Central Archives of the Protestant Church of Hesse and Nassau
The Central Archives of the Protestant Church in Hesse and Nassau (EKHN) are positioned at the intersection between the administration and ecclesiastical, as well as non-ecclesiastical users. Hence, they have a double function: on the one hand, they are an integral part of the EKHN administration, on the other, they are a public institution of the church, accessible to all interested persons.
The holdings consist of documents, derived from the ongoing administrative activities of the EKHN. These are augmented by historical records, which go back to the predecessor churches:
Evangelische Landeskirche von Nassau-Hessen – 1933-1945 (Protestant Regionals Church of Nassau and Hesse – 1933-1945), as well as formerly unaffiliated regional churches of Nassau, Frankfurt and Hesse-Darmstadt. These holdings are supplemented by bequests and collections, aswell as a service library.
Responsibilities and Legal Basis
The Central Archives of the EKHN evaluate, transfer, deposit and catalog records of our regional church. The archives will make records available to users, who may be conducting official or non-official research.
Evaluating, transferring, depositing, and cataloging of records, traditionally the basic areas of archival work, are augmented in the Central Archives by the preservation of records, as well as by the supervision of the keeping of parish registers and by keeping record of seals. The Central Archives ensure the continuing validity of the legal basis of the EKHN. Derived from this is the supervisory control of ecclesiastical record keeping, This supervision extends to parish archives; if necessary, we will visit church congregations to advise them. This brings with it abundant direct contacts with provostry districts, deaneries, church congregations, as well as with church facilities and associations within our regional church.
Knowledge about ones origins helps to orient ourselves and to define ones identity. Genealogical traces can be found everywhere in human history – serving as evidence of legitimate membership in a particular group.
Primary source for private family research in the Central Archives are the parish registers. Aside from the registration of baptisms, confirmations, weddings and funerals, they frequently contain additional information, such as age and profession.
Parish registers from their beginnings to 1875 can be checked in the Central Archives. For research starting in 1876 the register of birth, marriage and death must be used. After the expiration of a deadline these primary records may be checked in communal archives.
In the federal state of Hesse copies thereof may be examined in the Hessian Archives for birth, marriage and death registers (Hessisches Personenstandsarchiv) in Neustadt.
In the federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate these records are kept in the Personal Records Archives (Personenstandsarchiv) in Koblenz.
Thuesday - Thursday 10:00 - 16:00
Zentralarchiv der EKHN
Researchers, conducting family research, will not always be able to visit us personally here in Darmstadt. To meet their needs the EKHN participates with other Protestant regional churches in the parish register internet-portal of the German Protestant Church (EKD), cf. www.archion.de .
English version: www.archion.de/en/
The digitization of the registers and the necessary preparations for their availability on the portal are in progress.