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The Evangelical Kirchenbuchamt Hannover

The Evangelical Kirchenbuchamt is a repository of microfiche. These were produced from church books covering entries from the beginning up to 1852 (in many cases up to 1875) for the entire area of the Landeskirche Hannover. Mixed in are civil registers in alphabetical order. Please consider that the repositories can only offer information up to the year 1875. The microfiche are available for research, either at site or by written request. (Starting with the year 1876 the respective Civil Registration Office should be contacted. Some of them have handed their older records to a state archive (Staatsarchiv) or a local archive (Stadtarchiv).

Here are the available parishes and these are their holdings. It is not known how often these lists are being updated.
If a possible record search is covered by available entries a request should be send to

Kirchenbuchamt Hannover
Hildesheimer Strasse 165/167
30173 Hannover

You could also send your query to the local repositories listed here and which are located thus. The site offers answers to specific questions. These are:

Place of origin: Hannover – city or country?
Often a researcher only knows the ancestor’s place of origin as Hannover, not knowing whether it was the city of Hannover, the kingdom or province etc. For research purposes the exact place of origin needs to be found.

My ancestor emigrated – how do I find his place of origin?
Many online sources about emigrants already exist

Deutsche Auswanderer Datenbank
Historic Emigration Office
Niedersächsisches Hauptstaatsarchiv
Routes to the Roots

If you write to any of the repositories it is best to address your request in German to avoid unnecessary delays. A German letter writing guide is available in FamilySearchWiki, keyword search: German letter-writing guide. The cost for inquiries are fixed: They charge 10 Euros for every 15 minutes and 5 Euros for a copy or an official transcript. Here are the fees for other services they render

If you intend to visit the Kirchenbuchamt Hannover please be aware of their office hours and closures.
The schedule for 2012 is here.

Foreign occupation of the Electorate of Hannover

After the Prussians were defeated by Napoleon at the Battle of Jena and Auerstädt (1806), the Electorate of Hannover became French territory. In 1807 Napoleon created the Kingdom of Westphalia which was enlarged by annexing Hannover territories.

The administrations of Ämter and Amtsvogteien were dissolved and French norms (departements, arrondisements, canton and mairien) established. For instance, Arsendorf and 24 neighboring villages formed the Mairie Garlstorf. The administrators of the mairie had to conduct business for and negotiate contributions each village had to render. The entire administration was run according to the Code Napoleon. Introduced was civil registration. All pastors were installled as civil administrators and had next to their own church books to keep the civil registration registers. These measures lasted until the French finally retreated in 1814 and the old administrative forms were re-installed.



Here is a link to the parishes of the Fürstbistum Osnabrück. By choosing a parish name, one gets various information about the place. Availability of church records, addresses where to write, whether there are published lineage books or village chronicles, and other helpful information

The spiritual care of migrant workers of the Duchy of Osnabrück

Hollandgängerei, a seasonal work choice for Northwestern German laborers to supplement their income during the summer months with peat digging, scything and other activities in the northern provinces of Holland has its origins as far back as 1608 or further. Not only were the secular authorities aware of these activities, the ecclesiastical superintendence took notice as well. The first to become aware of such activities was Pastor Lenhartz who was installed in Ladbergen in 1837. He noticed that in the month of April around 180 young men would disappear from his parish and be peat digging in the northern parts of the Netherlands. While there, they were without any ties to God’s word and the Church. This concern brought about visits to the men in the peat bogs to preach to them and hand out liturgical literature.

 Five work areas were visited by Pastor Lenhartz. 1.500-2.000 workers were distributed over 4 provinces. He registered 300 workers at Dedemsvaart in the province Overijssel. The number of workers in Heerenveen, province Friesland was not known. At Smilde and Assen in the province Drenthe were 240 workers. On Stadskanaal and Nieuw-Buinen in the province Groningen were 700 workers. There were also workers in Hoogeveen who were Roman-Catholics.

According to exact specifications, the number of workers who migrated yearly from the area of Lippe for peat digging and scything activities amounted to 309. Besides that an additional 1.340 persons from Lippe did work as brick burners. 540 workers were distributed over 50 work places in the provinces of Groningen and Overijssel, further 800 workers worked at 124 stations in Ostfriesland, Lingen, Osnabrück, and Münsterland. Finally, German workers were found near the Stadskanaal in glass factories.

Since the concern of brutalization among the migrants was very real, the clergy came up with a plan to regularly visit the workers and take care of their spiritual and other needs. There exists a list that in the year 1861 visits were planned during the summer months in Stadskanaal, Assen and Smilde, Dedemsvaart, Heerenveen, Winschoten, Groningen, Sneek, Leeuwarden, Harlingen, Franeker, and Lemmer. Travelling pastors were financed through contributions by the involved states, namely Prussia (Westpahlia), Hannover, and Lippe. In the winter months these ministers would reside in larger towns in the Netherlands and oversee the work among Germans.

In the state archive Osnabrück is evidence of letters written to the highest administration in Osnabrück asking to list those who on a yearly basis go to work in the Netherlands and from which villages they originate. The workers are Evangelical and their names are given. The record can be found in the state archive Osnabrück with Reference number 350 Osn. Nr. 414.

Denkschrift betreffend die geistlichen Bedürfnisse der sogenannten Hollandgänger und die Befriedigung derselben 1861 in Migration History – International Institute of Social History, Aschendorf, Münster 2007

Marriages and proclamations online

Here is a link to online marriages for Gehrden, Groß Munzel, and Ronnenberg.  Mariages/proclamation are indexed by the surname of the husbands. Click on the place names and view the list of names. The author explains all details in English. If further information is required the author can be contacted by email. Prussia-Hannover_Church_Records


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