The Census of the Kingdom of Hanover
taken on December 3, 1852

The special importance of this census is based on the fact that it was the first Hanover census in which all inhabitants were registered. That means that we can – in contracy to the earlier Hanover censuses of 1833 to 1848, in contracy to the census of the French occupation period 1811-1813 and to early regional census records – not only find the heads of the households, but as well the wives, children, foster children, farmhands and maids. Persons, who had no household of their own (like poor widows) were registered as well. We can even find journeymen looking for a job, servants, people who were in boarding schools, hospitals or maternity wards and prison inmates. The census made no difference between Hanover subjects and people from abroad. The only group of people, which can not be found here are the soldiers, for which extra registers were recorded. The complete 1852 census was recorded within a few days. All data refer to the inhabitant situation of December 3, 1852.

The complete census data for the inhabitants of each community (village or town) had been written down in a so called "Urliste" which had been signed and sealed by the parish chairman or mayor. The "Urlisten" of 1852 this edition deals with include the name, address, maritial status, profession, age and religion for each person. These lists are preserved for the majority of the 175 districts ("Ämter") and 45 cities of the Kingdom. Today the lists are preserved in the State Archives of Hanover, Aurich, Osnabrück and Stade, in a number of town archives and some district archives (Kreisarchive). The LDS has filmed most of the census records in the Hanover State Archive and in the town archives of Emden and Hildesheim. As important and meritious this filming is, it only covers the holdings of three of about 25 relevant archives yet and it is only of use for the researchers who already know from which town or village their ancestors came from.

Because of the confusing archive situation and because of the great number of data to decipher and edit, this important census is not yet available for historical and genealogical research as an indexed source. For local history, social history case studies, historical demography and especially for genealogy the data of 1852 census is of great importance. Last but not least this source can be the long-awaited key to find out about the places of orgin of emigrants, for which we only know the region they came from or that they came from "Hannover" (which mean the Kingdom of Hanover in almost every case). This edition project will publish the data of the deciphered census lists district by district in addressbook-like booklets including all data of the "Urlisten". One booklet will include 1500 to 2600 people and there will be a family name index for each volume. Moreover you will find a general name index online.

As for all such voluminous sources there are some gaps in the preserved lists of the 1852 Hanover census. This is especially the case for areas in which a number of administrative reforms had caused changing responsibilities or where major WWII war demages happened. If the 1852 list does not exist for a certain town, village or area, this edition will - if possible - fall back on the census lists of 1855, 1858, 1861 and 1864 respectively. In these years there were Hanover censuses taken in exactely the same style as in 1852. In all these cases there will be detailed and clear information about the fact that such substitute records were used. Of course information about the archive, where the census lists are preserved and the signature of the record will be added for all districts ("Ämter").

We - Regina Koppe and Jens Mueller-Koppe - have started to work on this project in 2002. After our working capacities are limited and after about 1,820,000 inhabitants lived in the Kingdom of Hanover in late 1852 this project will surely take a number of years to be finished. But even if we will "only" be able to publish 1 % of the data each year, we still think that the publication of this source will be of great and growing importance for historical and genealogical research. This is a private project with no support of state, university or grant money. Although a lot of people in Germany are interested in this project as well, there has been no way to get funds. We would be happy if you would consider supporting us - by ordering booklets, by "beating the drum" for this project or by donations.     

The database, which is the basis for this edition, will be buildt up step by step. It is available for historical and genealogical research on  request for a certain fee per set of data or request. Please contact edition hist.de at edition@hist.de or at our postal address Schanzendorfer Str. 9B, D-28307 Bremen, Germany.

back to the main page