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

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Germany, Hesse-Nassau, Civil Registers and Church Books, 1701-1875 .
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Hesse-Nassau,  Germany
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Flag of the German Empire, 1871-1917
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Location of Hesse-Nassau, Germany
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Map of the German Empire, 1871-1917
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Current Location
Hesse-Nassau is located in Germany.
Record Description
Record Type Civil Registers and Church Books
Collection years: 1701-1875
Languages: German
Title in the Language: Deutschland, Hessen-Nassau, Personenstandsregister und Kirchenbücher 1701-1875
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
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 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. For help reading these records, see the following wiki articles:


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.”

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.

Sample Images

Click on images for a larger view.

Birth records may contain the following information:

  • 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

Marriage records may contain the following information:

  • 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

Death records may contain the following information:

  • 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

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.

How Do I Search the Collection?

When searching, it is helpful to know:

  • Your ancestor's name
  • Age and or residence
  • An estimated event year
  • A relative’s name
You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Germany, Hesse-Nassau, Civil Registers and Church Books, 1701-1875.

To browse by image:

⇒Select "Browse" link in the initial search page
⇒Select "Place" category
⇒Select "Religion or Civil Registration Office" category
⇒Select "Event Type" category which takes you to the images

Look at each image or record comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine if the image relates to them. == What Do I Do Next? == Whenever possible, view the original records to verify the information and to find additional information that might not be reported. These pieces of information can lead you to additional records and family members.


I Found Who 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 Who I’m Looking for, What Now?

  • 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.
  • Remember that sometimes individuals went by nicknames or alternated between using first and middle names. Try searching for these names as well.

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 support@familysearch.org. 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:

"Germany, Hesse-Nassau, Civil Registers and Church Books, 1701-1875." Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2017. Hessisches Staatsarchiv, Marburg (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. You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Germany, Hesse-Nassau, Civil Registers and Church Books, 1701-1875.

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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.