Germany, Hesse-Nassau, Civil Registers and Church Books (FamilySearch Historical Records)

From FamilySearch Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Access the Records
Germany, Hesse-Nassau, Civil Registers and Church Books, 1701-1875
This article describes a collection of records at
Hesse-Nassau, Prussia,  Germany
Flag of the German Empire.svg.png
Flag of the German Empire, 1871-1917
German Empire - Prussia - Hesse Nassau (1871).svg.png
Location of Hesse-Nassau, Prussia, Germany
German Empire blank map.svg.png
Map of the German Empire, 1871-1917
Current Location
Hesse-Nassau is located in Germany.
Record Description
Record Type Civil Registers and Church Book
Collection years: 1701-1875
Languages: German
Title in the Language: Deutschland, Hessen-Nassau, Personenstandsregister und Kirchenbücher 1701-1875
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Hessisches Staatsarchiv, Marburg

What is in This Collection?

This is a collection of images of civil vital records and church books from the years 1701 to 1875 preserved in, and filmed at the Marburg State Archive. They pertain to Civil registers and church books containing births, marriages, and deaths (as well as occasional marriage proclamations) to places that were incorporated into the historical German state of Hessen-Nassau. Today, Hessen-Nassau is located primarily in Hessen with portions annexed to Rhineland-Palatinate and Thuringia. Most of these records were handwritten in narrative style, others in tables. Some of the later ones were written into forms. The text of the records is in Gothic German.

The bulk of church records for this region are held elsewhere. The Evangelische Kirchenarchiv Kurhessen und Waldeck / the Lutheran Church Archives for Kurhessen and Waldeck at Kassel includes 1,819 church books of vital records for church units in Hessen (Kurhessen, Hessen Kassel, Hessen Darmstadt, Hessen Nassau, & Waldeck) reaching into the 1500s. The Diocesan Archive (Diozäsanarchiv) in Fulda holds many Catholic church records, and there are other archives as well.

A large portion of the registers in this collection constitute two groups, each from a narrow time period. The first group is universal civil vital records from the 4th quarter of 1874 and the year 1875. (Hessen-Nassau was part of Prussia, which introduced universal civil registration on October 1, 1874. The rest of Germany initiated such record-keeping on January 1, 1876.) The 1874-75 registers for 120 localities in Hessen-Nassau, including the cities of Hanau, Marburg, Fulda and Rotenburg/Fulda, are represented here.The second large group of records was created in 1808-1813, when the northern portion of what later became Hessen-Nassau was part of the Napoleonic Kingdom of Westphalia. Over 300 localities are represented in this group.

The records in this group are civil records, but most of them were kept by local clergy who had been appointed as registrars. Most of them are separated by religion, i.e., there are separate books for Lutherans and Jews, and occasionally for members of Reformed or Catholic parishes. The records may be found under any of the following descriptions: Amtsgericht, Bürgermeisterei, Gerichtsamt, Justizamt, Standesamt, Evangelisch, Katholisch, Französisch-Reformiert, Jüdische Gemeinde. Jewish records for Abterode, Bischhausen, Gensungen, Grebenstein, Gudensberg, Herleshausen, Netra, Schmalkalden, Spangenberg, Wichmannshausen and Wolfhagen are included under „Evangelisch.“ Those for Bettenhausen and Niederklein are found under „Bürgermeisterei“. Jewish records for Iba are under both „Standesamt“ and „Evangelisch“; the records from there seem to have been filmed twice. Separate Jewish records from 88 communities, primarily from 1825-1874, are present as well. Some of these are not designated as such, appearing instead under “Bürgermeisterei,” “Standesamt” or “Polizeiamt.”

Image Visibility

Whenever possible, FamilySearch makes images available for all users. However, ultimate rights to view images on our website are granted by the record custodians. German Data Privacy rules prohibit viewing the following records: All birth images must be 110 years or older; all marriage images must be 75 years or older, and all death images must be 30 years or older.If any record on a digital folder contains birth records from the last 110 years, for example, the entire digital folder is restricted.

The Historical Records collections will be updated each year to show new unrestricted records. FamilySearch respects and strives to adhere to all privacy laws respective to preserving and providing access to genealogical records in its collection.

Reading These Records

For help reading these German records see the following guides:

To Browse This Collection

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Germany, Hesse-Nassau, Civil Registers and Church Books, 1701-1875.

What Can These Records Tell Me?

The following information may be found in these records:


  • Names of the child, parents, and witnesses or godparents
  • Date and place of birth and baptism
  • Residence and religion of the parents
  • Occupation of the father
  • Legitimacy


  • Names of the bride, groom, their parents (usually the fathers), and witnesses
  • Date and place of marriage and marriage proclamations or banns
  • Ages of the bride and groom
  • Sometimes the dates and places of birth
  • Residences of the bride, groom, and their parents
  • Religion of the bride and groom
  • Occupations of the groom and the fathers


  • Names of the deceased, the spouse, and the parents
  • Date and place of death and burial
  • Age and residence of deceased
  • Sometimes the date and place of birth
  • Cause of death

Collection Content

Sample Images

How Do I Search This Collection?

When searching, it is helpful to know:

  • Your ancestor's name
  • Age and or residence
  • An estimated event year
  • A relative’s name

Search the Index

Search by name by visiting the Collection Page.
  1. Fill in the search boxes on the Collection Page with the information you have
  2. Click Search to show possible matches

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Germany, Hesse-Nassau, Civil Registers and Church Books, 1701-1875.

View the Images

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page

  1. Select Place
  2. Select Religion or Civil Registration Office
  3. Select Event type to view the images

How Do I Analyze the Results?

Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images. Keep track of your research in a research log.

What Do I Do Next?

I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?

  • Use the age in the record to find an approximate birth year, which will help you find their other records
  • Use the information in each record to find additional family members
  • Repeat this process with additional family member’s records to find more generations of the family

I Can’t Find the Person I’m Looking For, What Now?

  • Consult the Germany Record Finder to find other records
  • Try viewing the original record to see if there were errors in the transcription of the name, age, residence, etc. Remember that their may be more than one person in the records with the same name
  • Collect entries for every person who has the same surname. This list can help you identify possible relations that can be verified by records
  • If you cannot locate your ancestor in the locality in which you believe they lived, then try searching records of a nearby locality in an area search
  • Standard spelling of names typically did not exist during the periods our ancestors lived in. Try variations of your ancestor’s name while searching the index or browsing through images

Research Helps

The following articles will help you in your research for your family in Germany.

Known Issues with This Collection

Important.png Problems with this collection?
See a list of known issues, workarounds, tips, restrictions, future fixes, news and other helpful information.

For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached Wiki article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.

Citing This Collection

Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.

Collection Citation
"Deutschland, Hessen-Nassau, Personenstandsregister und Kirchenbücher 1701-1875." Database with images. FamilySearch. : 17 October 2018. Hessisches Staatsarchiv (Hessen State Archives), Marburg.
Image Citation:
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.

Top of Page

How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.