Saxony, Germany Genealogy
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Guide to Saxony ancestry, family history and genealogy: birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, parish registers, and military records.
Saxony has a long history as a duchy, an electorate of the Holy Roman Empire (the Electorate of Saxony), and finally as the kingdom of Saxony. In 1918, after Germany's defeat in World War I, its monarchy was overthrown and a republican form of government was established under the current name. The state was broken up into smaller units during communist rule from 1949 to 1989, but was re-established on 3 October 1990 on the reunification of East and West Germany.
Between 1697 and 1763, the Electors of Saxony were also elected Kings of Poland. In 1756, Saxony joined a coalition of Austria, France and Russia against Prussia.
In 1806, French Emperor Napoleon abolished the Holy Roman Empire and established the Electorate of Saxon as a kingdom in exchange for military support. Liberal pressures in Saxony mounted and broke out in revolt during 1830 a year of revolution in Europe The revolution in Saxony resulted in a constitution for the State of Saxony that served as the basis for its government until 1918. In the 1860's a war broke out called the Austro-Prussian war. Prussian troops overran Saxony without resistance and then invaded Austrian Bohemia. After the , Saxony was forced to pay an indemnity and to join the North German Confederation in 1867. In 1871, Saxony joined the newly formed German Empire
. In October 1923 the federal government overthrew the the legally elected Communist coalition government of Saxony. As World War II drew to a close American troops occupied the western part of Saxony in April 1945, while Soviet troops occupied the eastern part. That summer, the entire state was handed over to Soviet forces as agreed in the London Protocol of September 1944. Britain, the USA, and the USSR then negotiated Germany's future at the Potsdam Conference. The German Democratic Republic East Germany, including Saxony, was established in 1949 out of the Soviet zone of Occupied Germany, becoming a constitutionally socialist state. In 1952 the government abolished the Free State of Saxony.
The Free State of Saxony was reconstituted with slightly altered borders in 1990, following German reunification.
Information about Saxony, Germany
How to Find Birth, Marriage, and Death Records for Saxony
For German Research, You Must Know Your Ancestors' Town
- To begin using the records of Germany, knowing that your family came from Saxony will not be enough to use the records of Germany. Records are kept on the local level, so you will have to know the town they lived in.
- Details about the town will also help:
- the county or "Bezirkamt or Kreis" of that town,
- where the closest Evangelical Lutheran or Catholic parish church was (depending on their religion),
- where the civil registration office ("Standesamt") was, and
- if you have only a village name, you will need the name of the larger town it was part of.
Research to Find the Town
If you do not yet know the name of the town of your ancestor's birth, there are well-known strategies for a thorough hunt for it.
- Use Gathering Information to Locate Place of Origin as a guide in exhausting every possible record to find what you need.
- Or watch this webinar: Online Class: Finding German Places of Origin
**Also search the German Emigration Database at Bremerhaven.
If You Know the Town, Next Use Meyers Gazetteer
Once you know the town name you need, the other facts you need are contained in Meyers Orts- und Verkehrs-lexikon des deutschen Reichs, the gazetteer on which the FamilySearch catalog for Germany is based.
- Use MeyersGaz, the digital gazetteer, to find the details you need, particularly the Bezirksamt it belonged to, found after (BA) and the Regierungsbezirk (Administrative District) Niederbayern (RB).
- MeyersGaz Help Guide
- Abbreviation Table
- Here is part of an entry from MeyersGaz.org.
The most important facts here are:
- Wellheim is in Eichstätt Bezirksamt (BA).
- It is in Regierungsbezirk (Administrative District) Middle Franconia (MFranken) (RB)
- It has its own Standesamt (StdA) or civil registration office.
- It has one Catholic parish church (kath. K.).
- By clicking on the "Ecclesiastical" option, we learn that the Protest church for Wellheim is in Eichstätt. We also find other nearby churches.
For town and city maps in Sachsen click here and then click on "Zur Kartendarstellung". You can use a specific street address if you know it.
Another online map showing towns and administrations (Amtsgerichte = Lower Courts) can be found here
This site will give you parish jurisdictions and other interesting and helpful information regarding towns and cities in Sachsen.
Within the German Empire, 1871
Former Kingdom of Saxony
with Annexed Areas (See List Below.)
Areas of Modern Saxony Annexed from Other 1871 States
Bautzen Kreis, Saxony:
- Most of this Kreis was originally in Saxony, except for:
- City of Hoyerswerda, Silesia (no records in library at this time)
Görlitz Kreis, Saxony
- Görlitz City, Silesia
- Görlitz Kreis, Silesia
- Rothenburg Kreis, Silesia
Nordsachsen Kreis, Saxony
- Delitzch Kreis, Province of Saxony
- Torgau Kreis, Province of Saxony
- Municipalities of Bitterfeld Kreis, Province of Saxony
- Municipalities from Liebenwerda Kreis, Province of Saxony
- Municipalities from Wittenberg Kreis, Province of Saxony