(by Arthur Teschler)
This service is intended to give you placenames, locations, postal codes and other informations on towns and villages in Germany today. I use a database of currently about 50000 entries, based on the 'Postleitzahlenbuch' (post code book) of the German mail service.
Send a message to email@example.com
There are three ways to search:
- prefix search
Give the desired placename on a line
will give several 'Altenberg' as well as 'Altenberga' and 'Altenbergen'
only the first ten letters are used in the search.
This exact search gives additional information on County, Zip, etc.
- substring search
An asterisk (*) may be used to denote ANY arbitrary letter combination
Alt*berg (gives all places starting with 'Alt' and ending with 'berg'
*burg (gives all places ending with 'burg'
substring search is generous about umlauts and German sharp-s
- soundex search
Preceding the query with a '?' switches to soundex mode.
a,e,i,o,u,h,w,y and umlauts are ignored
b,p,f,v are considered equal as well as
(c,s,k,g,j,q,x,z,"s) (d,t) and (m,n)
double consonants are treated as one.
The first letter is kept as given, capitalization matters for the first letter only. The resulting pattern is used for a substring search.
A very short SOUNDEX pattern gives a huge number of matches which sometimes seem to have nothing to do with the entered pattern. Use method 2.) instead
How to interpret the results?
(search line was 'Altenberg')
Altenberg (Erzgeb) GKZ : 14 0 20 010 County : | +---- Dippoldiswalde [DW] Land : +--------- Sachsen ZIP : 01773 Popul : 3595 Locat : 50d45m N 13d44m E Maps : TK25 5248 TK50 L5348 Altenberg (Kr Dillingen a d Donau) Part of: Syrgenstein GKZ : 09 7 73 170 County : | | +---- Dillingen [DLG] RegBez : | +------- Schwaben Land : +--------- Bayern ZIP : 89428 Popul : 989 Locat : (Syrgenstein) 48d39m N 10d18m E Maps : TK25 7327 TK50 L7326 [... and more ...]
The first line gives the official name, with an added description to distinguish it from other places with the same name.
If the place is now part of another town or village this is given in the second line.
GKZ (Gemeindekennziffer) is a number assigned to all municipalities
County (Kreis) gives the County name and the County's automobile license plate designator. Some larger towns are not part of a county, they are 'kreisfrei'
RegBez (Regierungsbezirk) is another administrational unit, usually consisting of several counties. Not all Lands are divided into Regierungsbezirke.
Land is one of the sixteen federal states which make up the Federal Republic of Germany.
ZIP is the new German postal code consisting of 5 digits. If you want to write to the Standesamt or Church usually the ZIP code is enough. For larger towns you'll get a range of ZIPs or the last digit(s) as ?. To get the correct ZIP you need also the street or mailbox number.
Popul gives the number of inhabitants as of 1989.
Locat gives the location in Latitude/Longitude notation. If the Database does not contain the location for the place itself I give the next larger town or the county's capital.
Maps gives the numbers of the 1:25000 (TK25) and 1:50000 (TK50) topographical maps. TK25 are 10'x6' (11x11km) TK50 are 20'x12' (22x22km). The actual size depends on the latitude. But see below on drawbacks.
Search modes 2) and 3) give the matching names only with a preceeding count.
Due to political changes in East-Germany (former DDR) the names of counties in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Brandenburg, Sachsen, Sachsen-Anhalt and Th"uringen are likely to be wrong. I'll put in the actual data as soon as I can get hold of it.
The database contains the locations of only about 15% of the places. Sometimes the county's capital is rather far away. The location is merely given for orientation purposes, do not rely on it. As the map numbers are calculated from the location they may actually denote the neighboring map.
As there is still no common standard to represent European special characters on PC's, Mac's and UNIX-Boxes I give German umlauts as "a,"o,"u and German sharp-s (looks like greek beta) as "s. This is the so called TEX notation. It looks ugly.
I put a size limit of 13kB for each message. Do not try looking for all prefixes 'A' ;-)
Many genealogists do research in what was East-Germany before 1945, which is now Poland, Czech Republic or Russia. The database only contains places in Germany of today. Austria, Alsace-Lorraine and Switzerland are not in the database, either.
Do not add additional descriptions to the placenames like Frankfurt/Main or Linden,Hessen . Just put the plain name on a line and pick out the one you seek.
You may put more than one query in a message and may mix the three search methods, but the response will be cut off at about 13Kb. Put each query on a separate line.
Separate your signature from the query with two dashes (--), if you cannot remove it completely. Otherwise the service will search for places sounding like your eMail adress, name etc. And do not send RTF or HTML formatted Mails. Only raw text messages (ascii) will be accepted.
If you didn't get anything
Is it a German place name? If not you have to try other sources. Is it an area like Rheinhessen,'Bayern, etc? You have to take a map. Are you sure about the spelling? Not? Try method 2) or 3)
Still nothing? Perhaps the place does not exist anymore or is just too small to be mentioned in the 'postal code book'. Or the spelling is totally off.