Anhalt, German Empire Genealogy

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Anhalt, German Empire

Guide to Anhalt, 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.

Anhalt, German Empire Wiki Topics
Getting Started
Anhalt Major Record Types
Reading the Records
Additional Anhalt
Record Types
Anhalt Background
Anhalt Research Resources
Germany Record Types
Germany Background

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

  • The Duchy of Anhalt was a historical German duchy. The territory is now part of the federal state of Saxony-Anhaly (Sachsen-Anhalt).
  • Anhalt’s origins lie in the Principality of Anhalt, a state of the Holy Roman Empire.
  • In 1806, Napoleon elevated the states of Anhalt-Bernburg, Anhalt-Dessau and Anhalt-Köthen to duchies. These duchies were united in 1863 to form a united Anhalt.
  • The new duchy consisted of two large portions – Eastern and Western Anhalt (separated by part of Sachsen), and of five small enclaves, each surrounded by Prussian territory: 
    • Alsleben
    • Muhlingen, 
    • Dornburg, 
    • Gödnitz, and 
    • Tilkerode-Abberode. 
  • In 1918, Anhalt became a state within the Weimar Republic. After World War II. It was united with the Prussian parts of Saxony in order to form the new area of Saxony-Anhalt (Sachsen-Anhalt).
  • Once or twice, Calvinism was favored by a prince, but in general the house was loyal to the doctrines of Martin Luther. Wikipedia

Getting Started[edit | edit source]

Getting Started with Germany Research

Links to articles on getting started with German research:

See More Research Strategies

Germany Research Tools

Links to tools and websites that assist in German research:

See More Research Tools
Ask the

Historical Geography[edit | edit source]

Anhalt within the German Empire
Anhalt in empire.png
Anhalt 1871-1946

Map of Anhalt (1747-1793).svg.png

For a larger map, click here.

Modern State of Saxony-Anhalt (Sachsen-Anhalt)
With Former States

Green: Anhalt
Orange: Province of Saxony (Sachsen)
Brown: Brunswick (Braunschwieg):
Blankenburg and Calvorde enclaves

Sachsen-Anhalt Landesteile Beschriftet.png

For a larger map, click here.

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


1945: Merged into current state of Saxony-Anhalt (Sachsen-Anhalt) with the Province of Saxony, Magdeburg, Halle, and the Brunswick enclaves of Calvorde and eastern Blankenburg.


Finding Birth, Marriage, and Death Records for Anhalt, German Empire[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.

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

Your ancestor's town might have been too small to have its own parish church or civil registration office. 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.

Germany was first unified as a nation in 1871. An important gazetteer, Meyers Orts- und Verkehrs-lexikon des deutschen Reichs, "Meyer's Gazetter" for short, details the place names of villages, towns, counties (kreise), and higher jurisdictions used at that time. In the Research Wiki, FamilySearch Catalog, and FamilySearch Historical Records, the records of Germany are organized using those place names.

You can also consult Anhalt Parish Record Inventories to learn the Lutheran or Catholic parish that would have kept records for your town.

At the end of both World Wars, the boundaries of the states were changed dramatically, as areas of Germany were distributed among the Allied nations. Eventually, after re-unification in 1990, the states of Germany settled into what they are today. It is also necessary to understand Germany by this system, as it affects the locations of civil registration offices, archives, and mailing addresses used in correspondence searches.

3. For birth, marriage, and death records from 1799-1811 and then after 1850, use civil registration.[edit | edit source]

Follow the instructions in Anhalt, German Empire Civil Registration.

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

Follow the instructions in Anhalt, German Empire Church Records.

More Research Strategies and Tools[edit | edit source]

Vocabulary found on Specific Records:
Dates, Numbers, Abbreviations:
Miscellaneous Vocabulary:
  • Fraktur Font--Many forms and books are printed in this font.