Possibly originating in Prussia (now part Germany and part Poland), the first part of my research has been to place the boundary changes in order and gain an understanding of when and where official registrations may have been made.
1815 Prussia covered an area from the West of Berlin to North West and into the North East of Poland. Within that The Kingdom of Hannover existed between 1815 and 1866 and included the cities of Hamburg and Hannover, and also the region of Mecklenburg.
The Province of Hannover, so it became, was part of The Kingdom of Prussia from 1868 and in what was the Kingdom of Hannover, the Crowns of Hannover and Great Britain had been held since 1837 , first by George’s I – IV and William IV (William Passed the Hanoverian Crown to his brother and the British crown to his niece Queen Victoria)
Prussia was of course an area much fought over between 1870 and 1945, particularly involving what is Poland today (Silesia, Pomorskie, Warmia and Mazuria in Poland are former parts of Prussia). When the Soviets made Poland a communist state after the 2nd world war, they had been so keen to ensure these parts of former Prussia became Polish, that they offered relocation and better jobs to natural Poles from the South of Poland, willing to relocate. German visitors to Poland today refer to place names in the old German and not in the Polish variation. So perhaps the country will the most frequently changing borders in European history, Poland will also have an impact upon how I do my research.
In the far East of Old Prussia lies Konigsburg, what is today the Russian City of Kalingrad.
My research for this client will also take me to the nearby region of Mecklenburg (Old German : Big Castle) region.
I understand that Mecklenburg, to be a relatively rural district in what became the region of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania , until 1952 , when the East German government (Under the Soviets) divided it to the three regions of Rostock, Schwerin and Neubrandenburg.
The reunification of Germany saw the state return as Mecklenburg-Vorpommer .
Mecklenburg would be an interesting region to visit as it is home to over 1000 megalithic sites, such as cave dwellings. The state capital is Schwerin and Rostock is its largest city.
So there is much to do, not only will I need to brush up on my German reading skills, I might need to learn a little Polish and Russian too, should I need to visit I will need to know when to use which !!!!
A note about registrations.
Civil registration of births, marriages and deaths in Germany began following the French Revolution in 1792. Beginning with regions of Germany under French control, most German states eventually developed their own individual systems of civil registration between 1792 and 1876. In general, German civil records begin in 1792 in Rheinland, 1803 in Hessen-Nassau, 1808 in Westfalen, 1809 in Hannover, Oct 1874 in Prussia, and Jan 1876 for all other parts of Germany.
For more information about how I can help you with your family search, please contact me