Muster lists of Militsch district 1857-1906

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In Prussia, the disastrous experiences of the Napoleonic wars revealed the need to modernise the military. In addition to a fundamental change in the army structure in 1807, the old cantonal system was replaced by universal conscription in 1813. As a result, all men over 20 now had to serve a three-year military service, followed by two years as a reservist in the standing army.

Conscription commissions (DE Wehrersatzkommissionen) were charged with carrying out the registration, mustering and drafting of troops. With the founding of the German Empire in 1871, the German army was also built on the Prussian model.

Unfortunately, little remains of the former Prussian army today. A large part of the records of the Prussian army were destroyed by fire in the Prussian Army Archives in Potsdam in 1945.

For ordinary enlisted men, the source situation is therefore extremely poor; after all, all muster rolls were lost in the fire. Even regimental chronicles compiled before the war rarely deal with ordinary soldiers and lower officer ranks.

An important alternative to the no longer existing muster rolls are therefore the sporadic muster lists published in the districts’ official gazettes (DE Amtsblatt, usually called Kreisblatt in publishing), in which young men to be mustered, including some past years, were ordered to attend muster. The level of detail in these lists varies greatly, but in addition to the name and place of residence of the person, there is also information on the year of birth, physical fitness, and occupation. If conscripts did not show up for muster, additional calls or wanted lists were published in both the districts’ official gazettes and the Reichsanzeiger.


Muster lists of Militsch district

In the district of Militsch (PL Milicz), muster lists were published in the Militscher Kreisblatt in the years 1857-1906. Unfortunately, there are some gaps – in some years, no lists were published (1866, 1891-1899), while other years do not seem to have surviving issues (1861-1862, 1903-1904). In total, the muster rolls for 36 years have been preserved.

I have now extracted the entire muster lists from the Militscher Kreisblatt, cleaned them up as best I can and automatically added text using the Transkribus programme. Originally, I had planned to convert them into Excel, but this was discarded due to the enormous effort involved in proofreading and reformatting. Nevertheless, I would like to share my work with the genealogical community. Therefore I publish here the Musterungslisten of the district Militsch.


As the lists have been cleaned up on the one hand and not proof-read on the other hand, one has to pay attention to a few things when searching the lists.

  • The list contains numerous recognition errors due to imperfect technology. It is therefore advisable not to use complete surnames when searching (use search function – CTRL + F) – the shorter the search terms, the better.
  • The images do not contain all details due to the clean-up – years, professions, muster groups were removed. Therefore it is recommended to look up the original list in the Militscher Kreisblatt – see the sources.



The lists were taken from the following issues of the Militscher Kreisblatt:

Year Issue
1857 29
1858 26
1859 25, 28
1860 9
1861 Year missing
1862 Year missing
1863 28
1864 12 (only “indispensables”)
1865 25
1866 No list published
1867 31
1868 37
1869 37
1870 27
1871 12
1872 18
1873 25, 28
1874 23
1875 25
1876 26
1877 23
1878 22
1879 24
1880 24
1881 26
1882 22
1883 25
1884 25
1885 23
1886 22
1887 23
1888 21
1889 23
1890 43
1891-1899 No list published
1900 31
1901 43
1902 34, 36
1903 Year missing
1904 Year missing
1905 42
1906 48, 49