Mecklenburg-Schwerin, German Empire Genealogy

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Guide to Mecklenburg-Schwerin, 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.

German Empire Wiki Topics
Getting Started
Major Mecklenburg-
Schwerin Record Types
Reading the Records
Additional Mecklenburg-
Schwerin Record Types
Mecklenburg-Schwerin Research Resources
Germany Record Types
Germany Background

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

  • The Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin was a territory in Northern Germany held by the House of Mecklenburg residing at Schwerin.
  • The Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin was created in 1701, when Frederick William and Adolphus Frederick II divided the Duchy of Mecklenburg between Schwerin and Strelitz.
  • It was a sovereign member state of the German Confederation and became a federated state of the North German Confederation and finally of the German Empire in 1871.
  • After the fall of the monarchies in 1918, resulting from World War I, the Grand Duchy became the Free State of Mecklenburg-Schwerin.
  • On 1 January 1934, it was united with the neighboring Free State of Mecklenburg-Strelitz to form a new united state of Mecklenburg.
  • After World War II, the Soviet government occupying eastern Germany merged Mecklenburg with the smaller neighboring region of Western Pomerania (Vorpommern) to form the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Wikipedia

Getting Started[edit | edit source]

Getting Started with Germany Research

Links to articles on getting started with German research:

See More Research Strategies

Germany Research Tools

Links to tools and websites that assist in German research:

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Ask the

Historical Geography[edit | edit source]

Mecklenburg-Schwerin within the German Empire

German Empire - Mecklenburg Schwerin (1871).svg.png

Mecklenburg-Scherin and Mecklenburg-Strelitz

For a larger map, click here.

Modern Mecklenburg-Vorpommern

1127px-Karte der wichtigsten Flüsse in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.svg.png

For a larger map, click here.

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


1945: Merged with Mecklenburg-Strelitz and Western Pomerania to form the current state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern


Finding Birth, Marriage, and Death Records for Mecklenburg-Schwerin[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.
Also, see:

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.

You can also consult Mecklenburg-Schwerin Parish Record Inventories to learn the Lutheran or Catholic parish that would have kept records for your town.

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

Follow the instructions in Mecklenburg-Schwerin, German Empire Civil Registration.

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

Follow the instructions in Mecklenburg-Schwerin, German Empire Church Records.

5. 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.

Tutorial[edit | edit source]

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: