Schwaben, or "Swabia" in English, is one of the 7 regions of Bavaria. It lies in the southwest area of the State. Swabia has a very rich cultural and architectural history that spreads far beyond its borders in modern-day Bavaria.

Swabia was settled in the third century by the Germanic Suebi and Alemanni tribes and the area was known as "Alamannia" until the eleventh century. In the ninth century Swabia became one of the five stem duchies of medieval Germany and at that time its boundaries (which claimed Alsace in France and part of Switzerland) far exceeded those of the region in present-day. The municipalities of Augsburg, Ulm, Schw�bisch Gm�nd, Reutlingen, and Ravensburg (among others) obtained the status of free imperial cities by 1300. The main cities of Swabia accepted the religious Reformation in the 1500's, but places in the countryside have remained divided between the Catholics and Protestants up to today.

In the seventeenth, eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, many Swabians migrated to areas in the Austro-Hungarian and Russian Empires. The Danube River, or Donau, was the most frequently used means of transportation for this migration and these groups of people became known as the "Donauschwaben". After World War II many also fled to Germany and Austria or emigrated to North-America and elsewhere.


Der Bezirk Schwaben - The official website for the District of Swabia.


For Catholics, the Archiv des Bistums Augsburg is responsible for most of the area of Schwaben (also see note below):

Archiv des Bistums Augsburg
Hafnerberg 2/II
86152 Augsburg

Tel. 0821/3166-411 bzw. -418
Fax 0821/3166-419

E-Mail: [email protected]

LUTHERAN records for ALL of Schwaben can be requested here:

Landeskirchliches Archiv, Kirchenbucharchiv
Am �lberg 2
93047 Regensburg
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.


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 (Adressb�cher)
Apprentice Lists (lehrlingsb�cher)
Census Returns (Volksz�hlungen)
City Chronicles (Stadtchroniken)
City Directories (Adressb�cher)
Citizenship Lists (B�rgerb�cher)
Court Records (Gerichtsprotokolle)
Emigration Lists (Auswanderung register)
Family Books (Ortssippenb�cher)
Family Registers (Familienregister)
Funeral Sermons (Leichenpredigten)
Grave Registers (Grabregister)
Guild Books (Gilderb�cher)
Land Records (Grundb�cher)
Lineage Books (Geschlechterb�cher)
Newspapers (Zeitungen)
Parish Registers (Kirchenb�cher)
Police Registers (Polizeiregister)
Probate Records (Testamente)
Tax Records (Steuerb�cher)
Wills (Testamente)

The Staatsarchiv houses documents that originated anywhere within Schwaben 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.

Additionally, to look for municipal-type archives in Schwaben, visit this webpage:

Scroll down the page and look for the words: "Regierungsbezirk Schwaben".

The Standesumter (civil registration offices) only began taking vital records (birth, marriage and death) after 1 Jan. 1876. Records created for an event which took place after the date above are only accessible to direct descendants. For example, a person would be able to obtain records for their parents or grandparents but not for aunts, uncles or cousins or great aunts or uncles, etc.

For people with ancestors from Schwaben for whom this applies, contact the appropriate Standesamt (usually located at the same place as the Rathaus - city hall) for wherever they lived. The location information for the Rathaus can usually be found on the town website or by checking meineStadt Bayern.


People who live IN Bavaria today are not allowed to access the LDS filmed records while in Bavaria. This is due to a data protection law. Such people need then to personally conduct research for the same documents at a Staatsarchiv or religious archive in Bavaria, as applicable. However, the data protection law in regard to the LDS films does not apply to people who live outside of Bavaria. For example, people who are in the United States ARE allowed access to records filmed by the LDS as well as being allowed to visit and research on their own or pay someone to conduct research on their behalf at any of the Bavarian Staatsarchives.

You can see what the Latter Day Saints (LDS) in Salt Lake City have in the way of information for Schwaben as a whole (you can also do this for individual town of birth and parish names to search for any church records or 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: Schwaben
Leave the "Part of" box empty.
Click the "Search" button.
Click on the resulting hyperlink for "Germany, Bayern, Schwaben".
Browse the subjects for Schwaben (or the name of the town of birth or parish town you entered instead of using "Schwaben"-- if the town name exists in the Catalog).

Note: People with Catholic ancestors from Schwaben will find that all of the Catholic church records for the Diocese of Augsburg have been filmed by the LDS!

Also see the page of this BavariaGenWebsite ( use the drop-down menu at the top of this page or paste the following URL into your browser: ) which deals with the LDS to find out how to use other resources they provide to further your genealogy research.

NOTE: You may be able to locate civil marriage supplements filmed at the Staatsarchiv M�nchen by the LDS if you know the correct location of the Landgerichte �ltere Ordnung (Landgerichte �.O. - court of the old order) and / or the Bezirksamt (district office) location which would have applied to your ancestor at the time he / she married. For example, the Landgerichte �ltere Ordnung for those who resided in the town of Postm�nster in Niederbayern in the 1860's was located in Pfarrkirchen. By looking in the FHL Catalog for "Pfarrkirchen", a marriage supplement can be found for a groom who resided in Postm�nster.

Sometimes the marriage supplements were filed in the FHL Catalog under the headings of "public records", "civil registration", and even "Church records". The LDS have been going through and examining this problem of inconsistency in the filing and will soon be altering all of those records to be found under "public records" in the FHL Catalog.

One way to locate the correct Landgerichte �ltere Ordnung is to look it up here:

"Historischer Atlas des K�nigreiches Bayern"

In SOME cases, Bayern entsteht
lists the Landgerichte �.O. Gemeinden belonged to.

If you do not have many place inquiries, you might ask the Staatsarchiv Augsburg (listed above in the "CIVIL AND PRIVATE ARCHIVES" section of this page). Afterall, this is where all of the actual documents are really kept.

Prior to 1862 there were 214 "Landgerichte", each of which maintained a file of marriage licenses and supporting documents. After 1862 the responsibility for the licenses was given to the newly created 142 "Bezirks�mter". Except in the name of the office of the governing authority, many villages and towns did not experience a location change for the filing of their records. So, you might also try looking up what would have been the correct Bezirksamt location for your ancestor's town at the beginning of the 20th century and use that place name in a "Place Search" in the FHL Catalog. You can find out what the applicable Bezirksamt would have been by looking in:

"Meyers Orts- und Verkehrslexikon des Deutschen Reiches"

by E. Uetrecht. Available on fiche #6,000,000 at all US LDS Family History Centers. This volume, prepared in 1910 and published in 1912, tells about all existing villages, towns, and cities that time); what parish they belonged to, or if they had their own churches; to which various district designations (church, state, military, etc.) they belonged; whether they had train, telegraph, postal services, or how far away they were; presence of market facilities for crops, cattle, etc., population, and a variety of other information. Newer printed volumes are available as reference material at larger public libraries. Also see: How to Use the Meyers Gazetteer.

Points to remember:

1. Most of the marriage supplement records at the FHL and the Staatsarchiv have been cataloged under the Bezirksamt location name. In a handful of cases the records have been cataloged under the Landgericht.

2. The records are sometimes arranged in a confusing order--this occurs when a Bezirksamt inherited records from several Landgerichte and did not ever get them all interfiled with one another. In most cases they did get them interfiled.


Augsburger Patrizier
(For the city of Augsburg only)

Tourism in Swabia 

Genealogy: Donauschwaben

German Genealogy: Danube-Swabians / Donauschwaben

German Genealogy: Donauschw�bische Heimatb�cher

Danube Swabian Association of the USA - Landesverband der Donauschwaben, USA"

Cincinnati Donauschwaben Society

Short History of Suevia (Swabia) - Schwaben

Rulers of Swabia

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