Germany - Death - 1875-Present Search StrategyEdit This Page

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Death Record: Civil registration

Beginning in 1875, the government required civil registrars to keep death records. Usually these records included more information than the church burial 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 died. They included everyone in the community and identified the complete name of the person that died.
  • 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, Burial: Church records

Beginning about 1500, churches required their clergy to keep burial records. The burial record may include death dates. Information found in a burial record depends on how detailed the minister made his record.

  • What you are looking for: Before civil registers began, church burial records were the best source for determining when a person died. They included nearly everyone in the community and identified the complete name of the deceased.
  • 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.

Register of Births: Civil registration

Beginning in 1875, the government required civil registrars to keep birth records. If the father or mother appear in the birth record with a new spouse, you can estimate that the first spouse died about two years before. Use these records when death and burial records are not available.

  • What you are looking for: Before church burial records began, civil registry birth records were the best source for determining when a person died. When the father or mother appears in the birth records with a different spouse, it means the former spouse died the previous year.
  • Why go to the next record: Not all German civil registry birth records have been microfilmed, and the beginning date of these records varies from place to place.

Parish Register, Christening, 1875-Present: Church records

Beginning about 1500, 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. They included nearly everyone in the community and identified the complete name of the child being christened.
  • 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.

Marriage Record: Civil registration

Beginning in 1875, the government required civil registrars to keep marriage records. If the father or mother appear in the marriage record with a new spouse, you can estimate that the first spouse died about a year before. Use these records when death and burial records are not available.

  • What you are looking for: Couples were married when they were in their twenties and thirties. Second and third marriages may occur anytime after that. If christening records do not exist, civil registry marriage records are the best source for determining when a person died. When the father or mother appears in the marriage records with a different spouse, it means the former spouse died the previous year.
  • Why go to the next record: Not all civil registry marriage records have been microfilmed, and the beginning date of these records varies from place to place.

Parish Register, Marriage: Church records

Beginning about 1500, churches required their clergy to keep marriage records. If the father or mother appear in the marriage record with a new spouse, you can estimate that the first spouse died about a year before. Use these records when death and burial records are not available.

  • What you are looking for: Couples were married when they were in their twenties and thirties. Second and third marriages may occur anytime after that. If civil registry birth records do not exist, parish marriage records are the best source for determining when a person died. When the father or mother appears in the marriage records with a different spouse, it means the former spouse died the previous year.
  • 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.

Census: Census

Census or resident records were not kept with any consistency or regularity. When an ancestor no longer appears in a census, it means the ancestor either moved or died. These records can help identify all the members of a family and help determine where a family originated.

  • What you are looking for: When church marriage records do not exist, census records are the best source for determining when a person died. When the father or mother appears in the census record with a different spouse, it means the former spouse died sometime between that census and the previous one.
  • 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 died. Probate records may not give a death date, but the date of the probate is usually the year of death.
  • 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. When an ancestor no longer appears in a citizenship record, it means the ancestor either moved or died.

  • What you are looking for: When probate records do not exist, citizenship records are the best source for determining when a person died. Citizenship records may not give a death date, but the year a person ceases to appear in the citizenship records may be the year of death.
  • 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. These records may also provide marriage and death information.

  • What you are looking for: When citizenship records do not exist, military records are the best source for determining when a male died. Military records may not give an exact death date, but they provide the year of death.
  • 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 16:10.
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