Source Information

Stadtarchiv (City Archive) Oldenburg
Ancestry.com. Oldenburg, Germany, Death Records, 1876-1950 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2016.
Original data: Namensregister, Sterberegister, 1876-1951. Stadtarchiv Oldenburg.

About Oldenburg, Germany, Death Records, 1876-1950

About this collection

This collection contains death records and name directories from Oldenburg covering the years 1876 up to and including 1950. Oldenburg is an independent city in the German state of Lower Saxony.

This university town is situated on the Hunte river about 31 miles west of Bremen and 34 miles south of the coastal town of Wilhelmshaven. Oldenburg, today the 3rd largest city in Lower Saxony, had its origins in the 7th and 8th century. It was first mentioned in a record from the year 1108. It was chartered in 1345. The city particularly flourished in the 17th century during the reign of Count Anton Günter. It has been, respectively, the capital of the County, Duchy, Grand Duchy, Free State and Region of Oldenburg. In order to distinguish it from Oldenburg in the state of Schleswig-Holstein, the official name of the city is Oldenburg in Oldenburg (Olbg).

In addition to the City of Oldenburg, this collection includes records from nearby rural communities as well as from Eversten, Ohmstede and Osternburg. The records sets cover varying time periods. Small rural communities at one time surrounded the city in all directions. In 1897, these were assigned to be part of either Ohmstede or Eversten.

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
  • Registration Date
  • Informant: Occupation, Given Names, Last Name, Maiden Name, Residence/Address
  • 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 include a Cause of Death and cross references to corresponding birth and/or marriage registers
  • Signatures

The name directories are arranged alphabetically according to the last name of the deceased. They are generally bound as separate volumes covering several years each. They contain the following details:

  • Last Names and Given Names of the deceased
  • Cross-references to the death registry (number and year-range of registry)

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. In later years death information was often submitted by hospital administrators. In the years after WWII, you may also find records containing death information submitted by the "Deutschen Dienststelle," an agency tasked with recording German Wehrmacht casualties.

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