Saxony-Anhalt, Germany Genealogy

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Guide to Saxony-Anhalt ancestry, family history and genealogy: birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, parish registers, and military records.

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On 9 July 1944, the Soviet SVAG ordered the merger of the Free State of Anhalt, Halle-Merseburg, the governorate of Magdeburg (in its then borders), Allstedt (before Thuringia) and some Brunswickian eastern exclaves of Calvörde and the eastern part of the former Blankenburg district with the Province of Saxony. On 20 October 1946, the Province of Saxony was renamed as the Province of Saxony-Anhalt, taking the prior merger into account. From 1952 to 1990 the East German states were dissolved and Saxony-Anhalt's territory was divided into the East German districts of Halle and Magdeburg. except territory around Torgau was in Leipzig. In 1990, in the course of German reunification, the districts were reintegrated as a state. But, territory around Torgau did not return to the state and joined Saxony. Wikipedia

For German Research, You Must Know Your Ancestors' Town

  • To begin using the records of Germany, knowing that your family came from Saxony-Anhalt 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 "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.

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.

Here is part of an entry from (The whole entry can be studied at Heusenstamm, MeyersGaz.)

The most important facts here are:

  1. Heusenstamm is in Offenbach Kreis (Kr).
  2. It has its own Standesamt (StdA) or civil registration office.
  3. It has its own Catholic parish church.
  4. By clicking on the "Ecclesiastical" option, we learn that the closest protestant church is 2 miles away in Bieber.

  • If you find several towns of the same name, checking each one for the birth record of your ancestor may be needed to narrow down the field.

Figure Out the Parish for Your Town

Your town might be too small to have its own parish church. Or it might have a Catholic church, but the Lutheran church is in a neighboring town. You might have to do a little reference work to determine where the church (and therefore the church records) was for your ancestors' town. Methods for doing this are described in:

Historical Geography

In 1944 the province of Saxony was divided into the provinces of Magdeburg and Halle-Merseburg , while the Regierungsbezirk Erfurt was moved to the administration of Thuringia. In 1945 the province of Saxony was re-established as a "province of Saxony-Anhalt" by combining the provinces of Magdeburg and Halle-Merseburg with the Land Anhalt. Saxony-Anhalt (Sachsen-Anhalt) Wikipedia

These historic areas
are now in Saxony-Anhalt.

  • Anhalt
  • Province of Saxony
  • The Brunswick enclaves of Calvorde and eastern Blankenburg
  • Magdeburg
  • Halle

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Former States Now in Saxony-Anhalt

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Modern Saxony-Anhalt


How to Find Birth, Marriage, and Death Records in Saxony-Anhalt

Most of your genealogical research for Saxony-Anhalt will be in three main record types: civil registration, church records, and, when available, a compiled town genealogy ("'Ortssippenbuch" or "Ortsfamilienbuch" in German). These articles will teach you how to use these records in digital databases, as microfilms, or by writing for them.

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