I have researched my american roots pretty far and now I want to focus on my family that is from germany and try to figure out who they really were but I cannot for the life of me find anywhere to search for german records... does anyone know where I can find them? So far I can only find that Ancestry is supposed to have them but I can't afford to pay for them and this at the same time, so I was hoping there was another way I could acess the records.... I also have an account on world vital records but they don't have germany either :(
A good starting point for german (and many other) records is www.familysearch.org. Of course, there are a lot of wrong decrypted (from the filmed churchbooks) data, but most entries are doubled from different point of view. it helps anyway to find pathes to the ancestors. With a little bit 'Sherlock Holmes' it works.
I always do a Google serach with a specific name with event year. Sometimes, the results points to a partially tree in Ancestry, another online system or a private website with lots of information and contacts.
With the MyHeritage SmartMatches it is also possible to find other 'relatives' with a family site containing a part of Your roots. And this will create very nice and interesting contacts.
Unfortunately, most of the german archives don't offer an online fulltext capability, some offering scanned pictures from their chuchbooks. It depends in what region You want to search for traces.
THanks for your response! Yes I have tried Family search but they don't seem to have any information I need... The particular relative I am looking at is said to have snuck into the country around 1910 and it seems to be supported by the fact that I cannot find a record of her on any of the ship records coming out of germany near this time(even if I try variations on her name). What I suppose I need is census records and birth records from germany which I know Ancestry has at least some census records from germany.... This relative is in my tree here on myheritage and has not generated any smart matches, neither has her parents so that is a dead end for me for the moment... she also had only the one child who only had one child go on to start a family this trend continued down to my family group which tells me there probably isn't many if anyone looking for her. I do have records from her stay in the Assylum where she tells of her family but she claims to have come from royalty and fled the country after watching her family being murdered... and while the people she claimed were her family do seem to exist I have found no records to support her other claims or that they were missing a child. I have also tried searching for her on google and yahoo etc but I only really have her birth event to search off and all the results seem to only lead back to the Stargardts of the US and not the ones I need in Germany.... I will definately check out the link you posted at the bottom hopefully I can find some answers there.