Bremen, Germany Genealogy
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Guide to Bremen ancestry, family history and genealogy: birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, parish registers, and military records.
The Vienna Congress of 1815 confirmed Bremen's independence after pressuring by Bremen's emissary and Bremen became one of 39 sovereign states of the German Confederation. In 1827 the state of Bremen bought the tract of land from the Kingdom of Hanover, 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 and stayed with Germany in its following forms of government.
Religion in Bremen – 2011 religion percent EKD Protestants 41% Roman Catholics 12% Islam 10% Other religions or none 36%
- 1 History
- 2 Information about Bremen, Germany
- 3 How to Find Birth, Marriage, and Death Records for Bremen
- 4 For German Research, You Must Know Your Ancestors' Town
- 5 Research to Find the Town
- 6 If You Know the Town, Next Use Meyers Gazetteer
- 7 Research Tools
Information about Bremen, Germany
How to Find Birth, Marriage, and Death Records for Bremen
Most of your genealogical research for Bremen 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 on digital databases, as microfilms, or by writing for them.
For German Research, You Must Know Your Ancestors' Town
- To begin using the records of Germany, knowing that your family came from Bremen might not be enough to use the records of Germany. Records are kept on the local level and Bremen had several parishes, so clues to the parish they came from can be very important.
- Details about the town will also help:
- 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 parish 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.
- Use Gathering Information to Locate Place of Origin as a guide in exhausting every possible record to find what you need.
- Or watch this webinar: Online Class: Finding German Places of Origin
Bremen can be easier than other large German localities because some indexes covering much of Bremen. Here are several:
Indexes to Births, Marriages, and Deaths at Bremen
Emigration, Immigration, and Passenger Lists
- Bremer Passagierlisten
- Seaman's Licenses, 1806-1878. Index, ($)
- Bremen, Germany Ships Crew Lists (Bremer Musterungslisten der Schiffe),($). 1815-1917. Index and images. In German.
- Bremen, Germany Sailors Registry (Bremer Seeleuteregister), ($). 1824-1917. Index and images. In German.
- Bremen, German Desertions of Sailors, 1855-1874 (Seemansamt Bremen, Deserteurlisten, 1855-18740. Index and images.
- Germany, Bremen, Select Passenger Departure Lists (Deutschland, Bremen, ausgewählte Namenskartei aus den Bremer Schiffslisten), ($). 1904-1914. Index and images. In German.
- Germany, Bremen Passenger Departure Lists (Deutschland, Bremen, Namenskartei aus den Bremer Schiffslisten). 1904-1914. Index. Incomplete.
- Mous Families-Members, ($)
- die Maus Family Collections, Gray Binders, ($)
- die Maus, Family records, 1824-1933, index, ($)
- Bremen Address Books (Bremer Addressbuecher),1794-1955. in German.
- Directories on die Maus, 1794-1955, ($)
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.
- Use MeyersGaz, the digital gazetteer, to find the details you need, particularly the Bezirksamt it belonged to, found after (BA) and the Regierungsbezirk (Administrative District) Niederbayern (RB).
- MeyersGaz Help Guide
- Abbreviation Table
- Here is part of an entry from MeyersGaz.org.
The most important facts here are:
- Wellheim is in Eichstätt Bezirksamt (BA).
- It is in Regierungsbezirk (Administrative District) Middle Franconia (MFranken) (RB)
- It has its own Standesamt (StdA) or civil registration office.
- It has one Catholic parish church (kath. K.).
- By clicking on the "Ecclesiastical" option, we learn that the Protest church for Wellheim is in Eichstätt. We also find other nearby churches.
- Die Maus: The link contains information about emigration, family books from various areas of Bremen locations, citizenship lists, civil registration
- Germany, Bremen Name Card Index to Passenger Lists (FamilySearch Historical Recods)
- German Word List
- Latin Word List
- Handwriting Guide
- German Handwriting Tutorial
- Kurrentschrift Converter (enter German genealogical word, click on "convert", view your word in Kurrentschrift (Gothic handwriting)
Records of the Catholic church will usually be written in Latin: