Bistum Aachen is the Diocese of Aachen in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.

Bistum Aachen is under long-term construction and only digital copies of records are available currently at: Bishops’ General Vicariate Eingang, Klappergasse 1.  The Diocese of Aachen has the records of many German parishes from 1930 onwards. Prior to that, Cologne and Münster received local records from 1824 onwards.

Documents on site include:

  • Documents: parchment and paper certificates, from the 13th century together, about 1,850 pieces

  • Files: correspondence of the General Vicariate with the parishioners, deans, religious orders; Correspondence of the General Vicariate in general; Staff records of the former priests and deacons active in the diocese of Aachen.

  • Deposita from parishes: parishioners (baptism, marriage and death books); Parsonage

  • Collections: Burial sheets of clerics; Maps, pictures, graphics, plans, photos; Newspaper excerpts

  • Estates: usually only minor parts, mostly of clergy, about 40

  • Handwriting: among them about 40 parchment manuscripts, the oldest codex from the 13th century, numerous liturgical books from the 15th century – 18th century.

  • Historical book: Incunabula from the 15th century, Theologica from the 16th century – 18th century, Liturgica from the 16th century – 18th century, “Golden Books” from the 16th century – 18th century. (Collection of Thomas of Kempen from the 17th century), 16th century – 18th century shrine, 16th century – 18th century brotherhood books, “Palland” library (predominantly juridical); Total over 3,000 volumes

  • Handbook and service library: main focus: church, bistrum, parish and local history literature, reference works

German privacy rules:

  • Christening books: 120 years after birth/baptism

  • Marriage books: 100 years after marriage

  • Death books: 40 years after death (You can’t be presented with the whole death book until 100 years after the date of the last entry but you can request individual death information from a book.)

Contact the Archive for research help if you aren’t able to visit onsite. Germany parish collections include the following places (look up parish name here with link to the parish website):


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.