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Genealogy Research in Stuttgart Libraries and Archives

Lisa Petersen

old drawing of Stuttgart street scene

Both my husband and I have ancestors from the area southwest of Stuttgart, so we went to Stuttgart in March 1995 to try to do some research. We had done a lot of research already using church records on microfilm at the LDS Family History Center, and we weren't sure what more we could get in Stuttgart. For others who may be thinking about a research trip to Stuttgart, I'll list the places we visited, addresses, hours, and a summary of what we found there.

Lutheran Church Archives and Library for Wuerttemberg

Evangelisches Landeskirchliches Archiv, Gaensheidestr. 4, D-70184 Stuttgart
Archive hours: Mon-Thu 0900-1600, Fri 0900-1530
Library hours: Mon-Thu 0800-1700, Fri 0800-1530
Phone: 0711 21491 (reservations for microfilm readers recommended)

This archive contains microfilm copies of records from Lutheran churches in Wuerttemberg only. For church records in other German states, go to archives in those states. For information about other archives, see Andreas Hanacek's Archives in Germany. The major problem with this archive is getting an appointment to use a microfilm reading machine. We didn't have an appointment, and were told the next opening wasn't until August (5 months). We looked around at the books instead. They had a few genealogies, some Ortsippenbuecher (genealogies of people from the same town), and some Heimatbuecher (town histories). Judging by the size of the card catalog, they had many more books somewhere we didn't see, and I don't know if any of them would be useful to genealogists. For researchers in the US, it would be much easier to use the LDS Family History Centers to view the microfilms that this archive has. Researchers in Germany may borrow the films by mail for 2 weeks if you have access to a microfilm reader.

Wuerttemberg State Library

Wuerttembergische Landesbibliothek, Konrad Adenauer Str. 8, D-70173 Stuttgart
Hours: Mon-Fri 0900-2000, Sat 0900-1300

We had to ask for help, since we didn't know how to use the card catalog, or how to find the books. We were looking for town histories, so we looked up the names of some towns, got the call numbers, and headed for the reading room (reference books). There were many Heimatbuecher that kept us busy at the photocopy machine (20 Pfennig per copy). We also found a series of books containing genealogies of the more prominent German families, books on genealogies of Lutheran ministers, and back issues of Wuerttemberg Genealogy Society publication, and more. Our limited knowledge of German slowed us down quite a bit, but we did find a lot of interesting material. It was nice that the library was open late, and had large tables to spread out on. Most of the books are kept in closed stacks, and we were told we'd have to get a library ID (no problem, just fill out a form), fill out a request slip, and wait an hour for them to fetch the book. We didn't think it was worth it.

Genealogy Society for Wuerttemberg & Baden

Verein fuer Familien- und Wappenkunde in Wuerttemberg und Baden, Postfach 10 54 41, D-70047 Stuttgart
Library located at Gaisburgstr. 4A.
Hours: Thu 1500-1800, Fri 1600-1830

We knew about this society, but didn't know that it maintains a small library until the archivist at the Hauptstaatsarchiv told us about it. They have a small collection of Heimatbuecher, Ortsippenbuecher, family genealogies, and general reference books including 'Germans to America', plus they have files of genealogies submitted by members over the years. One member working there was an American who's lived in Germany 20 years, so we pumped him for information. One of the researchers using the library turned out to be related to me, so we spent the evening with him and he loaded us up with photocopies and floppies. This library is only open 5.5 hours per week and is very small, so get there early.

Wuerttemberg State Archives

Hauptstaatsarchiv, Konrad Adenauer Str. 4, D-70173 Stuttgart
Hours: Mon-Thu 0830-1645, Fri 0830-1545

Although we got lots of help from the archivist, there didn't seem to be much here for us (did we miss something?). They have a card index to the Wuerttemberg emigration files kept at Ludwigsburg, but you'd have to go to Ludwigsburg to see the records. They keep military records here at the Hauptstaatsarchiv, but you have to know the unit in which your ancestor served to find the records.

Baden-Wuerttemberg Map Office

Landesvermessungsamt Baden-Wuerttemberg, Postfach 10 29 62, D-70025 Stuttgart
street address: Buechsenstr. 54, D-70174 Stuttgart
Phone: 0711 123-2831 FAX: 0711 29 52 82
Hours: Mon-Thu 0830-1230 & 1330-1600, Fri 0830-1230

This map office sells modern as well as reproductions of old maps of Baden & Wuerttemberg, the scales, dates, and prices of which vary so much I can't summarize here. A good map is a must, so stop by here and get some, or look for them at some of the bookstores in Stuttgart. It's also possible to order maps by mail, but shipping to the US would certainly cost more than the maps themselves. For general use, I bought the RV Verlag Auto Atlas, 1:200,000. You can buy this in just about any bookstore for about 30DM, or buy it in the US from Genealogy Unlimited for $30.

Visit to the Ancestors' Towns

We had been to our towns in 1993 while on a bike tour, but this time we were going to see if we could buy Heimatbuecher. We took the Strassenbahn (street car, buy the day pass for 16DM, good for a group of 4) to Gaertringen, and found that the Mayor's office, of all places, sells the book for 38DM! Then we took the Strassenbahn to Boeblingen, and stopped there for lunch and a visit to their library (more Heimatbuecher!). Then we took a bus to Weil im Schoenbuch, and bought a copy of the Heimatbuch in the library (33DM). Then the librarian, who was so excited she couldn't stop talking, called a local genealogy expert, who suggested we go to the emigration archives in Ludwigsburg, etc. For those who can't go to their ancestors' towns, you could write to the Stadtverwaltung (city administration) office of your town to ask if you can buy a Heimatbuch or Ortsippenbuch, how you can pay, etc. Like the maps, however, the postage will be exorbitant, so you'll want to be sure about the purchase before you order.

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Last updated: June 18 2006 23:51:08.