About this collection
This collection contains marriage records and name directories from Menden covering the years 1874 up to and including 1935. Menden is located on the Hönne River about 10 miles southeast of Unna, in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, and in the northern part in of the Sauerland region. The city was first mentioned in a document from the year 1276. Because it was located on the former border of the Duchy of Westphalia, which belonged to Electorate of Cologne, the city was often the site of armed conflict and had to be rebuilt multiple times. In the old town can be found numerous half-timbered houses along with the remnants of the city wall and two defensive towers which bear witness to the turbulent history of this market town. During the time period of this collection, Menden belonged to the Prussian Province of Westphalia. Also included in this collection are records from the communities of Böingsen, Lendringsen, Holzen and Sümmern. The date ranges of records from these communities may vary.
Beginning on October 1, 1874, local registry offices were made responsible for creating birth, marriage and death records in the former Prussian provinces. The collected records are arranged chronologically and usually in bound yearbook form which are collectively referred to as "civil registers." For most of the communities included in the collection, corresponding alphabetical directories of names were also 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
Marriage records were created using preprinted forms that were filled in by hand by the registrar. Depending on the individual form or on the formulations used by the registrar, you may find:
- Sequential or Certificate Number
- Marriage Date
- Groom: Occupation, Given Names, Last Name, Denomination, Age, Birthdate and Birthplace, Residence/Address as well as details about his Parents and their Place of residence
- Bride: Occupation, Given Names, Last Name, Maiden Name, Denomination, Age, Birthdate and Birthplace, Residence/Address as well as details about her Parents and their Place of Residence
Depending on the form used, the name directories are arranged alphabetically by groom's last name and then chronologically within the first letter of the last name. They are bound as separate volumes covering several years each. They contain the following details:
- Sequential number
- Last Names and Given Names of the Groom and Bride
- Cross-reference to marriage register
More about using this collection
Each document has a front and back. These are displayed one ofter the other. Additional events from the life of the couple 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.
Under "Browse this collection,” select the Civil Registration Office and Year Range for the desired records. When name directories (Namensverzeichnis) are available for a registry office, they are separately displayed and selectable at the end of the list.