Auswanderer von Sylt

Emigrants from Sylt

Sylter Kapitäne

Sylter Gefallene des 1. Weltkriegs

Sylter Gefallene des 2. Weltkriegs





  Information on Sylt in English

This genealogy website is about the history of families originating on the island of Sylt. The island was Danish until 1864 and has been part of Prussia, then Germany since 1867.

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The old villages on the island were Archsum, Braderup, Kampen, Keitum, Morsum, List, Rantum, Tinnum, Wenningstedt and Westerland. There were three church parishes, one for Morsum, one for Westerland/Rantum and one for all the other villages with the church situated in Keitum. The oldest register is from 1651 onwards (Morsum). Keitum starts in 1709, and Westerland's earliest register begins in 1763.

In the 17th century the average population on the island was about 2000 people, in the 18th century about 2750. Most of them married on the island — and in one way or the other, the descendants of the original families are all related!



The main source of income was agriculture and fishing, first in the North Sea (herring) and from the 17th century onwards whaling. With the decline of the whaling industry the island men found employment in the merchant fleet. The 19th century sees not only the beginning of tourism and a big increase in population but also an increase in emigration.

Most — but not all — church registers and most of the literature about the island I have checked through. They build the foundation of the family trees on this website. There will be some gaps and mistakes, but hopefully they can be eliminated in time.

Not all island - families are mentioned at the moment, but I will add more family trees in the future.

If you have any questions about your ancestors from this island, please feel free to contact me. Hopefully I will be able to help, and we can exchange information.

Elisabeth Westmore