Mecklenburg-Schwerin, German Empire Genealogy
Guide to Mecklenburg-Schwerin, German Empire ancestry, family history, and genealogy before 1945: birth records, marriage records, death records, both church and civil registration, compiled family history, and finding aids.
Historical Background[edit | edit source]
- The Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin was a territory in Northern Germany held by the House of Mecklenburg residing at Schwerin.
- The Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin was created in 1701, when Frederick William and Adolphus Frederick II divided the Duchy of Mecklenburg between Schwerin and Strelitz.
- It was a sovereign member state of the German Confederation and became a federated state of the North German Confederation and finally of the German Empire in 1871.
- After the fall of the monarchies in 1918, resulting from World War I, the Grand Duchy became the Free State of Mecklenburg-Schwerin.
- On 1 January 1934, it was united with the neighboring Free State of Mecklenburg-Strelitz to form a new united state of Mecklenburg.
- After World War II, the Soviet government occupying eastern Germany merged Mecklenburg with the smaller neighboring region of Western Pomerania (Vorpommern) to form the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Wikipedia
Getting Started[edit | edit source]
Getting Started with Germany Research
Links to articles on getting started with German research:
Germany Research Tools
Links to tools and websites that assist in German research:
Historical Geography[edit | edit source]
1945: Merged with Mecklenburg-Strelitz and Western Pomerania to form the current state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
Finding Birth, Marriage, and Death Records for Mecklenburg-Schwerin[edit | edit source]
Most of the information you need to identify you ancestors and their families will be found in two major record groups: civil registration and church records. To locate these records, follow the instructions in these Wiki articles.
1. Find the name of your ancestor's town in family history records.[edit | edit source]
Records were kept on the local level. You must know the town where your ancestor lived. If your ancestor was a United States Immigrant, use the information in the Wiki article Germany Finding Town of Origin to find evidence of the name of the town where your ancestors lived in Germany.
- Hamburg Passenger Lists
- Names of Mecklenburg-Schwerin Emigrants 1844-1915
- The emigration from Mecklenburg-Schwerin to overseas countries, especially after the United States of North America
- Mecklenburg-Schwerin Census records that have been indexed can help find your family in their Germany home. Be careful that any family data you find in the census is an exact match for everything you know about your family. It is highly likely that you will find several possible families that are similar to yours.
2. Use gazetteers and/or parish register inventories to learn more important details.[edit | edit source]
Your ancestor's town might have been too small to have its own parish church or civil registration office. Find the location of the Catholic or Lutheran (Evangelical) parish that served your ancestor's locality. Find the name of the civil registration office (Standesamt) that serves your ancestor's locality. Use the Wiki article Finding Aids For German Records for step-by-step instructions.
Germany was first unified as a nation in 1871. An important gazetteer, Meyers Orts- und Verkehrs-lexikon des deutschen Reichs, "Meyer's Gazetter" for short, details the place names of villages, towns, counties (kreise), and higher jurisdictions used at that time. In the Research Wiki, FamilySearch Catalog, and FamilySearch Historical Records, the records of Germany are organized using those place names.
You can also consult Mecklenburg-Schwerin Parish Record Inventories to learn the Lutheran or Catholic parish that would have kept records for your town.
At the end of both World Wars, the boundaries of the states were changed dramatically, as areas of Germany were distributed among the Allied nations. Eventually, after re-unification in 1990, the states of Germany settled into what they are today. It is also necessary to understand Germany by this system, as it affects the locations of civil registration offices, archives, and mailing addresses used in correspondence searches.
3. For birth, marriage, and death records after 1 January 1876, use civil registration.[edit | edit source]
Follow the instructions in Mecklenburg-Schwerin, German Empire Civil Registration.
4. For baptism, marriage, and death records, use church records or parish registers.[edit | edit source]
Follow the instructions in Mecklenburg-Schwerin, German Empire Church Records.
5. Use census records as clues to finding family members in church and civil registration records.[edit | edit source]
You can find probable families in census records, then use church and civil registration records to determine if the family is a match, find additional information on the family, and document your family accurately. Church and civil registration records are primary sources and everything you find in a census record should be proven in primary sources.
- Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Germany, Census, 1919 (in German), index and images ($)
- Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Germany, Census, 1900 (in German)], index and images. Also at Ancestry.com, (in German), index and images.($)
- Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Germany, Census, 1890 (in German), index and images. Also at Ancestry.com, (in German), index and images.($)
- Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Germany, Census, 1867 (in German), index and images. Also at Ancestry.com, (in German), index and images.($)
- Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Germany, Census, 1819 (in German), index and images.($)
Tutorial[edit | edit source]
- Mecklenburg Censuses - Instruction
More Research Strategies and Tools[edit | edit source]
- Germany Online Classes and Tutorials
- Reading German Handwritten Records Practice exercises to build your skills and confidence.
- Old German Script Transcriber (alte deutsche Handschriften): See your family names in the script of the era. Type your name or other word into the font generator tool. Click on the 8 different fonts. Save the image to your computer and use it as you work with old Germanic records.
- Finding Aids for German Records
- Research Tips and Strategies
- Print these handouts for ready reference when reading German Handwriting:
- Kurrent Letters Handout
- Numbers Handout
- Birth Records Handout
- Marriage Records Handout
- Death Records Handout
- Days and Months Handout
- Common Symbols Handout
- Common Abbreviations Handout
- List of Names in Old German Script A comprehensive list of German given names, written in old script, with possible variations.
- Fraktur Font--Many forms and books are printed in this font.
- German Research, BYU Independent Study, no cost.