MyHeritage has published 11 million historical records from two death collections that include images: Germany, Hesse, Deaths, and an update to Germany, North Rhine Westphalia Deaths 1874–1938

The North-Rhine Westphalia death collection is exclusive to MyHeritage and cannot be found on any other commercial site. With this update, the total number of German historical records on MyHeritage is 187 million.

Here are more details about each of these collections.

Germany, North Rhine Westphalia (Arnsberg, Detmold, and Münster), Deaths 1874–1938

In partnership with the Landesarchiv Nordrhein Westfalen, the State Archives of North Rhine Westphalia, MyHeritage added 3.8 million historical records and images from the region of Detmold to the North Rhine Westphalia death collection this month. MyHeritage is the first to index the images from The North Rhine Westphalia death collection with the full support of the Landesarchiv, the State Archives of North Rhine-Westphalia — making the information in the images more accessible and readily searchable than ever before.

The collection contains death records from numerous civil registration offices (Standesämter) of the state of North Rhine Westphalia between 1874 and 1938. With this update, the collection now contains 11 million historical records from Arnsberg, Detmold, and Münster. Future updates will include the regions of Düsseldorf and Köln.

The records include the certificate number; date of registration, which is different from the actual death date; name and occupation of the person reporting the death; given name, last name, and/or maiden name of the deceased; gender; religion; date, place, and time of death; age at death; date and place of birth; residence; and often other important information, such as details on the spouse and parents.

When available, the signature of the person reporting the death is included as well as that of the registrar. Civil registrations became mandatory in the entire German Empire at the beginning of 1876, but some localities kept records earlier.

Search Germany, North Rhine Westphalia (Arnsberg, Detmold, and Münster), Deaths 1874–1938

Germany, Hesse, Deaths

This collection of 8 million records includes death records from several communities that are within the state of today’s Hesse, Germany, between the years 1848 and 1990. The records include the deceased’s given name, the date and place of birth, sex, and date and place of death. Information about the parents includes given name, surname, and mother’s maiden name.

Starting from October 1874, the state appointed registrars of death records of all inhabitants of Prussia, which includes many of the communities in this collection. Civil Registry records from Hessian communities that were not part of Prussia begin as early as January 1876. While churches continued to keep traditional records, the state also mandated that the personal or marital status of the entire population be recorded. These records were indexed and made searchable by MyHeritage.

Search Germany, Hesse, Deaths


Picture: “Tuckesburg”, Westphalian Zoological Garden, Münster (c.1900)
Source:  MyHeritage