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

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Foreign Language Title

You can help FamilySearch Wiki by supplying a translation of the title in German here.

Collection Time Period

This collection of civil registers covers the years 1803 to 1935, and the church books cover the years 1701 to 1874.

Record History

The clergy were required to record the vital events (births, marriages and deaths) of people living within their jurisdiction regardless of the 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.

Why This Records Were Created

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.

Record Reliability

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.

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 Thüringen. The records were handwritten in narrative style and later were written into forms. The text of the records is in German.

Record Content

The key genealogical facts found on most birth or baptism or birth 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 date and place 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.

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Related Wiki Articles

Germany Civil Registration

Germany Church Records

Related Web Sites

Sources of This Collection

“Germany, Hassen 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.

How to Cite Your Sources

Instructions on citing specific records or images within this collection. A full bibliographic record is available in the Family History Library Catalog.

Style Guide Link

A style guide for this article