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 scheduled to become available at

Foreign Language Title

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

Collection Time Period

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

How to Use the Records

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.

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 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

Record Scope and Extent

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.

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 Collection Was 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.

Related Web Sites

Related Wiki Articles

Germany Civil Registration

Germany Church Records

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.

Known Issues with This Collection

Important.png Problems with this collection?

The Germany, Hessen-Nassua Civil Registers and Church Books, 1701-1875 Historical Collection has been removed from the FamilySearch beta website for technical reasons. Our goal is to restore the collection at a future date. Thank you for your understanding and patience as we work to improve our services.

Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections

A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the Wiki Article: How to Cite FamilySearch Collections

Please add sample citations to this article following the format guidelines in the wiki article listed above. Examples of citations:

  • United States. Bureau of the Census. 12th census, 1900, digital images, From FamilySearch Internet ( September 29, 2006), Arizona Territory, Maricopa, Township 1, East Gila, Salt River Base and Meridian; sheet 9B, line 71
  • Mexico, Distrito Federal, Catholic Church Records, 1886-1933, digital images, from FamilySearch Internet ( April 22, 2010), Baptism of Adolfo Fernandez Jimenez, 1 Feb. 1910, San Pedro Apóstol, Cuahimalpa, Distrito Federal, Mexico, film number 0227023

Style Guide

For guidelines to use in creating wiki articles that describe collections of images and indexes produced by FamilySearch, see: FamilySearch Wiki: Guidelines for FamilySearch Collections pages

Sources of Information for This Collection:

“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.

The format for citing FamilySearch Historical Collections, including how to cite individual archives is found in the following link: How to Create Source Citations for FamilySearch Historical Records Collections