Church registers

From the Middle Ages to modern times, important family events in the life of the Christian denominations were recorded in church registers. Depending on the event, there were special registers for birth and baptism, marriage or divorce up to the death of a person. The entries in these registers are precisely dated and a trustworthy source for genealogical research. Often such entries also provide further information on family history. This could be the names of the parents, the mother’s maiden name, or even job titles and place names. Sometimes you can be lucky that the grandparents are listed as well.

church book with leather cover

Many church registers are now available in digitalised form on the Internet. But even here the difficulty remains to decipher the old handwriting. Abbreviations, dates, professions and places used at that time are often unknown and difficult to interpret today.

The example shows an extract from a baptismal register from the year 1823.

Page from a baptismal register from 1823

As a 2nd example you see a page from a death register of 1842.

Page from a death register of 1842