About this collection
This collection contains death records from Bischofswerda covering the years 1876 up to and including 1952. The administrative center Bischofswerda is located about 22 miles east of Dresden at the edge of Upper Lusatia in the German state of Saxony. Unofficially, Bischofswerda is known as "Schiebock" by local residents. It was first mentioned in a document from the year 1227. Over the centruries, numerous devastating fires have periodically destroyed the town. Bischofswerda's main attraction is its large historic market square and town hall. During the time period of this collection, until 1918, Bischofswerda belonged to the Kingdom of Saxony. In addition to Bischofswerda, another 12 communities from the district of Bautzen are included in this collection. The date ranges of records from these communities may vary.
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." Complementary alphabetical directories of names may also have been 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
- Informant: Given Names, Last Name, Maiden Name, Occupation, Residence/Address, Denomination
- Deceased: Occupation, Given Names, Last Name, Maiden Name, Age, Denomination, Residence/Address, Place/Date of Birth, Spouse/Parents, Place/Date of Death, Time of Death
- Beginning in 1938, the records may also cross reference to corresponding birth and/or marriage registers
- From 1938 to 1957, the Cause of Death is often included
More about using this collection
Each record comprises one page. Additional events from the life of the deceased 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. The “Informant” was usually a relative of the deceased. These records also document casualties (Kriegssterbefälle) from the Second World War. Occasionally, records for some of the dead were also later made available by the "German Office for the Notification of Next-of-Kin of Members of the Former German Armed Forces who were Killed in Action" (WASt) in Berlin. In the documents this organization is usually just called the "German Office for the Notification of Next-of-Kin." Under "Browse this collection,” select the Civil Registration Office and Year Range of the register desired.