Württemberg Naturalization and Citizenship

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Naturalization and Citizenship

Bürgerrollen and Bürgerbücher/Citizen Rolls and Books[edit | edit source]

The older forms of city directories are Bürgerrollen and Bürgerbücher. In them are listed citizens with rights to citizenship (Bürgerrecht) in a given locality. There was a difference between a Bürger and a Einwohner. Citizens without Bürgerrecht were called Beiwohner or Beisassen. A fully recognized citizen of a town had to have property. He also had to pay certain fees to become a citizen in the first place. With privileges came obligations i.e., defending the city. Bürgerbücher and Bürgerrollen can be found through local archives, the Stadt- and Gemeindearchive.

Bürgerbücher in Württemberg (Citizenship Books)[edit | edit source]

Lists of citizens are kept by most of the Oberamt [district] offices in Württemberg.  They contain much useful information, including where a person was born.  This is most helpful when a person has moved into the village from an unknown location. Because of differences in the local records, information may not be the same in each locality. Most of these books are alphabetical, although some may have indexes.

Some of the information contained in these records includes:

  • First and last names
  • Occupation
  • Birthdate
  • Birthplace
  • Marital status, often includes deceased or living spouse
  • The means by which citizenship was granted i.e. marriage
  • Cause for removal i.e. death or moving
  • Street address with house number
  • Death dates
  • Marriage dates
  • Date of citizenship
  • Family register number
  • Comments

A sample of what can be found:

Johann Georg Kiene, widower, master weaver, born 12 Apr 1775 in Neckergartach, protected citizen, having received citizenship rights on 21 Sep 1798 through the city council.  Died as a widower 30 Jul 1840.

Einwohnerbücher/Resident Books
[edit | edit source]

The things that might be found in an Einwohnerbuch include:

  • Name of person
  • Address, street and house number
  • Occasionally occupations are listed

Some earlier filmed books exist, for example, from the town of Ebingen as early as the year 1200.  This is rare.  These earlier books included different types of information such as:

  • Taxes paid for property
  • Property that the inhabitant owned
  • Names of other family members, other than head of house
  • Year of birth of family members

For these last examples, where other family members are mentioned with the year of birth, this information can actually connect families together when church records are not clear or do not give a mother's name in a birth record.

Locating Einwohner Records[edit | edit source]

The Family History Library does not have a large collection of Einwohnerbücher for Württemberg.  Those that are available cover the time periods between 1889-1937 and found in the FamilySearch Catalog under the record topic Directories.

Einwohnerbücher are often available in Stadt/city archives. Not all small villages had their own books and may be included with the books of the larger Gemeinde/community to which they belong. When you are interested in using an Einwohnerbuch that is not on the FamilySearch Catalog, it may be a good idea to Google the town or larger town near it, using the term "Einwohnerbuch" to see if one is available online.