Source Information

Mainz City Archive Mainz, Germany, Birth Records, 1872-1900 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2014.
Original data: Personenstandsregister Geburtenregister 1876-1900. Digital images. Stadtarchiv Mainz, Mainz, Germany.

About Mainz, Germany, Birth Records, 1872-1900

About this collection

This collection contains birth records and name directories from Mainz covering the years 1872 up to and including 1900. Mainz is located on the Rhine River opposite its confluence with the Main River, about 25 miles from Frankfurt. Since 1946 it has served as the capital of the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate. In the course of its rich history, Mainz has been an Episcopal see, a part of the Grand Duchy of Hesse and a territory under Napoleonic rule. Historically, the city is known for its connection to Johannes Gutenberg and his printing press. Today, it serves as an important media center for the ZDF television network. In addition to Mainz, the collection includes records from another 10 communities. Records from Drais begin in 1878 and some from Marienborn date back as early as 1872.

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

Births 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 Name, Last Name, Residence/Address, Denomination
  • Mother: Occupation, Given Names, Last Name, Maiden Name, Place of Origin, Denomination, Residence/Address
  • Child: Birth Date, Time of Birth, Sex, Given Names
  • Signatures

The name directories are arranged alphabetically according to the last name of the child. They are bound either as separate chronological volumes or together with their respective birth registers. They contain the following details:

  • Sequential number
  • Last Name and Given Names of the child
  • Given Names, Father or Mother's Profession/Trade, Residence
  • Reference to birth register
  • Notes (for example, a cross reference to the death register when a child died young or was stillborn)

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. To browse the images in this collection, select the desired Civil Registration Office under "Browse this collection.” Alphabetical name directories will be listed with "Namensverzeichnis" following the year range.

Research Center Need help with the German language?
Find resources in our German Research Center.