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Ortsippenbücher, (singular Ortssippenbuch) also known as Familienbücher, list genealogical information about families within a specific town, village, or parish, sometimes over many generations. Written in German, each volume commonly begins with a history of the village and the local parish church. The main text presents individuals alphabetically by surname. Individuals are usually assigned a number for cross-referencing purposes, allowing researchers to find information about a spouse, parent or other person listed elsewhere in the book. Information is usually based on church and civil records.
Because most OSBs follow a similar format, knowledge of German is not essential as long as the researcher understands the pattern in which the information is given and the symbols and abbreviations used. A list of common symbols and abbreviations can be downloaded as a PDF (22 Kb).
A list of Ortssippenbücher and similar publications held by St. Louis County Library can be downloaded as PDFs from the following links:
The lists can also be viewed as web pages using the links below.
Updated October 2013.