We are pleased to announce the addition of an exclusive death records collection from the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, from 1870 through 1940. This collection is an initial part of civil registration death records which have been made available by the Landesarchiv Nordrhein-Westfalen.
This unique new collection to MyHeritage comprises 2,450,551 records and includes beautiful scanned images of the original civil registration records with many rich details. MyHeritage is the first to fully index these images — making their information more accessible and readily searchable than ever before. This collection serves as a vital resource for anyone seeking to learn more about their German roots.
With over 17.5 million inhabitants, the state of North Rhine-Westphalia is the most populous state in Germany. Most of its residents live in the cities along the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan area, such as Cologne, Düsseldorf, Dortmund, and Essen.
Prior to World War II, North Rhine-Westphalia existed as three separate provinces — the Prussian provinces of Westphalia and North Rhine, and the German Free State of Lippe. In 1946, British military forces unified the Prussian provinces of Westphalia and North Rhine, and in 1947, Lippe was added to form what is modern day North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.
Civil death registration records in Germany, called Personenstandsregister, are an excellent source of genealogical information. Kept by the German Civil Registrar, they cover 98% of the population and became mandatory in all German states by 1876.
Records may contain the first and last name, maiden name, gender, religion, date and place at the time of death, age at death, date and place of birth, residence, name of spouse, and names of parents. In addition, the records include administrative information such as the certificate number, date of registration, and the signature of the person reporting the death, as well as the signature of the registrar.
The death record of the daughter of German mathematician Ernst Kummer, Helene Kummer Cauer, appears in this collection.
In the record below, you can find key details about her life. Her given name and maiden name: Helene Kummer; her birth place: Breslau, Poland; and her last place of residence, Münster, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Also included are her gender; the date of her death, March 30, 1920; her age at the time of death, 65; her father’s and mother’s names, Ernst Eduard and Berta Kummer; and her husband’s name, Paul Cauer.
Also in this collection is the record of Hendrina Schepers. In the record, you can find information regarding her death: the date of her death, January 17,1884, her age, 74, and her last place of residence, Isselburg. The record also provides information about her birth: her birthdate, October 9, 1809, her place of birth, Haldern, and her spouse’s full name, Theodor Hüls.
The collection also contains death records of children who passed away at an early age, such as Gerhard Wilhelm Gödden. In the record below you can find his age at the time of death, 3, his place residence as well as his place of birth, both Isselburg, the date of his death, May 5, 1890, his birthdate, October 11, 1886, and his parent’s full names, Gerhard Gödden and Dina Messing.
We hope this exclusive collection expands the horizons of your family history research in Germany. The 2.4 million records in this North Rhine Westphalia, Death Index 1870–1940 is the first in a series of planned updates to the collection.
Searching this collection is free. To view these records or to save records to your family tree, you’ll need a Data or Complete subscription.
If you have a family tree on MyHeritage, our Record Matching technology will notify you automatically if records from this collection match your relatives. You’ll then be able to review the record and decide if you’d like to add the new information to your tree.
Enjoy the new collection!
Source: My Heritage