Germany - Marriage - 1875-Present Search StrategyEdit This Page

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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: Civil registers were the best source for determining when a person was married.
  • 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, Marriage: Church records

Beginning about 1500, churches 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. Usually it gives the name of the bride and groom and their parents. It may also give their ages or dates of birth.

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

Marriage Banns: Church records

Beginning about 1500, churches required their clergy to keep marriage records, which often included marriage banns or proclamations. Information found in the marriage banns depends on how detailed the minister made his record but usually includes the names of the bride and groom and the dates of the banns.

  • What you are looking for: If parish marriage records do not exist, parish marriage banns are the best source for determining when a person was married. Marriage banns were published in the church three weeks prior to the marriage.
  • Why go to the next record: Not all parish marriage banns have been microfilmed, and the beginning date of these records varies from place to place.

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: If parish marriage banns do not exist, civil registry birth records are the best source for determining when a person was married. The marriage date should be about one year before the first child's birth.
  • Why go to the next record: Not all birth 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.

Census: Census

The town's census or resident records were not kept with any consistency or regularity. You can estimate the marriage date of the parents from the age of the first child. Census records can also help identify all the members of a family and help determine where a family originated.

  • What you are looking for: When christening records do not exist, census records are the best source for determining when a couple was married. A census record may not give a marriage date for the parents, but it does give their names. The marriage date should be about one year before the first child's birth.
  • 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

The district court's probate records provide information on the birth, marriage, and death of the individual. They can also help identify the complete ancestral family.

  • What you are looking for: When census records do not exist, probate records are the best source for determining when a couple was married. A probate record may not give a marriage date for the deceased, but it does give the name of the spouse and surviving children. The length of the marriage may be indicated in the probate record, from which you can estimate the marriage date.
  • 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 married. Citizenship records may not give a marriage date, but they give a person's age, making it possible to determine his or her approximate marriage year. The average marriage age for a man was 29 years and for a woman was 28 years.
  • 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 was married. Military records may not give a marriage date, but they give a person's age, making it possible to determine his approximate marriage year. The average marriage age for a man was 29 years and for a woman was 28 years.
  • 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 16:11.
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