About this collection
This collection contains death records from Trier covering the years 1798 up to and including 1950. The records are from civil registry office holdings and from Dezennaltabellen (alphabetical indexes of births, marriages, and deaths divided up into 10 year periods). Trier, in the modern German state of Rhineland-Palatinate, is located on the Moselle River about 47 miles northwest of Saarbrücken and 9 miles from the border of Luxembourg. Founded more than 2,000 years ago as the Roman city of Augusta Treverorum, Trier enjoys the distinction of being the oldest city in Germany. Since 1986, many of the Roman monuments in Trier have been listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Among them is the city's notable landmark, the former Roman city gate, the Porta Nigra. During the time period of this collection, Trier first belonged to the French Département de la Sarre until 1815 and 1945 thereafter to Rhenish Prussia. This collection also contains records from the modern districts of Ehrang and Pfalzel. The time periods covered in those records vary.
On September 20th 1792, the French National Assembly passed a law governing the documentation of civil status in France. The French model for recording Births, Marriages and Deaths was officially introduced when French troops began the occupation of the left bank of the Rhine on May 1st, 1798 and established new departments of France. Throughout the entire former German Empire, civil registration was taken over and performed by local registry offices beginning on January 1, 1876.
The civil registration records are usually arranged chronologically and bound in yearbook form. Occasionally, 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.
The Dezennaltabellen (Ten-year-directories) are name indexes to the civil registers. These were usually created separately for births, marriages and deaths. They often do not extend over a period of decades, but run, for example, from 1863 to 1872.
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 in the civil registers were initially completely handwritten. Later they were filled in by hand on preprinted forms. The first forms are in French. After 1815, the forms were printed in German. Beginning in 1876, standardized civil registry forms were used. In each record the date of a 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
Depending on the form used, the name directories are arranged alphabetically by deceased's last name and usually chronologically within the first letter of the last name. They contain the following details:
- Last Names and Given Names of the deceased
- Cross reference to death register
More about using this collection
Additional events from the life of the deceased were sometimes recorded later on in the margins of the record. 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. These were noted by Trier's police administration. Under "Browse this collection,” select the Civil Registry Office and Year Range of the register desired. Name directories appear separately at the end of the Year Range lists.