The current capital of the Rhine-Palatinate state in Germany, Mainz has a rich and storied history that includes the birth of the movable-type printing press. Located on the western banks of the Rhine River about 27 miles (37.4 km) WSW of Frankfurt, Germany, the river-port city was at one time an outpost of the Roman Empire. Since the late 18th century, Mainz has been at times under French, Prussian, and German rule, and for a brief spell it was a democratic free state.
Initially, registrations of births, marriages, and deaths were kept by religious denominations, but with French occupation in the 1790s, a system of civil registration modeled on the French system was implemented in 1798. This collection includes civil registrations of births, marriages, and deaths beginning in 1798 and extending to 1875. In 1876, civil registration was implemented across unified Germany, and some of those records can be found in other Ancestry collections.
The earliest records are in French and in the Napoleonic format, which is a narrative form of record-keeping. With the departure of the French around 1814, the records reverted to German. Details on the records may vary depending on the record type and the year of the event.