About this collection
This collection contains death records and name directories from Rostock covering the years 1876 up to and including 1950. The Hanseatic City of Rostock is an independent city in the German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and is situated on both banks of the Warnow River up to the Baltic Sea coast. The Warnemünde district is a seaside resort on the Baltic and the largest cruiseship departure port in Germany. Rostock received its town charter in 1218 and was an important member of the Hanseatic League. Numerous Brick Gothic buildings attest to its rich history. During the time period of this collection, Rostock was part of the Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin which in 1918 became the Free State of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. In 1945 after WWII, the area fell under Soviet occupation and was called "Mecklenburg-Vorpommern." In addition to Rostock, another 12 communities are included. In general, there are no records after 1950.
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 the registrar (initially by hand, then by typewriter). 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: Given Names, Last Name, Maiden Name, Occupation, 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
The name directories are arranged alphabetically according to the last name of the deceased. They are bound in chronological volumes separately or with several years combined. They contain the following details:
- Sequential number
- Last Names and Given Names of the deceased
- Occupation, Residence
- 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. The “Informant” was usually a relative of the deceased. In later years death information was often submitted by hospital administrators. Under "Browse this collection,” select the Civil Registration Office and the Year Range or Volume of the register desired. When name directories are available for a registry office, they are displayed and selectable at the end of the Year Range list. For the community of Rostock itself, the name directories include listings of war casualties (Namensverzeichnis-Kriegssterbefälle) for the years 1914-1918 and 1939-1945. These may contain additional details such as Military Rank.