunde) there are the following groups doing genealogical research within the area of the former duchy of Oldenburg:
Jeverländischer Altertums- und Heimatverein e.V.
Arbeitsgemeinschaft Familiengeschichtsforschung im Jeveland
Heimatverein Herrlichkeit Dinklage
Familienkundlicher Arbeitskreis im Heimatbund für das Oldenburger Münsterland
For people interested in Oldenburg genealogy the most relevant mailinglists are listed below. For more lists please have a look at:
This mailing list is open only for members of the Oldenburg genealogical Society. To participate in this list, please select page http://list.genealogy.net/mailman/listinfo/OGF-L ↑. If you are a member of the OGF, the list administrator will enable your access.
To participate in this bilingual mailinglist (englisch/german) at genealogy.net, just drop a mail to: oldenburg-Lemail@example.com with the text: subscribe in the message body.
To use this open german speaking mailinglist at genealogy.net (which is dealing with the entire north german territory) please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with the text subscribe in the message body.