2020/09/17 Have you ever encountered job descriptions that you have never heard of before? Then we would like to invite you to visit this page again now and then. We will present old job descriptions and explain their meaning. We are starting with the profession title “Posamentierer” (“passament maker”).

Bandbereiter, Bandnäher, Gürtelwirker, Knöpfelmacher (ribbon preparer, ribbon tailor, belt weaver, button maker) - the list of terms to describe one single profession could be easily extended. Probably the best-known term of this profession that occasionally occurs in our church records is Posamentierer or Posamenter. It describes people who manufacture trimmings, decoration such as borders, edgings, laces, flounces, etc. Trimmings are used in the production of clothes, upholstered furniture or home textiles. The term was taken from French and is derived from passement, in English edging or braid.

We thank you for all hints and enquiries reaching us. Don't hesitate to write us if you also have a question on a specific term or designation.



2020/08/14 Fewer worshippers, empty church benches, less public interest - as reported in the media, the church suffers from an exodus of its members. The problem of sometimes soporific and lengthy prayers and services, cited as one reason thereof, seems to have existed for quite some time. A church convent record from the year 1670, noted in a mixed record of the community of Waldachtal, deals with a very similar problem - churchgoers tended to fall asleep during the liturgy or even to completely stay away from service. For this reason, the stern admonition to attend church more frequently and refrain from falling asleep was noted.

The entry was found by our user msiegle. We thank you for all hints and the lively participation in our forum.



2020/07/16 Virtual church record exhibition "Migration und Mortalität in der Frühen Neuzeit - von Kastenrechnungen und Kirchenbüchern" (Migration and Mortality in the Early Modern Period - Of Tax Authorities and Church Records) by the "Landeskirchliches Archiv Kassel" (Regional Church Archive Kassel)

"Refugee crisis", "mass migration" or "multi-cultural society" - terms like these suggest that today's supposedly homogenous society is facing unprecedented challenges, with "foreigners" disturbing our otherwise clearly defined social structure. If you immerse just a little deeper into the history of our society and families you will find out, however, that the boundaries between "us" and "them" are not as clear as many people like to believe today.

A virtual exhibition of the Regional Church Archive Kassel and the German Digital Library shows by means of the preserved church records and invoices related to authorities - the most comprehensive sources allowing to comprehend the development of our society - how migration was, is and will be the permanent companion of our ancestors, contemporaries and descendants. And this is a good thing. If, for example, you like to admire the many grand baroque churches in Hessia you can only do so because capable plasterers from Tyrol created the church decoration. Exploring the past we do not only come across success stories, though. We are also faced with the death of a four-year-old boy who had to die because work migrants were not permanently accepted by the authorities and had to move on from territorial border to territorial border. Without the documentation of such fates and family histories we could not learn from the past today - and are all the more pleased to contribute to the preservation of history and the related learning process by making sources such as church records available to the public in cooperation with our partner archives like the Regional Church Archive Kassel. If you have not done so yet, just browse through our church records and shape the future together with us by learning to understand the past.

Click here for the virtual exhibition.


2020/05/23 It is difficult enough to stand up against your social environment - standing up against the whole world is even harder. The pacifist and theologian Otto Umfrid had to go through this very experience when during World War I he committed himself to peace and international understanding. Today, on his 100th date of death, we commemorate a man for whom peace stood above all. Born on 2 May, 1857 in Nürtingen (Wurttemberg), Otto Umfrid developed into a man who preached love and peace but harvested hatred. His father Otto Ludwig Umfrid (1822 - 1913) was a lawyer and the first biographer of Karl Christian Planck (1919 - 1880). Thus, Otto developed a strong sense of injustice and a high affinity for the philosophy of Planck.

After his studies at the Theological "Stift" in Tübingen he went through different stations before, in 1890, he became a parish priest in Stuttgart, first at the "Martinskirche" and then at the "Erlöserkirche". This is where he got in touch with the German peace movement which he joined in 1894. He contributed to its upswing and, in 1900, became vice-chairman of the society that had moved from Berlin to Stuttgart. His motto was that true peace could only be established and maintained by understanding, contracts and the strengthening of international courts.

Umfrid rejected the fierce patriotism and war euphoria of World War I and expressed this view in different publications issued by himself or like-minded people, arousing the distrust of politics and his employer, the regional church of Wurttemberg. Henceforth, his publications were censored, and he had to smuggle some of his writings abroad to publish them. He attended different pacifist conferences abroad until the German authorities withdrew his passport. A retinal detachment impaired his vision until he became blind. This disease took a lot of his energy so that he had to give up his profession as a priest in 1913. In 1917, he resigned from all his offices and withdrew with his family to Lorch where he died on 23 May, 1920. To honor his commitment he was suggested for the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1913, but because of the outbreak of World War I the prize could not be awarded.

The picture shows the baptismal register of Nürtingen with his entry which we found in Archion.

Peace in Times of War - 100 years since Otto Umfrid
Peace in Times of War - 100 years since Otto Umfrid

100 000 Church Records Online

2020/04/22 5 years ago, it was not foreseeable where we would stand today. We are very grateful for the support of our customers and the good cooperation with our participating archives. Our customers and the archives are the reason why the 100 000th church record could go online today. We are motivated and look forward to keep working on Archion, to improve and develop, and to present you the next 100 000 church records.

5 Years - 4 Weeks - 3 Passes

Until 27-APR-2020

2020/03/24 Five years of loyalty and support - we would like to say “thank you”. For this reason we make a special offer this year.
5 years - 4 weeks - 3 passes
For four weeks, from 31 March to 27 April of this year, interested persons and researchers obtain shown access passes to the church record portal Archion at particularly favorable prices.

5 Years of Archion

2020/03/20 It was an experiment turned into a success story: Five years ago we started with the goal to make the church records of the Evangelical Church in Germany and its regional churches available in digital form to all interested parties.

Almost 100, 000 Church Records
Meanwhile, almost 100,000 church records with more than 16 mio. single images are availabe online - and it is still a long way to go. It takes a joint effort to produce, digitize and post such a huge amount of data.

22 Archives
Together with 22 archives from all over Germany we extend our collection every day: apart from Evangelical church records of the regional churches you also find church records from the formerly German Eastern territories, Mennonite church records and also Catholic church records from the Palatinate.

Outstanding Response
No less than 25,000 users worldwide have been able to try and trace their ancestors with Archion in the past five years. The outstanding response shows how important it is to make these valuable sources not only available to the local population but to give everyone the opportunity to also research their family history in digital form. We have set ourselves the goal to pursue this task for another five years and beyond. The users appreciate the commitment as becomes evident from the quote of a family researcher in Flensburg: “To conclude, thank you for implementing our ARCHION and for providing us with this wonderful opportunity to pursue our hobby.” This gratitude is not only due to the staff of the church record portal Archion but above all to the cooperating archives indispensable to make such a platform possible.

Thank You
Five years of loyalty and support - we would also like to say “thank you”. For this reason we make a special offer this year. 5 years - 4 weeks - 3 passes. For four weeks, from 31 March to 27 April of this year, interested persons and researchers obtain selected access passes to the church record portal Archion at particularly favorable prices.

Detailed information on the discount is to follow soon.

Update to Thuringia, Saxony-Anhalt and Brandenburg

Currently, 1450 books from 200 towns from the two archives in Eisenach and Magdeburg are available online. We first proceed with the import of church records from other regions before continuing with books from the church district Bad Liebenwerda in spring.

Some Thuringia, some Saxony-Anhalt, some Brandenburg

01/2020 With our two new partner archives in Magdeburg and Eisenach researchers now have the chance to do online research in historical church records of the Protestant Church in Central Germany. Currently, 1200 church records from 164 places are available online. Note: The import has just begun, by far not all church records from places in this area are online yet. In the coming years we will continue to fill up the online inventories of both archives. Please check online and free of charge before booking if the places and periods interesting for you are already included under:

Landeskirchliches Archiv Eisenach

Landeskirchliches Archiv Magdeburg

Welcome our new Archives

12/2019 From now we can show you church records from the area of the Lutheran-Protestant Church in Central Germany (Evangelische Kirche in Mitteldeutschland). The archive in Magdeburg will give the starting signal, before church books from the archives section of Eisenach will follow by the beginning of 2020. Over the next few years, we will gradually replenish the online holdings of both archives and, as always, alternating with church records from other regions.

This regional church extends primarily over the two federal states of Thuringia and Saxony-Anhalt and historically has two archives: one in Magdeburg and one in Eisenach. Both archives have been cataloged, filmed and digitized intensively.

So that you can plan your research, we have put together more information about both archives and a first order of the coming regions in the business cards of the two archives.

more about the Landeskirchenarchiv

more about the Landeskirchenarchiv

12-December-2019: Since last night we have


Exchange of digital copies

11/2019 After the online publication of the church records from the church district Grafschaft Schaumburg (Hannover: Landeskirchliches Archiv) numerous researchers gave us the feedback that the resolution was too low. This was connected with a limited zoom option, which has made the readability of the individual entries more difficult.
In order to enable you to conduct a pleasant research in this area too, the regional church archive in Hanover reacted immediately to your feedback and commissioned the digitalization of all church books concerned. The new scans have already reached us and in the next days we can replace the old images with new, higher resolution images.

Church Records from Saxony Online – a Status Report

09/2019 More than thousand church records from many places in the historic church districts Dresden and Meißen are now online. In the church district of Meißen places up to letter N are available at the moment, more will follow soon. For better planning of your research, we have added a small review to the business card of the archive that will always inform you up-to-date which regions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Saxony (Evangelisch-Lutherische Landeskirche Sachsens) will be next.

See the business card of the archive

Bye Sacramento – Hello Cincinnati

In mid-June, Archion was represented with a booth at the 2nd International German Genealogy Conference (IGGC) in Sacramento. Our visit was a complete success: the interest, the cordiality and openness were overwhelming. It was just as overwhelming for us when you discovered one of your ancestors live on site in a digitized church book. To experience this joy and enthusiasm up close has been a great event for us that we like to look back to. By the way: in two years, from 16th to 18th July 2021, the 3rd IGGC will take place in Cincinnati, Ohio. Find up-to-date information on the website of the International German Genealogy Partnership:

It continues in Bavaria!

07/2019 It continues in Bavaria! With a large project designed for more than ten years to digitize all historical church records of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bavaria. The church administration provides funding for this and gives the Regional Church Archive in Nuremberg the opportunity to record all church records, to digitize and to provide them mostly via Archion. First, those church records are prepared and presented online, which are already kept in the original in the Regional Church Archive in Nuremberg. Afterwards it goes into the many parishes, since nearly half of the Bavarian parish registers are still stored on the spot in the parish offices. Each parish may decide for itself whether their parish registers are kept in the Nuremberg Archives after the registration, or whether the originals should be brought back to the respective parish. The main registers, i.e. baptism, marriage and funeral records are made available through Archion. The freshly digitized church records are presented to you in several tranches every year and, as always, in alternation with church records from other archives. The Bavarian large-scale project has picked up speed in April, the first digital copies are currently going online. Bavaria, already represented online with 8,000 church books, will thus be able to offer more than 20,000 church books. Surely, you'll ask yourself when exactly the church book you need will go online within the next few years. Unfortunately, we cannot tell you that, but there is information about the process.

Learn more

Family Register as Research Accelerator

Now available online: another 700 Württemberg family registers. This Württemberg peculiarity summarizes the contents of the main registers (baptisms, funerals, marriages) since 1808 and gives quick information about three generations. Printed forms give the registers a clear structure and also allow not so experienced handwriting readers a good and quick introduction to source-based family research.

read more

8-May-2019: Since last night we have


Optimized for you: Names of the archives under BROWSE

It's great that more and more archives have joined us since the launch of Archion, presenting their church books online. However, the list of archives has become longer and more confusing. That's why we've changed the names: first the region is named and then the name of the archive. The regions appear in alphabetical order. Initially it will be a transition for you as a user, but we hope you will quickly get used to it and appreciate the benefits of the change.

News from our partner archives

Archive discoveries, anniversaries, bibliophile treasures, event notes and current research topics are presented by the Landeskirchliches Archiv Stuttgart (Archive of the Regional Church in Wurttemberg) on its blog:

Now online: Church records from the County of Schaumburg

At the turn of the year the church records from Lower Saxony church district of the County of Schaumburg were newly added to the online inventory in Archion. With more than 400 historical church books from 85 places the inventory offers a colorful mix of church records, civil registers, alphabetic registers, originals and duplicates, and is available for research.


Oldenburg starts with more than 1000 church records

From October, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Oldenburg will present more than 1000 digitized church records via Archion.

With the publication of church records of the former state of Oldenburg, baptisms, marriages and deaths can be researched online for the first time from the 17th to the 20th century. This is possible because the archive of the Regional Church of Oldenburg has also collected church records for backup filming and subsequent digitization, which were previously only available to the individual parishes. Among the 82 towns that will go online, you will find the city of Oldenburg as well as the mid-sized towns of Delmenhorst and Wilhelmshaven. Another import with more than 400 church records from 18 parishes is planned for 2019.


try it now for free

We are often asked whether Archion could be tested for free. We think that this desire is justified in many ways and absolutely understandable. After all you want to know what to expect from family research with Archion.

Experience, investigate and explore the digital church record research with our testing site HILDRIZHAUSEN. Without login, registration and without providing any personal data – non-binding and without any risk.

Ancestors in Dresden’s Annenkirche?

Then quickly visit Archion and browse through church books of the oldest suburb church of Dresden.

Earlier than planned, we can already present the first church books of Saxon Regional Church to you. Therefore, we can again go one step further in supporting you in the efficient search for your ancestors. 

Palatinate online

All released church records of the Protestant Lutheran Church of the Palatinate are available online!

Rejoice with us! Around 3600 church records of the Protestant Lutheran Church of the Palatinate are researchable online now. Together with the church records, that are stored at Landesarchiv Speyer, the area of the State Church of Palatinate is almost completely covered. The central archive also endeavors to obtain approval from the political municipality to put the church records in Archion that are lying in city archives, registry offices or mayoralties.

At the end of each calendar year the church records that are not in a retention period anymore are added to Archion and released for use.


Protestant Church Records from Saxony on Archion

The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Saxony is going to present their church records on Archion. The archive responsible for the Saxon Regional Church is already working at high pressure on the preparation, cataloguing, filming and finally digitizing of thousands of historical church records. The focus is on the security filming of the church records originated until 1875, what already took place for 25 % of the church records. Books which are stored in the respective rectories are especially prepared for this elaborate large-scale project and brought together for the filming. Then digitized from film. All these steps of course need their time. Nevertheless, we can present the first historical church records from Saxony already by the end of 2018 to you online.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Saxony is one of 20 member churches of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD). The territory predominantly includes that of the former Land of Saxony within the borders of 1922. At the moment 719 church communities and parishes are belonging to the Regional Church, each assigned to one of the 18 church districts.

Now online – Church Records of LANDESARCHIV SPEYER

More than 400 digitized church records, mainly from Palatinate and Rhine-Hessian parishes, are now available online in Archion. Catholic, Lutheran and reformed church records list baptisms, weddings, funerals and confirmations and primarily include the period from 1565 – 1798. Besides this classic information the inventory includes further interesting directories concerning family history. Especially researchers that are interested in local history get their money’s worth: numerous additional lists inform about conversions, migrations, local and church chronicle, about weather and harvest. The majority of the new inventory assembles church records that originally emerged in various parishes and came to Landesarchiv Speyer through municipal administrations. With the presentation in Archion it is now possible to make this historically valuable inventory available online to all interested people.

Archion Clips on YouTube

In collaboration with students of an animated film class of an academy of arts and the association of church archives two 90-second animated films were created this summer. In an English and German version, they show how Herr Nolte and Mrs. Smith immerse into their family histories. During conception it was important to us to demonstrate the possibilities, that arise from Archion for family research, but also to show the limits and state clearly, that not every detail of family history is reconstructable. But due to the constantly rising number of original documents, Archion provides the best opportunities to Herr Nolte and all curious people, that want to discover their own roots.

Watch our clip