About this collection
This collection contains weekly church reports from Dresden covering the years 1685 up to and including 1879. Many of the documents were created by Protestant churches but the collection includes reports from Catholic and Jewish communities as well. Year ranges available for individual collections vary, and records may not be consistantly available for every denomination.
Dresden is located on the Elbe River about 19 miles from the Czech border and is the capital of the German state of Saxony. Due to its location, and in recognition of its art and architecture, Dresden has been known since the early 19th century as "Florence on the Elbe." During the time period of this collection, Dresden belonged initially to the Electorate of Saxony and, after 1806, to the Kingdom of Saxony.
Weekly church reports were required by Dresden city government as part of an effort to provide an overview of the populace. To begin with, mostly death data was required, but this was later expanded to include more general data. Weekly reports from the sexton of each church in Dresden serve as the basis for these compilations. They were created each week along with traditional church records until January 1, 1876 when Civil Registration Offices were introduced. These weekly reports constitute an important source of Family History information where traditional church records from this period no longer survive.
What you can find in the records
Reports submitted by sextons were written out by hand each week. Depending on the time period and on the individual formulations used, you may generally find the following details in these records:
Baptisms (beginning in 1713):
- Where Baptised
- Father: Given Names, Last Name and Occupation (or for an illegitimate child, Mother's Name)
- Child: Given Names, Week of Birth/Baptism
Marriages (beginning in 1778):
- Marriage Place, Week of Marriage
- Groom: Given Names, Last Name, Occupation, Residence, Parent Details
- Bride: Given Names, Last Name, Residence, Parent Details
- Place of Burial
- Deceased: Given Names, Last Name, Occupation, Death Date, Age, Address, Cause of Death
- Stillborn Children: Name of Father
More about using this collection
Usually multiple entries are recorded on each page. Weekly reports are arranged chronologically and individual communities appear one after another. This collection also effectively chronicles large epidemics such as the outbreak of typhoid fever in post-war 1813 when many died of "brain fever."