Investigation by authorities

When interviewing the relatives is complete, stands before the next step: contacting the registrar’s office. Important to know is that there are registry offices in Germany about since 1874. All Individual data before 1874 are to be found in so-called parish registers of the respective localities. The registry offices manage the entire civil status in Germany. There are birth, marriage and death registers.

A major problem is the hierbeit Policy. The Data Protection Act states that no citizen can get extracts from the records of the registry office, unless he has a legitimate interest. Since the study of one’s ancestry a ‘legitimate interest’, obtained with respect to the registrar’s office provide information – but the evidence must be provided that it is itself a descendant of the people from whom you want to receive data.

It is important that we know from the place where the ancestors came from. Only then can you write a letter to the local Standesmat.

Sample letter:


To: the registry office in Anytown
Re:. Documents from the registry office registers

Ladies and Gentlemen,

For some time I am doing genealogical research.

My paternal grandfather John Smith comes from Model City, where he is born on 01/02/1890. It also transpires from my family records that his father, Maximilian Smith, and his mother is Anna Mathilde nee Meyer. Of the latter two I have no data.
I ask you now to send me by the birth record of my grandfather a copy. Should be in your books and records, the death of my great-grandparents can find, so please send me a copy of this also.

For privacy reasons, as I am out with my passport: number 1234567890, issued by the City of Anytown.
The requisite fees I will transfer directly after sending the documents.

For your trouble I would like right now thank you very much.

Sincerely yours


The registry offices typically provide a copy of the books, including legalization stamps. The prints are based on fees and are in the single digit Euro range. The certificate entries are usually performed very accurately and provide information on further guidance to our ancestors:

– Birth certificates contain information on date of birth and details of parents.
– Marriage certificates contain indication of civil marriage, the age of the bride and groom and their parents.
– Death certificates contain the exact dying day, the age of the deceased and indicating the place of birth and date.

Some registry offices can be a lot of time with processing such requests. Here’s some patience. Depending on the size of the civil Mates it can take between 1 and 4 weeks.

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