Hessen Research Tips and Strategies

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The Hessen State Archive Marburg suggests the following steps when doing research in Hessen:

Standesamtsregister (Civil Registration)

The records from 1876 on are still with the Standesämter (Civil Registration Office). The records from 1874-75 are at the State Archiv (Bestand St) as well as civil registration done in the times of the Kingdom of Westphalia (Bestand 315 z) and for the Jewish Civil Registration (Bestand Prot. II)

Kirchenbücher (Church Registers)

Church books are for the most part still in the parishes. Otherwise in the Landeskirchliche Archiv der Evangelischen Kirche von Kurhessen-Waldeck in Kassel and in the State Archive Marburg (Bestände Ki und 315k) Manz church books were filmed and can be researched in the Church Archive. Also, the Catholic church books of Bistum Fulda are still with the parishes, however, the Bistumsarchiv Fulda has records on microfiche which can be accessed.

Civil registration as well as church records have been alphabetised by villages. Therefore, it is important to know the town-village where the ancestor was born, married or died. Without this knowledge research in the Archive is not possible.

Sometimes, genealogical societies can help with research. The Gesellschaft für Familienkunde in Kurhessen und Waldeck as well as the Arbeitsgemeinschaft der familienkundlichen Gesellschaften in Hessen are two such societies.

Militärakten (Military records)

Men who were registered with the Hessen military are often listed in the Grundbücher, Maß- and Rangierbücher. Officers are in the Anciennitätslisten (Bestand 10). Hessian, Hanau and Waldeck troups which fought in the American Revolutionary War are listed in the HETRINA-Project.

Auswanderung (emigration)

The HESAUS-Project lists emigrants from Hanau (1821-1849, Bestand 180 Hanau, Anhang) and Kurhessen.The lists are available in the archive.


give information about properties and their owners. Before the 18th century Salbücher should be consulted. Here in are recorded the properties of landowners and their payments to their subjects (Grundholden).


From the first part of the 18th century population registers have been kept (Bestand 40, Rubrik XII) and can be useful in tracing ancestors.

Other Sources

If ancestors were members of the Hessian state adminstration, their names would appear in the so called Staatshandbuch. Personell briefs were kept.  Part of such records can be found in the Dülferscher Beamtenkartei (Bestand M 73)

Here is a link to a website which attempts to consolidate research steps for various genealogical topics http://www.ahnenforschung-hessen.de/deutsch.html