Source Information

Hamburg State Archives
Ancestry.com. Hamburg, Germany, Deaths, 1874-1950 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015.
Original data: Best. 332-5 Standesämter, Personenstandsregister, Sterberegister, 1876-1950, Staatsarchiv Hamburg, Hamburg, Deutschland.

About Hamburg, Germany, Deaths, 1874-1950

About this collection

This collection contains death records from Hamburg covering the years 1874 up to and including 1950. Hamburg, officially the "Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg," is both a state of Germany and the country's second largest city. It is a significant location for the media industry and is known for its prestigious cultural institutions including more than 60 museums. Hamburg's many tourist attractions include the Fish Market, the Reeperbahn, the historic Speicherstadt warehouse district, the music scene, the Miniatur Wunderland model railway attraction and the Alster River. Situated on the Elbe River, Hamburg is also the largest seaport in Germany through which more than 5 million people emigrated between 1850 and 1934 making the city one of Europe's most important emigration ports. Passenger lists for Hamburg can also be found on Ancestry: Hamburg Passenger Lists, 1850-1934

This collection contains death records for various time periods from a number of Hamburg's modern municipal registries. Registers from the former Prussian communities of Finkenwerder and Steinbek begin as early as October 1, 1874. An abrupt increase in deaths recorded at the end of August 1892 bears witness to a devastating outbreak of cholera in the city.

Beginning on January 1, 1876, birth, marriage and death records in the former German Empire were created by local registry offices. The collected records are arranged chronologically and usually bound together in the form of yearbooks. These are collectively referred to as "civil registers." Occasionally, alphabetical directories of names were also created. While churches continued to keep traditional records, the State also mandated that the personal or marital status of the entire population be recorded.

What you can find in the records

Death records were created using preprinted forms that were filled in by hand by the registrar. In each record the date of death usually differs from the date it was registered. Depending on the individual form or on the formulations used by the registrar, you may find:

  • Sequential or Certificate Number
  • Registration Date
  • Informant: Occupation, Given Names, Last Name, Maiden Name, Residence, Address
  • Deceased: Occupation, Given Names, Last Name, Maiden Name, Age, Denomination, Residence, Address, Birthplace, Marital Status, Parents, Place/Date of Death, Time of Death
  • Signatures

More about using this collection

Each record comprises one page. Additional events from the life of the deceased or corrections by the registrar were sometimes recorded later on in the margins. These notes, sometimes referred to as "narration," can contain very useful information but they have not been indexed so that information will not found via the search form. These margin notes particularly mention often nameless children who were stillborn or who died without baptism. In such cases, the search results will display empty fields for “Name” and “Birth Date.” The “Informant” was usually a relative of the deceased. You can browse through the images by time period. First select the desired Civil Registration Office in the box "Browse this collection,” then select the desired year range. See the following for an overview of Hamburg's Civil Registration Offices: http://fhh1.hamburg.de/Dibis/form/pdf/stverz.pdf

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