About this collection
This collection contains death records from Saalfeld covering the years 1876 up to and including 1951. Saalfeld is the administrative center of the district of Saalfeld-Rudolstadt in the German state of Thuringia. The city is situated near the Thuringian Slate Mountains in the valley of Saale on a bend of the river Saale (which gives origin to the placename). It is about 31 miles south of Weimar. Saalfeld is best known as the home of the Fairy Grottoes which are caverns in a former mine that contain colored mineral formations. The city is also the site of an important railway hub between Leipzig und Nuremberg. In addition to Saalfeld, the collection includes records from another 21 communities with records from varying time periods. Death records for Saalfeld begin in 1882 and end in 1938.
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: Occupation, Given Names, Last Name, Maiden Name, 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 include a Cause of Death and cross references to corresponding birth and/or marriage registers
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. Death records for some communities also contain WWII casualties. Under "Browse this collection,” select the Civil Registration Office and Year Range of the register desired. If an alphabetical name directory was created for a register, the directory is accessed by selecting the desired time period.