Saxony-Anhalt, Germany Genealogy

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Guide to Saxony-Anhalt ancestry, family history and genealogy: birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, parish registers, and military records.

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In April 1945 the US Army took control of most of the western and northern area of the future Saxony-Anhalt. By early July the US Army withdrew from the former Prussian Province of Saxony to make way for the Red Army to take it as part of the Soviet occupation zone, as agreed by the London Protocol in 1944.
On the occasion of the first election in the Soviet zone, allowing parties truly to compete for seats in provincial and state parliaments, on 20 October 1946, the Province of Saxony was renamed as the Province of Saxony-Anhalt, taking the prior merger into account.
After the official Allied decision to dissolve the Free State of Prussia, which had remained in limbo since the Prussian coup of 1932, its former provinces, in as far as they still existed, achieved statehood, thus the province emerged into the State of Saxony-Anhalt on 6 October 1947. It became part of the German Democratic Republic in 1949. From 1952 to 1990 the East German states were dissolved and Saxony-Anhalt's territory was divided into East German districts.


Information about Saxony-Anhalt, Germany

Online Records

For German Research, You Must Know Your Ancestors' Town

  • To begin using the records of Germany, knowing that your family came from Saxony-Anhalt will not be enough to use the records of Germany. Records are kept on the local level, so you will have to know the town they lived in.
  • Details about the town will also help:
    • the county or "Kreis" of that town,
    • where the closest Evangelical Lutheran or Catholic parish church was (depending on their religion),
    • where the civil registration office ("Standesamt") was, and
    • if you have only a village name, you will need the name of the larger town it was part of.

Research to Find the Town

If you do not yet know the name of the town of your ancestor's birth, there are well-known strategies for a thorough hunt for it.

If You Know the Town, Next Use Meyers Gazetteer

Once you know the town name you need, the other facts you need are contained in Meyers Orts- und Verkehrs-lexikon des deutschen Reichs, the gazetteer on which the FamilySearch catalog for Germany is based.

Here is part of an entry from (The whole entry can be studied at Heusenstamm, MeyersGaz.)

The most important facts here are:

  1. Heusenstamm is in Offenbach Kreis (Kr).
  2. It has its own Standesamt (StdA) or civil registration office.
  3. It has its own Catholic parish church.
  4. By clicking on the "Ecclesiastical" option, we learn that the closest protestant church is 2 miles away in Bieber.

  • If you find several towns of the same name, checking each one for the birth record of your ancestor may be needed to narrow down the field.

Figure Out the Parish for Your Town

Your town might be too small to have its own parish church. Or it might have a Catholic church, but the Lutheran church is in a neighboring town. You might have to do a little reference work to determine where the church (and therefore the church records) was for your ancestors' town. Methods for doing this are described in:

Historical Geography

In 1944 the province of Saxony was divided into the provinces of Magdeburg and Halle-Merseburg , while the Regierungsbezirk Erfurt was moved to the administration of Thuringia. In 1945 the province of Saxony was re-established as a "province of Saxony-Anhalt" by combining the provinces of Magdeburg and Halle-Merseburg with the Land Anhalt. Saxony-Anhalt (Sachsen-Anhalt) Wikipedia

These historic areas
are now in Saxony-Anhalt.

  • Anhalt
  • Province of Saxony

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Former States Now in Saxony-Anhalt

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Modern Saxony-Anhalt


How to Find Birth, Marriage, and Death Records in Saxony-Anhalt

Most of your genealogical research for Saxony-Anhalt will be in three main record types: civil registration, church records, and, when available, a compiled town genealogy ("'Ortssippenbuch" or "Ortsfamilienbuch" in German). These articles will teach you how to use these records in digital databases, as microfilms, or by writing for them.

Research Tools