Does anyone have any information regarding My ancestor Friedrich Wilhelm Vater, born 22 November 1859 . His mother Anna married Martin Piesker and they emmigrated to Australia in 1877 via Hamburg. I understand they came from Kolkwitz or Cottbus , Brandenburg, Germany. Where would I look for birth records etc? Were they 'wendish'? How do I go about finding more information?
Put in Cottbus and you'll get a list.of 7 record groups. One for Cuttbus the village; and six more for parishes withing Kreis Cottbus. The brute force approach [which might be your best choice], it to go to each one and get the film that should have Friedrich's baptismal record if he was born there. There's no guarantee that he'll be in any of the 7.
If he's not there, eitehr your Cottbus was wrong or his records didn't survive.
Sometimes you can get lucky by going here: http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi and searching on the family names and/or locations hopint that someone has already done some research on your family. Though I tried a few searches and it doesn't look like it's going to work.
Just try to Google various combinations of the surnames. Vater Cottbus or Piesker Cottbus, etc. It's certainly possible that the same family names are in the same villags they were 150 years ago. That might give you some hints.