Saturday, January 12, 2013

Luxembourg Censuses Online Via FamilySearch

Yesterday I discovered that the censuses for Luxembourg were added to FamilySearch ten days ago.  This is VERY exciting for me.  Now whether they are all there for each commune from 1843 to 1900 I can’t say, but for the areas I’m interested in, they seem to be complete.

SCHWARTZ, Heinrich - 1843 LUX CensusClick on the image to view the full-size version in the FamilySearch viewer.

We all know how wonderful censuses are when it comes to our American and Canadian research.  And Luxembourg censuses don’t disappoint.  I know the example looks bland, but here are a few highlights:

  • They were conducted about every three years.  Great for tracking the family!
  • A married woman’s maiden name is listed.  This is HUGE!!!
  • Some censuses recorded exact birth dates (as in the example above), while sometimes just the year was recorded; other times the age was given in years and months.
  • For the place of birth a townland was recorded.  This is a BIG deal!
  • Some censuses recorded religion.  More clues, especially for those who emigrated.

And although the censuses are in French or German (or both!) they’re fairly easy to use.  Of course, you will need to know the commune (think, “town”) in order to use the census records.  Since they are not indexed, you will have to browse page-by-page in the correct commune.  But being that they are online, that makes it so much easier than rushing through film reels at the FHL or FHC—I speak from experience.  Last February, I spent a good chunk of time going through the censuses at the FHL.  I had three communes and many years I wanted to cover.  I rushed through, grabbing what I knew were my family, taking captures of those same surnames that could be family, but there was just too much to cover in a short period of time.  Now I can go through, slowly, capture all the possibilities (just as I’ve done with the civil registrations) and effectively analyze what I find.  I’m so excited!!


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