Mainz, the current capital of the Rhine-Palatinate state in Germany, has a rich and storied history that includes the birth of the movable-type printing press. Located on the Rhine River about 27 miles (37.4 km) WSW of Frankfurt, Germany, the river-port city was once an outpost of the Roman Empire. Since the late 18th century, Mainz has come under French, Prussian, and German rule at various times and for a brief spell was a democratic free state.
Family Registers, or Familienbögen
This collection includes civil family registers from Mainz. These are sometimes called Familienbögen. To track family movements, a system of civil registration was established in parts of what is now Germany. Familienbögen were house-based, recording the inhabitants from the time they moved in until they moved out or died.
When a family moved into their home, they registered at a local office. Anytime a child was born or a household member married, died, or moved out, it was recorded on the family register with the civil authorities. When the entire family moved, they unregistered at the local office and a new sheet was started for the dwelling’s new occupants.
In cases where families lived in the same dwelling for multiple generations, these registers can become multigenerational records. As a couple aged, one of the younger children may have stayed on to care for the aging parents, in the meantime beginning their own family in the same dwelling.
While the registers typically list the household inhabitants, they do not specifically call out relationships. Use caution and additional research when sorting out familial relationships.
Terms You May Find in These Records
- Familien Nro.: Family number
- Namen der Eltern und ihrer Kinder: Names of parents and their children
- Geburtsjahr: Year of birth
- Leibesfehler und Gebrechen: Physical defects and infirmities
- Gewerbe: Trade (Occupation)
- Geheirathet und wohin: Married and where
Note: Because of privacy restrictions, some images are not displaying. Whenever possible, nonrestricted details were extracted, and in some instances these details will be provided without a corresponding image. The Family Number ranges used in the browse are reflective of the records keyed, rather than the images displayed.