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I have a WW1 helmet with the name Sold. Börnig (2898) on it. I'd like to give it to a descendant.

Is there an index of soldiers I could look in?

I had misspelled the name Börnig, a critical error that had some repliers do unnecessary searching. I'm adding the following information.

I don't know if a picture can be added on this site. The helmet is the shape usually seen in movies and pictures of German soldiers -- full coverage, a flare around the bottom, the front higher, like a visor. It weighs two pounds eight ounces, (ouch.) There is a leather liner, attached to a metal band at its rim, the band being riveted to the helmet. There are two small rings attached to the band for a strap. The size is small, not even beginning to fit my head, and does not seem to be adjustable. The top is damaged, dented in a 2 x 3" shape, with the metal broken, indicating a heavy blow. Taped to the inside of the helmet was a piece of shrapnel, 2 x 1", deformed and jagged and quite twisted and rough; it is not part of the helmet. I was given the helmet by a friend whose grandfather fought in WW1. It was in an old trunk of the grandfather's, with other war memorabilia. The "Sold. Börnig (2898)" is printed with white paint inside the rear, near the edge, in large. figures still quite clear. That, my friends, is all I know about the helmet.

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    Perhaps "Sold" is an abbreviation of "Soldier". Could you provide more info on what type of helmet and how it came to be in your possession? – Charlie Dec 28 '17 at 22:34
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    Edited to replace ancestor with descendant. See merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ancestor -- "ancestor: one from whom a person is descended and who is usually more remote in the line of descent than a grandparent". – Jan Murphy Dec 29 '17 at 3:38
  • When you are editing there is a Picture button available that enables you to insert an image. – PolyGeo Dec 31 '17 at 21:30
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“Sold.” most likely means “Soldat” (soldier). “Börrig” is an extremely rare surname, with just one hit in the telephone directory (https://www.dastelefonbuch.de/Suche) and just a few hits in a German genealogy database (http://meta.genealogy.net/). There is no hit for “Börrig” in the Verlustlisten, an official list of casualties, and just one for “Borrig” (http://des.genealogy.net/search/show/3590482). Most records on German soldiers from the WWI era are destroyed.

For records on combatants from Bavaria, Württemberg, Baden and Saxony, please see Finding information on German soldiers from World War I and World War II?.

Linking the helmet to a specific soldier and finding relatives is extremely difficult if not impossible.

Returning it to the wrong family or some uninterested relative has the risk of the helmet being put on eBay. Maybe you should just keep it.

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    Edited to replace "ancestor" with "relative" and to make some other light edits. – Jan Murphy Dec 29 '17 at 3:39
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    Depending on the circumstances of the soldier's death or how the helmet was acquired from him, I'm not sure I would want such an artifact. – bgwiehle Dec 29 '17 at 13:53
  • It's shockingly easy to search for people and their phone number/location in Germany! ^^ However it doesn't include people with no phone or just one phone for many family members so it is biased as a statistic to how frequent a family name is. – Bregalad Dec 29 '17 at 20:35
  • @Bregalad It is easy not to be listed in these phonebooks. Today, mostly elderly people with a landline are listed. – lejonet Dec 31 '17 at 8:22

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