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

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Germany, Hesse-Nassau, Civil Registers and Church Books, 1701-1875
This article describes a collection of records at
Hesse-Nassau, Prussia,  Germany
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Flag of the German Empire, 1871-1917
German Empire - Prussia - Hesse Nassau (1871).svg.png
Location of Hesse-Nassau, Prussia, Germany
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Map of the German Empire, 1871-1917
Current Location
Hesse-Nassau is located in Germany.
Record Description
Record Type Civil Registers and Church Book
Collection years: 1701-1875
Languages: German
Title in the Language: Deutschland, Hessen-Nassau, Personenstandsregister und Kirchenbücher 1701-1875
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Hessisches Staatsarchiv, Marburg

What is in This Collection?[edit | edit source]

This is a collection of images of civil vital records and church books from the years 1701 to 1875 preserved in, and filmed at the Marburg State Archive. They pertain to Civil registers and church books containing births, marriages, and deaths (as well as occasional marriage proclamations) to places that were incorporated into the historical German state of Hessen-Nassau. Today, Hessen-Nassau is located primarily in Hessen with portions annexed to Rhineland-Palatinate and Thuringia. Most of these records were handwritten in narrative style, others in tables. Some of the later ones were written into forms. The text of the records is in Gothic German.

The bulk of church records for this region are held elsewhere. 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. The Diocesan Archive (Diozäsanarchiv) in Fulda holds many Catholic church records, and there are other archives as well.

A large portion of the registers in this collection constitute two groups, each from a narrow time period. The first group is universal civil vital records from the 4th quarter of 1874 and the year 1875. (Hessen-Nassau was part of Prussia, which introduced universal civil registration on October 1, 1874. The rest of Germany initiated such record-keeping on January 1, 1876.) The 1874-75 registers for 120 localities in Hessen-Nassau, including the cities of Hanau, Marburg, Fulda and Rotenburg/Fulda, are represented here.The second large group of records was created in 1808-1813, when the northern portion of what later became Hessen-Nassau was part of the Napoleonic Kingdom of Westphalia. Over 300 localities are represented in this group.

The records in this group are civil records, but most of them were kept by local clergy who had been appointed as registrars. Most of them are separated by religion, i.e., there are separate books for Lutherans and Jews, and occasionally for members of Reformed or Catholic parishes. The records may be found under any of the following descriptions: Amtsgericht, Bürgermeisterei, Gerichtsamt, Justizamt, Standesamt, Evangelisch, Katholisch, Französisch-Reformiert, Jüdische Gemeinde. Jewish records for Abterode, Bischhausen, Gensungen, Grebenstein, Gudensberg, Herleshausen, Netra, Schmalkalden, Spangenberg, Wichmannshausen and Wolfhagen are included under „Evangelisch.“ Those for Bettenhausen and Niederklein are found under „Bürgermeisterei“. Jewish records for Iba are under both „Standesamt“ and „Evangelisch“; the records from there seem to have been filmed twice. Separate Jewish records from 88 communities, primarily from 1825-1874, are present as well. Some of these are not designated as such, appearing instead under “Bürgermeisterei,” “Standesamt” or “Polizeiamt.”

Image Visibility[edit | edit source]

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For additional information about image restrictions, please see the Restrictions for Viewing Images in FamilySearch Historical Record Collections page.

Reading These Records[edit | edit source]

For help reading these German records see the following guides:

To Browse This Collection[edit | edit source]

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Germany, Hesse-Nassau, Civil Registers and Church Books, 1701-1875.

What Can These Records Tell Me?[edit | edit source]

The following information may be found in these records:


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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

Collection Content[edit | edit source]

Sample Images[edit | edit source]

How Do I Search This Collection?[edit | edit source]

When searching, it is helpful to know:

  • Your ancestor's name
  • Age and or residence
  • An estimated event year
  • A relative’s name

Search the Index[edit | edit source]

Search by name by visiting the Collection Details Page.
  1. Fill in the search boxes in the Search Collection section with the information you know
  2. Click Search to show possible matches

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Germany, Hesse-Nassau, Civil Registers and Church Books, 1701-1875.

View the Images[edit | edit source]

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page

  1. Select Place
  2. Select Religion or Civil Registration Office
  3. Select Event type to view the images

How Do I Analyze the Results?[edit | edit source]

Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images. Keep track of your research in a research log.

What Do I Do Next?[edit | edit source]

I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • Add any new information to your records
  • Use the age in the record to find an approximate birth year, which will help you find their other records
  • Use the information in each record to find additional family members
  • Repeat this process with additional family member’s records to find more generations of the family

I Can’t Find the Person I’m Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • Consult the Germany Record Finder to find other records
  • Try viewing the original record to see if there were errors in the transcription of the name, age, residence, etc. Remember that their may be more than one person in the records with the same name
  • Collect entries for every person who has the same surname. This list can help you identify possible relations that can be verified by records
  • If you cannot locate your ancestor in the locality in which you believe they lived, then try searching records of a nearby locality in an area search
  • Standard spelling of names typically did not exist during the periods our ancestors lived in. Try variations of your ancestor’s name while searching the index or browsing through images

Research Helps[edit | edit source]

The following articles will help you in your research for your family in Germany.

Citing This Collection[edit | edit source]

Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.

Collection Citation:
The citation for this collection can be found on the Collection Details Page in the section Citing this Collection.
Record Citation:
When looking at a record, the citation can be viewed by clicking the drop-down arrow next to Document Information.
Image Citation:
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.

How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?[edit | edit source]

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