Difference between revisions of "Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen), Germany Genealogy"

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Guide to '''Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen), Germany ''' ancestry, family history, and genealogy '''after 1945''': birth records, marriage records, death records,
 
 
 
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==Historical Background==
 
Lower Saxony (German: Niedersachsen) is a German state situated in northwestern Germany. It was created by the merger of the '''State of Hanover (Hannover) with Brunswick (Braunschweig), Oldenburg, and Schaumburg-Lippe''' on 1 November 1946. 
 
 
 
*The northwestern area of Lower Saxony, which lies on the coast of the North Sea, is called''' East Frisia  (Ostfriesland).'''  Immigration records might identify East Frisia as your ancestors' home country.
 
 
 
*The greatest problem facing the first state government in the immediate post-war years was the challenge of integrating hundreds of thousands of refugees from Germany's former territories in the east (such as Silesia and East Prussia), which had been annexed by Poland and the Soviet Union. Lower Saxony was at the western end of the direct escape route from East Prussia and had the longest border with the Soviet Zone. On 3 October 1950, Lower Saxony took over the sponsorship of the very large number of '''refugees from Silesia. '''
 
 
*The former Hanoverian Amt Neuhaus with its parishes of Dellien, Haar, Kaarßen, Neuhaus (Elbe), Stapel, Sückau, Sumte and Tripkau as well as the villages of Neu Bleckede, Neu Wendischthun and Stiepelse in the parish of Teldau and the historic Hanoverian region in the forest district of Bohldamm in the parish of Garlitz transferred with effect from 30 June 1993 from Mecklenburg-Vorpommern to Lower Saxony (Lüneburg district). From these parishes the '''new municipality of Amt Neuhaus''' was created on 1 October 1993.
 
 
 
*The city of Wesermünde was renamed in 1947 to Bremerhaven and incorporated into the new city state of Bremen, which became one of the federated German states.[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lower_Saxony]
 
 
 
==Getting Started ==
 
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<h3>Getting Started with Germany Research</h3>
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<span style="color:DarkViolet">'''Go to one of the following articles to learn how to search for your family that lived in Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen).'''</span>  Germany was unified into the German Empire in 1871. This Research Wiki, the FamilySearch Catalog, and FamilySearch Historical Records are organized by the localities and place names as of 1871. In 1871, the area of the modern state of Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen) belonged to:
Links to articles on getting started with German research:
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*[[Brunswick (Braunschweig), German Empire Genealogy|'''Brunswick (Braunschweig), German Empire Genealogy''']]
*[[Germany How to Guides|"How to" Guides]]
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*[[Hanover (Hannover), German Empire Genealogy|'''Hanover (Hannover), German Empire Genealogy''']]
*[[Germany Finding Town of Origin]]
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*[[Oldenburg, German Empire Genealogy|'''Oldenburg, German Empire Genealogy''']]
*[https://familysearch.org/ask/learningViewer/12 German Church and Civil Records]
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*[[Schaumburg-Lippe, German Empire Genealogy|'''Schaumburg-Lippe, German Empire Genealogy''']]
* [http://is.byu.edu/courses/pe/999022071006/public/start.htm German Research], BYU Independent Study, no cost.
 
 
 
:[[Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen), Germany Genealogy#More Germany Research Strategies and Tools|'''''See More Research Strategies''''']]
 
 
 
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<h3>Germany Research Tools</h3>
 
Links to tools and websites that assist in German research:
 
*[http://www.meyersgaz.org Meyers Gaz Online Gazetteer]
 
*[[German Word List|German Genealogical Word List]]  
 
*[https://familysearch.org/ask/learningViewer/375 Old German Script]--Three parts
 
*[https://script.byu.edu/Pages/German/en/intro.aspx German Script Tutorial]
 
*[[German Letter Writing Guide]]
 
:[[Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen), Germany Genealogy#More Germany Research Strategies and Tools|'''''See More Research Tools''''']]
 
 
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<div id="fsButtons"><span class="online_records_button">[[Lower Saxony and the Saxony Duchies Online Genealogy Records]]</span></div> <div id="fsButtons"><span class="online_records_button">[[Germany Online Genealogy Records]]</span><span class="community_button">[[https://community.familysearch.org/s/group/0F93A000000LhYOSA0/germany]]</span></div>
 
 
==Research to Find the Town of Origin==
 
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. 
 
*Use [[Germany Finding Town of Origin|'''Germany Finding Town of Origin''']] as a guide in finding evidence in United States records proving your ancestors' town of origin. Also see [[Germany Emigration and Immigration|'''Germany Emigration and Immigration''']], especially for immigration to countries other than the United States.
 
 
==Maps==
 
 
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<center>'''Modern Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen)''' </center>
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[[File:Modern Niedersachsen.png|350px]]
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'''For the best information on whether your ancestors' town was in Brunswick (Braunschweig), Hanover (Hannover), Oldenburg, or Schaumburg-Lippe, find the town in''' [https://www.meyersgaz.org/ '''Meyer's 1871 Gazetteer Online.''']
<center>'''Former States Now in<br>Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen)'''</center>
 
[[File:Niedersachsen regions.png|350px]]
 
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<center>[[File:Karte Land Niedersachsen.png|200px]]</center><br>
 
'''Kreise (Counties) Map'''<br>
 
[https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/File:Karte_Land_Niedersachsen.png '''For a larger map, click here.''']
 
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<span style="color:DarkViolet">'''Germany was first unified as a nation in 1871.  For German research prior to 1945, the  Research Wiki, FamilySearch Catalog, and FamilySearch Historical Records are organized by the place names in use from 1871 to 1945. For research in that time period, use the Wiki links in the chart below:'''</span>
 
*To find the 1871 duchy or province for your town, use [http://www.meyersgas.org '''Meyer's 1871 Gazetteer Online.''']
 
<br>
 
<br>
 
{| class="wikitable"
 
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<center>'''1871 Region'''<br>
 
'''History and Background'''
 
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<center>'''Geo-Political Differences Today'''</center>
 
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<center>'''FamilySearch Catalog'''</center>
 
'''<center>(organized by 1871 Meyer's Gazetteer)'''</center>
 
|style="width:30%"|<center>'''Wiki Page'''<br>
 
'''Instructions for Research Before 1945'''
 
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[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duchy_of_Brunswick Brunswick (Braunschweig)]
 
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1919: Enclaves of Calvörde and Blankenburg became part of the [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saxony- (Sachsen-) Anhalt current state of Saxony- (Sachsen-) Anhalt.]<br>
 
1946: The rest became part of the current state of [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lower_Saxony Lower Saxony.] ([[Germany Historic and Current States#Brunswick (Braunschweig)|Map]])
 
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[https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/results?count=20&placeId=33707&query=%2Bplace%3A%22Germany%2C%20Braunschweig%22 Braunschweig]
 
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[[Brunswick (Braunschweig), German Empire Genealogy]]
 
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[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Province_of_Hanover Hannover ]
 
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1946: Merged into [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lower_Saxony Lower Saxony] ([[Germany Historic and Current States#Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen)|Map]])
 
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[https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/results?count=20&placeId=38802&query=%2Bplace%3A%22Germany%2C%20Preu%C3%9Fen%2C%20Hannover%22 Preussen, Hannover]
 
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[[Hanover (Hannover), German Empire Genealogy]]
 
 
 
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[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oldenburg Oldenburg]
 
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1946: Merged into [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lower_Saxony Lower Saxony] ([[Germany Historic and Current States#Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen)|Map]])
 
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[https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/results?count=20&placeId=37740&query=%2Bplace%3A%22Germany%2C%20Oldenburg%22 Oldenburg]
 
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[[Oldenburg, German Empire Genealogy]]
 
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[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Principality_of_Schaumburg-Lippe Schaumburg-Lippe]
 
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1946: Merged into [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lower_Saxony current state of Lower Saxony] ([[Germany Historic and Current States#Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen)|Map]])
 
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[https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/results?count=20&placeId=55453&query=%2Bplace%3A%22Germany%2C%20Schaumburg-Lippe%22 Schaumburg-Lippe]
 
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[[Schaumburg-Lippe, German Empire Genealogy]]
 
 
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==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)]]'''
 
===Melderegister===
 
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.
 
 
==Privacy Laws==
 
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 also use e-mail to request records and arrange payment.
 
*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==
 
====Ancestry.com ($)====
 
'''Ancestry.com  can be searched free of charge at your local [https://familysearch.org/locations/ Family History Center.]
 
*[https://www.ancestry.de/search/collections/delmenhorstdeath/ '''Delmenhorst Deaths, 1876-1950'''], index and images. These records cover '''Delmenhorst''' and '''Hasbergen'''.
 
*[https://www.ancestry.de/search/collections/meinersendeaths/ '''Meinersen, Germany, death records 1874-1974'''], index and images, ($). These records for '''Meinersen''' cover: '''Ahnsen, Hilersen, Leiferde, Meinersen, Müden, Päse, Seershausen.'''
 
*[https://www.ancestry.de/search/collections/oldenburgdeaths/ '''Oldenburg Deaths, 1876-1950'''], index and images. These records cover '''Eversten, Ohmstede, Oldenburg and its suburbs, and Osternburg.'''
 
*[https://www.ancestry.de/search/collections/diepholzgermanydeaths/ '''Diepholz Deaths, 1874-1950'''], index and images. Covers '''Aschen, Diepholz, and St. Hülfe.'''
 
*[https://www.ancestry.de/search/collections/nienburgdeaths/ '''Nienburg Deaths, 1874-1974'''], index and images. These records for Nienburg cover: '''Anderten, Bad Rehburg, Balge, Blenhorst, Bohnhorst, Bruchhagen, Brüninghorstedt, Buchhorst, Bücken, Bühren, Darlaten, Deblinghausen, Diethe, Doenhausen, Drakenburg, Eitzendorf, Erichshagen, Estorf, Eystrup, Harrienstedt, Hassbergen, Hassel, Heemsen, Helzendorf, Hesterberg, Hibben, Holtorf, Hoya, Hoyerhagen, Huddestorf, Husum, Landesbergen, Lavelsloh, Leese, Lemke, Liebenau, Linsburg, Loccum,  Magelsen, Marklohe, Mehringen, Münchehagen, Nendorf, Nienburg, Oyle, Pennigsehl, Rehburg, Rodewald, Sapelloh, Schessinghausen, Schinna, Schweringen, Steimbke, Steyerberg, Stolzenau, Uchte, Warmsen, Wechold, Wellie, Turn, Wienbergen, Wietzen, Winzlar, and Woltringhausen.'''
 
  
===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.
 
  
====Local Standesamt Address====
 
*[http://www.Standesamt.com/Standesaemter-Niedersachsen/9 '''Standesamt Addresses in Niedersachsen'''].  Be sure to search this list in the original German, not the English translation.  Otherwise, you will see strange translated town names like "Meadow", "Field",  instead of the real German name. Use the Command + F (Find) tool on your computer.<br>
 
  
====How to Write the 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'''.]]'''
 
<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 Strategy==
 
*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.'''
 
<br>
 
 
[[Category:States of Germany]][[Category:Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen), Germany]]
 
[[Category:States of Germany]][[Category:Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen), Germany]]

Latest revision as of 12:21, 20 August 2020

Go to one of the following articles to learn how to search for your family that lived in Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen). Germany was unified into the German Empire in 1871. This Research Wiki, the FamilySearch Catalog, and FamilySearch Historical Records are organized by the localities and place names as of 1871. In 1871, the area of the modern state of Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen) belonged to:

Ambox warning blue.png

For the best information on whether your ancestors' town was in Brunswick (Braunschweig), Hanover (Hannover), Oldenburg, or Schaumburg-Lippe, find the town in Meyer's 1871 Gazetteer Online.