My GGF Josef Berg died a few days before 1 Jan 1915 (probably on 27 Dec 1914 (World War I). I want to find his grave. I also want to verify that the information I'm giving here is actually my GGF's information. It is the closest thing I've discovered:

Infantry Regiment Nr 69, Perthes am 27. XII. 14 [27 Dec 1914] Battaillon I, Companie 1, in which is noted Ahrhütte, Schleiden — leicht vervundet.

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The jpg of the record was found on the US version of Ancestry.com, in a Deutscheverlustlisten [col. 3] (Pr. 136.)(note: the P in Pr may be a different letter). The original from that site is in the Germany, World War I Casualty Lists, 1914-1917 dataset on page 5431 (a rt. page) and can be accessed directly here.

  • 2
    "Leicht verwundet", according to online translators, means "lightly wounded". So are you sure Josef died at that time, and was not just withdrawn from the front line? (It's entirely possible that his wounds were more severe, or infection set in, of course).
    – AndyW
    Commented May 31, 2016 at 7:58
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    A couple of corrections: Perthes (probably the commune in Haute-Marne, France), not Berthes, and Ahrhütte (a city district of Blankenheim, Kreis Euskirchen, Nordrhein-Westfalen), not Uhrbutte. Schleiden is also a town in Kreis Euskirchen.
    – bgwiehle
    Commented May 31, 2016 at 11:25
  • Thanks for the details and corrections, AndyW and bgwiehle. I've forgotten how to read Old Script, and my high school German is 50 years old. Commented Jun 1, 2016 at 0:44
  • To clairfy for AndyW and bgwiehle. My high school German is 50 years old. Does "commune" mean a community loosely held together? the geography of an older Europe with place name changes is bewildering, though I was briefly in Munich and the Black Forest decades ago. AndyW: I thought that ver on "verwundet" meant extreme wounding, and couldn't reconcile "leicht" with that notion. Commented Jun 1, 2016 at 0:50
  • You say he "died a few days before 1 Jan 1915". How did you get that information? Was it passed down through the family? It helps to go back from time to time and refresh our memories and write down explicit summaries of how we know what we know. (Example: when going over old work this weekend, I discovered a birth date that I had forgotten about -- it was on the person's baptism record, along with the baptism date.) Any time you discover information like that, you can edit your question to include it -- use the edit link under your question. And welcome to G&FH.SE!
    – Jan Murphy
    Commented Jun 1, 2016 at 1:42

1 Answer 1


For searching in the Verlustlisten you shouldn't use Ancestry’s incomplete version, but the complete and manually indexed version by Compgen - Verein für Computergenealogie: Verlustlisten Erster Weltkrieg (German), search form (Nachname = family name, vorname = given name, Ort = (birth) place; you should fill only the first ones if possible as the original list contains many errors when it comes to places and places changed their name).

It returns 93 entries on Josef Berg. We can't tell which one is your relative without the following information:

  • When and where was he born?
  • Did he die in the war, if yes, what documents/details are available?

The person you mentioned earlier did not die in 1914 or 1915. (Please note, that Verlust (= loss) includes POW, wounded soldiers, soldiers missing in action and dead soldiers.)

There are also 7 entries for WWI graves of soldiers named Josef Berg (http://www.volksbund.de/graebersuche.html), but without additional information it is impossible which might be your ancestor’s.

update You provided the following details:

  • Josef Berg, born March 7, 1863 in Karlsruhe.

There is no Josef Berg from Karlsruhe in the Verlustlisten. When the war started in 1914, he was already 51 years old. Men until the age of 45 were drafted in the Imperial Army. Landsturm, the last reserve, also used men until the age of 45. I highly doubt your ancestor served in WWI at all. Do you have any evidence for that?

Please see my answer on How to find information on German soldiers from World War I and World War II? for more options researching German world war participants.

  • Your answer, Mr. lejonet, amazes thoroughly. I'm grateful. My GGF's name creates a problem because so frequently used. My Josef Berg's dob: 07 MAR 1863, Karlsruhe, Germany. His mother Christina Berg had 3 children but only Josef lived to have children, & only one lived, my GM Anna Berg, b. Karlsruhe, 25 or 23 Oct 1889. Christina never married. She registered her children as "von Berg" though she didn't use it. Her mother: Franziska Sallmann. Her father: Carl von Berg, but perhaps not the forest scientist. Christina died in her mid-40s in the apartment of near-neighbor Franz Metzger. Commented Jun 1, 2016 at 0:38
  • I thought the list I found indicated only those who died--my serious mistake. He'd been a prisoner? in which document? I will follow up on your links and come back to you asap. Thank you again and again. Commented Jun 1, 2016 at 0:40
  • @RBBerg-Burnett I added the links. From the date of birth we can tell that this person is not your great-grandfather. I can't find a Josef Berg born on March 7 1863 in Karlsruhe who is mentioned in the Verlustlisten. Please see my answer on that.
    – lejonet
    Commented Jun 1, 2016 at 6:59
  • Thank you, lejonet. A perfect illustration of the statement that "Inferences are only guesses." I don't have an archivist's report or a church record about his death yet. Commented Jun 5, 2016 at 5:07
  • @RBBerg-Burnett Don't be afraid to ask a new question about your search for "an archivist's report or a church record about his death". Our focused Q&A format can take a little getting used to but it is very effective.
    – PolyGeo
    Commented Aug 10, 2017 at 0:22

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