== Church records (''Kirchenbücher'' or ''Matriken'') and parish transcripts (''Kirchenbuchduplikate)'' ==
Before 1895, vital records were recorded by church officials. Births and baptisms; marriages, marriage proclamations; deaths and burials; confirmations; church censuses, memberships, and family registers. Records exist for many denominations and for military units. '''Transcripts''' are similar in content to original parish registers and civil registration. Printed forms were used and indexes added that make them easier to search than parish registers. Occasionally transcripts have more complete data than parish registers. Sometimes the originals have more. Very often separate transcript registers were kept for major towns in the jurisdiction of each parish, whereas the originals have only one register which includes all towns.
The first Protestant regulation for keeping of Church books was in 1533, and the first Catholic regulation to do so was in 1563, however a few isolated parishes had already begun in 1379 in Tirol, 1517 in Dalmatia, 1518 in Hungary and 1523 in Austria. Many early church records were destroyed during the Thirty Years’ War 1618-1648 and in subsequent conflicts. Generally registers exist for the following denominations:
*Evangelical Lutheran (Evangelisch-Lutherisch) 1533-