About this collection
This collection contains birth records and name directories from Meinersen Germany covering the years 1874 up to and including 1904. This municipality is located near the confluence of the Oker and Aller rivers in the district of Gifhorn about 19 miles northwest of Brunswick and about 22 miles west of Wolfsburg in what is now Lower Saxony. Meinersen was first mentioned in a document from the year 1154. Until the 14th century it was the family seat of the house of Meinersen. During the time period of this collection, Meinersen belonged to the Duchy of Brunswick. This collection also includes records from Hilerse, Leiferde and Müden as well as from the modern districts of Ahnsen, Päse and Seershausen. The records cover varying time periods.
Beginning on October 1, 1874, local registry offices were made responsible for creating birth, marriage and death records in the former Prussian provinces. The collected records are arranged chronologically and usually in bound yearbook form which are collectively referred to as "civil registers." For some of the communities included in the collection, corresponding 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
Birth records were created using preprinted forms that were filled in by hand by the registrar. In each record the date of a birth 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, Denomination
- Mother: Given Names, Last Name, Maiden Name, Spouse, Denomination, Residence/Address
- Child: Birth Date, Time of Birth, Sex, Given Names
Depending on the form used, the name directories are arranged chronologically or alphabetically according to the last name of the child . They are bound in chronological volumes separately or with several years combined. They contain the following details:
- Sequential number
- Last Name and Given Names of the Child (sometimes including Parents' Names and Residence)
- Cross-reference to birth register
More about using this collection
Each record comprises one page. Additional events from the life of the child 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. As a result, information from the notes will not found via the search form. In cases where the child had not yet received a name at birth, the name was later added in the margin notes. The “Informant” was often a midwife or the child's father. Entries for Address often include placenames and house numbers. Street names were not common in smaller communities.
Under "Browse this collection,” select the Civil Registration Office and Year Range of the register desired. When name directories (Namensverzeichnis) are available for a registry office, they are separately displayed and selectable.