Saxony Research Steps
Research steps Saxony through availabe records at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City or the affiliated Family History Centers
1. Your ancestor came from the Kingdom of Saxony. What do you know about him/her?
Establish a genealogical record and a research log in which to enter all research steps and findings.
2. Do you know the year of immigration/emigration?
You can find this information in the US Federal Census (starting 1850) or through the state census records. This research can be done online (Ancestry.com) or through US census films available through the Family History Library and its affiliated Family History Centers (seewww.familysearch.org for catalog entries and addresses).
3. You cannot obtain a place of birth/last residence for your ancestor through census or immigration records?
Consider researching other US records, such as marriage, births of children, death records, probate records, intentions of naturalization. Consider emigration port records such as from Hamburg, Bremen or other European points of departure. In the years 1871 to 1884 only a few percentage of emigrants came form Saxony, see http://www.peter-hug.ch/lexikon/Auswanderung click on: Ziele der deutschen Auswanderung 1871/1884. It is believed that more single people emigrated than did families during this time frame. In order for these singles to earn their passage they temporarily settled and worked near the emigration port. Therefore, police records should be considered as a source of retrieving origins of ancestors, such as the police records of Hamburg (Arbeiter und Dienstboten, Meldeprotokolle für Fremde, available through the Family History Library catalog). See also http://www.google.com/search?q=Immigration+Society+Sachsen&hl=en&rlz=1T4ADBF_enUS281US282&start=70&sa=N page 7 (German Ports: Gateway to America)
4. You have a birth place but no records are availabe through the Family History Library system
You will have to write to the church or civil registration and be aware of the following information:
The church records for the Freistaat Sachsen are with the individual parishes. In order to determine which village belongs to what parish, see the gazetteer online at http://hov.isgv.de/ which will indicate the proper church. Following are the church districts (Kirchenbezirke) of Sachsen as they are formed today, see http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evangelisch-Lutherische_Landeskirche_Sachsens for the following regions:
Region Bautzen Kirchenbezirk Bautzen Kirchenbezirk Kamenz Kirchenbezirk Löbau-Zittau
Region Chemnitz Kirchenbezirk Annaberg Kirchenbezirk Chemnitz Kirchenbezirk Flöha Kirchenbezirk Glauchau Kirchenbezirk Marienberg Kirchenbezirk Stollberg, since 01.01.2009 this region is part of Kirchenbezirk Annaberg
Region Dresden Kirchenbezirk Dippoldiswalde Kirchenbezirk Dresden Mitte Kirchenbezirk Dresden Nord Kirchenbezirk Freiberg Kirchenbezirk Großenhain Kirchenbezirk Meißen Kirchenbezirk Pirna
Region Leipzig Kirchenbezirk Borna Kirchenbezirk Leipzig Kirchenbezirk Leisnig-Oschatz Kirchenbezirk Rochlitz Kirchenbezirk Grimma
Region Zwickau Kirchenbezirk Aue Kirchenbezirk Auerbach Kirchenbezirk Plauen Kirchenbezirk Zwickau
The 25 Kirchenbezirke are subdivided into 915 parishes.
Some of the Kirchenbezirke have Ephoral archives. Genealogical research can be conducted in such places. Church books are available from the 1600s on.
Civil Registration began in the Freistaat Sachsen in 1876. For records please contact the local Standesamt or the communal archive. Link: http://www.archivschule.de/content/29.html
For help in Locating Leipzig Civil Registration Districts please click here. http://www.heirateninsachsen.de/01_heiraten/aemter/leipzig.php?stadt=3
5. If you desire to cement your research or simply understand more about your ancestor's circumstances consider doing research in court records. These are available through the Family Library system and are retrieved as follows:
All legal matters, including criminal cases in Saxony were originally handled by the local courts, the Amt, the cities and the patrimonial courts. They handled cases concerning taxes, matters of compulsory services, jurisprudence, police and military services. The documents for this time are housed in the State Archives of Saxony under administrations of the Erblande see http://www.archiv.sachsen.de/archive/dresden/1104.htm (choose Saxony before 1831). Under the topic "1.5.3. Justiz" are listed the institutions and their archival identification numbers (Signaturen) from the 1500s on. As the state of Saxony evolved and changed administrations, so their names changed. All cases were then handled by Ämter. They are listed with their ID numbers under 1.5.2 and later as 188.8.131.52.5 Gerichtsämter (courts).
Since most of the Saxon population were people of the land, the likelihood is that their names are mentioned in land records (buying or exchanging land) inheritance cases (Heergeräte = inheritance of a man and Gerade = inheritance of a woman), mortgage matters etc. Such records can be of great value to the family historian because detailed information is given in sales contracts and inheritance cases. Such facts will enhance the research and cement it.
An advantage is that court records with such invaluable information were filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah and can be retrieved through the Family History Library catalog at www.familysearch.org It is important to know which Amt or court was responsible for a given village. The Historical Gazetteer of Saxony online http://hov.isgv.de/quellen_und_literatur/ is a great help in locating the correct administration throughout history. Once the court is identified, it needs to be matched up with its name in the Family History Library Catalog. Before any research can be conducted, the so called "Findbuch" (archival index) has to be studied. In the Findbuch are listed all records for a lower court (Amt, Gerichtsamt, Amtsgericht). Attention has to be paid to archival numbers (Signaturen). They may not agree with modern Signaturen assigned by the archives. Once the Signaturen in the Findbuch have been matched with film numbers in the Family History Library catalog, films can be ordered and a search conducted through a Family History Center (www.familysearch.org) nearby.
A typical recorded land purchase will take place between sons and fathers, in-laws or other relatives. Children will be represented by their guardians who may be relatives. Women usually had no legal capacity, therefore, were also represented, maybe by a relative. Exact details of the property will be given which could clarify otherwise unclear relationships, since in former days many people shared the same names.