Hanover (Hannover), German Empire Church Records

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Hanover (Hannover)
Wiki Topics
Getting Started
Major Record Types
Reading the Records
Additional Hanover
(Hannover) Record Types
Hanover (Hannover)
Hanover (Hannover) Local Research Resources
Germany Record Types
Germany Background

Church records (parish registers, church books) are an important source for genealogical research in Germany before civil registration began. They recorded details of baptisms, marriages, deaths and burials. The vast majority of the population was mentioned. To learn more about the types of information you will find in church records, click on these links:

For a comprehensive understanding of church records, study the article Germany Church Records.

Finding Church Records[edit | edit source]

Parish Register Inventories[edit | edit source]

Church record inventories are essential tools for finding German records. They identify what records should be available for a specified parish and where to write for information on these records. They list the church records, their location, and the years they cover. Sometimes inventories explain which parishes served which towns at different periods of time. Hanover (Hannover) was predominantly Evangelical Lutheran in the east and the northwest, and predominantly Catholic in the southwest.

  • Hanover (Hannover) was mostly covered by the archives of two Catholic dioceses: Hildesheim and Osnabrück. Records for parishes in the city of Vechta are in the Catholic archives for the diocese of Münster. To find the correct Catholic diocese archives, look up your parish in The Catholic Directory for Germany. Click on "View Full Listing" to find the diocese for that parish.

1. Online Church Records[edit | edit source]

Hannover City or Kindgom of Hannover[edit | edit source]

If information about your own ancestor shows that they were from Hannover, they might have been from Hannover City or somewhere else outside the city but within the Kingdom of Hannover (surrounding the city). Use the indexes of births, marriages, and deaths at Kirchenbuchindex, 1774-1875 to determine whether they were from the city.

Ancestry.com ($)[edit | edit source]

Ancestry.com can be searched free of charge at your local Family History Center.

2. Digital Copies of Church Records in the FamilySearch Catalog[edit | edit source]

Try to find records in the collection of the FamilySearch Library. Many microfilms have been digitized for online viewing. Gradually, everything will be digitized, so check back occasionally. Some have viewing restrictions, and can only be viewed at a Family History Center near you, and/or by members of supporting organizations. To find records:

a. Click on records of Germany, Preussen, Hannover (the province) or records for Hannover city. For Hannover City, skip to "d."
b. Click on Places within Germany, Preussen, Hannover and a list of towns will appear.
c. Click on your town if it appears, or the location which you believe was the parish which served your town or village.
d. Click on the "Church records" topic. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
e. Choose the correct record type and time period for your ancestor. "Geburten" are births. "Taufen" are christenings/baptisms. "Heiraten" are marriages. "Tote" are deaths.
f. Some combination of these icons will appear at the far right of the microfilm listed for the record. FHL icons.png. The magnifying glass indicates that the microfilm is at least partially indexed. Clicking on the magnifying glass will take you to the index. Clicking on the camera will take you to an online digital copy of the microfilm.

3. Research in Church and State Archives[edit | edit source]

Church records or duplicates may have been gathered from the local parishes into central archives, either by the churches or the state. Older records are frequently given to these archives for safekeeping. Some gaps in the church records of local parishes could be filled using these records.

  • Pdf Archive Inventory: "Part 1 of 2: Church records in Archives" - is an inventory of localities and the location or archive where their records should be found. The sixth column, "Archives", gives a number. To find the name and contact information, look up that number in the second column of this .pdf: Part 2: Archive Addresses.  It is not clear how up-to-date this inventory is.

Some archives offer searches for a fee. Archives might be unable to handle genealogical requests, but they can determine whether they have specific records you need, sometimes perform very brief research, such as just one record, or they may recommend a researcher who can search the records for you. Archivists are required to speak English.

E-mail[edit | edit source]

  • You can e-mail archives and ask whether they have records for a parish. Also, you should inquire whether they provide research services and what their fees are. You can communicate with the archives in English.

Evangelical Lutheran Archives[edit | edit source]

Kirchenbuchamt Hannover[edit | edit source]

Landeskirchliche Archiv Hannover
Hildesheimer Strasse 165/167
30173 Hannover

Phone: 0511-9878-555
Fax: 0511-9878-660
E-Mail: Kirchenbuch.Staki.Hannover@evlka.de
List of holdings drop-down of all Hannover parishes filmed by the Landeskirchliche Archiv (Evangelical Church Archive) of Hannover.

The Kirchenbuchamt has microfiches as a central microfiche reading site of the filmed church books from the area of ​​the Hannoverschen Landeskirche. Filmed are all church books and isolated civil register from the time before 1852, in many municipalities also until 1875. The microfiches are available to all interested persons for inspection by pre-registration. Written requests are also processed, with longer processing times to be expected. In addition, the Kirchenbuchamt preserves the older churches and maintains the current church records of the church communities in the Stadtkirchenverband Hannover. These are fully accessible through registers, some of which are subject to special conditions.

Catholic Archives[edit | edit source]

Bistumarchiv Hildesheim[edit | edit source]

Pfaffenstieg 2
31134 Hildesheim

Postal Address: Postfach 100263
31134 Hildesheim

Phone: 05121 - 3079 30
05121 - 3079 32
Fax: 05121 - 3079 50
E-mail: Bistumsarchiv@bistum-hildesheim.de
Matricula, Catholic Records of the Diocese of Hildesheim Online

Archives of the Diocese of Osnabrück[edit | edit source]

Great Domsfreiheit 10
49074 Osnabrück

Telephone:0541 318-415
E-mail: g.wilhelm@bistum-os.de
The church records of all the parishes, which are still part of the Diocese of Osnabrück, are digital and represent a rich source of information for family researchers. The data are approved for births up to 120 years ago and for weddings and funerals up to 100 years ago.

Government Archives[edit | edit source]

Landesarchiv Niedersachsen Hannover[edit | edit source]

Am Archiv 1
30169 Hannover

Telephone: 0511 120-6601
Fax: 0511 120-6699
E-mail: hannover@nla.niedersachsen.de

4. Writing to a Local Priest for Church Records[edit | edit source]

  • Baptism, marriage, and death records may be searched by contacting the local Catholic or Lutheran church or the Catholic diocese archives.

Protestant[edit | edit source]

Catholic[edit | edit source]

E-mail[edit | edit source]

  • Because many churches now have known e-mail addresses, you can quickly check whether the parish records are stored at the parish church or have been moved to archives. If possible, do this before sending a more detailed inquiry or any money. Links for church addresses are found on the wiki pages for the individual states and counties of Germany.

I. Are the parish records for _________to ___________ (time period range) at your church still?  

1. Sind die Kirchenbücher für den Zeitraum von _____ bis _____ noch in Ihrer Kirchengemeinde?

2. If they have been moved to an archive, can you tell me where they are now?

2. Falls sie nun in einem Archiv sind, können Sie mir bitte sagen, wo sie sich jetzt befinden?

Writing to a Local Parish[edit | edit source]

Write a brief request in German to the proper church using this address as a guide, replacing the information in parentheses:

For a Protestant Parish:

An das evangelische Pfarramt
(Insert street address, if known.)
(Postal Code) (Name of Locality)

For a Catholic Parish:

An das katholische Pfarramt
(Insert street address, if known.)
(Postal Code) (Name of Locality)

How to Write a Letter[edit | edit source]

Detailed instruction for what to include in the letter, plus German translations of the questions and sentences most frequently used are in the German Letter Writing Guide.

Other Religious Groups[edit | edit source]

To learn how to determine the location of other religious records, namely Jewish, French Reformed, German Reformed, etc., watch Hansen’s Map Guides: Finding Records with Parish Maps beginning at 48:00 minutes, to learn how to locate these congregations. Then go back and watch from the beginning to understand how to use the reference book. Also, you can read Map Guide to German Parish Registers. This video and handout teach you how to use a set of reference books found at the FamilySearch Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

5. Compiled and Published Secondary Sources[edit | edit source]

Caution sign.png

Compiled genealogies and published genealogies are secondary sources, not original or primary sources.

As such, they are subject to human error through translation or transcription errors, mistaken interpretations, and opinion decisions of another researcher.

You should make every effort to base your research on the actual, original records or their digitized images.

Town Genealogies (Ortssippenbuch or Ortsfamilienbuch)[edit | edit source]

See the class, Online Ortsfamilienbücher at Genealogy.net, and Wiki article, Germany Town Genealogies and Parish Register Inventories on the Internet. Published town genealogies, Ortssippenbuch (town lineage book) or Ortsfamilienbuch (town family book), generally include birth, marriage, and death data for all persons found in the local records during a specified time period, compiled into families based on the opinion of the author. If one is available, it should only be used as an index or guide to finding the original records. They usually contain errors. Always verify their information in original records.

Reading the Records[edit | edit source]

German Records[edit | edit source]

  • It's easier than you think! You do not have to be fluent in French and German to use these records, as there is only a limited vocabulary used in them. By learning a few key phrases, you will be able to read them adequately. Here are some resources for learning to read German records.
German Genealogical Word List
French Genealogical Word List
Latin Genealogical Word List
  • These video webinars will teach you to read German handwriting:

Downloadable Handouts[edit | edit source]

These printable handouts can be used for ready reference when reading German Handwriting.

Vocabulary found on Specific Records:

Dates, Numbers, Abbreviations:

Miscellaneous Vocabulary:


  • Fraktur Font--Many forms and books are printed in this font.

Latin Records[edit | edit source]

Records of the Catholic church will usually be written in Latin:

Feast Dates[edit | edit source]

Search Strategy[edit | edit source]

  • Search for the relative or ancestor you selected. When you find their birth record, search for the births of their brothers and sisters.
  • Next, search for the marriage of their parents. The marriage record will have information that will often help you find the birth records of the parents.
  • Search the death registers for all known family members.
  • Calculate the birth date of the parents, using age at death and/or marriage to search for their birth records.
  • Repeat this process for both the father and the mother, starting with their birth records, then their siblings' births, then their parents' marriages, and so on.
  • If earlier generations (parents, grandparents, etc.) do not appear in the records, search neighboring parishes.