Hamburg, Germany Genealogy

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Guide to Hamburg (Hamburg), Germany ancestry, family history, and genealogy: birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, parish registers, and military records.

Find Important Information About Your Ancestors' Town

  • To begin using the records of Germany, knowing that your family came from Hamburg might not be enough to use the records of Germany. There are many different parish churches in Hamburg, and many different civil registry offices. Any information you can find in greater detail about their exact origins in Hamburg will help, such as
    • the street address
    • whether they were Evangelical Lutheran or Catholic
    • a parish or village name

Gathering Information to Locate Place of Origin

To hopefully find more detail, there are well-known strategies for a thorough hunt:

Important Emigration Records for Hamburg

Boundary Change Maps

In 1937-38, several municipalities from neighboring Schleswig-Holstein and Hannover were annexed to Hamburg. These boundary changes will have an impact on where you will find records. These maps show the original areas of Hamburg during the time of the German Empire and the annexed areas which are part of Hamburg today.

Alt-Hamburg, the city center. All of these areas were in the city-state of Hamburg during the time of the German Empire. This is a blowup of the central part of the following map.

Hamburg city center.png

The green areas from Kreise 3 and 7 came from Hannover
Kreis 8: The municipalities of Gut Moor, Kirchwerder, Langenbeck, Marmstorf, Neuland, Rönneburg, Sinstorf came from Hannover Kreis 8: Moorwärder should not be green. It originally belonged to Hamburg. Kreis 9 came from Schleswig-Holstein. The green areas from Kreis 1 and 10 came from Schleswig-Holstein. Hamburg annexations north.png

Hamburg annexations south.png

1937-1938 Boundary Changes of Hamburg

Regional Gains of Hamburg

The country of Hamburg was in detail:

  • From the Prussian province of Schleswig-Holstein
    • The municipality of Altona
    • The district of Wandsbek
    • From the district of Stormarn the municipalities Bergstedt, Billstedt, Bramfeld, Duvenstedt, Hummelsbüttel, Lemsahl-Mellingstedt, Lohbrügge, Poppenbüttel, Rahlstedt, Sasel, Steilshoop and Wellingsbüttel
    • From the district Pinneberg the municipality Lokstedt with Niendorf and Schnelsen
    • From the administrative district Herzogtum Lauenburg the place Kurslack in the Achterschlag of the municipality Börnsen
  • From the Lüneburg district of the Prussian province of Hanover
    • Of the administrative district Harburg-Wilhelmsburg
    • from the district of Harburg, the municipalities Altenwerder, Finkenwerder, Fischbek, Francop, Gut Moor, Kirchwerder, Langenbeck, Marmstorf, Neuenfelde, Neugraben, Neuland, Rönneburg, Sinstorf and the town Over Hook the municipality Over
  • From the government district Stade of the Prussian province of Hanover
    • from the district of Stade, the municipality Cranz

All the above mentioned cities and municipalities were merged with the city of Hamburg and the municipalities remaining with the Land of Hamburg as of April 1, 1938, into a unitary community, which was called Hansestadt Hamburg .

Territories of Hamburg Given Away

In exchange for this, the Hamburg enclaves went to Prussia

  • To the Prussian province of Schleswig-Holstein
    • To the administrative district Herzogtum Lauenburg the city Geesthacht
    • To the Landkreis Stormarn the municipalities Großhansdorf and Schmalenbeck
  • To the administrative district Land Hadeln in the government district Stade of the Prussian province of Hannover
    • The city of Cuxhaven with Neuwerk and Scharhörn as well as the municipalities Berensch and Arensch , Gudendorf , Holte-Spangen, Oxstedt and Sahlenburg , with the exception of the Amerika-Hafen.

With this exception in the fourth implementing regulation to the Hamburg Act of March 22, 1937, Hamburg secured the America port in the city of Cuxhaven as an exclave. --Source: Greater Hamburg Act

How to Find Birth, Marriage, and Death Records in Hamburg

Most of your genealogical research for Hamburg will be in three main record types: civil registration, church records, and, when available, a compiled town genealogy ("'Ortssippenbuch" or "Ortsfamilienbuch" in German). This article will teach you how to use these records on digital databases, as microfilms, or by writing for them.

Research Tools

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