Bremen, German Empire Genealogy

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Guide to Bremen, German Empire ancestry, family history, and genealogy before 1945: birth records, marriage records, death records, both church and civil registration, compiled family history, and finding aids.

Bremen, German Empire
Wiki Topics
Getting Started
Major Bremen Record Types
Additional Bremen
Record Types
Bremen Background
Local Research Resources
Germany Record Types
Germany Background

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

  • At the unwinding of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806, Bremen became a sovereign state officially titled Free Hanseatic City of Bremen.
  • The Vienna Congress of 1815 confirmed Bremen’s independence.
  • In 1827, the state of Bremen bought the tract of land from the Kingdom of Hanover (Hannover), where future Bremerhaven would be established.
  • Bremen became part of the North German Confederation in 1867 and became an autonomous component state of the new-founded German Empire in 1871.
  • In 1935, Bremen became a regular city at the de facto abolition of statehood of all component German states within the Third Reich.
  • It was re-established as the state of Bremen in 1947. Bremen (Wikipedia)

Getting Started[edit | edit source]

Getting Started with Germany Research

Links to articles on getting started with German research:

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Germany Research Tools

Links to tools and websites that assist in German research:

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Ask the

Historical Geography[edit | edit source]

Bremen within the German Empire

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Bremen 1871-1946

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Bremen 1871-1946

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History of Bremen in the German Empire
Geo-Political Differences Today
FamilySearch Catalog
(organized by 1871 Meyer's Gazetteer)
Wiki Pages

Bremen, officially (Free Hanseatic City of Bremen)

1949: Current state of Bremen (Map)


Finding Birth, Marriage, and Death Records for Bremen[edit | edit source]

Most of the information you need to identify you ancestors and their families will be found in two major record groups: civil registration and church records. To locate these records, follow the instructions in these Wiki articles.

1. Find the name of your ancestor's town in family history records.[edit | edit source]

Records were kept on the local level. You must know the town where your ancestor lived. If your ancestor was a United States Immigrant, use the information in the Wiki article Germany Finding Town of Origin to find evidence of the name of the town where your ancestors lived in Germany.
Also, see:

2. Use gazetteers and/or parish register inventories to learn more important details.[edit | edit source]

Bremen and Bremerhaven have several smaller towns or parishes. Find the location of the Catholic or Lutheran (Evangelical) parish that served your ancestor's locality. Find the name of the civil registration office (Standesamt) that serves your ancestor's locality. Use the Wiki article Finding Aids For German Records for step-by-step instructions. The records you find might not state the specific smaller town or parish.

Parish Register Inventories[edit | edit source]

Church record inventories are essential tools for finding German records. They identify what records should be available for a specified parish and where to write for information on these records. They list the church records, their location, and the years they cover. Sometimes inventories explain which parishes served which towns at different periods of time.

  • Kirchenbuch-Inventar der freien Staat Bremen
  • Wilhelm Jensen “Die Kirchenbücher Schleswig-Holsteins, der Landeskirche Eutin und der Hansestädte” (Neumünster: Karl Wachholtz Verlag, 1958); included in Quellen und Forschungen zur Familiengeschichte Schleswig-Holsteins, 2. Bd. Description of the parish registers of Schleswig-Holstein, the principality of Lübeck in Oldenburg, and the cities of Lübeck, Bremen and Hamburg. (FHL Location 1: FHL INTL Ref) (FHL Location 2: FHL INTL book 943.512 D2q v. 2)(FHL Location 3: FHL INTL film 1183522, it. 5, 1936 version) WorldCat

3. For birth, marriage, and death records beginning in 1811, use civil registration.[edit | edit source]

Follow the instructions in Bremen, German Empire Civil Registration.

4. For baptism, marriage, and death records, use church records or parish registers.[edit | edit source]

Follow the instructions in Bremen, German Empire Church Records.

More Research Strategies and Tools[edit | edit source]

  • These printable handouts can be used for ready reference when reading German Handwriting.
Vocabulary found on Specific Records:
Dates, Numbers, Abbreviations:
Miscellaneous Vocabulary:
  • Fraktur Font -- Many forms and books are printed in this font.
German Given Names: