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A Stadtbuch is a record a city kept, starting in medieval times. It is a collection of written pages, first in Latin later in the vernacular of the area.
The content of a Stadtbuch varies with growing literacy. The oldest records contain a mixed variety (Stadtbuch mit vermischtem Inhalt), such as laying down the law for the city, collecting judgments. Legal certainty was created and citizens received parameters by which to interact with the city administration, legal issues, business affairs etc. For instance, land records were created by town clerks and stored by authority of the city council. Such records then received public credibility and became evidential. Since the 14th century city records became more categorized. The matters of the city council were kept separate from business between citizens, such as property issues and marriage contracts. There was a book for financial matters, statutes, city law and ordinances as well as for judicial protocols, in and outgoing correspondence, citizenship records and expatriations.
A Stadtbuch allows a glimpse into the life of citizenry and touches on the development of city law, politics, social structure and population statistics.
It has become the project of a group of people to evaluate and establish an inventory of Stadtbücher from the beginning to 1800 for the states of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Brandenburg, Berlin, Sachsen-Anhalt, Thuringia and Saxony. A list of Stadtbücher that already have been evaluated can be looked at here. The list basically explains which records are available for a given town. The documentation is a work in progress. More can be read about it here.
Citizenship register of Treuenbrietzen 1591-1750
Erich Wentscher listed all new citizens of Treuenbrietzen in Brandenburg for the years 1591-1750. There are a few entries before 1591. From 1722 on, there are more details about places of origin. The list appears in Archiv für Sippenforschung, 8. Jahrgang, Heft 2 (1931), page 41. The periodical is available through the Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah, International Area, call number 943 B2as.
Citizenship register of Cöpenick 1621-1800
The city of Cöpenick (today part of Berlin- Treptow-Köpenick) was always known as a settlement for craftsmen. Shoemakers and tailors were the foremost professions found here. This is evident when one takes a look at the citizenship list of Cöpenick from 1621 to 1834.
The author Arno Jagster, has published a list of citizens of Cöpenick from 1621 to 1800. During the 17th and 18th century many new citizens came from France and the South West of Germany.
The list appeared in the Archiv für Sippenforschung, 8 Jahrgang, Heft 1 (1931), beginning with page 25. The periodical is available at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, International Floor, call number 943 B2as.
The citizenship records of Kremmen 1679-1784
In 120 years 609 persons received citizenship in Kremmen. The author Kurt Meyerding de Ahna listed each applicant by name, profession and place of origin. Notes, i.e., military service of those acquiring citizenship in later years were not mentioned, because of lack of space. ( Should there be interest: The original records are in the Geheimes Staatsarchiv in Berlin).
The article “Das Bürgerbuch von Kremmen 1679-1784” was published in Archiv für Sippenforschung, Jahrgang 17, Heft 6 (1940) and is available through FamilySearch, Family History Library Catalog, call number 943 B2as.
The citizenship books of Küstrin 1695-1750
The 15th August 1758 was a black day for the citizens of Küstrin. The Russians pointed their canons on the city and by eventide everything was in ruins. With such destruction one should think that most records were completely destroyed, but this was not so. The city parish only started with church records beginning in 1758 and from the time before, the records of the city administration are a good source to identify citizens and their origins. This work was done by Kurt Meyerding de Ahna and published in Archiv für Sippenforschung 14. Jahrgang, Heft 2 (1937), starting with page 204.
The periodical is available at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, call number 943 B2as on the International Floor.
The citizenship records of Meyenburg (Prignitz) 1737-1809
The author Kurt Meyerding de Ahna has listed the newcomers to Meyenburg for the time between 1737 and 1809. Besides names we have professions and place of origin. Where no place of origin is mentioned, the respective person was born in Meyenburg.
The list is found in Archiv für Sippenforschung 15. Jahrgang, Heft 3 (1938), beginning with page 71. The periodical is located in the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, International Floor, call number 943 B2as.
New Citizens in Prenzlau 1585-1600
The city of Prenzlau kept citizenship records uninterruptedly for 230 years until 1918. There existed even older records with a time frame from 1585 to 7th April 1681.
The author Wolfgang Münstermann listed the new citizens coming to Prenzlau between 1585 and 1600. It is of note that in 90% of cases the place of origin of the newcomer was given. 60% of them originated from the Uckermark (cultural area to which Prenzlau belongs). The article “Die Neubürger Prenzlaus von 1585-1600” was published in Archiv für Sippenforschung, 19 Jahrgang, Heft 5 (1942), starting with page 150. The periodical can be retrieved through FamilySearch, Family History Library catalog, call number 943 B2as