Oldenburg Civil Registration

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The French civil registration registers

For a few years the former Duchy of Oldenburg belonged to the French Empire under Napoleon I (1811-1814). From 92 communities (communes) evidence of the occupation was archived. On July 4, 1811 the occupying forces announced that the Kingdom of Holland and the German area of the North Sea from now on were French and that the population had to abide by French law. The northern part of Oldenburg was known as the Departement Bouche de Weser (Wesermündung) and was subdivided into 21 cantons. Each canton consisted of several communes (communities).´The Imperial Count of Arberg, who was the prefect of Departement Bouche had his seat in Bremen. Shortly after the official announcement he released  detailed instructions to mayors and community leaders of how to implement civil registration. In order to achieve similarity all entries of birth, marriage, divorce, adoption, and death had to be registered on separate sheets with the seal of the Empire. The entries had to be done by the mayor, community leader or their substitutes.

Joachim Schrape published in Oldenburgische Familienkunde his findings of births, marriages, and deaths from the Marie Oldenburg, Ohmstede, Osternburg, Holle (now known as Hude) for the years 1811-1814.

The information can be retrieved through the FamilySearch system by looking for call number 943.5 B2fk. v. 52 and v. 53 on the catalog.


Die französischen Zivilstandsregister by Joachim Schrade in Oldenburgische Familienkunde. Oldenburgische Gesellschaft für Familienkunde e.V. Jahrgang 52 und 53, 2010, 2011