About this collection
This collection contains death records and name directories from Mainz covering the years 1876 up to and including 1950. 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 1856.
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, Residence/Address
- Deceased: Trade/Occupation, Given Names, Last Name, Maiden Name, Age, Denomination, Residence/Address, Birthplace, Spouse/Parents, Place/Date of Death, Time of Death
- Beginning in 1938, the records may also contain the cause of death as well as references to corresponding birth and/or marriage registers.
The name directories are arranged alphabetically according to the last name of the deceased. They are bound either as separate chronological volumes or together with their respective death registers. Depending on the form used, the following details may be found:
- Sequential number
- Deceased's Last Name, Given Names and Occupation (or Occupation of Parents)
- Cross reference to death register
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. 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.
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