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I am looking for the records of Lutheran Johan Mueller, born 22 June, 1826 in Koselitz, Saxony. He came to the US in 1845.

Where are church records now located for someone born in 1826 in Koselitz, Saxony, Germany? Is there a parish in Koselitz? If not, what parish does it belong to?

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Are you sure it is Koselitz and not Köselitz (with umlauts)? (See all relevant place in the online gazetteer GOV: http://gov.genealogy.net/search/name?name=Koselitz)

Koselitz in Saxony had its own parish until 1923. Now it seems to belong to Frauenhain. The website states that church records date back till 1661 (according to a compiled church book listing from 1901 they start in 1800). Church records usually remain locally in today's parish. Some Saxon church records are available from microfilm, but not Koselitz (list of filmed records: Auflistung der bereits verfilmten Kirchgemeinden mit Angabe des entsprechenden Kirchenbezirks). I’d contact the parish and ask them to locate the relevant records.

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    In the case of my own research, the birthplace information came from pre-1906 Naturalization records in the USA. These were probably filled out by the clerks of the local courts, and I would guess they were not familiar with German spelling. I suspect a lot of people have the same problem -- trying to find the name of the town in Germany, not knowing exactly how it is spelled -- especially when it comes to the vowels. – Jan Murphy Jul 22 '15 at 22:54
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    Some of your links are giving a "server not found" error with Firefox, possibly because of the umlauts in the URLs. However, I'm not having the same problem using Chrome. – Jan Murphy Jul 23 '15 at 2:36
  • I get the same "server not found" error on two of the links using Internet Explorer; the two that I cannot reach are "own parish until 1923" and "contact". – PolyGeo Jul 23 '15 at 5:01
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    @JanMurphy I fixed the links (they work for me now with Chrome, Safari and Firefox). – lejonet Jul 23 '15 at 8:20
  • I agree with @PolyGeo's earlier suggestion to include a link to the online gazetteer GOV at gov.genealogy.net in your answer. – Jan Murphy Jul 23 '15 at 16:53
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One of the major references in the USA for locating places in Germany is Kevan Hansen's series of German Map Guides published by FamilyRoots Publishing Company.

Koselitz (and Frauenhain, mentioned in this answer by lejonet) are included in Map Guide To German Parish Registers Vol 26 - Kingdom Of Saxony II.

Hansen's guides are finding aids to the parishes in the area, showing surrounding parishes and providing cross-references to FHL microfilms and contact information for local archives. The publisher's description says the series (which is still ongoing) is based on the place names as of 1870.

One of the WorldCat.org detail pages shows holdings for this volume in 19 libraries across the US and Canada, most notably the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and the Toronto Public Library in Toronto, Ontario. (Some libraries have the entire series under one listing, so check the other entries for more libraries.)

Professional genealogists who do a lot of German research buy the whole series; for hobbyist genealogists, it's probably more practical to look up your parish at the library and decide afterwards whether you need to own the volumes for your towns of interest. If you can find a copy of this volume in a library near you, it can be valuable because the guide provides context for the entire area, such as information about the population centers and aids in determining reasonable distances of travel from one area to another.

(I am indebted to Dr. Michael D. Lacopo's lecture FR032 Finding and Utilizing German Church Records from the 2015 Jamboree, presented by the Southern California Genealogical Society, for the pointer to this valuable resource.)

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