Source Information

Stadtarchiv Altenburg Altenburg, Germany, Deaths, 1876-1950 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2016.
Original data:

Sterberegister und Namensverzeichnisse. Stadtarchiv Altenburg, Altenburg, Deutschland.

About Altenburg, Germany, Deaths, 1876-1950

About this collection

This collection contains death records and name directories from Altenburg covering the years from 1876 up to and including 1950. Altenburg is the administrative center of the district of Altenburger Land in the German state of Thuringia. The city is located about 25 miles south of Leipzig along the Pleiße River. Altenburg is the site of the former Imperial Palace. The first documentary mention of Altenburg was in 976. The city is known for producing playing cards and as the place where, in 1815, the popular German card game "Skat" was invented. During the time period of this collection until 1918, Altenburg belonged to the Duchy of Saxe-Altenburg. After 1918 it was part of the German Reich and then East Germany. In addition to Altenburg, another 24 communities are included. The birth register for Zipsendorf begins in 1874 because Zipsendorf lay along an administrative boundary and belonged to the former Prussian province of Saxony.

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 cross reference to corresponding birth and/or marriage registers
  • From 1938 to 1957, the Cause of Death is often included
  • Signatures

Entries in the name directories are usually ordered alphabetically according to the last name of the deceased, then by year of death. They are often bound as separate volumes covering several years each. They contain the following details:

  • Sequential number
  • Last Name, Given Names, and Occupation of the deceased
  • Cross reference to the 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 be found via the search form. The “Informant” was often a relative of the deceased. In later years, death information was often submitted by hospital administrators or by an undertaker.

These records also document casualties (Kriegssterbefälle) from the Second World War. Records for some of the dead were only later made available by the “German Office for the Notification of Next-of-Kin of Members of the Former German Armed Forces who were Killed in Action” (WASt) located first in Saalfeld/Saale and later in Berlin.

Under "Browse this collection,” select the Civil Registration Office and Year Range of the register desired. Name directories are found at the end of the Year Range lists.

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