Lübeck, German Empire Genealogy

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Lübeck, German Empire

Guide to Lübeck, German Empire ancestry, family history, and genealogy before 1945: birth records, marriage records, death records, both church and civil registration, compiled family history, and finding aids.

Lübeck, German Empire Wiki Topics
Beginning Research
Lübeck Major Record Types
Reading the Records
Additional Lübeck
Record Types
Lübeck Background
Local Research Resources
Germany Record Types
Germany Background
The FamilySearch moderator for Germany is Baerbel

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

  • The Free and Hanseatic City of Lübeck was a city-state from 1226 to 1937, in what is now the German states of Schleswig-Holstein and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.
  • From 1811 to 1813, Lübeck was formally annexed as part of the First French Empire. Lübeck reassumed its pre-1811 status in 1813. 

  • The 1815 Congress of Vienna reconfirmed Lübeck's independence and it became one of 39 sovereign states of the German Confederation.

  • Lübeck joined the North German Confederation in 1867. 

  • In 1871 Lübeck became an autonomous component state within the newly founded German Empire. 

  • In 1937, Hamburg was expanded to include towns that had formerly belonged to Schleswig-Holstein. To compensate Prussia for these losses, the 711-year-long statehood of Lübeck came to an end and almost all its territory was incorporated into Schleswig-Holstein. (Wikipedia)

Getting Started[edit | edit source]

Getting Started with Germany Research

Links to articles on getting started with German research:

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Germany Research Tools

Links to tools and websites that assist in German research:

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Historical Geography[edit | edit source]

Lübeck within the German Empire

German Empire - Lubeck (1871).svg.png

Lubeck as a Member
of the German Empire, 1871-1937
Lubeck Within the Modern
State of Schleswig-Holstein

Lubeck SH.png

For a larger map, click here.
Territory of the Free City of Lübeck, 1815–1937

Several small towns in the outskirts of Lübeck City belonged to Lübeck.
To enlarge the map, click on it 2-3 times.


History of Lübeck in the German Empire
Geo-Political Differences Today
FamilySearch Catalog
(organized by 1871 Meyer's Gazetteer)
Wiki Pages


1937: Became part of the current state of Schleswig-Holstein (Map)


Finding Birth, Marriage, and Death Records for Lübeck[edit | edit source]

Most of the information you need to identify you ancestors and their families will be found in two major record groups: civil registration and church records. To locate these records, follow the instructions in these Wiki articles.

1. Find the name of your ancestor's town in family history records.[edit | edit source]

Records were kept on the local level. You must know the town where your ancestor lived. If your ancestor was a United States Immigrant, use the information in the Wiki article Germany Finding Town of Origin to find evidence of the name of the town where your ancestors lived in Germany.

2. Use gazetteers and/or parish register inventories to learn more important details.[edit | edit source]

Your ancestor's town might have been too small to have its own parish church or civil registration office. Find the location of the Catholic or Lutheran (Evangelical) parish that served your ancestor's locality. Find the name of the civil registration office (Standesamt) that serves your ancestor's locality. Use the Wiki article Finding Aids For German Records for step-by-step instructions.

Germany was first unified as a nation in 1871. An important gazetteer, Meyers Orts- und Verkehrs-lexikon des deutschen Reichs, "Meyer's Gazetter" for short, details the place names of villages, towns, counties (kreise), and higher jurisdictions used at that time. In the Research Wiki, FamilySearch Catalog, and FamilySearch Historical Records, the records of Germany are organized using those place names.

At the end of both World Wars, the boundaries of the states were changed dramatically, as areas of Germany were distributed among the Allied nations. Eventually, after re-unification in 1990, the states of Germany settled into what they are today. It is also necessary to understand Germany by this system, as it affects the locations of civil registration offices, archives, and mailing addresses used in correspondence searches.

3. Use census records as clues to finding family members in church and civil registration records.[edit | edit source]

You can find probable families in census records, then use church and civil registration records to determine if the family is a match, find additional information on the family, and document your family accurately. Church and civil registration records are primary sources and everything you find in a census record should be proven in primary sources.

Follow the instructions in Lübeck, German Empire Census.

4. For birth, marriage, and death records from 1811-1815 and after 1 January 1876, use civil registration.[edit | edit source]

Follow the instructions in Lübeck, German Empire Civil Registration.

5. For baptism, marriage, and death records, use church records or parish registers.[edit | edit source]

Follow the instructions in Lübeck, German Empire Church Records.

More Research Strategies and Tools[edit | edit source]

  • These printable handouts can be used for ready reference when reading German Handwriting.
Vocabulary found on Specific Records:
Dates, Numbers, Abbreviations:
Miscellaneous Vocabulary:
  • Fraktur Font -- Many forms and books are printed in this font.
German Given Names: