German Heritage Societies and Interest Groups

German heritage societies and interest groups can be invaluable for the German researcher. These

 societies can either be specific, such as Germans from Russia or more generalized toward any German-speaking

 area such as the Sacramento German Genealogical Society. Heritage Societies and interest groups are home to experienced and willing volunteers. Be aware though that some societies charge a membership fee, usually to maintain their libraries and other professional services. Some societies offer education through classes or conventions, either online or in-person. Here are a few of the main societies links:

Heritage Societies

  • Germanic Genealogical Society (GGS) offers information, educational opportunities, publications, and association with others researching German roots but not individual ancestral German records. They focus on education through webinar, book sales, publications and an onsite library in St. Paul, Minnesota. 
  • American Historical Society of Germans from Russia (AFSGR) is an educational organization engaged in researching all German Russians from all regions of Imperial Russia. Their headquarters are in Lincoln, Nebraska, where they maintain an onsite and online library for members. They offer research help and education through the individual chapter meetings and at an annual educational convention. 
  • Germans from Russia Heritage Society has its headquarters in Bismarck, South Dakota. They focus on German immigration from Imperial Russia to America, as well as the cultural preservation of those immigrants. They offer research help, annual conventions, research trips and have an onsite library. They also have an online German letter collection that is available to members. 
  • Palatines to America National German Genealogy Society focuses on German immigration to America, but extends from Germany to anywhere that German speakers migrated to and settled, including South America and Russian Empire lands. They offer research help, translation help, online and onsite library and they hold an annual educational convention. 
  • Sacramento German Genealogy Society focuses on helping genealogists discover their German roots by offering lectures, seminars, research assistance, workshops, online publications and an onsite library. Their main focus is on German-American and cultural and historical education of German society.  
  • Foundation for Eastern European Family Historical Studies (FEEFHS) is free and covers all of Eastern Europe, including Germany and ethnic Germans in Eastern Europe such as Austro-Hungary, Poland, Balkans, German Empire, Germans from Russia, and the Russian Empire. They also focus on religious minority groups such as Jewish and Anabaptists. They have easy access to research resources and education by holding an annual education convention, online publications and newsletters. 
  • Deutsche Arbeitsgemeinschaft genealogischer Verbände e V  sees itself as the successor of the "Working Group of German Family and Coat of Arms Associations" founded in 1924, and is the umbrella organization for genealogical and heraldic associations in Germany. There are different member associations for each region of Germany and each are linked on their website. It's aim is to promote content sharing between member associations and help genealogists. This society is located in Germany and the website is in German. 
  • has a list family books by town and region. It has a detailed list of what records would be available in that town or parish, list of surnames, places of death if moved away, as well as a brief history of the town. It is written in German but can be translated by right clicking on the page and choosing "translate to English".

Interest groups

  • FamilySearch community pages
    • say which are available. 
  • Facebook genealogical community pages. 
    • pages

Image attribution;

By Photo by CEphoto, Uwe Aranas or alternatively © CEphoto, Uwe Aranas, CC BY-SA 3.0, 


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