Bremen, Germany Genealogy

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Bremen, German Empire
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Guide to Bremen ancestry, family history and genealogy: birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, parish registers, and military records.

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History[edit | edit source]

The Vienna Congress of 1815 confirmed Bremen's independence, and Bremen became one of 39 sovereign states of the German Confederation. In 1827 the state of Bremen bought the tract of land from the Kingdom of Hannover where future Bremerhaven would be established. Bremen became part of the North German Confederation in 1867 and became an autonomous component state of the new-founded German Empire in 1871. It stayed with Germany in its following forms of government.

How to Find Birth, Marriage, and Death Records for Bremen[edit | edit source]

Most of your genealogical research for Bremen will be in three main record types: civil registration, church records, and, when available, a compiled town genealogy ("'Ortssippenbuch" or "Ortsfamilienbuch" in German). These articles will teach you how to use these records on digital databases, as microfilms, or by writing for them.

For German Research, You Must Know Your Ancestors' Town[edit | edit source]

  • To begin using the records of Germany, knowing that your family came from Bremen might not be enough to use the records of Germany. Records are kept on the local level and Bremen had several parishes, so clues to the parish they came from can be very important.
  • Details about the town will also help:
    • where the closest Evangelical Lutheran or Catholic parish church was (depending on their religion),
    • where the civil registration office ("Standesamt") was, and
    • if you have only a village name, you will need the name of the larger parish it was part of.

Research to Find the Town[edit | edit source]

If you do not yet know the name of the town of your ancestor's birth, there are well-known strategies for a thorough hunt for it.

Bremen can be easier than other large German localities because some indexes covering much of Bremen. Here are several:

Indexes to Births, Marriages, and Deaths at Bremen[edit | edit source]

Emigration, Immigration, and Passenger Lists[edit | edit source]

German Emigration Database at Bremerhaven

Compiled Genealogies[edit | edit source]

Directories[edit | edit source]

If You Know the Town, Next Use Meyers Gazetteer[edit | edit source]

Once you know the town name you need, the other facts you need are contained in Meyers Orts- und Verkehrs-lexikon des deutschen Reichs, the gazetteer on which the FamilySearch catalog for Germany is based.

  • Use MeyersGaz, the digital gazetteer, to find the details you need, particularly the Bezirksamt it belonged to, found after (BA) and the Regierungsbezirk (Administrative District) Niederbayern (RB).
  • MeyersGaz Help Guide
  • Abbreviation Table
  • Here is part of an entry from

The most important facts here are:

  1. Wellheim is in Eichstätt Bezirksamt (BA).
  2. It is in Regierungsbezirk (Administrative District) Middle Franconia (MFranken) (RB)
  3. It has its own Standesamt (StdA) or civil registration office.
  4. It has one Catholic parish church (kath. K.).
  5. By clicking on the "Ecclesiastical" option, we learn that the Protest church for Wellheim is in Eichstätt. We also find other nearby churches.
Main Entry Page


Ecclesiastical Page


Research Tools[edit | edit source]

Latin Records[edit | edit source]

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