Germany, Hesse-Nassau, Civil Registers and Church Books (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at
Access the records: Germany, Hesse, Civil Registers and Church Books 1701-1875 .

Title in the Language of the Records

Deutschland, Hessen Civil Anmeldung und Kirche Bücher (FamilySearch Historische Aufzeichnungen)

Image Visibility

Whenever possible, FamilySearch makes images available for all users. However, ultimate rights to view images on our website are granted by the record custodians. German Data Privacy rules prohibit viewing the following records: All birth images must be 110 years or older; all marriage images must be 75 years or older, and all death images must be 30 years or older.

If any record on a digital folder contains birth records from the last 110 years, for example, the entire digital folder is restricted.

The Historical Records collections will be updated each year to show new unrestricted records. FamilySearch respects and strives to adhere to all privacy laws respective to preserving and providing access to genealogical records in its collection.

Record Description

This is a collection of images of civil vital records and church books filmed at the Marburg State Archive that pertain to the historical German state of Hessen-Nassau. Today, Hessen-Nassau is located primarily in Hessen with portions annexed to Rhineland-Pfalz and Thü'Images of civil vital records, church books, and Jewish vial records filmed at the Marburg State Archive that pertain to the historical German state of Hessen-Nassau, today located primarily in Hesse with portions annexed to Rhineland-Palatinate and Thuringia. The records were handwritten in narrative style and were later written into forms. The text of the records is in German.

These records are only those in the Marburg State Archives. There are other archives and holding in the state of Hessen. The Evangelische Kirchenarchiv Kurhessen und Waldeck / the Lutheran Church Archives for Kurhessen and Waldeck at Kassel includes 1,819 church books of vital records for church units in Hessen (Kurhessen, Hessen Kassel, Hessen Darmstadt, Hessen Nassau, & Waldeck) reaching into the 1500s. Other sources exist as well.

The clergy were required to record the vital events (births, marriages and deaths) of people living within their jurisdiction regardless of that person’s religion. This meant that events would be recorded even if the person did not have a local religious congregation.

The records of this collection were previously microfilmed at the Marburg State Archive, which holds civil registration records, church books, Jewish vital records, and other records intermixed. However, only the civil registration and church books records are included in this digital collection.

Civil and church records were created to record important events in the lives of the people of the land. This recording of data also helped provide citizenship benefits and statistics for civil authorities.

Church and civil records are the most reliable and accurate family history sources. But it wasn’t until the year 1876 that the civil registration of births, marriages, and deaths began in all of Germany.

For a list of records by localities, document type and dates currently published in this collection, select the Browse.

Citation for This Collection

The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in Historical Record collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher and archive for the original records.

“Germany, Hessen Civil Registers and Church Books, 1701-1935”, database, FamilySearch (, 2010; from Hessisches Staatsarchiv Marburg, Germany. “Germany, Hessen-Nassau civil registers and church books”. Marburg State Archive, Germany. FHL microfilm. Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Suggested citation format for a record in this collection.

Record Content

The key genealogical facts found on most birth or baptism records include the following:

  • Names of the child, parents, and witnesses or godparents
  • Date and place of birth and baptism
  • Residence and religion of the parents
  • Occupation of the father
  • Legitimacy

The key genealogical facts found on most marriage records include the following:

  • Names of the bride, groom, their parents (usually the fathers), and witnesses
  • Date and place of marriage and marriage proclamations or banns
  • Ages of the bride and groom
  • Sometimes the dates and places of birth
  • Residences of the bride, groom, and their parents
  • Religion of the bride and groom
  • Occupations of the groom and the fathers

The key genealogical facts found on most death records include the following:

  • Names of the deceased, the spouse, and the parents
  • Date and place of death and burial
  • Age and residence of deceased
  • Sometimes the date and place of birth
  • Cause of death

How to Use the Record

In order to find data in this collection, it is necessary to know the name of the ancestor, the religion, town of the event, and approximate date of the event.

Search the Collection
To search the collection you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒ Select the "Browse" link in the initial search page
⇒ Select the "Record Type" category
⇒ Select the "Religion or Civil Registration" category
⇒ Select the "Ort" category
⇒ Select the "Event Type" category which takes you to the images

Look at the images one by one comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine which one is your ancestor. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to make this determination.

Known Issues with This Collecton

Important.png Problems with this collection?
See a list of known issues, workarounds, tips, restrictions, future fixes, news and other helpful information.

For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached Wiki article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.

Related Websites

Related Wiki Articles

Contributions to This Article

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.


Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections

When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.

A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.

Citation Example for a Record Found in This Collection

“Argentina, Buenos Aires, Catholic Church Records, 1635-1981,” digital images, FamilySearch ( accessed 28 February, 2012), La Plata > San Ponciano > Matrimonios 1884-1886 > image 71 of 389 images, Artemio Avendano and Clemtina Peralta, 1884; citing Parroquia de San Ponciano en la Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Matrimonios. San Ponciano, La Plata.