Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen), Germany Genealogy

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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:

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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 Meyer's 1871 Gazetteer Online.

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

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.[1]

Maps[edit | edit source]

Modern Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen)

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Former States Now in
Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen)

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Kreise (Counties) Map
For a larger map, click here.

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:

1871 Region

History and Background

Geo-Political Differences Today
FamilySearch Catalog
(organized by 1871 Meyer's Gazetteer)
Wiki Page

Instructions for Research Before 1945

Brunswick (Braunschweig)

1919: Enclaves of Calvörde and Blankenburg became part of the Sachsen Anhalt[2]
1946: The rest became part of the current state of Lower Saxony. (Map)


Brunswick (Braunschweig), German Empire Genealogy


1946: Merged into Lower Saxony (Map)

Preussen, Hannover

Hanover (Hannover), Prussia, German Empire Genealogy


1946: Merged into Lower Saxony (Map)


Oldenburg, German Empire Genealogy


1946: Merged into current state of Lower Saxony (Map)


Schaumburg-Lippe, German Empire Genealogy