About this collection
This collection contains death records from Zschopau covering the years 1876 up to and including 1958. Zschopau lies along the Zschopau River about 10 miles southeast of Chemnitz. This administrative center is located on the borders of the Ore Mountains in the modern German state of Saxony. It was first mentioned in a document from the year 1286. Zschopau grew in importance because it was situated along the "Salt Road" trade route between Leipzig and Prague The main attractions today are the town's a medieval city wall, Wildeck Castle which dates back to the 12th century, and the "Steinbogenbrücke" stone bridge over which troops from 1813 moved to the Battle of Leipzig.
During the time period of this collection until 1918, Zschopau belonged to the Kingdom of Saxony. Also included are the communities of Dittmannsdorf, Gornau, Krumhermersdorf and Witzschdorf. The date ranges of records from these communities may vary, ranging sometimes up to 1958.
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 in Berlin 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 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.