You are here:

German Law/Jus sanguinis (right of blood) and German nationality.


I recently came across your blog while researching Jus sanguinis (right of blood) and German nationality. Just a short background my brother and I are both South African citizens living in Thailand in a sort of 'self-imposed exile' from our home country.  I recently met up with a German friend who suggested that I look to see if I had any German ancestry as, Jus sanguinis might be a solution for me since my brother and I do not wish to return to South Africa.  

I managed to find German Ancestry on my maternal grandmotherís side.  Although it is a direct link, it unfortunately goes back to 1730. I so far have half the christening certificates. Before I pursue it any further I would like to know if it's even possible to claim ancestry. If it is, what would the next steps be?

Hello Cynthia,

most probably not, for several reasons:

- Before 1975, only fathers could pass on German citizenship. If you had female German ancestors who were married to non-Germans, the line stopped there.
- Between 1871 and 1913, Germans living abroad lost German citizenship if they didn't register with a German Consulate every 10 years. Not many people did that, and even if they did, we would need to prove that now.
- German citizenship is lost once a German citizen applies for the citizenship of another country. If any of your ancestors applied for another citizenship before the next in line was born, the line was interrupted there.

I am sorry that I don't have better news, particularly as you have done impressive research over so many generations back.

Andreas Moser

German Law

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Andreas Moser


Extensive experience in international family law, especially international child abductions and child custody cases. All other areas of German law as well: constitutional law, criminal law, business and contract law, immigration law, inheritance law, and so on.


Lawyer in Germany from 2002 to 2009. Lawyer for US Army JAG Corps before. Bar-certified specialisation in family law and in administrative law. Articles and lectures about international and domestic family law.


2000 Law Degree from University of Regensburg, Germany 2002 admitted to the bar (until 2009) 2013 MA Philosophy at the Open University, UK

©2016 All rights reserved.