Germany Population

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Muehlhausen i. Thueringen

Types of Population Records

Melde Records

Police began keeping records of each German's residence in the 1840s. Citizens were required to tell the police at the local registration office [Meldeamt or Einwohnermeldeamt] when they moved. The records created are called registrations [Melderegister] or residents lists [Einwohnerregister]. They are usually found at the city archives.

To use the records, you must know the approximate years a person lived in a town. The records usually give a person's name, birth date, birthplace, occupation, each residence in the city, and where he or she moved. These records supplement church records and civil registration. The Family History Library has a selection of these records, most notably in Hamburg, Sachsen, and Thüringen. For example, the library has over 4,000 films for Leipzig (1890-1949). Population registers are found in the Place Search of the catalog under:



Melde heading.jpg

This Melde Heading sample is translated below:
Column 1. Day of Arrival
Column 2. Name, also with females, include name of father
Column 3. Status or Occupation
Column 4. Birthdate - Day Month Year
Column 5. Birthplace and district
Column 6. Religion
Column 7. Nationality
Column 8. Previous residence
Column 9. Day of leaving
Column 10. New residence


  • Gesindeverzeichnisse were kept by the local police. They are part of the security measures incumbent on the police. For instance,  people working as servants (Gesinde) were closely monitored. They had to be registered with the local police. Read more about Gesinde here: Wikipedia, "Gesinde (People)".
  • In contrast to them, Gesindel (riffraff) were also closely observed.
  • In a Gesinde-Verzeichnis one can find a person's name, his date and place of birth, when he/she started the service, who the employer was, from when to when the service lasted and who issued a certificate of completion.

Some Gesindeverzeichnisse are available through Familysearch, catalog, locality, population or occupation and can be ordered through the Family History Center network. 

Lists of Inhabitants

Tax Records

Guild Records