How to read the 1812 census of Lübeck, Germany

In some of my previous posts I started describing the sources available online which were really helpful for my research.

You can see  the full list (status quo) so far here.

Today I go on with the 1812 census of Lübeck, Germany. It is the second oldest census available online via or (disclaimer: I don’t work or am associated with either one of them) following the one from 1807.

If you have read the 1807 blogpost you will recognize this format. But the 1812 form shows slight changes.

Like the 1807 census the 1812 one is divided into the volumes for the quarters (quartier) of the historical inner city:

  • Volume 1: Marien Quartier
  • Volume 2: Johannis Quartier
  • Volume 3: Jacobi Quartier
  • Volume 4: Maria-Magdalena Quartier

To be comparable I chose the same page as for the 1807 blogpost. It is the first page of the first volume (Marien Quartier).

Lübeck census 1812

Lübeck census 1812

And here the content of the columns from left to right:

  • column 1: “Straße”  – the name of the street
  • columns 2 and 3: “Wohnung” – the second column provides the number of the house, barrack or cellar – the third column provides the number of the corridor. A little explanation: When the houses in the front didn’t provide enough space anymore, barracks, booths and small cottages have been built in the back. Those were connected (and still are) via corridors. A collection of pictures can be found here.
  • the column 4 is a bit different – well, it is SUPPOSED to be a bit different. Here the name of the head of the household and of ALL other inhabitants should have been listed. But if you take a look at the first entry, you see only “C.G. Martini et Frau” which means “C.G. Martini and wife” and when we come to the further columns you’ll see that they have not only children but also domestics and servants living with them which are not named here.
  • column 5: occupation and profession
  • columns 6, 7 and 8: here the information about the children is a bit more detailed than in the 1807 census. You see in columns 6 and 7 a distinction for the sons regarding their age. Column six shows the number of sons younger than 15 and in column 7 the number of sons older than 15. Daugthers are just shown in one figure in column 8.
  • columns 9 and 10: these columns provide information on the number of siblings and other relatives living in the household (male and female)
  • columns 11, 12 and 13: number of domestics – column 11 male apprenctises, column 12 male assistants and column 13 female housekeepers or lady’s companions
  • columns 14 and 15: number of servants (male and female)
  • column 16: the total number of family or other related people in the household
  • column 17: written remarks

What we are missing in this census compared to the one from 1807 is the information on people who are living in the household but do not belong to the Family. That totally vanished.. unfortunately.





2 thoughts on “How to read the 1812 census of Lübeck, Germany

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