Ahnenstammkartei des deutschen Volkes

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The "Ahnenstammkartei des deutschen Volkes" started in 1922 and ceased to accept new contributions in 1993; it is maintained by the Deutsche Zentralstelle für Genealogie, Leipzig. It is a collection of genealogies of persons and families of Central Europe, mostly German.

In 1991-1992 the Genealogical Society of Utah, Salt Lake City, microfilmed the whole collection and the films are available through LDS/FHC centers except in Germany. This filming contains approximately 2,700,000 personal names on 1219 microfilm rolls.

A second, much smaller filming, made after the collection closed, covered the accessions subsequent to the first filming. This filming contains perhaps 200,000 personal names on 19 microfilm rolls, and is unindexed and unordered. An index of the 153 major family surnames in this collection is available on the FEEFHS Index of Family Surnames from the Ahnenstammkartei Second Filming.

Further information on the Ahnenstammkartei may be found on the FEEFHS Ahnenstammkartei des Deutschen Volkes HomePage.

German Soundex System

The cards are filed by family name phonetically in the "Adreßbuch" system, which tries to collate variant spellings that correspond to the same "root name" using phonetic rules. Different names corresponding to the same root name are interfiled indiscriminately. To convert a name to its root form, use the following rules:

  1. If the name exists in several variants, choose the clearest or shortest form, e.g., Henig for Hennicke and Hennig.
  2. Eliminate all silent letters and diacritical marks, e.g, Mohr becomes Mor, Ziegler becomes Zigler.
  3. Convert double letters to single letters, e.g., Staab becomes Stab, Hebbel becomes Hebel.
  4. Drop any final -e and eliminate -en both within and at the end of a name, e.g., Schulze becomes Schulz, Wolkenrasen becomes Wolkras.
  5. Similarly, eliminate the endings -sen and genitive -s.
  6. Replace ae or ä by e.
  7. Replace aeu or äu by eu.
  8. Replace ai or ay by ei.
  9. Replace Low German oe by u.
  10. Replace oi by eu.
  11. Replace High German oe or ö by o.
  12. Replace ue or ü by u.
  13. Replace y by i.
  14. Replace p by b.
  15. Replace ck, k, g, gh, gk, k, ch, or cz (not initial) by c.
  16. Replace cx, chs, gs, or ks by x.
  17. Replace dt or t by d.
  18. Replace ds, dz, ts, or tz by z.
  19. Replace bf or pf by f.
  20. Eliminate h when it is not pronounced (see 2 above).
  21. Replace j by i.
  22. Replace ph by f.
  23. Replace dsch, dzsch, tsch, or tzsch by sch.
  24. Replace Low German sm by schm.
  25. Replace Low German sl by scl.
  26. Replace v or w by f.

Low German names should be left in their dialectal form, not first converted to their High German form. Foreign and Low German names may require other rules; please see the forward on film number 1799712.3 or the register to the collection. Note that the names listed in the film contents and index below have _not_ been subject to these substitutions, the substitutions are merely used for collation.

Summary of the Phonetic Transformations (LG = Low German)

ä      ->   a         ae     ->   a         äu     ->   eu
aeu    ->   eu        ai     ->   ei        ay     ->   ei
bf     ->   f         ch     ->   c         chs    ->   c
ck     ->   c         cs     ->   c         cz     ->   c
ds     ->   z         dsch   ->   z         dt     ->   d
dz     ->   z         dzsch  ->   sch       g      ->   c
gh     ->   c         gs     ->   x         j      ->   i
k      ->   c         ks     ->   x         ö      ->   o
oe (LG)->   u         oi     ->   eu        p      ->   b
pf     ->   f         ph     ->   f         q      ->   q
sl (LG)->   scl       sm (LG)->   schm      t      ->   d
ts     ->   sch       tz     ->   z         tzsch  ->   sch
ü      ->   u         ue     ->   u         v      ->   f
w      ->   f         y      ->   i

Reading the cards

The Ahnenstammkartei uses the following genealogical symbols:

Summary of Genealogical Symbols

x            birth
~            christening
X            death in battle
o            engagement
oo           marriage
o/o          divorce
o-o          illegitimacy
[cross]      death
[rectangle]  burial

Occupations, religious affiliation, and text words are often abbreviated; these can often be determined from context.

Bg                                       Bürger (citizen)
Jotus                                    Juris consultus (lawyer)
ev.-luth.                                Lutheran
ev.-ref.                                 Reformed
r.-kath.                                 Roman Catholic
menn.                                    Mennonite
[filled triangle standing on its point]  Jewish

Ahnenstammkartei cards are written on both sides. Multicard lineages are numbered with Roman numerals on the right edge. Normally two generations are entered on the front side and three on the back side of a card. Surnames are entered in the upper left-hand corner. Religious affiliation appears in the upper right-hand corner. Source references appear on the right in coded form, usually as a four digit number preceeded by AL (Ahnenliste). Teil (part) II of the Ahnenstammkartei has full pedigrees listed in serial order by AL number. A slash (/) in front of the source code indicates a step ancestor. Supplementary references are given by Arabic numerals near the AL code. All family trees in Teil I start with a female name, except for those of illegitmate fathers, male step ancestors, or males who submitted their own pedigree. Given names appear under the surname and are underlined. The name that a person is called (Rufname) is doubly underlined. The birth and death dates are given under the female name. Marriages and spouses appear after that. More complete usage information is found in the forward in microfilm 1799712.3. In this listing, the Family History Library film number appears as a seven digit number, and the item number, if appropriate, appears after a decimal point.

Publication: Register to the Ahnenstammkartei

Apparently the 1200 reels of microfilm in this collection are also difficult to use because the filming of the records was not done in alphabetical sequence. A 133 page register has recently been published. It is a detailed directory of the microfilm contents (it is NOT an every name index). Using it will allow you to determine the correct film number(s) for each surname you are researching.

Register to the Ahnenstammkartei des Deutschen Volkes by Thomas K. Edlund

Available for $23 U.S. including shipping and handling from:

Germanic Genealogy Society
Dept. H54
:P.O. Box 16312
St. Paul, MN 55116-0312

Contents of films, Part I

638 microfilm rolls; 16 mm; a 617 reel A-Z index, plus 19 reels of six other supporting indices; the index is sorted by names, converted by the rules of the German Soundex System.

Contents of films, Part II

Additional 581 microfilm rolls; 35 mm; microfilmed from manuscripts 1920-. Contents: Numerical listing to the Ahnenlisten (AL) files of the Deutsche Zentralstelle für Genealogie. See Teil I for an index to this collection.


  • Thomas Kent Edlund: Die Ahnenstammkartei des deutschen Volkes: an introduction and register. St. Paul, Minnesota: Germanic Genealogy Society 1995, ISBN 0-9644337-2-9


This article is based on www.genealogienetz.de/lds/AST-ind.html. Original content at the taking-over time into GenWiki you can see here. Comments and editorial remarks can be found on the discussion page of this article.
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