Use the menu below to visit other pages of the Bavaria Gen Web website.
Suggestions for this page should be sent to Joanne Parmley, the Bavaria Gen Web coordinator, at: JOPARMLEY@aol.com.
CIVIL AND PRIVATE ARCHIVES
LATTER DAY SAINTS
Niederbayern, or "Lower Bavaria", poses both difficulties and benefits for the genealogy researcher. As it is largely a rural district that contains no major German city, finding literature about the history of Niederbayern translated into English is a real challenge. A terrible fire at the Landshut Staatsarchiv in the 1960's also, unfortunately, can make the pursuit of civil documents for some people's family tree history backgrounds a problem. On top of that, as of this writing, the Passau Catholic archive (which governs the holdings of many, but not all, ancestral church records for people from Niederbayern) is one of the last Catholic church archives to finish filming their old documents. This means that actual photocopies of old church documents held in Passau cannot be obtained until the filming is complete. Likewise, you will not find any of those religious records to have been filmed by the Mormons in Salt Lake City, USA. You can, however, still obtain the information contained in the records; you just won't be able to obtain photocopies of the actual documents themselves until the filming is complete.
On the other hand, if your ancestors hailed from Niederbayern, the odds are that they were Catholic. When the Lutheran Reformation took hold in other parts of Bavaria, Niederbayern remained steadfastly Catholic, approaching 100% of the population. This is helpful for researchers who might not know what religion their ancestor from Niederbayern was, and thus, where to look for church records. Additionally, a native of Niederbayern enjoys the status of "Altbayern" or "Old Bavarian", one of the three original Bavarian tribes. Most people with ancestors from Niederbayern will also find that territory boundaries for the district have remained largely unchanged over the centuries and that there have been no significant invasions of people of other nationalities either. This is no small blessing if you consider what some other German people have to face when tracing their ancestries!
NOTE: The resources listed below may be in either the German or English language. If you do not know German, you can use an online webpage translator such as http://babelfish.altavista.com/, to give you a basic understanding of the German text on a webpage.
Der Bezirk Niederbayern - The official website for the District of Lower Bavaria.
Landkreisnetz - Use this website to locate various COUNTY websites in Niederbayern, as well as any TOWN websites for Niederbayern that might be available on the web. The town websites especially can be very useful in locating historical information about the exact place your ancestor was from, to make contact with local residents in the area via guestbook entry or contact city administration personnel at the Rathaus (city hall). Some lucky researchers find that Rathaus personnel may go out of their way to put them in contact with distant relatives who still live in the area or search for entries in a Heimatbuch (local history book) or Chronik (chronicle) that mentions the names of their ancestors.
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The Bavarian Genealogy Helper - for Niederbayern - Use this website to find out what parish church your ancestors attended and thereby find out which religious archive to make requests to for Baptism, Marriage and Death records. The website will also tell you what types, and for what years, records for your location should exist.
CATHOLIC religious records for Niederbayern are mostly split between the Diocese of Passau and the Diocese of Regensburg:
Archiv des Bistums Passau
Tel.: 00 49 / 851 / 393 386
Fax: 00 49 / 851 / 393 440
E-mail address for archive Director, Dr. Herbert Wurster: firstname.lastname@example.org
Also see Reinhard Riepl's resource: Kirchenbücher der Diözese Passau im Archiv des Bistums Passau.
Map of Passau Diocese
Some information for those who plan to make requests of the Passau archive, provided by the Director, Dr. Herbert Wurster in 2001:
The Passau archive does not provide photos, foto copies etc., from sacramental registers. They provide certificates only with exactly the information found in the registers. It is time consuming to provide such certificates, therefore they prefer to provide the data processed in a genealogically helpful manner. The archive is currently in the process of scanning the sacramental registers so that clients may be able to obtain actual copies of the register entries in about two year's time (abt. the year 2004), when the program should be completed.
The following is some GENERAL INFORMATION on their procedures:
The sacramental registers of all the parishes of the Passau diocese are in the custody of the diocesan archives.
All genealogical research carried out on private behalf has to be paid for, even if it is without positive result (Even then they do provide a definitive result, because they can definitely tell you if your ancestors have not come from the diocesan area!). For research time they charge EUR 30,- per half hour. They do not expect payment in advance. In most cases they receive checks drawn on a US bank with an establishment in Germany (in order to avoid high money transaction cost).
It might take SEVERAL MONTHS before they will be able to answer in-depth.
They have established a data base covering all the weddings in the extant wedding registers of all the parishes of the modern diocese of Passau before 1900. The ca. 800.000 index entries encompass surnames (of bridegrooms and brides), christian names, place and time of wedding. Therefore they are (among other things) able to determine the existence of families of given names easily.
For data provided by the "Historical Population Database of the Diocese of Passau before 1900" the following charges will be required:
Basic charge: EUR 5,-
District charge: Per parish from which records are obtained from: EUR 1,-
Charges on data sets: Per register datum
from wedding index: EUR 1,00
from wedding register: EUR 5,00
There is an enormous amount of genealogical queries and they do not have enough staff to answer comprehensive research requests as fast as they would like to. In the case of such a request, they ask for your patience.
Other Catholic church records for Niederbayern will be found at the Catholic Regensburg Archive:
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LUTHERAN records for ALL of Niederbayern may be requested here:
Landeskirchliches Archiv, Kirchenbucharchiv
Am Ölberg 2
Tel. and Fax: +49 941 / 52061
NOTE: As of January, 2003. For the Lutheran archive to answer genealogical inquiries they need (as exact as possible) information about name, place of birth or residence and the approximate year of birth, marriage or death of the persons concerned. In general, they only have parish registers ("Kirchenbuecher") until ca. 1876 for persons belonging to the Lutheran church once having lived within the borders of modern Bavaria. Their main office in Nuernberg only keeps records of Nuernberg and its suburbs. Inquiries concerning other places should be sent to the address above. The registers of many parishes however are still kept at the local pastorate. A list of those parishes whose church books are kept in their branch office is available on their website. They may give you, free of charge, information about existing registers and the place where they are kept. They are not allowed to sell or to lend out microfilms or fiches of the originals.
Costs: For genealogical investigations, regardless of their success, they charge Euro 25 or Euro 30 (depending on the degree of difficulty) per half an hour of research (maximum charge: Euro 90), plus postage and other fees. You should confirm this at the time of your request. Extra services such as issuing documents or making copies or photos are to be paid in addition according to their statement of charges. Customers from abroad are requested to send a cheque in advance (currency: Euro). Any information liable to charge may only be delivered by postal letter. Therefore they ask you to give them your postal address when you make your request or inquiry.
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CIVIL AND PRIVATE ARCHIVES
Civil archives and private archives are terrific sources of record documents for the family researcher once he/she has obtained the most genealogically important (baptism, marriage and death) church records for his/her ancestor.
Types of records found in civil and private archives:
Address Books (Adressbücher)
Apprentice Lists (lehrlingsbücher)
Census Returns (Volkszählungen)
City Chronicles (Stadtchroniken)
City Directories (Adressbücher)
Citizenship Lists (Bürgerbücher)
Court Records (Gerichtsprotokolle)
Emigration Lists (Auswanderung register)
Family Books (Ortssippenbücher)
Family Registers (Familienregister)
Funeral Sermons (Leichenpredigten)
Grave Registers (Grabregister)
Guild Books (Gilderbücher)
Land Records (Grundbücher)
Lineage Books (Geschlechterbücher)
Parish Registers (Kirchenbücher)
Police Registers (Polizeiregister)
Probate Records (Testamente)
Tax Records (Steuerbücher)
The Staatsarchiv houses documents that originated anywhere within Niederbayern that needed district or national level approval. Important documents, (including emigration requests, among others) originated at the local level but eventually passed upward to the district level for approval. Therefore, while the lower level archives may contain the petitioner's request, which was passed upward, the Staatsarchiv records also include supporting documents and additional comments and requests that resulted during the processing.
Staatsarchiv Landshut - This website gives information on the specific holdings of this archive which serves all of Niederbayern.
NOTE: In the early 1960's there was a fire at the archive. For certain types of documents useful for family history research (such as Urkataster - property tax records) only records of the counties of Niederbayern beginning with letters of the first half of the alphabet (about A to M) were saved. The second half of the alphabet was at least partially burnt.
Additionally, the Staatsarchiv Landshut has no system in place to entertain paid research requests. They may, out of kindness, allow a person to make an initial request of their archive for free (not including any fees for document copying expenses), providing the person knows exactly what they are looking for. Thereafter, one must either visit the archive in person or hire someone to go there to complete research on their behalf.
City (Stadt) and other private archives in Niederbayern follow.
Stadtarchiv Deggendorf, östlicher Stadtgraben 28, 94469 Deggendorf, Tel.: 0991/31804
Stadtarchiv Dingolfing, Rathaus, 84130 Dingolfing
Stadtarchiv Grafenau, Rathausgasse 1, 94481 Grafenau
Stadtarchiv Kelheim, Alleestr. 1, 93309 Kelheim
Landshut (kreisfreie Stadt)
Stadtarchiv Landshut, Burg Trausnitz, 84036 Landshut
Veröffentlichungen: Herzog, Theo: Landshuter Häuserchronik (Nachdr. d. Ausg. 1957) 1988. 360 S., 6 Skizzen, 8 Taf., Stadtpl. - 23 x 15,5 cm. 760g. (Bibl. fam.-gesch. Quellen 12) 'Degener' Ln DM 64,- fPr (ISBN 3-7686-4121-X)
Landkreis Passau Stadtarchiv Passau, Rathausplatz 2, 94032 Passau, Postfach 2447, 94014 Passau (Postanschrift), Tel.:0851/396255, Fax.:0851/396249, Öffnungszeiten (1997): Di - Do 8.30 - 16.00 Uhr
Stadtarchiv Regen, Stadtverwaltung, Rathaus, 94209 Regen
Landkreis Rottal-Inn (Sitz: Pfarrkirchen)
Graf von Deym, Freiherr von Stritez, Familienarchiv, Oberes Schloß, 94424 Arnstorf
Straubing (kreisfreie Stadt)
Stadtarchiv Straubing, Rathaus, Theresienplatz 20, 94315 Straubing, Postfach 0352, 94303 Straubing
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LATTER DAY SAINTS
You can see what the Latter Day Saints (LDS) in Salt Lake City have in the way of information for Niederbayern as a whole (you can also do this for individual town names to search for other things that might have been filmed by the LDS which would apply to your ancestor) by following these directions:
Do a Place Search in the Family History Library Catalog.
Click on "Place Search"
In the "Place" box enter: Niederbayern
Leave the "Part of" box empty.
Click the "Search" button.
Click on the resulting hyperlink for "Germany, Bayern, Niederbayern".
Browse the subjects for Niederbayern (or the name of the town you entered instead of using "Niederbayern"-- if the town name exists in the Catalog).
Also see the page of this Bavaria Gen website that deals with the LDS to find out how to use many other resources they provide to further your genealogy research.
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A German group's "Genealogische Arbeits Gemeinschaft Bavaria" Internet resource for family researchers with ancestors from Oberpfalz, Oberbayern, Niederbayern and Schwaben, including a German-language mailing list at: http://www.genealogienetz.de/vereine/AG-Bavaria/mailing.html.
Christian Benz's very interesting online version of Regen's regional court physician's report. "Ethnologische Beschreibung - Der königliche Landgerichtsbezirk Regen von 1860" (Ethnology description - The Royal Regional Court of Regen of 1860). Worthwhile reading for people with ancestors from all over Niederbayern and can be translated into English with Altavista's Babelfish Translator. Chapters include: Characteristic in the physical and intellectual constitution of the population of the district (physical and mental descriptions of local inhabitants); General housing conditions; Clothing, Food; Occupations of the inhabitants; Sleeping arrangements; Prosperity; Sanitation; Laundry; Entertainment, celebrations and special habits; Conjugal life; Mental constitution.
Archäologie in Bayern, Region Niederbayern
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