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The Federal State Bremen

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General Information

The following information relate mainly to the city of Bremen. Furthermore information to Bremerhaven or to municipal areas in Bremen will be prepared soon.

Research area

The research area covers the today's Federal State Bremen.

Next to the Weser estuary is the two-city state. Two cities, one state: Bremen and Bremerhaven, 65 km apart.The old merchant city and the young maritime town constitute the smallest german state in terms of both area (400 sqkm) and population (660 000).
The current Constitution of the State is from 1947 and was revised in 1995.

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District Organization (Kreise/counties, Städte/towns, Stadtteile/municipal areas, Gemeinden/parishes)

Bremerhaven [top of document]

Religious Communities

In 1987
62 % of the inhabitants confessed to protetantism,
10 % were catholic and
4 % of islamic denomination.
15 % didn't confess to any religion.


Bremen is documented for the first time.

Charlemagne founded the episcopat Bremen. Bremen becomes the base for christianization in northern Europe.

Residence of the archdiocese Hamburg-Bremen (archbishop Ansgar).

King Arnulf grants the market-privilege to the collegiate church.

Emperor Otto I. grants the market-privilege to the archbishop Adaldag

First economic prosperity under archbishop Adalbert

Emperor Friedrich Barbarossa confirms the first common laws

About 1300
The town-bricklayer is constructed

13. century
Bremen becomes independent from the archbishops

Bremen becomes a member of the Hansa, a union of Hanseatic cities, which dominated trade in the North Sea and Baltic regions until well into the 16th century.

The first artificial seeport is errected

Bremen becomes a Freie Reichsstadt / independent town after the battle against Sweden in the 30 Years War

Start of direct trading with the USA

After the liquidation of the Holy Roman Empire, the burgomaster in office at the time Johann Smidt, ensured the independence of the Free City of Bremen in the German Alliance.

Bremen becomes a sovereign state in the German Federation at the Vienna Congress


Bremerhaven is founded at the mouth of the Weser, for it seemed that the river would be silted up.

Bremen becomes a member of the Northgerman Union

Foundation of the German Reich. Bremen becomes a federal state with the constitutionally laid down title Free Hanseatic City of Bremen.

Connection of Bremen to the German Customs Union; opening of the first free harbour

Start of the airport

Start of the Columbuskaje in Bremerhaven (railway-station at the shore)

The US occupying forces proclaimed the state of Bremen and this state continued to exist in the Federal Republic of Germany.

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  • Associations and Societies

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    Genealogical and Historical Documents

    Apart from single losts, the churchbooks of the city and the surrounding areas are completely existent. Copies and microfiches can be used in the working-rooms at the MAUS e.V. The following set up shows the beginning of the baptize-registers of the city and suburbs.

    Churches in the City of Bremen:

    St. Petri-Dom (1642)
    Unser Lieben Frauen (1651)
    St. Martini (1665)
    St. Ansgarii (1581)
    St. Stephani (1639)
    St. Pauli (1650)
    St. Remberti (1639)
    St. Michaelis (1700)
    St. Johannis (1634)
    Poorhouse (1760, only death records !)
    French community (1689)
    Catholic community (1750)
    Israelitic community (1811)

    Nearby parishes (incl. the churches that belong to Bremen since 1939):

    Arbergen (1663)
    Arsten (1701)
    Blumenthal (1717)
    Borgfeld (1694)
    Büren-Grambke (1701)
    Büren (1782)
    Grambke (1782)
    Gröpelingen (1680)
    Horn (1679)
    Kirchhuchting (1679)
    Lesum (1656)
    Oberneuland (1739)
    Rablinghausen (1750)
    Seehausen (1702)
    Walle (1673)
    Wasserhorst (1746)

    There are also copies of churchbooks from churches of the nearby parishes:

    Achim (1715-1852)
    Neuenkirchen (1746-1840)
    Osterholz (1715-1852)
    Ritterhude (1663- 1852)
    Scharmbeck (1715-1852)
    Schwanewede (1715-1852)

    Civilstandsamt (predecessor of the Standesamt / civil registrar)

    In 1811, one year after beeing a part of the French Kaiserreich, Bremen started registering civil records and this was maintained when the french occupation ended in 1813. In parts these records are more detailed than the churchbooks. The registers for the city and the suburbs are complete from 1811-75. Alphabetic nameregisters exist and can be used in the working rooms of the Maus e.V.

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    Gazetteers and Maps

    New maps and historic copies are available at:

    Kataster u. Vermessungsamt Bremen (land register- and surveying-office)
    Wilhelm-Kaisen-Brücke 4
    D-28199 Bremen

    Via streetnames you can go online to Internet-Server of the city of Bremen and get a streetmap of that area.

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    Bibliography and Literature

    Buchenau, Franz
    Die freie Hansestadt Bremen und ihr Gebiet (the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen and its district)
    Bremen 1862-1900 Entholt, J.A.
    Kleine bremische Heimatkunde ( small Bremen local studies)
    Bremen 1885


    Adamietz, Horst (Publisher:)
    Bremer Profile (Bremer profiles)
    Bremen 1972

    Cyrus, Hannelore (Publisher:)
    Bremer Frauen (Bremer women)
    Bremen 1991

    Schwarzwälder, Herbert
    Berühmte Bremer (famous Bremen people)
    München 1972

    Comprehensive chronicles about Bremen

    Achelis, Johannes
    Bremer Chronik von 780-1871
    Bremen 1920

    Bessell, Georg.
    Bremen, Geschichte einer deutschen Stadt.(history of a german town)
    Leipzig 1935, 3. Aufl. Bremen 1953

    Duntze, Joh. Herm.
    Geschichte der Freien Stadt Bremen (history of the free town )
    4 Bde., Bremen 1845 bis 1851

    Schwarzwälder, Herbert.
    Geschichte der Freien Hansestadt Bremen I-IV (history of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen I-IV)
    Bremen 1975, Hamburg 1983, 1985

    Duesing, D.
    Chronik von Bremen 1700-1757.
    Publisher: University-library Bremen

    Heineken, Christian Abraham
    Geschichte der Freien Hansestadt Bremen von der Mitte des 18. Jahrhunderts bis zur Franzosenzeit, bearb. von Wilhelm Lue. (history of Bremen from mid 18th century till the french occupation)
    Publisher: Bremen 1983

    Koster, Peter.
    Wahrhafte, kurtze und einfältige Beschreibung dessen, was sich von Anno 1600 bishero in der kayserlich Freyen Reichs- und Hanse-Stadt Bremen Merkwürdiges zu Kriegs- und Friedenszeiten, auch in anderen Begebenheiten zugetragen. ( true, short and naiv stories about strange things during war and peace since 1600)
    Publisher: University-library Bremen

    Schorling, Hans
    Quellen zur Familienforschung in der Stadt Bremen, dem Bremer Landgebiet und der weiteren Umgebung. (Sources for family-researching in Bremen, nearby parishes and surrounding)
    In: Blaetter der Maus
    Nr.3, Okt. 1927 und Nr.4, Juli 1928.

    Stammtafeln / family trees
    These are written by registrars of the civil office till 1933 and show names, birth-dates and birth-place, name of the parents, wife and children.

    Bürgerbücher/Burgher Rolls/citizenship records
    In the Burgher Rolls those people are documented who took an oath to defend the town. Other inhabitants had to have guarantors. Fotocopies exist from:
    Die Altstadt-Bürgerbücher von 1289-1797
    Neustadt-Bürgerbücher von 1661-1822
    Vortstadt-Bürgerbücher von 1661-1738
    There are registers for these books.

    Grey maps
    In the grey maps are collected family-trees, obituaries or other interesting information about families researched by members of the MAUS. They are organized alphabetically and linked by registers to other families. In 1998 there was an amount of more than 2500 maps.

    (You can find all listed surnames at: Die Maus; grey maps )

    Bremen pastors
    This documentation was made by order of the Bremer Evangelische Kirche from Mrs. Tusnelde Forck up to her death in 1972. It is a research on pastors and ministers in the Bremen churches back to the reformation.

    General Genealogical Literature

    Deutsches Familienarchiv/German Family Archive
    Deutsches Geschlechterbuch/German Gender Book
    Germans To America
    Schriften des Vereins fuer Familienforschung in Ost- und Westpreußen e.V./Literature of the Society for Familyresearch in East- and West-Prussia
    Ortsfamilienbücher /family books
    Personenlisten / People-listings
    also many other genealogical literature.

    Bremer Urkundenbuch / document-book
    from 787-1447

    Bremer Adressbuch / address-book
    from 1794-1985 on microfiche. You also find, to what parish the person belonged.


    Evaluations of historical university-matricel from Altdorf, Basel, Köln, Braunschweig, Frankfurt, Göttingen, Marburg, Strassburg and Wittenberg.

    "Familiarum Bremensium Stemmata"
    A famous hand-writing of the former archivar Hermann Post.

    Testamentbücher / wills
    Register in each book.

    Lassungsbücher / landbooks
    Catalogue of land-selling in the city. Generalregister from 1438-1586. From 1587-1835 registers in each book.


    Collection of judgements
    Protocols of former courts from 1562-1811

    Schossregister / tax-registers
    Listings of "Bürger" who paid or didn't pay taxes, organized in parishes, from 1668-1877.

    Rechnungsbücher / accountancy-books
    Von Ratskasse (Rheederbuch 1469-1812), Schütting (1605-1811) und Kämmerei (1438-1811)

    Interesting for the surrounding of Bremen:

    Court-protocols and financial churchbooks
    for Blockland, Borgfeld, Hastedt, Walle and Wasserhorst.

    The so called Mainbook/Hauptbuch von 1609
    There is a lot of family-historical information for the parishes Arsten, Bederkesa, Gröpelingen, Huchting and Seehausen.

    1595 - for the four Gohe (=Gaue) around Bremen

    Pflugschatzregister / plough tax register
    1604 - Ober- und Niedervieland, Holler- und Blockland, Werderland, Walle, Gröpelingen and Borgfeld.

    Kirchliche Güter / church estates
    1641 - listing of church estates in the city and surrounding.

    Bremen Weekly News
    Since 1805 with publications of family advertisements

    Diaries and Travelogs
    Starting in the 16th century with lots of people-listings

    Lot of normal-day literature

    the Mayors since 1562, Pastors since 1522, Physicians/Doctors (15th -17th century).

    The " Almanach de Gotha"

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    Archives and Libraries

    State Archive Bremen
    Am Staatsarchiv 1
    D-28203 Bremen

    User-service / information
    Tel.: 0421-3616221


    mo: closed
    tue, wed: 09.00 am-4 pm
    thu: 09.00 am-8 pm
    fr: 09.00 am-3 pm

    The distribution of archive material happens only after preordering. If you want to look at this material early at 9 am, you have to order it the day before. That has to be done too for material that is stored in other places, p.e. landbooks. The findbooks are often handwritten and sometimes difficult to read.
    The usage of the material has to be paid. The usage of the reading-room in the library is free.

    Stadtarchiv Bremerhaven / city-archive
    Stadthaus 5
    Postfach 210360
    D-27524 Bremerhaven

    Landeskirchliches Archiv der Bremer Evangelischen Kirche (Clerical district archive of the evangelical church of Bremen)
    Franziuseck 2-4
    D-28199 Bremen

    Archiv des Deutschen Schiffahrtsmuseums (DSM)/Archive of the German Maritime Museum
    D-27568 Bremerhaven

    Archiv des Fördervereins Deutsches Auswanderermuseum e.V.

    (Archive of the promotion-society German Emigration Museum)
    Inselstrasse 6
    D-27568 Bremerhaven

    State- and University-Library Bremen (StUB)
    Bibliothekstrasse 1
    D-28359 Bremen
    phone.: 0421-2182615

    Library in the Focke Museum
    Bremer Landesmuseum fuer Kunst- und Kulturgeschichte
    Schwachhauser Heerstraße 240
    28213 Bremen

    phone: 0421/361-3487/3575
    fax: 0421/361-3903

    Management: Hannelore Bade
    Inquiries: mo-fr 8.30 am-4 pm. Openings only by appointment.
    No user charge

    research areas: navigation; history of art; arts and crafts; numismatics; archaeology; ethnology; Bremensien/Bremen-specialities
    amount: ca. 40.000
    magazines: 166
    newspapers: 2
    publications: working-map "school and museum"; " publications of the museum for art and culture Focke-Museum"

    Family History Center der LDS There is a FHC (Family History Center)™ in: Otilie-Hoffmann-Strasse 2
    D-28213 Bremen
    Tel.: 0421-2238557

    Appointments are necessary.

    Standesamt Bremen-Mitte
    Hollerallee 79
    D-28209 Bremen

    Standesamt Bremen-Nord
    Weserstrasse 75
    D-28757 Bremen

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    Miscellaneous Subjects

    Jens Mueller-Koppe, Historiker
    Schanzendorfer Str. 9
    28307 Bremen
    Tel.: (0421) 4842530
    Fax: (0421) 4842527
    Societies International Ship Transcribers Guilde [top of document]

    WWW Internet resources
    The official internet server of the State and the city of Bremen
    Infopages Bremerhaven

    Bremer Stadtteile / municipal areas

    Archives, Museums World Genweb Project: WWW-sources about Bremen University and academies [top of document]

    for Bremen
    Visit the WorldGenWeb Page Visit the GermanyGenWeb Page Visit the USGenWeb Project

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    Last changes: 21-Apr-2000 (kpw)

    any comments please to: K.-P. Wessel or to: WebMaster
    Thanks to Carsten Heuer for writing most of the text
    and Karl Wesling for the english version of this document.