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Regional Research > Germany, after 1989 > Baden-Württemberg

Localization of the federal state (Bundesland) Baden-Württemberg within Germany



Baden-Württemberg is one of the 16 Federal States (Bundesländer) of Germany and is located in the southwest.

Coat of arms

Image:Wappen Land BadenWuerttemberg.png

In May of 1954, the Baden-Württemberg Landtag (legislature) decided on adoption of the following coat of arms: three black lions on a golden shield, framed by a deer and a griffin. This coat of arms had once belonged to the Staufen family, Emperors of the Holy Roman Empire and Dukes of Swabia. The golden deer stands for Württemberg, the griffin for Baden.

Abbildung des Landeswappens mit Genehmigung des Staatsministeriums Baden-Württembergs (Frau Michaela Betz-Conrad) vom 10.10.2003 an den Verein für Familien- und Wappenkunde in Württemberg und Baden e.V. im Rahmen der Darstellung der Geschichte Baden-Württembergs in Verknüpfung mit der Beschreibung des Landeswappens.

National Colors

The national colors of Baden-Württemberg are black and golden.

General Information

Baden-Württemberg is located in the southwest of Germany. It's surrounded in the northwest by the German federal states Rheinland-Pfalz, in the north Hesse (Hessen) and in the east Bavaria. In the west it shares borders with France, in the southwest with Switzerland and in the southeast with Austria.

Capital: Stuttgart
Area: 35,751 qkm
Inhabitants: 10.2 Mio.  (2001) 
Administrative Districts:    4
Counties: 35
Independent Cities: 9
Municipalities: 1,110

(Data: from year ?)

Political Structure

Administrative Districts

Today Baden-Württemberg is subdivided into 4 administrative districts called Regierungsbezirke:

Counties and Independent Cities

The 4 Bavarian administrative districts of Baden-Württemberg consist of 35 counties (Landkreise), 9 independent cities (Kreisfreie Stadt) and 1,100 municipalities (Gemeinden). Due to the territorial division of Baden-Württemberg before the 19th Century, it is today an area with the most cities in Germany. Yet most of the cities are small, only the seven largest cities have more then 100,000 inhabitants.


Baden-Württemberg's current administrative structure:

Counties Independent cities
County Alb-Donau-Kreis Baden-Baden
County Böblingen Freiburg im Breisgau
County Biberach Heidelberg
County Bodenseekreis Heilbronn
County Breisgau-Hochschwarzwald   Karlsruhe
County Calw Mannheim
County Emmendingen Pforzheim
County Enzkreis Stuttgart
County Esslingen Ulm (Donau)
County Freudenstadt
County Göppingen
County Heidenheim
County Heilbronn
County Hohenlohekreis
County Karlsruhe
County Konstanz
County Lörrach
County Ludwigsburg
County Main-Tauber-Kreis
County Neckar-Odenwald-Kreis
County Ortenaukreis
County Ostalbkreis
County Rastatt
County Ravensburg
County Rems-Murr-Kreis
County Reutlingen
County Rhein-Neckar-Kreis
County Rottweil
County Schwäbisch Hall
County Schwarzwald-Baar-Kreis
County Sigmaringen
County Tübingen
County Tuttlingen
County Waldshut
County Zollernalbkreis

Church Structure

About 47 % of the inhabitants are Roman-Catholics (römisch-katholisch), 46 % are protestant (evangelisch-lutherisch). Around the city of Stuttgart and in the area called mittlerer Neckarraum (middle part of river Neckar) the population is dominantly protestant, in the area called Oberschwaben and in the Schwarzwald (Black Forest area) the population is mainly roman-catholic.




  • Erzbistum Freiburg Archbishopric Freiburg
    This archbishopric was founded in 1827 and consisted of the former lands Baden and Hohenzollern. Its the second-largest diocese in Germany.
  • Bistum Rottenburg-Stuttgart Bisophric Rottenburg-Stuttgart
  • Bad Wimpfen, as a former part of Hesse belongs to the Bisophric Mainz


History of Baden

In the 12th century, the Zähringer family, who had been margraves of Baden since 1112, owned counties in Breisgau and in the Ortenau, the stronghold of Baden-Baden (Baden-Baden was formerly called simply "Baden"), plus Backnang and Besigheim. In the 13th century, they had acquired Pforzheim, Durlach, Ettlingen and Alt-Eberstein. Further territorial additions and strict administration turned Baden into a considerable state by the 15th century. The division of 1535 brought about the emergence of two smaller states, Baden-Baden, of the Catholic line, and Baden-Durlach, of the Evangelical line. Karl Friedrich (1738/46-1811) reunited Baden in 1771 and inaugurated countless reforms in accordance with the principles of Englightened Despotism. In league with France, he achieved expansion of Baden from 3600 square kilometers with about 175,000 inhabitants in 1803 to 15,000 square kilometers and almost a million inhabitants in 1810.
The new Grandduchy of Baden (after 1806) received a new government and administrative organization and in 1810, land reform after the French model. The constitution of 1818 and elective legislature were models for early German constitutionalism. The lower chamber was virtually a school for the Liberal-Nationalist movement. In April and September of 1848 it came to rebellion under the leadership of the Left (F. Hecker, G. Struve) and in May of 1849, with the installation of a republican regime, it came to revolution, which Prussian troops had to put down. After the period of reaction, the "New Era", 1860-66, brought an attempt to form a liberal, parliamentary regime (Ministers Lamey, Roggenbach). In 1866 Baden turned back to constitutional ways (Ministers Mathey, Jolly), under Friedrich I (1856-1907) and Friedrich II (1907-18), who reigned with the benefit of Nationalist and Liberal support.
In 1870-1, Baden actively participated in the founding of the new German Empire. The cultural struggle, which lasted until the First World War, reached its peak in the years 1864-76. The great bloc (1905-17) of Liberals, Democrats and revisionist Socialists rose against the Zentrum (Center, the strongest party after 1905).
The constitution of 1919 resulted in annual election of a member of the regional parliament to the state presidency, at the head of the regime (of Baden). Until 1929 the presidency was held by the Zentrum (strongest party), the Socialists and the Democrats.
1939 brought World War II. In 1940 an administrative union between Baden and Alsace, which had been similarly governed since 1933, was formed. In 1945, the north half of Baden came under American jurisdiction, the south under French occupation. In the autumn of 1945 followed, based on American arrangements, the formation of Württemberg-Baden. The south constituted itself as Baden. As a result of the referendum of December 6, 1951, Baden was absorbed into the new state of Baden-Württemberg on April 25, 1952.
Thanks to Rick Heli and James Blain.

History of Württemberg

First recorded in 1081, Württemberg emerged as a political power out of the holdings of the Herren (Lords) von Wirdeberch in the area of the middle Neckar and the Remstal. After 1198 they profited from a dispute between the Staufers and the Guelphs and the collapse of the Hohenstaufen dynasty in the mid-13th century. They acquired a considerable amount of the Staufer territories. This circumstance brought them into conflict with the Habsburgs.
In the late middle ages they strengthened their position and became the most important territorial power in Southwest Germany. Among other acquisitions was the Grafschaft Moempelgard (Montbeliard); it remained until 1801.
The family divided with one branch residing in Stuttgart and the other in Urach this weakened them and they lost their political influence. This period ended in 1482 when Graf Eberhard the Bearded, im Barte, who reigned 1459 to 1496, reunited the two parts. In 1496 Württemberg was elevated to an imperial fief, the Herzogtum Württemberg and Teck (Duchy of Württemberg). From 1520 to 1534 Württemberg was occupied by the Habsburgs. This ended with the return of the outlawed Herzog Ulrich who had reigned in 1498-1503 and 1519. Upon his return he reigned from 1534 to 1550 though Württemberg remained a fief of Habsburg until 1599.
After the French revolution was a time of radical changes in both the territorial and political situation in Europe. Württemberg, which had been ruled by Herzog Friedrich II since 1797 in a absolutist manner, gave its support to Napoleon. It was one of the states which formed the Confederation of the Rhine under the protection of Napoleon (Rheinbund 1806 to 1813). Württemberg was rewarded by elevation to the position of a sovereign kingdom as well as a sizable increase in its territory. Among the additions were Heilbronn, Hohenloher Ebene, Ellwangen, Ulm, Rottweil, parts of Oberschwaben, the Allgaeu and the "vorderösterreichischen Lande", parts of Austria. This increased the number of inhabitants from 650,000 to 1,340,000.
In 1816 Württemberg became a member of the Deutschen Bund and a member of the Deutschen Zollverein since 1834. The attempt of King Wilhelm I, who reigned from 1816 to 1864, to give Württemberg a modern constitution failed initially, due to the resistance of the estates, but succeeded in 1819. After the suppression, in 1849, of the March Revolution of 1848, the royal government returned to a system of reaction. Württemberg formed a loose coalition with Habsburg against Prussian but became in a member of the Deutschen Reich in 1871.
The last two decades of the 19th century were distinguished by increasing disputes between the newly formed Centre and Social Democratic parties and the question of the right to vote and a reform of the parliament.
In 1918 after WWI the Republic of Württemberg was proclaimed and in 1919 a new democratic constitution come into force. The government was formed by a coalition of moderate parties. In 1933 Württemberg was "gleichgeschaltet", unified, as were all the German states.
After WW II Württemberg was separated into two occupied zones, the American zone of Württemberg-Baden (the northern part including the Stuttgart area) and the French zone of Württemberg-Hohenzollern (the southern part). As a result of a referendum held on the Dec. 6th 1951 both zones and the French zone of Baden were merged into the state of Baden-Württemberg .
Thanks to Celia Mitschelen and Harm Rieper.

History of Baden-Württemberg

Moves during 1918 and 1919 towards a merger of Baden and Württemberg remained unsuccessful. In 1945-47 the occupying powers created the lands Württemberg-Baden (US zone), Württemberg-Hohenzollern and (South-)Baden (both in the French zone).
The Basic Law of 1949 established the new German Federation which would have had jurisdiction over the question and the power to decide the fate of the lands. To avoid this and keep their fate in their own hands, the three lands agreed to a trial vote, held on September 24, 1950. The result saw a strong majority in favor of a combined "South-West-State", but in the regions of the former Baden, a small majority in favor of the pre-war borders.
Thus, on December 6, 1951, under Federal law, a referendum was held in four voting districts (North Baden, South Baden, North Württemberg and South Württemberg-Hohenzollern) resulting in 69.7% in favor of the South-West-State (but in South Baden, 62.2% in favor of the old setup). Thereupon the Federal state of Baden-Württemberg was founded on April 25, 1952 with its capital at Stuttgart.
Thanks to the Translation Team

Historical Political Structure

see here: Baden-Württemberg, Maps

Genealogical and Historical Societies

Genealogical Societies

  • Landesverein Badische Heimat e.V., Ausschuß für Familienforschung, Heilbronner Str. 3, D-75015 Bretten
  • Albert Metzler Kreis der Familien- und Heimatforscher Heidelberg
    Meetings every 2nd Wednesday of the new month in the restaurant "Hutzelwald", Gaisbergstr., Heidelberg. Opening at 20.00 Uhr at the second Wednesday of every new month.
  • Arbeitskreis Familienkunde of the VHS Leutkirch
    At 14.00 Uhr in the Torhaus Room "B", D-88299 Leutkirch/Allgäu. Appointed days: Saturdays
  • Genealogenkreis Schorndorf
    Two meetings in the semi-annual of winter in the VHS Schorndorf. Organisation by Mrs Heide Kraiss, Phone (07181) 74335.
  • Gruppe Familien- und Wappenkunde (GFW) in der Stiftung Bahn-Sozialwerk (BSW), Bezirksgruppe Stuttgart
  • Genealogical Association for English Speaking Researchers in Europe (GAESRE), Röntgenstr. 4, D-68789 St. Leon-Rot, Germany

Historical Societies

  • Verein für württembergische Kirchengeschichte
    Geschäftsstelle: Gaisburgstr. 4 (Landeskirchliches Archiv), Postfach 10 13 42, D-70012 Stuttgart
    The aim of this Society is the research of the history of the Church of Württemberg, the art history of the church and the historical culture related to the regional church history. Also the research and conservation of documents and monuments of the local and regional church history. The society is one of the editors of the Baden-Württembergischen Pfarrerbuchs.
  • Württembergischer Geschichts- und Altertumsverein
    Konrad-Adenauer-Str. 4, D-70013 Stuttgart
  • Geschichtsverein Markgräflerland e.V. (Historical society of the Markgräflerland)

Other Associations and Societies

  • Schwäbischer Heimatbund
    Weberstr. 2, D-70182 Stuttgart, Email:
  • Karpatendeutsche Landsmannschaft Slowakei e.V., Stuttgart
    Karpatendeutsche Kulturwerk Slowakei e.V., Karlsruhe. Joint homepage

Genealogical and Historical Documents

Genealogical Documents

Church Records

  • The church records of the evangelical Regional Church of Württemberg are in general still in the particular vicarages. The duplicates of the church records (1808-1875) as well as microfilms of most of the church records are in the Landeskirchlichen Archiv at Stuttgart (cf. the chapter archives).
  • At the evangelical Regional Church archive at Karlsruhe are about 670 church records from 117 parishes.
  • Duplicates of church records 1810-1870 for all parishes in Baden of the today's administrative district of Karlsruhe are in the Generallandesarchiv Karlsruhe.
  • Duplicates of church records for the administrative district of Freiburg can be found in the Public Record Office of Freiburg.
  • Catholic church records and duplicates of church records (since 1870) are in the archiepiscopal archive in Freiburg.
  • Catholic church records in the archive of the diocese Rottenburg, see Archives


Genealogical Literature

  • Publications of the VFWKWB. Unit publications and serveral series.
  • Ortssippenbücher
    Family books of villages and parishes. The Ortssipenbücher of Baden and Württemberg are available in several libraries, e.g. in the library of the Vereins für Familien- und Wappenkunde and at the Landeskirchlichen Archiv, both located in Stuttgart. You may ask for availability and further information at: Interessengemeinschaft Badischer Ortssippenbücher Albert Köbele Nachfolger Leitung: Klaus Siefert, Beim weißen Stein 29, 77933 Lahr-Dillingen, Germany, Email: The Ortssippenbücher of Württemberg are in general available by the authors and the corresponding villages.
  • Neues Württembergisches Dienerbuch
    compiled by W.Pfeilsticker, vol. 3: Registers of persons and locations, corrections and improvements. Reprint of the edition Stuttgart 1974. DM 258,-. Lithos-Verlag, Stuttgart. by: Antiquariat Steinkopf, Marienstr. 3, D-70178 Stuttgart, Tel. (0711) 2264021
  • Württembergische Familienstiftungen
    Ferdinand Faber, 4 volumes+supplement, in all 33 numbers Kirchenregister von 1721
  • Evangelische Theologen in Württemberg von der Reformation bis 1721, 990 Seiten.
  • Veteranen-Chronik der Krieger Badens 1792-1815
    Names, occupation, residence, summary of war events. Karlsruhe 1843.
  • Veteranen-Chronik der Veteranen, die in württembergischen Diensten Feldzüge mitgemacht
    Names, occupation, residence, summary of war events 1792-1815. Cannstatt 1840.
  • Veteranen-Appell in Württemberg
    before Kaiser Wilhelm II on December 04, 1910.

Lists of Church Records

  • Hermann Franz: Die Kirchenbücher in Baden
    Inventories of the non-state-controlled archives in Baden-Württemberg, No.4 (3rd edition Karlsruhe 1957).
  • Dr. M. Duncker: Verzeichnis der württembergischen Kirchenbücher
    2nd edition 1938. A reprint with supplements (table of contents, wastes of church records in the periode 1939-1945, temporary affilation of a vicarage to another parish) has been published by the Varia-Verlag.

Historical Literature

  • Heyd, Wilhelm: Bibliographie der württembergischen Geschichte. 1895-1974 (11 Bände). Fortgesetzt von Theodor Schön, Otto Leuze, Heinrich Ihme, Wolfgang Irtenkauf. Lautenschlager, Friedrich: Bibliographie der badischen Geschichte. 1929-1984 (9 Bände). Fortgesetzt von Werner Schulz.
  • Bernhardt, Walter und Rudolf Seigel: Bibliographie der Hohenzollerischen Geschichte. 1975.
  • Landesbibliographie von Baden-Württemberg. Hrsg. durch die Kommision für geschichtliche Landeskunde Baden-Württemberg in Verbindung mit den Landesbibliotheken Karlsruhe und Stuttgart. 1978-2001 (18 Bände, wird fortgesetzt) Online-Version

Gazetteers and Maps


NOTE: all are in German language

  • Das Land Baden-Württemberg, Official Description by districts and municipalties, 8 volumes. Ed.: Public archive administration Baden-Württemberg. Publisher W.Kohlhammer, Stuttgart, 1974-1983.
  • Württemberg - The Kingdom, A description by districts, Oberämtern and municipalties, 4 volumes. Stuttgart, 1904-1907.
  • Beschreibung der einzelnen württembergischen Oberämter, published by the royal statistical-topographical bureau. 1st edition 1824-1884, partially a 2nd edition has been published.
  • J. Bader: BADENIA orDas badische Land und Volk (1839-1844)
    The 3-volumes work contains the description and history of the various badenian landscapes, the remarkable cities and villages, the former cloisters, citadels and hill-castles. The complete inventory of all about and in Baden published writings, books of plates and maps has to be emphasized. Local sciences with cards, lithographies and national images.
  • H.J.Pauli: Ortsverzeichnis Baden
  • List of villages in Hohenzollern.
  • List of cities, villages, ... in the former kingdom of Württemberg.


  • 1519-1556, Territorialstaaten auf dem Gebiet des heutiges Deutschlands  (1.727 KB;  2 Maps)
    Former sovereign States on the territory of current day Germany, 1519-1556
    (1. Map):  Deutschland zur Zeit Karls V., 1519-1556, (Germany in the times of Emperor Karl V., 1519-1556)
    see here: Baden and Württemberg and other secular and ecclesiastical holdings
    (2. Map):  Die Kreiseinteilung des Reiches seit dem 16. Jhr. (Hlg. Römisches Reich Deutscher Nation), the subdivision of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation, since the 16. Century.
    see here: Schwäbischer Kreis
  • 1789, Historical Map of South-West Germany - Northern part
    (very good and detailed map, showing many of the former separate entities of current day Baden-Württembeg, e.g. Herzogtum Würrtemberg (Duchy), territories of former Freie Reichstädte (free Imperial Cities), and other secular and ecclesiastical holdings etc.
  • 1789 - Historical Map of South-West Germany in 1789 - Southern part
    (very good and detailed map, showing many of the former separate entities of current day Baden-Württembeg, e.g. Markgrafschaft Baden (Margravate), Herzogtum Würrtemberg (Duchy), Fürstentum Hohenzollern (Principality), territories of former Freie Reichstädte (free Imperial Cities), and other secular and ecclesiastical holdings etc.
  • Landesvermessungsamt Baden-Württemberg,
    P.O.Box 10 29 62, D-70025 Stuttgart, Phone (0711) 123-2831 (dial through of the maps sales department) There one can also get the register Gemeinden und Gemeindeteile in Baden-Württemberg, Edition 1994, with approximatly 7300 place-names together with the district the place belongs to today.
    Map of Baden from 1771 as a survey (51 KB) or large (584x900 Pixel 212 KB!). Map of Württemberg from 1789 as a survey (60 KB) or large (1252x1754 Pixel 393 KB!)

Archives and Libraries

State Archives

  • Generallandesarchiv Karlsruhe, Nördliche Hildapromenade 2, D-76133 Karlsruhe
  • Hauptstaatsarchiv Stuttgart, Konrad-Adenauer-Str. 4, D-70173 Stuttgart
  • Staatsarchiv Freiburg, Colombiastr. 4, D-79098 Freiburg
  • Staatsarchiv Ludwigsburg, Schloß Ludwigsburg, Schloßstr. 30, D-71634 Ludwigsburg
  • Staatsarchiv Sigmaringen, Strohdorfer Str. 11, D-72488 Sigmaringen
  • Staatsarchiv Wertheim, Bronnbach 19, D-97877 Wertheim
  • Hohenlohe Zentralarchiv, Neuenstein - Schloß, Neuenstein/Württemberg

Ecclesiastical Archives

Evangelical Lutheran

  • Evangelisches Landeskirchliches Archiv, Blumenstr. 1, D-76133 Karlsruhe
  • Landeskirchliches Archiv der Evangelischen Landeskirche in Württemberg, Balingerstr. 33/1, 70567 Stuttgart-Möhringen, Tel. (0711) 2140-254

Roman Catholic

  • Erzbischöfliches Archiv Freiburg, Herrenstr. 35, D-79098 Freiburg
  • Bischöfliches Ordinariat, Diözesanarchiv, Bischöfliches Palais, Eugen-Bolz-Platz 1, D-72108 Rottenburg. (cf. Information zu Kirchenbüchern im Diözesanarchiv Rottenburg)

Archives of religious communities

Archiv der Herrenhuter Brüdergemeinschaft, Zinzendorfplatz 3, D-78126 Königsfeld, Phone (07725) 93820

Private Archives

Historisch-Demographische Dokumentationsstelle für Südwestdeutschland. Prof. Dr. Burkhart Oertel, Brunhildenstr. 4B, D-85579 Neubiberg, Phone (089) 6015316

Archives in Germany

  • Deutsche Archive im Internet German archives in the Internet
    Overview of the Deutsche Archivschule Marburg (German School of Archiving, Marburg), with links to the categories:
    • Regional archive portals and: State Archives (Staatliche Archive) - Municipality archives (Kommunalarchive) - Ecclesiastical archives (Kirchliche Archive) - Literature archives (Literaturarchive) - Economical archives (Wirtschaftsarchive) - Archives of Parlaments, political parties and associations (Parlamentsarchive, Archive politischer Parteien und Verbände) - Archives of universities and other institutes (Universitätsarchive, Archive sonstiger Institutionen) - media archives (Medienarchive).


  • Library of the Vereins für Familien- und Wappenkunde in Württemberg and Baden
  • Württembergische Landesbibliothek Stuttgart, Konrad-Adenauer-Str. 8, D-70173 Stuttgart
  • Badische Landesbibliothek Karlsruhe, Erbprinzenstraße 15, D-76133 Karlsruhe
  • Library in the Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen, Charlottenplatz 17, D-70173 Stuttgart


Ethnology and Local History



  • Emigration waves - Emigration from Wuerttemberg a documentation in German, from the Statearchiv of Stuttgart and the Generallandesarchiv Karlsruhe
    (offical emigration site of the Hauptstaatsarchiv Stuttgart) See the library catalogue of the genealogical society Vereins für Familien- und Wappenkunde, No. G001-G170. From this as an example: Schenk, T.; Froelke, R.; Bork, I.: The Württemberg Emigration Index, Vol. I-V, Ancestry Incorporated, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA. (Catalogue-No. G005/1-5)
  • Passenger lists of the harbour of Hamburg (1850-1934)
  • Germans To America, List of passengers arriving at U.S. ports, Hrsg. Ira A. Glazier, P. William Filby.

Regional Food

Regional Landscapes


(Family History Centers of the Church of Latter Days Saints (Mormons))
In Baden-Württemberg in Stuttgart and in Karlsruhe. For the addresses, see FHC's addresses in Germany, Austria and Switzerland


Genealogical courses and similar. Organized by several Volkshochschulen (VHS). Talks in genealogical associations and societies see there.
Professional Researchers Announcements of professional researchers can be found for example in the Familienkundlichen Nachrichten published by Verlag Degener.
Regions of settlement today

Internet Links

Official Websites

Genealogical Websites

Genealogical Mailinglists

  • Closed mailing list of the Verein für Familien- und Wappenkunde in Württemberg und Baden e.V. (Association of Family and Heraldic Researchers in Württemberg and Baden). Language: German
  • Mailingliste
  • BADEN-WURTTEMBERG-L Rootsweb Mailing list for Baden, Hohenzollern and Württemberg. Language English
  • Black Forest Seiten (Englisch)
  • WWW pages for Ancestors and Heraldic Reseachers by J. Ramsperger.

Miscellaneous Websites

Administrative Districts in federal state Baden-Württemberg

Freiburg (Administrative District) | Karlsruhe (Administrative District) |
Stuttgart (Administrative District) | Tübingen (Administrative District) |

Personal tools
In other languages