About this collection
This collection contains lists of individuals found in Citizen Lists (Bürgerbücher), Council Registers (Ratsmatrikel), and various Census Lists for the city of Halle between 1400 and 1915. Many of the records date from the 19th century. Halle, also known as "Halle on the Saale," was already a major city by 1890. It is situated in the modern German state of Saxony-Anhalt about 25 miles northwest of Leipzig. The first documentary mention of Halle was in 806. It was chartered in 961 and developed rapidly into an important trade center for salt and fabics. Halle is the seat of one of the oldest universities in Germany. One of the city's notable landmarks on the market square is the Rote Turm (Red Tower), a clock tower built in 1506. Until 1680, Halle was part of the Archbishopric of Magdeburg and the Electorate of Brandenburg. In 1701 it became part of the Kingdom of Prussia which became the Free State of Prussia under the Weimar Republic.
What you can find in the records
Citizen Lists (Bürgerbücher)
The Citizen Lists are found in four volumes. The years 1400-1747 and 1748-1830 are contained in two superbly designed and elaborate books. Years 1805-1830 and 1831-1853 are contained in two books in tabular format. These books record the names of Halle residents who enjoyed 'Citizen' status. Citizenship provided certain political, social and economic privileges but also entailed obligations to the city. Residents who were not citizens do not appear in these books. Initially, only names were recorded. In 1462, the corresponding rights were also listed and, in 1493, the names of two witnesses (as guarantors) were included. From 1523 onwards, the citizen's profession was added. In 1524 the date of oath taking began to be recorded, and in 1526, place of origin was added for immigrants. Beginning in 1730, required fees were itemized by municipal budget. Sporadically, the age and religion of new citizens were recorded. At the beginning of each year, sitting city council members are listed.
Index to the Citizen Lists (Register Bürgerbücher)
As a finding aid, handwritten indexes to the Citizen Lists were created for the years 1650 to 1807. These are roughly alphabetical according to citizens' surnames and reference the year of the Citizen List where the name appears.
Citizenship Rolls (Bürgerrollen)
After 1855, Citizenship Rolls replaced Citizen Lists and were based on the Prussian civic organizational reforms of 1831. The rolls contain listings of citizens, by year, showing name, address, occupation or trade, income estimate and electoral class assignment (I, II or III). Starting in 1869 Citizenship Rolls were divided into five residential districts. Beginning in 1875 the rolls were titled "List of Voting Citizens," after 1878 they became "Register of Voters." An alphabetical index volume exists for the years 1885 to 1891 (1885-1891 Band 47). The rolls for 1906 and 1915 were divided into "Altstadt" (old town) and "Vororte" (suburbs). The rolls for many years are divided into multiple volumes for "Angesessene" (established or already registered) citizens, or "Unangesessene" (unestablished or new) citizens.
Council Registers (Ratsmatrikel)
Council Registers cover the years 1601-1735 and 1736-1832 with an appendix for 1854. These list Halle city council members and, after 1719, include council employees. Typewritten name indexes are available for these registers and are found at the end of each volume.
The volume titled "Senatus Hallensis" is actually part of the Council Registers and covers the years 1405-1655 (with gaps in 1436 and 1437). It lists council members and, after 1479, also the officials (Thalbeamten) who were responsible for supervising salt production in Halle.
Lists of Residents (Urbevölkerungslisten)
These census lists record all residents of Halle from 1840-1864 regardless of citizenship status. These surveys were taken every three years. Until 1852, the lists are arranged by city districts and suburbs. After 1855, they are organized by police precincts. As a result, some year ranges may have several volumes. Each household was enumerated and the Name, Family Relationship, Age, Religion and Occupation of each inhabitant were recorded. Each volume contains a statistical summary about the respective district. The data is broken down by gender and age with details on deaf, mute and blind persons provided as well. There are gaps in the records for the years 1843, 1849, 1855 and 1861.
More about using this collection
Under "Browse this collection,” select the Title and type of register. The select the Year Range and Volume desired. When viewing the images, use the filmstrip feature and image thumbnails to help with navigating. Entries in the original documents often covered two pages. Images of these pages are displayed one after the other.