Understanding Your ...

Ancestors in Specific Locations:
Mecklenburg, Germany: Useful Sources and Links for Mecklenburg

The list of books here provides a bibliography for the information included on the Mecklenburg pages. It also makes a great a place to start for doing your own research about the context of your ancestors’ lives. As of now, I haven’t included books focusing on the how-to side of Mecklenburg genealogy. Books that mostly contain information about Western Europe in general are included in the Useful Source and Links for Western Europe page.

The websites section below provides links to further information, including how-to instructions for this area – and for all of Germany. Be sure to try the Records section for help on how to get the most out of the records in this region.


Crepon, Tom. Translated by Patrick Plant. Mecklenburg and West Pomerania: Pictures of a Landscape. Rostock, Germany: Hinstorff, 1998.
Although mostly a book for tourists, the beginning chapters provide some graphic accounts of the Thirty Years’ War in Germany, including some of the quotes about the devastation there and the numbers of people killed in certain villages.

Dodge, Theodore Ayrault. Gustavus Adolphus; a History of the Art of War From its Revival after the Middle Ages to the End of the Spanish Succession War. Boston: Houghton Mifflin and Company, 1895.
Although this book is written from the perspective of the Swedish king, it provides detailed information about the proceedings of the Thirty Years’ War.

Gagliardo, John G. From Pariah to Patriot: The Changing Image of the German Peasant, 1770-1840. Lexington, Kentucky: The University Press of Kentucky, 1969.
In the first chapter, this book sets the stage by describing the condition of peasants and agriculture during this time period.

Harnisch, Hartmut. “Peasants and Markets: The Background to the Agrarian Reforms in Feudal Prussia East of the Elbe, 1760-1807. In The German Peasantry: Conflict and Community in Rural Society from the Eighteenth to the Twentieth Century, Richard J. Evans, and W.R. Lee, editors. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1986, pps. 37-70.
This provides information about many of the Eastern German states. It tells about the serf relationship of laborers and peasants to the nobles and estate owners.

McKay, John P., Bennett D. Hill, and John Buckler. A History of World Societies. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1992.
This provides a concise history of the Thirty Years’ War, including the three phases, its beginning, and other basic information included in the chapter.

Mecklenburg Government. Grossherzoglich Mecklenburg-Schwerinschwer Staats-Kalender, 1848-1880 (Stadtarchiv Neubrandenburg, Germany).
This source provides all the summary information for Mecklenburg, such as death rates and causes and illegitimacy rates.

Paulsen, Friedrich. Translated by T. Lorenz. German Education: Past and Present. London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1908.
This books provides detailed information about the state of education in the 1700s and the changes that took place in the 1800s.

Petschauer, Peter. The Education of Women in Eighteenth-Century Germany: New Directions From the German Female Perspective. Lampeter, Wales: The Edwin Mellen Press, 1989.
In order to tell the female’s story, this book also tells the story of education in general up to the beginning of the 1800s.

Plaul, Hainer. “The Rural Proletariat: The Everyday Life of Rural Labourers in the Magdeburg Region, 1830-1880.” In The German Peasantry: Conflict and Community in Rural Society from the Eighteenth to the Twentieth Century, Richard J. Evans, and W.R. Lee, editors. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1986, pps. 102-128
This describes the living conditions and relationships of rural laborers in Magdeburg, but also in the Eastern German states.

Sagarra, Eda. A Social History of Germany, 1648-1914. New York: Holmes & Meier Publishers, 1977.
This book gives information about the peasantry during the time of the Thirty Years’ War, and describes how peasants in the east became more bound to the land due to the ravages of fighting and the weaknesses of the states after the war.

Scott, Sarah. The history of Mecklenburg, from the first settlement of the Vandals in that country, to the present time, including a period of about three thousand years. London, Printed for J. Newbery microfilm.
Contains information about Mecklenburg during the Thirty Years’ War, including specifics on how the province was affected.

Sheehan, James J. German History, 1770-1866 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1989), 456.
This provides the life expectancy and illegitimacy rates for Germany as a whole.

Walker, Mack. Germany and the Emigration, 1816-1885. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1971, p. 185.
This book includes specific numbers on Mecklenburg emigration.


Read my article “Getting Acquainted with German Research through the Internet” first published in Internet Genealogy for some great websites on German genealogy. The article doesn’t focus on Mecklenburg specifically, but on Germany as a whole. However, the websites are very helpful for Mecklenburg research and several have Mecklenburg sections

I’ve also included a few of my favorite sites here:

World GenWeb's Mecklenburg - This is the World GenWeb’s Mecklenburg homepage. It is quite simply wonderful. Be sure to visit the history page, life of a farm women, reasons for emigration or any others that look interesting for a grasp of the historical context. For instructions and help for genealogy research in the area, try the church records, census records or other specific records sections.

GenWiki: Mecklenburg - This site has some of the same information as the site above, but also some new information on a wide range of topics.

Research Help for Mecklenburg Genealogy - This site has a section for frequently asked questions about Mecklenburg genealogy. It also has many links to Mecklenburg related pages, including several Mecklenburg email groups you can join and a list of books you can buy that focus on Mecklenburg and how to do genealogy there.