Saxony (Sachsen), German Empire Genealogy

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Saxony (Sachsen)

Guide to Saxony (Sachsen), 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.

Saxony (Sachsen),
(Kingdom of)
Wiki Topics
Königstein, Saxony.jpg
Getting Started
Major Saxony (Sachsen) Record Types
Reading the Records
Additional Saxony (Sachsen)
Record Types
Saxony Background
Local Research Resources
Germany Record Types
Germany Background

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

  • The Kingdom of Saxony (German: Königreich Sachsen), lasting between 1806 and 1918, was an independent member of a number of historical confederacies in Napoleonic through post-Napoleonic Germany.
  • The kingdom was formed from the Electorate of Saxony.
  • From 1871, it was part of the German Empire.
  • It became a Free state in the era of Weimar Republic in 1918 after the end of World War I. 
  • Its modern successor state is the Free State of Saxony.
  • Several municipalities from Silesia (Schlesien) and the Province of Saxony (Sachsen Provinz) are in modern Saxony (Sachsen). See maps and Areas of Modern Saxony Annexed from Other 1871 States below.

The area of Saxony (Sachsen) in the German Empire should not be confused with "Old Saxony," the area inhabited by Saxons. “Old Saxony” corresponds roughly to the modern German states of Lower Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, and the Westphalian part of North Rhine-Westphalia.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:

See More Research Tools
Ask the

Historical Geography[edit | edit source]

Kingdom of Saxony
German Empire, 1871

German Empire - Saxony (1871).svg.png

The Kingdom of Saxony (Sachsen)

For a larger map, click on the above map.

Modern State of Saxony
Former Kingdom of Saxony
with Annexed Areas (See List Below.)

Saxony modern map.png
For a larger map, click on the above map.

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

Saxony (Sachsen)

Current state of Saxony has little change from the Kingdom of Saxony (Sachsen) during the German Empire.
1945: Only a small area of Saxony lying east of the Neisse River and centered around the town of Reichenau (now called Bogatynia), was annexed by Poland.
1990: The state gained further areas around Torgau north of Leipzig that had belonged to Saxony-Anhalt until 1952.

Sachsen Note: "Preussen, Sachsen" is used for the Province of Saxony.

Finding Birth, Marriage, and Death Records for Saxony (Sachsen)[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 Saxony (Sachsen) Parish Register 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 Saxony (Sachsen), German Empire Civil Registration.

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

Follow the instructions in Saxony (Sachsen), German Empire Church Records.

More Research Strategies and Tools[edit | edit source]

Vocabulary found on Specific Records:
Dates, Numbers, Abbreviations:
Miscellaneous Vocabulary:
  • Fraktur Font -- Many forms and books are printed in this font.