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Meyers Orts- und Verkehrs-lexikon des deutschen Reichs

This is the most important of all German gazetteers. The goal of the Meyer’s compilers was to list every place name in the German Empire (1871-1918). It gives the location, i.e. the state and other jurisdictions, where the civil registry office was and parishes if that town had them. It also gives lots of other information about each place. The only drawback to Meyer’s is that if a town did not have a parish, it does not tell where the parish was, making reference to other works necessary.

The Homepage: Search the Meyers Gazetteer

On the homepage you will see a search box. Type the name of your place in the search box.

Now, a list of places with that name will appear—all those places of the same name, but with other jurisdictions which will help you identify your town.

Choose the town for which you want more information.

Entry

You are now on the ‘Entry’ page.

Map

After you have read the information on this page, click on ‘Map’ in the menu or on the map itself.

Entering the maps is a work in progress. There will be many places for which the maps have not been entered yet and you might need to bring up the map for the main town in the area to find your place.

Ecclesiastical

When you click on ‘Ecclesiastical,’ you will see parish information.

Related

‘Related’ provides a list of other towns that refer to your town as another jurisdiction, such as Amtsgericht, Standesamt, Landgericht, and so on.

E-mail

In this section, for the town in which you are searching, you can add surnames and your email address so that you and others who are searching for the same names can contact each other to collaborate and share information. The emails are protected so that you do not receive spam. (If the security process freezes, try again later. Please add your family names and contact information!

Feedback

Finally, you can also give feedback. This includes corrections, suggestions for improvements or new features, or how you use the data.

As with most projects, this is a work in progress and will evolve over time. Additions and corrections are being made as of this writing. It is possible that other features may be added in the future. In the meantime, it is hoped that researchers will use this very valuable tool in their research.

To learn more about Meyers, especially the many abbreviations, see:

FamilySearch Wiki. “Abbreviation Table for Meyers Orts und Verkehrs Lexikon Des Deutschen Reichs.” https://familysearch.org/wiki/en/Abbreviation_Table_for_Meyers_Orts_und_Verkehrs_Lexikon_Des_Deutschen_Reichs

Uncapher, Wendy K. How to read & understand Meyers Orts- und Verkehrs-Lexikon des Deutschen Reichs. Janesville, Wisconsin: Origins, 2003.

References:

Karte des Deutschen Reiches. Berlin: Kartographische Abteilung der Königlichen Preußischen Landesaufnahme, 1845-1916.

Meyers Orts- und Verkehrs-Lexikon des Deutschen Reichs. 5th edition. Uetrecht, E. (Erich) Leipzig and Wien: Bibliographisches Institut, 1912.