The article provides information about conditions, restrictions and costs for the use of parish registers.


All parish registers are structured according to the parish name, the year and the occurences (baptism, confirmation, marriage, funeral). Therefore it is necessary to know not only the full name of your ancestor, but also the name of the parish and at least the approximate date of the occurence. Unfortunately there are no general registers (neither analogue nor digital) on baptisms, marriages and funerals.

The Central Evangelical Archives only keep parish registers from Protestant parishes of the former eastern church provinces of Prussia, now belonging to Poland, Lithuania or Russia. For Catholic church registers from the former East German territories, please turn to the Episcopal Central Archives Regensburg (Bischöfliches Zentralarchiv Regensburg, Postfach 110228, 93015 Regensburg).

For comprehensive genealogical researches, please turn first to a genealogical association. You can get the address at your nearest public archives. In preparation of genealogical research we recommend: W. Ribbe and E. Henning, Taschenbuch für Familiengeschichtsforschung (Paperback for family history research), Neustadt a.d. Aisch 1995.



All parish registers generally are available for genealogical and scientific research in accordance with the regulations. In order to protect the originals, only microfiche-reproductions are made accessible in our reading room. As we have enough microfiche-devices, there is no need to make reservations. 

For self-copies from the mirofiches, you will find a coin-operated readerprinter in the Reading Room (each copy is 0.20 Euro).

Important reference material is available in the reading room: Indexes of towns and cities of the former eastern provinces of Prussia, indexes of pastors of the former Prussian church provinces, and important genealogical reference material. Working with parish registers demands a degree of knowledge of the old scripts. Only very limited assistance in reading room can be given. Before your visit, please send us your inquiry to make sure that the records concerning your ancestors are available in our archives. We might also assist you in finding out the name of the parish if only the name of the living or birth place is known.

In using our online index of parish registers, please note that the birth or living place is not necessarily identical with the parish name. Furthermore the administration often changed with regard to both state and church affiliation and towns often have been renamed during history, especially in the 19th and 20th century. 



The use of the parish registers from the former eastern provinces is regulated by the archival law, the use regulations and the church book regulations (see legal bases). Parish registers are subject to the time limitations contained in personal data protection laws.

The following regulations apply to:

  • baptismal records: 90 years
  • funeral records: 30 years
  • marriage records: 70 years
  • confirmation records: 75 years

Parish registers and microfiches are available for use not before the end of these periods. However, individual entries for ancestors in the direct line can be located by our staff, and copies or extracts may be issued.

In order to protect the records in long term, microfiches are provided for use. If you are unable to conduct your own investigations on the premises, it is possible to engage a private company to carry out the necessary work. We will send you a list of research agencies in Berlin on demand. 



Genealogical tesearch in our reading room for private or commercial purpose and the claim of our reference service is subject to fees.

For the use of records in our reading room:

  • for private purpose, daily charge: 9 Euro
  • for professional purpose (remunerated work), daily charge: 35 Euro

For written reference service or supply of copies:   

  • for the first quarter of an hour: 15 Euro
  • for each additional quarter of an hour: 10 Euro

For purposes of authentification:

  • issuing a certified document, each: 8 Euro
  • authentication of a photocopy or transcript, each: 5 Euro

For reproductions from parish registers:  

  • handling fee, per order: 5 Euro
  • copy of a parish single entry: 1 Euro
  • edition of digital copies on CD-Rom (up to 650 MB), per CD-Rom: 3 Euro
  • sending of digital copies by email, each: 1 Euro


Contact us

Evangelisches Zentralarchiv
Bethaniendamm 29
10997 Berlin
Tel.: +49 30 22 50 45 - 20
Fax: +49 30 22 50 45 - 40

Opening Times:
Mon - Thu 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Usage is possible at any time during the hours of operation. Reservations are no longer required.

2022 Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland | Data protection | Legal notice
Publikationsdatum dieser Seite: 2022-06-03