==Finding Civil Registration Records==
'''After 1945, the main source for research will be civil registration. ''' Civil registration records are records of births, marriages, and deaths kept by the government. In Brunswick (Braunschweig), they were started 1 January 1876. German terms for these records include ''Standesamtsregister'', ''Zivilstandsregister'', or ''Personenstandsregister''. They are an excellent source for information on names and dates and places of births, marriages, and deaths. These records are kept by the civil registrar (Standesbeamte) at the civil registry office (Standesamt). Study these links to learn what information can be found in them:
*'''[[Germany Civil Registration#Births (Geburtsregister)|Births (Geburtsregister)]]'''
*'''[[Germany Civil Registration#Marriages (Heiraten, Ehen, or Trauungen)|Marriages (Heiraten, Ehen, or Trauungen)]]'''
*'''[[Germany Civil Registration#Deaths (Sterberegister or Totenregister)|Deaths (Sterberegister or Totenregister)]]'''
Since 1874, there is an official registration of residential addresses in Germany. These data were collected by the police stations. They are kept in the civil registration office. Some offices keep them historically from their start. Other offices destroyed records for people once they died.
These registration cards were available for each respective householder. Noted on the card were his wife and any children, dates of marriage or death, and a history of resident addresses. The value of these cards is their use to determine which civil registration office might hold birth, marriage, and death certificates for the family members.
Follow the [[German Letter Writing Guide|German Letter Writing Guide]], and use questions 16 and 17 to request these records.
Since 2009, birth records have been public after 110 years, marriages after 80 years and deaths after 30 years. A direct relationship (direct descendants and direct ancestors)
to the subject of the record sought will be required in cases where the required time period has not yet elapsed. Even then, the records may be accessible if it can be shown that all "participating parties" have died at least 30 years ago. Participating parties are both parents and the child in birth records, and both spouses in a marriage.
== Determining the Location of a Civil Registration Office ==
Research your town name in [http://www.meyersgaz.org '''MeyersGaz.org'''] to find the location of the registry office (''Standesamt''). It is indicated by the abbreviation '''"StdA"'''. <br>
'''However, some of the offices were merged in 1970's, so the record location might be different than that listed in MeyersGaz.'''
*For a small town within a larger municipality:
:*To find the '''current Standesamt''', go to the [https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Hauptseite '''German Wikipedia'''], and enter the name of the town in the search box. An article about the town will start with a first line such as: "Besse with about 3200 inhabitants is the largest district of the '''''municipality Edermünde''''' in Hessian Schwalm-Eder-Kreis ." It is probable that the Standesamt is now located in the '''municipality''' (in this example Edermünde).
:*To e-mail the municipality to '''verify that the civil registry for your town is there'''.
::#From the Wikipedia town article, click on the name of the municipality that links to that article.
::#There will usually be an infobox on the right side of page that lists the address and the '''website of the municipality.'''
::#Click on the website. Look for '''"Kontakt (Contact)"''' information, which should provide an e-mail address.
::#Send a message asking whether you have the correct office for your ancestors' home town. You can
*For larger towns which constitute a municipality:
:*To find the '''current Standesamt''', go to the [https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Hauptseite '''German Wikipedia'''], and enter the name of the town in the search box.
:*This type of article will '''not''' state that the town belongs to another municipality, because it is itself a municipality.
:*The infobox that lists the address and the website of the municipality will appear directly on a this first page that comes up.
:*Follow the above instructions #2-4 above.
==1. Online Records==
*[http://die-maus-bremen.info/index.php?id=71 Standesamt records on Die Maus, 1876 to privacy limit], ($) indexed.
*[http://die-maus-bremen.info/index.php?id=58 Deaths in Bremen 1811 - 1975]: ($) The Deaths of 1811 - 1875, an alphabetical list of the original entries of the Bremen Civil Registry. This period is followed by the funeral books of the city of Bremen, which were conducted from 1875 to 1975 and were evaluated until 1975.
==2. Writing for Civil Registration Records==
Civil registration records for Germany can be obtained by writing to the local civil registry (Standesamt) or the district archives. Records may have been lost at one location of the other, so you might end up checking both. The first office you contact might choose to forward your request to the other location if necessary.
====How to write a letter====
'''Detailed instruction for what to include in the letter, plus German translations of the questions and sentences most frequently used are in [[German Letter Writing Guide|the '''German Letter Writing Guide'''.]]'''
*Standesamt Bremen-Mitte<br>(Registry Office of central Bremen) <br>Hollerallee 79 <br>D-28209 Bremen<br>Email: mailto:Standesamtmitte@stadtamt.bremen.de<br>Web: http://www.stadtamt.bremen.de/sixcms/detail.php?gsid=bremen116.c.1624.de
*Standesamt Bremen-Nord<br>(Registry Office of north Bremen) <br>Weserstrasse 75 <br>D-28757 Bremen<br>Email: mailto:StandesamtBremen-Nord@Stadtamt.Bremen.de<br>Web: http://www.stadtamt.bremen.de/sixcms/detail.php?gsid=bremen116.c.1625.de
*Staatsarchiv Bremen<br>(State Archive of Bremen)<br>Am Staatsarchiv 1<br>D-28203 Bremen<br>Email: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org<br>Web: http://www.staatsarchiv.bremen.de/
*Standesamt Bremerhaven<br>(Registry Office of Bremerhaven)<br>Stadthaus 5 <br>Postfach 210360 <br>D-27524 Bremerhaven<br>Email: mailto:Standesamt@magistrat.bremerhaven.de Standesamt@magistrat.bremerhaven.de <br>Web: http://www.bremerhaven.de/buergerservice/aemter-einrichtungen/stadtverwaltung/Standesamt/
==== State Archives ====
Duplicate registers from some towns are kept in state archives. The advice from these state archives is to use the Standesamt-Nord and Standesamt-Mitte records from the local offices first.
State Archives Bremen<br>
Postal address: <br>
Staatsarchiv Bremen <br>
Am Staatsarchiv 1 <br>
Phone: 0421 / 361-6221 <br>
Fax: 0421 / 361-10247<br>
== More Research Strategies and Tools ==
*[[Germany Online Classes and Tutorials]]
*[https://www.familysearch.org/ask/learningViewer/38 Reading German Handwritten Records] Practice exercises to build your skills and confidence.
*[http://altdeutsche-schrift.de/adsschreiben.php#schrifftfeld 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.<br>
*[[Germany Research Tips and Strategies|Research Tips and Strategies]]
*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.
*The marriage certificate will show the birth date, birth place, and parents of the bride and the groom.
*'''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.'''