Thursday, October 15, 2009

Trippstadt, Germany Civil Death Records, Part One: 1806-1829

(Note: Originally I had planned only to do one post on the subject of Trippstadt's death records, but since I haven't had the time to write a long post, I've decided to split the topic into multiple posts so that I can actually get around to writing about the civil death records as I promised months ago.)

As you may or may not remember, over this past summer and the summer before I began researching my Kees and Cotta ancestors in the death records of Trippstadt, Germany. Of course, when I started, I ended up going through the 1860s death records first, and that was by accident because I ordered the wrong microfilm. (I seem to have a habit of doing that sometimes.) I did eventually work back to the earlier records since most of the Kees and Cotta relatives I was searching for were in the earlier records. Unlike how I started going through the death records, I will be starting from the earliest to later records in this post and future posts.

For this first post in the series, I will be focusing on the years between 1806 and 1829. From 1806 through 1816, the death records were recorded in French. Most of the death records consisted of a document with typed text that left space for the information on the deceased to be handwritten in, although there were a few death records at the ends of each death register book that were only in handwriting. Each year had a separate book, and at the end of the book, a handwritten index listing the names of the deceased was included with the record number of the death record. Additionally, the index also included the town the person had died because at that time, the death records for a few other villages or towns were recorded in Trippstadt's death records. Unfortunately, I did not copy any images of death records or indexes before the 1820s in Trippstadt since I did not have any ancestors living in Trippstadt before 1823. (At least that is what I know at the moment. Adolph Kees and Amelia Cotta's first child was born in Trippstadt in 1823 according to the Protestant church's baptismal records.)

In 1817, the language used to record deaths was switched from French to German. The preprinted forms were kept, and each year had its own book as it did when the records were kept in French. Handwritten indexes were also kept at the ends of the record books with the only difference being that the language was changed. Other towns and villages from the area near Trippstadt were still included in the record books, but unfortunately, I forgot to not when the death records stopped including death records from other towns and villages outside of Trippstadt.

After 1817 through the 1860s, the death records stayed the same, except for changes in the index and some of the wording in the pre-printed forms. The death record below is an example of the death records in the 1820s.
In 1828, Amelia gave birth to a set of twins, but unfortunately, one twin was stillborn and the other died within a few minutes after birth. Adolph and Amelia did not name the children, and as you can see from the above image, the area for the name is crossed out. Although there are two death records, one for each child, I have only posted one of them since the records were the same. Each death record took up half a page in the record book, so two records are listed on each page. In the upper left corner, the record number is listed, and the first portion of the typed text records when, where (down to the district and town of death), and who was reporting the death to the registrar. (In the 1820s, the providence Trippstadt was located was listed as Rheinkreise, but that would change by the 1830s.) Two people were required to inform the registrar of a death, and Adolph Kees and another man were the ones who gave the information on the death of the twins. Additionally, the age, occupation and relationship of the informants to the deceased was recorded in the death records. The name of the parents of the deceased, their occupations, the occupation of the deceased, and the house number of where the deceased died are recorded in the second half of the document. At the bottom, the informants and registrar had to sign their names attesting to accuracy of the information, and as you can see, the signatures for all three men are at the bottom. Strangely, the gender of the children, in lieu of names, were not recorded despite the amount of information the records required.

I did not copy the image of the index for these death records, and thus, I haven't included an image of the index for the 1820s. I did copy images of the indexes in the 1830s, 1840s, 1850s and 1860s, and I will include those in future posts. Stay tuned for a post on Trippstadt's death records in the 1830s! Enjoy!

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