OBERKALBACH, HESSEN, GERMANY
Village of My Berthold & Ullrich Ancestors
GERMAN CHURCH RECORDS
Since civil records of births, marriages and deaths in this part of Germany were begun about 1875, any information needed prior to that year has to be researched in church records. Because the church records for the villages around Oberkalbach have not been microfilmed by the Family History Library in Salt Lake City (except for the transcribed parish records of
Oberkalbach for the years 1654 to 1900), they are not available to order through the Family History Library. The researcher must use other means for getting genealogical information.
You can hire a local researcher. Mr. Clemens Schreiber is well known for his work in the Lutheran Church records. He lives in Schluechtern, where the district Lutherean Church
office is located. If you write to a local parish, you will usually be told to contact Mr. Schreiber. He is almost 80 years old and has done research for many years for many people. He is not online, so must be contacted by snail mail at Bergstrasse 19, D 36381 Schluechtern, Germany. He reads, writes and speaks English. His charges are amazingly reasonable - $7.00 per family group record (typwritten). He also includes in the notes the wording in the church book, godparents and miscellaneous notes made by the recorder. If you write him the name and information about the person with whom you want him to start the research, he will usually send up to 12 family group sheets on that line. He charges an additional $7.00 to cash your check and accepts American bank checks. This is an economical way for you to pay him. DO NOT SEND ANY MONEY BEFORE HE BILLS YOU!
Another option is to go to Germany to research. However, local priests and pastors will not allow you to use the original books because they are so fragile. Most of the LUTHERAN church records of these villages are on microfiche in a central office (Kreiskirchenamt) in Schluechtern. On 4 April 2007, I was in Schluechtern and had the opportunity to view the microfiche of Oberzell and Oberkalbach. If you are able to read the old handwriting and want to do your own research, you can use the microfiche reader (there is only one) for a fee of 3 Euros for a half day. It is a very small office with two desks. There is no reader-printer to make photocopies. To use this office, you should write to Clemens Schreiber a few weeks before your intend to be there and he will make the arrangements for you. He gets very unhappy if people just appear on his doorstep instead of notifying him first!
An additional option is to go to the Lutheran Church Archive in Kassel or the Catholic Archive in Fulda, where the microfilmed copies of the original records are kept. To use the Lutheran Church Archive, one must make a reservation by phone or writing. The hours are:
8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays. There are charges for using the archive. Go to http://www.ekkw.de/archiv/ . Click on Notes for Genealogists and then click on English
You can also request the Archive to do research for you. To do this you must know the ,
name, at least approximate dates of some life events of the ancestor, and an exact village for the archive to search the records. The charges for this are about $18.00 per half hour up to two hours per request, plus a charge for photocopies and postage. The Archive will notify
you of the cost after the research is done and you must send the money before the information is sent to you.
Addresses for some of the village parish offices in the Oberkalbach area.
LUTHERAN PARISH OFFICES
Altengronau or Neuengronau
Breunings, Sterbfritz or Weiperz:
Alte Schluechterner Strasse 16
Am Kirchberg 1
Mottgers, Schwarzenfels or Weichersbach:
Oberzell or Zuentersbach:
Am Glaeserberg 2
CATHOLIC PARISH OFFICES
Altengronau, Jossa, Neuengronau, Oberzell,
Schwarzenfels, Weichersbach or Zuentersbach:
Breunings, Sannerz, Sterbfritz or Weiperz: