Schleswig-Holstein Archives and Libraries

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Archives and Libraries


Archive Addresses and Repositories

Below is a list of many important German archives and repositories. There are also a few entries of archives in localities which are now in other Landstat. If you are not able to find your needed Archive address below, this link will take you to a very extensive list of German Archives: Archives in Germany

  • Archiv des Kirchenkreises Ranzau
    Kirchenstr. 3
    25535 Elmshorn
    Germany
    Tel: 04121-29 82 6
  • Landesarchiv Schleswig-Holstein
    Prinzenpalais Gottorfstrasse 6
    D-24837 Schleswig
    Germany

The Nordelbische Evangelisch-Lutherische Landeskirche, Nordelbisches Kirchenarchiv published the following statement regarding research for church records in Schleswig-Holstein:

“Church records are not only found in church archives but are also to be accessed in state archives because the division between church and state only existed from the middle of the 19th century on for the territories of Hamburg, Lübeck, Schleswig-Holstein and Eutin”. The following state archives have to be consulted when ecclesiastical material needs to be searched within the jurisdiction of the Nordelbische Landeskirche.

Here is a guide to all archives in Schleswig-Holstein and their records.

 State Archive of Hamburg

Of significance is the collection “Geistliches Ministerium”.  online at  click on “Beschreibung der einzelnen Bestände Stand 1999“, then go to page 321-336. Each church’s history is briefly described and an archival reference given.

Lübeck Archive

An archival catalog was assembled by Antjekathrin Graßmann, which appeared in „Veröffentlichungen zur Geschichte der Hansestadt Lübeck“: Reihe B; Band 29). Starting with page 225 the most important ecclesiastical holdings are explained.

National Archive Schleswig-Holstein

The holdings for the National Archive Schleswig-Holstein can be accessed online. Searching for „Landesarchiv Schleswig-Holstein“, then Bestände, then Beständeübersicht gives the choice between “Lokale Bestände Herzogtum Schleswig and Lokale Bestände Herzogtum Holstein”. Here records are stored concerning ecclesiastical collections from before 1867.

For the highest authorities in ecclesiastical matters the Staatsarchiv Preußischer Kulturbesitz in Berlin, Bundesarchiv Berlin and the Rigsarkivet in Copenhagen should be consulted.

Local archives

There have been established local archives in Schleswig-Holstein by cities and administrations whose business it is to organized and maintain private archives (Gutsarchive). They furthermore concern themselves with statues and landmarks, church lineage books, village chronicles and correspondence. They take stock of every cultural area and the smallest hamlets. A Kreisarchiv is usually staffed by people who are enthuiasts, not professionals. However, there are movements to change this.

Here is a list of Schleswig-Holstein local archives


Archival Research in Denmark

The Reichsarchiv Copenhagen oversaw the administration in Schleswig-Holstein as follows:

Deutsche Kanzlei in Copenhagen
This administration was the central and highest authority re. regulations for Schleswig , Holstein and Lauenburg and from 1667-1773 also for Oldenburg and Delmenhorst.
Matters of foreign affairs for Oldenburg and Delmenhorst are to be found in the State Archive in Copenhagen. The archival records of the Deutsche Kanzlei are partly in the State Archive of Copenhagen (materials from the beginnings of the Kanzlei up to 1730) and partly in the State Archive in Schleswig (materials after 1730).

Deutsche Kanzlei in Copenhagen up to 1730
The bulk of the administrative records are in Copenhagen (Statens Arkiver). The Landesarchiv Schleswig has a Findbuch of materials in their possession. It is Findbuch Band 9 of Bestand 65.1, entitled Deutsche Kanzlei zu Kopenhagen bis 1730 by Konrad Wren, published in 1981. ISBN 3-931292-09-6.
The archival records pertain to court records, church records, school records, marriage, craftsmen, police, military, monasteries, manors and city records. The materials cover the time frame 1510-1765.
The records are housed under archival number (Abteilung) 65.1


Deutsche Kanzlei in Copenhagen after 1730
What can be found in the Landesarchiv is listed on their website under Beständeübersicht (inventory). The materials cover the time frame 1700-1849 and the archival number (Abteilung) is 65.2


Deutsche Kanzlei in Copenhagen for the Duchy of Lauenburg
Only a small part of the archive pertaining to Lauenburg was created by the Deutsche Kanzlei since 1816. The bulk of records were created by the Geheime Ratsstube at Hannover and other matters pertaining to Ritterschaft and Landschaft Lauenburg as well as nobility manors were created before 1689 at the ducal administration in Ratzeburg. The archival records cover 1516-1848. Records regarding the Geheime Rat of Hannover are in Abteilung 211, the records of the administration Ratzeburg are in Abteilung 210.


Today the archival records for the older documents are housed in Copenhagen under the auspices of the Danish Kanzlei, the Rentekammer, Kollegien and the Deutsche Kanzlei.

Local archives are in Kopenhagen, Odense, Viborg and Apenrade.



Genealogical Research in the Landesarchiv Schleswig-Holstein

If an ancestor was involved as an administrator, a property owner, a tax payer or as a plaintiff or an accused person, the family historian is most likely to find materials of interest in this national archive.

Of interest would be the censuses. The original records from 1835, 1840, 1845, 1855 and the Schleswig part of the 1860 census are in the National Archive in Copenhagen, the Archive in Schleswig only has copies. The 1845 census is especially informative because it states the following: name, what part of the family the person plays, age, whether married, single or widowed and the profession, birth place and mental illnesses.

If a person was a property owner, the Schuld- und Pfandprotokolle (mortgages) are a great source for genealogical research. These records preceeded the Grundbücher (land registers) which were formed between 1884 and 1886. The Schuld and Pfandprotokolle are stored in the archive. They were started at various times between the beginning of the 17th century and 1813. In them the researcher will find information about changes in property, inheritances, inventories, contracts between parents who wanted to retire and their children, who took over the property. There would also be information about the surviving parent who wanted to remarry and the children from the previous marriage etc.

The archive does not store church records. The church records are kept with the Kirchenbuchämter (see Nordelbische Landeskirche). There are some copies of church records of the county Eutin and the Duchy of Lauenburg.

The next source to consider is tax registers (Amtsrechungen). They can go back to the 15th century. They were created every year and handed in to the highest financial institution, the Rentekammer in Copenhagen. The tax registers are of great worth, especially for 16th and 17th century research because not much else has survived from this time. They contain the names of tax payers, their professions and contributions and if they had to pay more or less because of certain events in their lives.

Of interest are the Brücheregister which hold records of fines when a child was illegitimate, when special permissions had to be given for a marriage at home or dispensations issued for prevention of marriage, such as a marriage between relatives. There exists an index created by Jonathan Smith, who alphabetically by male names listed such cases. Residence as well as the name of the female and the date of permission or denial was issued. The card index is in the National Archive in Copenhagen.

Lastly, the Erdbücher, a record created by worldly and/or ecclesiastical entities about income and taxability could help with research into the 17th and 18th centuries.

For research in modern times the Vormünderbücher (guardianship records, mandatory at the beginning of the 19th century) are a good source of information. So are court records and the fire insurance registers of the 18th and 19th century. A register of 1867 contains the taxes for buildings. They inform about the size and conditions of farms. Wills and premarital agreements of the 18th and 19th century which had to have royal permission and were part of the the Deutsche Kanzlei (administration which was over the two duchies, Schleswig and Holstein) are accessible through a name register. There also exists a name register for the wills made in Süder- and Norder Dithmarschen.

Those in the 19th century who wanted to emigrate needed to be released from military duties. Most such candidates left unaccounted for. The archive has few military records, which are of the Duchy of Gottorf from the 17th and 18th century, as well as of the army Schleswig-Holstein installed during 1848 and 1851. In former times the regiments of Schleswig-Holstein belonged to the Danish military force and all records are stored in the Danish Military Archive which is part of the National Archive in Copenhagen. All military records which survived from Prussian times are in the Bundesarchiv-Militärarchiv in Freiburg/Breisgau, Germany. Those military records available in the Landesarchiv have detailed lists of officiers but to research those men who were of lesser rank or even part of the troop is less promising. On the other hand, the Lagerregister (levying rolls) from 1847 to 1864 when potential soldiers were registered at birth, are an impressive genealogical source. The entries were made on moving-in and moving-out lists by local parish priests who constantly corrected and replenished them.


Source: Möglichkeiten genealogischer Forschung im Landesarchiv Schleswig-Holstein von Heinrich Frhr. v. Hoyningen gen. Huene, Stand 10 November 2002  

Here is a link to the archival index of Archive number 79  (the ministrations of the Duchy of Schleswig in Kopenhagen during 1851-1864)