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Finding Relatives in Germany for Free

Find family members still living in Germany by contacting local authorities.
map of germany image by Goran Bogicevic from Fotolia.com

Finding long-lost relatives is an important part of doing your family genealogy. When you’re researching your family line in Germany, you may run across lineage that’s hard to decipher. The records get a little confusing and you aren’t sure where different people fit into your family tree. Germany's registration office, for all residents, makes it comparatively easy to find relatives, without spending a dime from your own pocket.

Contact the Meldestelle directly, either by letter or over the phone. This is the registration center in Germany and it requires all residents to register when they move or change locations. You will need an appropriate reason to get information about a specific person, such as a death in the family or contacting them in regards to an inheritance.

Search for family members through the Immigrant Genealogical Society or IGS. The IGS is based in Hollywood, California, but helps people search for family members in Germany or in German-speaking countries. The IGS is primarily devoted to genealogical research, but may also help you locate living family members.

Use the services available through Family Search, which is maintained by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The database has a large series of records on marriages, deaths and even birth certificates, including some from parishes in Germany.

Research your family tree on the Roots in Germany website. The site has a lot of useful information, including passenger lists from ships that set sail for the United States from Germany. If your family members moved to the United States or you have family currently living in the county, you may find them this way.

Post a request on Roots Web. Roots Web is one of the top genealogy websites in the world and has a separate forums section. List your request on the forums and get help from people who may be searching for the same individuals or ran across their contact information during their own research.


Searching through the local phone books is another easy way to find missing or lost family members. Visit your local library and ask for the phone books for different cities and regions in Germany. Look for family members with the same last name or a similar last name. You may discover that your name was misspelled, or changed slightly, when relatives moved to the United States.

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