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German: Civil Registration Records
Register (Fees/Dates)
Other Info
Although church parish registers are the mainstay of German genealogical research, in any German-speaking area, civil registration of vital events also is an important part of many research projects. Although civil registration generally began during the 1800s in most German areas, the depth of information in these records makes them very valuable for learning more about people who were registered.

Most civil registrations of births, marriages, and deaths provide significantly more information than is found in comparable church registers. In addition, they are often indexed and therefore easier to use. Unfortunately, access to such records is often restricted by two important aspects. First, they often begin much later than research needs would require. Second, most of the records are restricted from public access by rights of privacy laws. Learning the value of these records, how to access them, the nature and extent of these restrictions are the core concepts discussed in these lessons. In addition, the civil registration offices often have additional records of value to the German genealogist. They may be used less frequently, but a knowledge and understanding of such records may be a critical part of solving and completing some research projects.

Course Content

Module 1

  • Role of the office
  • Identifying the ''Standesamt''
  • Beginning Dates
  • Napoleon''s Influence

    Module 2

  • Typical Birth Record
  • Typical Death Record
  • Typical Marriage Record
  • Marriage Supplemental Documents
  • Marginal Notations
  • Duplicate Church Records

    Module 3

  • Family History Library
  • Correspondence
  • Modern Place Names
  • Indexes
  • Decennial Indexes

    Module 4

  • Personenstandsgesetz (Personal Status Law)
  • Standesamt (Civil Registration Office)
  • Einwohnermeldung (Resident Registration)
  • Melderegister (Registration Registry)
  • Registration Purpose
  • Registration Registry Information
  • Datenschutzgesetz (Data Protection Act)


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