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Research Access & Background Information
for

LDS Family History Library MICROFILMS
of the

BADEN EMIGRATION INDEX
provided by Carla HELLER* listowner graphic

Last updated 06 January 2008 at 09:20 PST. Excepting graphics, all content created for this page solely by me, unless otherwise cited. Copyright and ownership of the microfilm records herein discussed is held by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS). Content and concept of this Web page is protected under:

©Copyright 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 by Carla Heller.

All rights reserved. May not be reproduced in any form (including use on the Internet or World Wide Web) without permission.


PLEASE NOTE that the information on this Web page pertains ONLY to the BADEN Emigration Index. The German regional areas of Baden, Württemberg and Hohenzollern were formerly completely SEPARATE from each other for centuries. These three regions were only combined for the first time FOLLOWING World War II (post-1945), and have only been known as the modern federal state of "Baden-Württemberg" for the last 56 years.

IF YOU ARE SEEKING EMIGRATION RECORDS ON PERSONS FROM WÜRTTEMBERG RATHER THAN BADEN, please be aware that such records were created separately and independently for each area. If your ancestors' origins are known to have been OUTSIDE of Baden, data on their emigration will not usually be found in the BADEN Emigration Index. The Württemberg Emigration Index is a separate and different resource, and is not discussed in this Web page.

*This information is provided as an introductory reference for amateur family history researchers. All information I have on the subject is presented here. LDS Family History Library microfilm numbers and basic description of the films are taken from the LDS Family History Library catalog, and based on my own familiarity with the films.

WHAT IS THE BADEN EMIGRATION INDEX?

An index is a structured form of list (such as a telephone directory is an index of names and phone numbers). The Baden Emigration Index is a German-language resource which provides basic details of a person's intention to leave the regional area of Baden.

Local regulations required that persons planning to leave Baden visit designated offices in or near their places of residence and request official permission to emigrate. Obtaining this permission was a process which recorded certain information about the potential emigrant's life at the time of his intended departure. These details are of interest to family researchers because they customarily include the name of an emigrant's place of origin---i.e., the particular village, town or city where the ancestor was born or last lived before emigrating. This single piece of information is usually the key to all other foreign ancestral research.

The emigration data in the Baden Emigration Index was compiled from permission-to-emigrate records created throughout Baden. The records primarily cover the 19th century, though earlier and later records are included. Researchers should note that while the Baden Emigration Index may furnish helpful basic information about an ancestor's place of origin, it does NOT contain information about trans-Atlantic ocean voyages (such as that found in ships' passenger lists), nor is it a source of comprehensive genealogical data going back many generations (such as that often found in European church records). Emigration record research is usually only a first step in finding and documenting ancestral origins.

The records of the former emigration authority for the state of Baden are today permanently stored in the Baden general state archive (Generallandesarchiv) in the city of Karlsruhe, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany. The alphabetical INDEX containing data from the records has already been committed to microfilm by the LDS (Mormon) Family History Library. The films are exact photographic reproductions of the ORIGINAL Index, and the filming took place at the Generallandesarchiv itself in Karlsruhe in 1978. The films in the 38-roll series are available for research in local LDS Family History Centers in the United States, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom and most of Europe. Films are loaned to local Family History Centers upon payment of the nominal per-roll loan fee.

CAN'T I JUST CORRESPOND WITH OR E-MAIL THE ARCHIVE IN KARLSRUHE TO REQUEST THIS INFORMATION? WHAT IS THE ADVANTAGE OF UTILIZING THE MICROFILMS OF THIS RESOURCE AT MY LOCAL LDS FAMILY HISTORY CENTER?

Anyone may correspond with the archive in Karlsruhe (by postal mail or e-mail) to request emigration information. Such requests should be sent to the following addresses:

Generallandesarchiv Karlsruhe
Nördliche Hildapromenade 2
76133 Karlsruhe
Germany/DEUTSCHLAND

E-Mail: glakarlsruhe@la-bw.de

Be aware of the following, however:

1) The Generallandesarchiv Karlsruhe receives voluminous requests for emigration information from researchers worldwide. The backlog of these can significantly DELAY the processing of your request.

2) If emigration data is found on your ancestor by the Generallandesarchiv staff, there is a minimum fee of at least $40.00 US to obtain this information (not including any costs for international postage, currency exchange, or bank fees). Especially if you are researching more than one individual, these costs can quickly become prohibitive. (Remember that the amount of information available on a given emigrant will be LIMITED. This is not a comprehensive genealogical resource---just a BASIC index of emigrants' intents to leave Baden.

3) The SAME data in the Baden Emigration Index held by the Generallandesarchiv is ALSO available in the Baden Emigration Index on LDS microfilms. It is usually both less expensive and more expedient to utilize the microfilmed resource in a local Family History Center than to correspond with Germany.

HOW DO I ACCESS THIS RESOURCE THROUGH THE LDS FAMILY HISTORY CENTER NEAR ME?

THE LDS MICROFILMS of the Baden Emigration Index can be researched by visiting a local LDS Family History Center (abbreviated "FHC") near you. "Family History Center" is the designation given to the numerous worldwide branches of the LDS (Mormon) Family History Library, the main facility of which is located in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA. Copies of most circulating microfilms in the Library's collection in Salt Lake City are distributed to any local Family History Center upon request and nominal loan fee payment.

Please note that this and all other LDS MICROFILM resources can only be accessed IN PERSON at your local FHC (or the main Family History Library facility in Salt Lake City). Although certain research aids and the CATALOG of the LDS Family History Library have been made available on the Internet, LDS MICROFILMS themselves are NOT available for viewing "online." LDS microfilms can be researched ONLY on the premises of LDS Family History Centers or at the main Salt Lake City facility.

All loan orders for LDS microfilms must also be placed IN PERSON at local Family History Centers---they are NOT accepted by phone, e-mail or postal mail. Microfilms on loan to a local FHC are stored on-site and do not leave the local FHC during the loan period. (Under most circumstances, the LDS also does NOT make any of its microfilms available for sale to the public.)

To request microfilms, you complete an order form and pay a nominal loan fee for each of the desired film rolls at the time the order is placed. Upon receipt of the requested films by your local branch, you may research them on the branch premises during the duration of the loan period.

To perform a search for an LDS Family History Center location nearest you, please click on this link to the LDS FHC Location Search feature on the LDS Family Search Web site. LDS Family History Center locations may also be found in the white pages of your telephone book under the heading "Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints." Select a local LDS church which lists a Family History Center as part of its facility, and phone for information concerning operating hours and exact location. All LDS Family History Centers are open to the public. It is NOT necessary to be a member of the LDS (Mormon) religious organization to visit or utilize the Family History Library and its resources. Public access to the LDS Library and its branches (FHC's) is free of charge; nominal fees are charged only for the loan of microfilms, other materials which circulate to FHC branches, and for certain services such as photocopying, etc.

CATALOG INFORMATION

Most LDS Family History Library materials are cataloged according to LOCALITY (called "Place" on the online LDS Catalog), with various sub-headings for different information resources which pertain to that locality. The Baden Emigration Index microfilms are cataloged under the following headings (all will cross-reference the same films). Note that the first word(s) shown in each reference indicate the LOCALITY ("Place") heading:

1. Germany, Baden - Emigration and immigration
2. Germany - Emigration and immigration
3. Germany, Baden, Karlsruhe - Emigration and immigration
4. United States - Emigration and immigration
5. Germany, Elsass-Lothringen - Emigration and immigration

TITLE & YEARS OF EMIGRATION COVERED

Note that when looking up the LDS microfilms of the Baden Emigration Index, it is necessary to seek this resource under its proper GERMAN language title. It is not catalogued under an English language name. The title of the Baden Emigration Index on microfilm which the LDS Family History Library uses in its catalog is shown in their library premises computer as "Auswanderer, 17. bis 20. Jahrhundert," which roughly translates as "Emigrant[s], 17th-20th Century." The author is shown as "Karlsruhe (Baden). Auswanderungsamt," which refers to the location of the primary government office which supervised emigration from the region of Baden.

The precise date the earliest records begin is not specified. The greatest number of emigrations occurred in the mid-to-late 1800's, so there is a larger representative number of entries for these years in the resource (though earlier years are included).

WHAT CAN I DO WITH THE INFORMATION I FIND ON AN ANCESTOR IN THE BADEN EMIGRATION INDEX? IF I ALREADY KNOW MY ANCESTOR'S EXACT PLACE OF ORIGIN IN BADEN, WILL I FIND MORE DETAILS IN THE INDEX?

People seeking information on an ancestor often research the Baden Emigration Index to determine the name of the ancestor's EXACT place of origin (i.e., the name of the village, town or city from which the ancestor came), which is usually included in the Index entries. Without knowing this information, it is virtually impossible to find other foreign records about an ancestor's life prior to leaving Germany. Just the awareness that a person was born or lived somewhere "in Baden" is NOT SUFFICIENT for foreign record research to proceed.

Once the exact ancestral village, town or city is known, it is often possible to research separate record resources for that specific locality---such as church registers or civil records created during the ancestor's lifetime. Many of these are available on LDS Family History Library microfilms; others must be researched by writing to the specific record holders in Germany and requesting information.

As most similar materials are, the Baden Emigration Index is a fairly limited resource---it may well provide an important clue for further family research, but should not be expected to contain comprehensive genealogical data on your family. If the name of the ancestral place of origin is already known, family seekers will likely find that research in other types of records from the ancestral locality is far more productive. However, if a researcher still lacks the name of the ancestral place of origin, the Baden Emigration Index may be a very appropriate resource in which to find this information.

IS THE BADEN EMIGRATION INDEX ON LDS MICROFILM A COPY OF THE BOOK CALLED THE "BADEN EMIGRATION BOOK?" WOULDN'T IT BE EASIER JUST TO USE THIS BOOK FOR MY RESEARCH?

The Baden Emigration Index on LDS microfilm IS NOT IDENTICAL TO THE BOOK by Cornelia Schrader-Muggenthaler titled, "Baden Emigration Book" (published by Closson Press of Apollo, Pennsylvania). Ms. Schrader-Muggenthaler's book is a LIMITED enumeration of only 7,000 18th and 19th century emigrants from Baden and Alsace to America. The Baden Emigration Index on LDS microfilm contains many more thousands of emigrant names, extends into the 20th century to the year 1911, and is not limited only to emigrants to North America.

Utilizing only the Schrader-Muggenthaler book for Baden emigration research LIMITS the possibility of finding your ancestor's emigration information---simply because a far larger number of emigrants are included in the microfilmed resource. Many people who have not found an emigrant listed in the Schrader-Muggenthaler book have subsequently located that emigrant in the more comprehensive LDS microfilms of the Baden Emigration Index. For the greatest research success potential, every effort should be made to access the LDS microfilms, either instead of or in addition to the Schrader-Muggenthaler book.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE INFORMATION IN THE BADEN EMIGRATION INDEX AND THAT CONTAINED IN SHIPS' PASSENGER LISTS FROM A TRANS-ATLANTIC OCEAN VOYAGE? AREN'T EMIGRATION AND PASSENGER RECORDS BASICALLY THE SAME THING?

There is an important difference between EMIGRATION records and ships' PASSENGER LISTS, which were created for different purposes. Passenger departure and arrival lists are completely separate from, and not contained in, the Baden Emigration Index. Emigration records DO NOT USUALLY PROVIDE information concerning a person's DEPARTURE, VOYAGE OR ARRIVAL on a European ocean-going ship, because emigration records were usually created well before emigrants left their countries of origin.

Emigration records were made at the time people applied for official permission to leave their areas of residence, such as Baden. People seeking to emigrate visited designated offices located near their homes, usually well before they ever traveled from their home area to a distant sea port. (At the time of applying for permission to emigrate, an individual may or may not have even established a date for leaving the country or selected a sea port for ocean travel.)

The Baden Emigration Index does NOT CONTAIN information about an emigrant's ocean voyage across the Atlantic. It will also NOT usually furnish the exact date an emigrant ancestor boarded a ship, or the name of the European sea port from which they departed. It does not name the vessel traveled on, or the destination port of arrival in the new land. The Baden Emigration Index instead contains information concerning the process of emigration BEFORE AN EMIGRANT DEPARTED from the immediate area of residence in Baden.

For information concerning trans-Atlantic ocean voyage departure/arrival locations, vessel identities and travel dates, researchers should consult PASSENGER LISTS (either those created at the point of departure in Europe, or those created at the point of arrival in the United States or elsewhere). This type of record can be researched at both LDS Family History Centers and the regional branches of the United States National Archives (NARA). For excellent detailed practical guidance on how to access and research immigrant ships' passenger lists, please click on this link to the IMMIGRATION AND SHIPS' PASSENGER LISTS RESEARCH GUIDE Web site authored by Arnie Lang.

WHAT KIND OF INFORMATION DO THE ENTRIES IN THE BADEN EMIGRATION INDEX CONTAIN?

Commonly included information in this resource is the emigrant's name, date emigration permission was applied for or granted, birthdate, and place of birth/residence. Other details which *may* be included in an entry are one or both parents' names, the emigrant's spouse's and children's names (if emigrating as a family), and the intended country of destination. If they were married by the time of emigration, females are generally identified by the surname of their husbands, though maiden names may also be noted as well in a given entry.

Not all entries contain the same, standard information. The AMOUNT and TYPE of information appearing in individual entries in this resource can vary widely, as the index spans roughly 200 years, and the details emigrants were required to supply to the authorities changed over time. You may find considerable information on a particular individual, or very limited details instead.

HOW MANY FILMS ARE THERE, AND WHICH WILL I NEED?

This is a MULTI-FILM (38-roll, 35 mm) series of "card indexes and emigration lists for Baden, Germany to all parts of the world," (per the LDS Library's catalog description). Note that you will likely need to order and research only a few rolls of microfilm in the series, depending on the number of ancestors you are researching, the time of their emigration, and their alphabetical order placement.

In general, the films are of good quality, and most of the data is typewritten or machine-printed, and relatively easy to read. Carefully note individual microfilm roll numbers (and the description of each roll's contents) on the LDS catalog (either on-site in the local FHC or via the online catalog at the LDS "FamilySearch" Web pages) in order to select the appropriate roll(s) for your research. Though the record information is in the original German, it is not necessary for the researcher to have an extensive grasp of that language to interpret information from this resource. (German word lists and dictionaries are available at the LDS Family History Centers.)

HOW DO I KNOW WHICH MICROFILMS TO SELECT?

The film series BEGINS with Film # 1180096 and, as noted, contains an additional 37 rolls with separate identifying numbers. To know which film(s) to view, the researcher must estimate whether an ancestor emigrated from Baden either *before* or *after* the year 1866 (the file is divided using that year as a separation point). In the printed descriptive listings for each film in the series, the notation about film coverage before or after 1866 is written in German: note that "vor 1866" means "BEFORE 1866," while the German notation "von 1866" means "FROM 1866," and choose the period you want accordingly. The films are then in alphabetical order by surname or initial letter of the surname. For example, the first film in the series is for the period *before* 1866, and covers the alphabet from the letter "A" through the surname "DREHER." Subsequent film numbers cover other alphabet letters/time periods.

There are also films in this series of emigration data for persons leaving Baden *after* 1866 (until 1911, the cutoff date for the filming), which are organized either alphabetically by surname and/or according to the location of the emigration office which ultimately processed the application---Baden-Baden, Karlsruhe, Kehl, Altenheim, etc. There are also films in the same series which cover emigration from the separate nearby region of Elsass-Lothringen (the French Alsace-Lorraine), and films which contain some bibliographic material. Carefully check the description and numbers of the available films in the LDS catalog to make sure you are ordering the particular roll(s) which may include the surnames and time period you are seeking. Information about the content of each microfilm is provided in detail onscreen in the catalog---and you may PRINT OUT the details from the screen display to keep and use for your reference.

DO THESE MICROFILMS HAVE TO BE ORDERED?

SOME of the individual rolls of the Baden Emigration Index film series MAY already be on loan to your local LDS Family History Center, if other local LDS Library patrons are currently researching them. These may be immediately available to you (instead of having to be ordered from the main library in Salt Lake City, Utah). Before placing a microfilm order, PLEASE ASK the staff at your local FHC to check the film numbers you wish to order against the film numbers of any microfilms presently on hand, so that you don't needlessly order more copies of the same films. (Films already on loan to an FHC branch may be used by all patrons.) If films must be ordered from Salt Lake City, they are usually received by Family History Centers in the United States within 2-4 weeks from the date they are ordered.

WHAT DOES IT COST TO RENT THE MICROFILMS FOR RESEARCH, HOW LONG MAY I USE THEM, AND WHERE DO I FIND MICROFILM READING EQUIPMENT?

Loan fees for LDS films may vary somewhat from one FHC branch to another (and at the end of 2005, were increased slightly.) It is wisest to check with your FHC for fee details. Film rolls not already on hand at a local FHC branch are sent to it from the main LDS library in Salt Lake City, and the fees charged for film rental usually include a small amount for postage. The usual initial loan period for each film is at least 4 weeks, and they can be renewed (for an additional nominal fee per roll) at least once. Patrons view LDS microfilms within the local LDS Family History Center branches on the microfilm reading equipment available there. The microfilms are stored on the FHC premises for the duration of the loan period.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN IF I CAN'T I FIND MY ANCESTOR'S NAME IN THE BADEN EMIGRATION INDEX? ISN'T EVERYBODY WHO EMIGRATED FROM BADEN INCLUDED?

The most common reason an emigrant does NOT appear in the Baden Emigration Index is that the individual in question may have left Baden without seeking official permission.A considerable number of departing emigrants NEVER requested this permission. Your ancestor may have been among them.

While it was the usual procedure to seek official permission from the local authorities before leaving, many emigrants did NOT. Emigration was not always motivated by positive circumstances. For many, emigration was the only means to avoid obligatory military service, economic hardship, serious diseases, or the ravages of war, revolution, or other compelling situations. Under these kinds of cirumstances, people might not have wanted to "advertise" their intention to leave by applying for formal permission beforehand. If an emigrant did NOT formally apply for permission to leave Baden, no official record would have been created concerning their emigration, and therefore their names and other information will NOT be found in the Baden Emigration Index.

HAVE YOU CONSIDERED DIFFERENT VARIATIONS OR SPELLINGS OF THE SURNAME YOU ARE SEEKING?

Whenever you research ANY resource for ancestral information, remember that the name versions or name spellings under which your ancestors appear may or may not be those you are expecting to find. There are numerous reasons for this.

Many family researchers don't realize that official documents which supply surnames or name a foreign place of origin were NOT often personally filled out by their ancestors. More often, a clerk or public official completed the paperwork, obtaining the information verbally from the person to whom the document pertained. On many official records, the only portion actually written by the ancestor is the signature, if the person was literate. Officials could have easily mangled the original name by scribbling or mistyping it in haste or carelessness, and your ancestor may not have been able to recognize or call attention to errors in a given document. It's common to discover that the version you have for a surname or place name on a document is incorrect or illegible.

Many name variations (or what appear to be 'mistakes') are not the result of an error. A significant number of immigrants modified their names after settling in a new country. Contrary to the popular myth of American immigrants' foreign names being altered upon arrival "at Ellis Island" (or any earlier immigration facility), these changes were more often brought about by the immigrant's OWN needs or preferences over time. Some foreign names were simply too difficult to pronounce for English speakers, and were quickly simplified. Others were altered by employers who found it bothersome to address workers by unfamiliar European names. Many immigrants sincerely wished to quickly "fit in" within their new land, and "Americanized" their names to facilitate the process. Some went so far as to translate their existing names from one language to another, evolving from "Karl RITTER" to "Charles KNIGHT" (the same names in German and English) or equally dramatic changes.

You may be accustomed to spelling your family surname as FRELKEY in the United States. However, in the course of your research, you might be very surprised to discover that the name you spell FRELKEY may have well been FROEHLKE before your earliest ancestor left Germany (and was pronounced just like you say FRELKEY). Even if your family has "always used" the same spelling of a name in the United States, most individuals cannot conclusively establish the original surnames of European ancestors until they can research in foreign records. Don't short-circuit the success of your family quest by rejecting a name variation offhandedly just because the spelling or pronunciation is not what you're used to.