Germany - Birth - 1875-Present Search StrategyEdit This Page

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Register of Births: Civil registration

Beginning 1875, the government required civil registrars to keep birth records. Usually these records included more information than the church christening records that were kept during the same time.

  • What you are looking for: Civil registers were the best source for determining when a person was born.
  • Why go to the next record: Not all of the German civil registry records have been microfilmed, and the beginning date of these records varies from place to place.

Parish Register, Christening, 1875-Present: Church records

Churches required their clergy to keep christening (or baptism) records. The records give the names of the parents and the child and include birth dates. Information found in a christening depends on how detailed the minister made his record.

  • What you are looking for: Church christening records were the best source for determining when a person was born.
  • Why go to the next record: Not all of the German christening records have been microfilmed, and the beginning date of these records varies from place to place.

Parish Register, Family Register: Church records

The church ministers kept family registers. Family registers give the names of children, parents, and grandparents. These records usually give the dates and places of birth, marriage, and death of the parents and children.

  • What you are looking for: In some areas of Germany, church ministers kept a separate record of each family in their parish. If christening records do not exist, family register records are the best source for determining when a person was born.
  • Why go to the next record: Not all family register records have been microfilmed, and the beginning date of these records varies from place to place.

Confirmation Record: Church records

A church's confirmation records give the name of the child and one or both parents. Usually the place of birth and age or date of birth of the child is also given. These records may not begin the same year for every parish.

  • What you are looking for: Children were confirmed members of their church between the ages of twelve and twenty. If the church family registers do not exist, confirmation records are the best source for determining when a person was born. Confirmation records may not give a birth or christening date, but they will give a person's age, making it possible to determine his or her approximate birth year.
  • Why go to the next record: Not all confirmation records have been microfilmed, and the beginning date of these records varies from place to place.

Marriage Record: Civil registration

Beginning in 1875, the government required civil registrars to keep marriage records. Marriage records may go back to the 1790s, when they began during the time of the French occupation.

  • What you are looking for: Couples were married when they were in their twenties and thirties. Marriage records may not give a birth or christening date, but they give the age of the bride and groom, making it possible to determine their approximate birth years.
  • Why go to the next record: Not all civil register marriage records have been microfilmed, and the beginning date of these records varies from place to place.

Parish Register, Marriage: Church records

After civil registry began in 1875, churches still required their clergy to keep marriage records. The marriage record may include the dates of the marriage banns or proclamations. Information found in a marriage record depends on how detailed the minister made his record.

  • What you are looking for: Couples were married when they were in their twenties and thirties. Marriage records may not give a birth or christening date, but they give the age of the bride and groom, making it possible to determine their approximate birth years.
  • Why go to the next record: Not all parish marriage records have been microfilmed, and the beginning date of these records varies from place to place.

Death Record: Civil registration

Beginning in 1875, the government required civil registrars to keep death records. These records often give the age or birth date of the deceased, which you can use when birth and christening records are not available.

  • What you are looking for: When parish marriage records do not exist, civil registry death records are the best source for determining when a person was born. Death records may not give a birth or christening date, but they give a person's age, making it possible to determine his or her approximate birth year.
  • Why go to the next record: Not all death records have been microfilmed, and the beginning date of these records varies from place to place.

Parish Register, Burial: Church records

Beginning about 1500, churches required their clergy to keep burial records. These records may give the age or birth date of the deceased, which you can use when birth and christening records are not available.

  • What you are looking for: When civil registry death records do not exist, parish burial records are the best source for determining when a person was born. Burial records may not give a birth or christening date, but they give a person's age, making it possible to determine his or her approximate birth year.
  • Why go to the next record: Not all burial records have been microfilmed, and the beginning date of these records varies from place to place.

Census: Census

Census or resident records were not kept with any consistency or regularity. If an age is given, the records can be used to estimate a person's birth date. They can also help identify all the members of a family and help determine where a family originated.

  • What you are looking for: When burial records do not exist, census records are the best source for determining when a person was born. Census records may not give a birth or christening date, but they give a person's age, making it possible to determine his or her approximate birth year.
  • Why go to the next record: Not all census records have been microfilmed, and the beginning date of these records varies from place to place.

Probate File: Probate records

Probate records provide information about the birth, marriage, and death of an individual. They can also help identify all the members of a family.

  • What you are looking for: When census records do not exist, probate records are the best source for determining when a person was born. Probate records may not give a birth or christening date, but they give a person's age, making it possible to determine his or her approximate birth year.
  • Why go to the next record: Not all probate records have been microfilmed, and the beginning date of these records varies from place to place.

Citizenship Record: Naturalization and citizenship

Citizenship records were kept by the town in which an ancestor lived. These records provide an ancestor's occupation, age or date of birth, and sometimes names of the parents or spouse.

  • What you are looking for: When probate records do not exist, citizenship records are the best source for determining when a person was born. Citizenship records may not give a birth or christening date, but they give a person's age, making it possible to determine his or her approximate birth year.
  • Why go to the next record: Not all citizenship records have been microfilmed, and the beginning date of these records varies from place to place.

Muster Rolls: Military records

Military records provide the date and place of birth of every male drafted in the army. The name of the father and his occupation may also be given.

  • What you are looking for: When citizenship records do not exist, military records are the best source for determining when a male person was born. Military records may not give a birth date, but they give a person's age, making it possible to determine his approximate birth year.
  • Why go to the next record: Not all military records have been microfilmed, and the beginning date of these records varies from place to place.

 

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  • This page was last modified on 15 September 2008, at 16:08.
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