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Making sense of old handwriting

Marriage Civil Registers


The following information will usually be found in a marriage entry:

  • The names of the bride and the groom. 
  • The ages, residence, birthplace, and occupations of the bride and groom. 
  • The date of your ancestors' marriage. 
  • The names of the parents and their residence and occupation, if living. 
  • Whether the bride and groom were single or widowed before the marriage. 
  • The names of the witnesses, their ages, occupations, residence, and relationship to the bride or groom, if any. 
  • Divorces [Echtscheidingen]. Divorce cases are handled by the district courts. A record of the divorce will be recorded at the back of the marriage register of the municipality where the couple lived at the time of their divorce. For large cities in later years, they will be in separate registers. There is usually a note in the margin of the original marriage record. Divorces before the 20th century were uncommon. 


Paleography Introduction