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Germany, Nordrhein-Westfalen Civil Registers - FamilySearch Historical Records

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FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records scheduled to become available at

Title in the Language of the Record[edit | edit source]

Deutschland, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Zivilstandsregister 1874-1938

Record Description[edit | edit source]

The collection consists of civil registers of births, marriages, and deaths for North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Original records are located in the State Archive in Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany.

You will be able to browse through images in this collection when it is published.

Record Content[edit | edit source]

Civil Registers of birth may contain the following information:

  • Birth date
  • Name at birth
  • Parents’ names
  • Parents’ residence

Civil Registers of marriage may contain the following information:

  • Marriage date
  • Names of bride and groom
  • Residence of bride and groom
  • Age of bride and groom
  • Parents’ names

Civil Registers of death may contain the following information:

  • Death date
  • Name of deceased
  • Place of death
  • Age at death

How to Use the Record[edit | edit source]

To begin your search it is helpful to know:

  • Your ancestor's full name
  • Other identifying information such as residence and age or estimated birth, marriage, or death date.

Search the Collection[edit | edit source]

To search the collection:
⇒Select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page
⇒Select the "Civil Registration Office (Standesamt)" category
⇒Select the "Record Type and Year Range (Quellengattung und Zeitraum)" category which takes you to the images

Look at each image comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine if the image relates to them. You may need to look at several images and compare the information about the individuals listed in those images to your ancestors to make this determination. Keep in mind:

  • There may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
  • You may not be sure of your own ancestor’s name.
  • Your ancestor may have used different names or variations of their name throughout their life.

For Help Reading These Records[edit | edit source]

These records are in German. For help with reading the records, see the following resources:

Using the Information[edit | edit source]

When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. Save a copy of the image or transcribe the information. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details. Add this new information to your records of each family. You should also look for leads to other records about your ancestors. For example:

  • Use the event date, place names to search the church records.
  • Use the estimated age at marriage or death to calculate a birth date.
  • If a birth record for an ancestor is found, continue searching the records before and after to find siblings. Couples usually had several children that were born two or three years apart, though the elapsed time between children can vary greatly.
  • Search all three record types (birth, marriage, and death) for all members of the family.
  • Use the information from these records to discover other record types such marriage announcements in the newspaper or obituaries.
  • Check church records of baptisms, marriages, and burials as well as the civil registrations. They may contain additional information.

Tips to Keep in Mind[edit | edit source]

  • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.
  • Remember that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name as your ancestor and that your ancestor may have used nicknames or different names at different times.
  • Continue to search the collection to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives who may also be in the records.

Unable to Find Your Ancestor?[edit | edit source]

  • Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for alias names, nicknames and abbreviated names.
  • Look for an index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume. Local genealogical and historical societies often have indexes to local records.
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby localities.
  • Search a wider range of years.
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Don't overlook FHL Place Germany, Nordrhein-Westfalen items or FHL Keyword Germany, Nordrhein-Westfalen items in the FamilySearch Library Catalog. For other libraries (local and national) or to gain access to items of interest, see Germany Archives and Libraries.

Related Websites[edit | edit source]

Related Wiki Articles[edit | edit source]

Contributions to This Article[edit | edit source]

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Historical Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.

Citations for This Collection[edit | edit source]

Citing your sources makes it easy for others to find and evaluate the records you used. When you copy information from a record, list where you found that information. Here you can find citations already created for the entire collection and for each individual record or image.

Collection Citation:

" Germany, Nordrhein-Westfalen Civil Registers, 1874-1938." Images. FamilySearch. : accessed 2015. Citing Landesarchiv Nordrhein-Westfalen, Duisburg (Nordrhein-Westfalen State Archives, Duisburg).

Image Citation:
This template has been deprecated and is no longer used.

The image citation will be available once the collection is published.