This former maritime province of Germany is situated on the southern Baltic coast. The area was settled by the Slavic tribes Pomorzanie and Polabs in the 5th century AD. German migration into the western and central regions of Pomerania began in the late 12th century. In 1648, Sweden acquired western Pomerania (Vorpommern) by the Treaty of Westphalia, part of which was returned to Brandenburg in 1720. In 1815, Prussia recovered the rest of western Pomerania, thus uniting it with central Pomerania into one province called Pommern. Eastern Pomerania (Hinterpommern) was annexed by Prussia in 1772. In 1919, the Treaty of Versailles created the Polish Corridor, dividing Prussia and leaving part of Pomerania as a German border province with an area of 11,644 sq. miles. In 1945, it was partitioned into two areas separated by the Oder River. Most of the territory west of the Oder River was designated as part of Mecklenburg and thus part of the Soviet zone of occupation, which later became the German Democratic Republic (Deutsche Demokratische Republik), also known as East Germany. Stettin (Szczecin) and the territory east of the Oder River was ceded to Poland. After considering this historical picture, one must be aware that genealogical research in the former province of Pomerania generally follows two sets of rules, one pertaining to research in the former East Germany and one for Poland. Many records for western Pomerania (Vorpommern), as well as some for eastern Pomerania (Hinterpommern) that were originally in the state archive in Stettin, are located in the following state archive:
Some extracts of parish registers for this area have been deposited in Greifswald, but, with few exceptions, they have no original church records.
The original parish registers in the region of the former East Germany are still in the hands of the local parish officials. They belong to that parish and their use is controlled by the rules of those parishes. Inquiries directed to individual parishes may bring results or they may go unanswered, depending on a variety of reasons. Many young pastors are often neither familiar with genealogical methods nor with the old script in which the records were transcribed. If letters of inquiry demand too much, they may be discarded. There is a large area near the Oder River which suffered great destruction during World War II and some of those church records have been lost
Some original church records of eastern Pomerania, as well as duplicate records from western Pomerania have been deposited here:
Landeskirchliches Archiv – Greifswald
Most of the church records there have not been filmed by the Mormons.
For the eastern part of Pomerania, some of the church records are in this archive:
Records for other parishes may be in this archive:
A subunit of the Sächsisches Staatsarchiv. If in doubt as to the correct address, they should be able forward your request to the proper office. They are also able to provide fee-based professional research services.
For some additional Pomeranian genealogical resources on the Web, take a look at the Pomeranian sections of the German Genealogy home page.
In the fall of 2000, a genealogical society for Pomerania was founded:
Pommerscher Greif e.V. Verein für Orts- und Familienforschung
Neue Str. 19
Pommernkontakte is a web-based database of genealogists who are conducting research in Pomerania. It is searchable by surname and lists towns and time periods being researched, as well as the email addresses of the genealogists.
An excellent German-language guide to genealogy in Pomerania on the Web is the Wegweiser für familien- und heimatkundliche Forschung in Pommern.
Selected Information Resources:
Archiwum Panstwowe w Koszalinie
ul. M. Sklodowskiej-Curie 2
Consulate General of Poland
1530 N. Lake Shore Dr.
Chicago, IL 60610-1695
Polish Genealogical Society of America
984 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Chicago, IL 60622
Die Pommerschen Leute
P.O. Box 7369
Burbank, CA 91510-7369
(Pomeranian genealogy newsletter)
Pommerscher Verein – Central Wisconsin
11248 Berlin Lane
Athens, WI 54411
Email: Pommerscher Verein – Central Wisconsin
Pommerscher Verein Freistadt
P.O. Box 204
Germantown, WI 53022
Email: Pommerscher Verein Freistadt
(association of Pomeranian-Americans)
Last modified 12 April 2016 by Alan Furchtenicht