In 1874 the registry office ‘Standesamt I’ in Berlin became responsible for all civil certification outside of the German Reich. It is still located in Berlin. Here, births, marriages, and deaths of Germans abroad or on German ships were and are certified, and certificates are issued for Germans who never had a domestic residence. As a result, Standesamt I is the German ‘foreign registry office’.
Standesamt I has different series of registers:
- ‘Consular register’, the collected documents issued for German representatives abroad, from the ‘North German Confederation’ beginning in 1862, to the German Reich, to the Federal Republic of Germany in 1974. Here you can find an overview of the consular districts with surviving records.
- Registers that were issued in the former German colonies. Overview of the registers from former German colonies.
- The civil registry documents of the ‘former eastern territories of Germany’ (East Prussia, West Prussia, Upper Silesia, Lower Silesia, and Pomerania). This series has large gaps.
- Registers from the ‘General Government’, from territories occupied in the Second World War, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Belarus, Ukraine, the Netherlands, and Norway, from 1940 to 1946. Here you can find an overview of death registers from occupied territories.
- Registers of certificates from the deaths of Germans abroad (1938 to 1985).
For the most part, these holdings were submitted to the Landesarchiv Berlin due to its area of competence or will be submitted in the years to come. Available in the Landesarchiv:
- Birth registers from 1874 to 1899,
- Marriage registers from 1874 to 1929, and
- Death registers from 1874 to 1979
More recent documents have not yet been submitted to the archive. They can still be found in the Standesamt I in Berlin.
If you would like to order copies of documents from these holdings, please use this form. Immediate presentation of registers from Standesamt I in the reading room of the Landesarchiv is only possible with a previously scheduled appointment.
Please keep in mind that the place of residence of the person you are looking for is not necessarily identical to the location of the Standesamt. You may need to look up where the responsible Standesamt was located, especially when it comes to small places of residence. (Directories of place names [Ortsbücher] in libraries can be helpful, of you can try online searches.)