Austria Church Records
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The GenTeam Gazetteer[edit | edit source]
The town your ancestors lived in belonged to a parish, which may have a different name. GenTeam Gazetteer is an online gazetteer that covers the current countries of Austria, Czech Republic, and Slovenia (most of the area belonging to the Austro-Hungarian Empire). It gives former (German) and current names of locations, the name of the parish the town belonged to, the beginning year of the records, and the archive that holds the records. It will also give details on earlier parishes the locality belonged to. It then links to the website of that archive.
Online Records[edit | edit source]
- 1651-1940 - Austria Births and Baptisms, 1651-1940 at FamilySearch, index and images, incomplete. How to Use This Collection includes coverage table.
- 1651-1940 - Austria, Select Births and Baptisms, 1651-1940 at Ancestry ($), index, incomplete. Also at MyHeritage and FindMyPast.
- 1700-1840 Namensregister zu Matriken aufgelöster Regimenter, 1700-1840 Marriage, birth and death indexes to Austria military church records for regiments dissolved before 1840. Arrangement is by the first letter of the surname, then by protocol volume number and year.
- 1722-1898 - Austria Marriages, 1722-1898 at FamilySearch, index. How to Use This Collection includes coverage table.
- 1722-1898 - Austria, Select Marriages, 1722-1898 at Ancestry ($), index, incomplete. Also at MyHeritage and FindMyPast.
- 1750-1883 - Militär-Heirats-Cautionen 1750-1883 (Military Marriage Bonds)
- 1768-1918 - Austria Burials, 1768-1918 at FamilySearch, index. How to Use This Collection includes coverage table.
- 1768-1918 - Austria, Select Burials, 1768-1918 at Ancestry ($), index, incomplete. Also at MyHeritage and FindMyPast.
Catholic Records[edit | edit source]
- GenTeam: Indices of Roman Catholic Vital Statistics (church records)
- 1612-1966 - Austria-Hungary, Roman Catholic Indexes, 1612-1966 at MyHeritage - index ($)
Upper Austria (Oberösterreinch)[edit | edit source]
Salzburg[edit | edit source]
Styria (Steiermark)[edit | edit source]
Tyrol (Tirol)[edit | edit source]
Vorarlberg--Diocese of Feldkirchen[edit | edit source]
Evangelical-Lutheran Records[edit | edit source]
- 1848-1900 - Austria Evangelical-Lutheran Church Records, 1848-1900 at FamilySearch, images only. How to Use This Collection
- 1848-1900 - Austria, Evangelical-Lutheran Church Records, 1848-1900 at Ancestry ($), images only.
- GenTeam:Index of Protestant Vital Statistics (church records)
Diocese of Burgenland[edit | edit source]
Diocese of Carinthia (Kärnten) and East Tyrol (Tirol)[edit | edit source]
Diocese of Lower Austria (Niederösterreich)[edit | edit source]
- Matricula: Niederösterreich: Ev. Kirche A.B.
- 1652-1654 - Directory of the new converts in the Waldviertel (Verzeichnis der Neubekehrten im Waldviertel) 1652-1654 The index contains the names of about 15000 people who had to change their religion from Protestantism to Catholicism in 1652-1654. The Waldviertal is the northwestern region of Lower Austria.
Diocese of Upper Austria (Oberösterreich)[edit | edit source]
- Matricula: Oberösterreich: Ev. Kirche A.B
- DORIS- historical portal of Oberösterreich, digitized Roman Catholic church records [originl books only] and Evangelical parish registers, available up to 1939. To use, click on WebOffice Core. In the left sidebar click on Katholische Kirche or Evangelische Kirche a.B., then on the respective parish in the map. Good images. Typing the town/parish name in the search box on the top right brings up a map showing the locality, with links to the parish[es] and online church books.
Diocese of Salzburg and Tyrol[edit | edit source]
Diocese of Styria (Steiermark)[edit | edit source]
Diocese of Vienna[edit | edit source]
Greek Orthodox Records[edit | edit source]
Writing for Records[edit | edit source]
For records not available online, try writing directly to the parish. It is customary to first provide a donation to the parish with your request, and then to inquire what further costs they would like covered.
- The Wiki article, German Letter Writing Guide, will assist you in writing to request records.
Addresses for Catholic Parishes[edit | edit source]
- Parishes in Diocese of Linz
- Parishes in Diocese of Eisenstadt (Burgenland)
- Parishes in Feldkirch Diocese (Vorarlberg)
- Parishes in Diocese of Gurk-Klagenfurt (Carinthia)
- Parishes in Diocese of Graz-Seckau (Styria)
- Parishes in Diocese of Innsbruck (Tyrol)
- Parishes in Diocese of Linz (Upper Austria)
- Parishes in Diocese of St. Pölten (western Lower Austria)
- Parishes in Archdiocese of Salzburg (Salzburg, eastern North Tyrol)
- Parishes in Archdiocese of Vienna (Vienna, eastern Lower Austria)
Addresses for Evangelical-Lutheran Parishes[edit | edit source]
Church records (Kirchenbücher or Matriken) and parish transcripts (Kirchenbuchduplikate)[edit | edit source]
- 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.
Time Coverage[edit | edit source]
The first Protestant regulation for the 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-
- Evangelical Reformed (Evangelisch-Reformiert), 1556-
- Moravian Baptist/Hutterite (Hutterer) 1561-
- Brethren (Brüdergemeine) 1561-
- Catholic (Katholisch) 1563-
- Orthodox 1600-
- Orthodox (Uniat) 1697-
- Jews (Juden) 1709-
- Salzburger (Salzburger Protestanten) 1731-
- Others: Baptists, Methodists, Seventh-Day Adventists, Old Catholics.
Transcripts begin as early as 1784, but some do not start until later. They extend until the advent of civil registration.
Information Content[edit | edit source]
Baptismal/birth Records[edit | edit source]
- Dates and places of birth and/or baptism
- Names of children, parents (often mother's maiden name is given)
- Names of godparents and sometimes their relationships to infants.
Marriage Records[edit | edit source]
- Names of couples
- Date of marriage and/or date of proclamation
- Often names of parents, names of witnesses.
Marriage Contracts and Banns (Heiratskautionen und Belege)[edit | edit source]
- Names of couples,
- Dates of intention of marriage,
- Places of residence,
- Names of witnesses,
- Often names of parents and sometimes other relationships.
Death/burial Records[edit | edit source]
- Names of deceased,
- Date of death and/or burial;
- Often age and cause of death;
- Often name of spouse, especially of women;
- Names of Parents of Deceased Children.
Confirmation Records[edit | edit source]
Children were confirmed between the ages of 12 and 16.
- Name of child,
- Place of residence and
- Name of father.
Church censuses, membership lists, family registers[edit | edit source]
- Names of married couples,
- Their ages or birth dates and places,
- Sometimes dates of marriage,
- Names of children,
- Ages or birth dates,
- Death or burial dates of children.
- Sometimes marriage dates and names of spouses of children are given.
Reading the Records[edit | edit source]
You do not have to be fluent in a foreign language to read church records! Only a limited vocabulary is used. Most Catholic records were written in Latin until the 1800s. Protestant records were usually written in German. Local dialects may have affected the spelling of some names and other words in the church records. In German areas under French domination during the early nineteenth century, many church records were kept in French. Sometimes the records combine two languages.
- Old German Script Part 1
- Old German Script Part 2
- Old German Script (German Church and Civil Records) Part 3
- List of Names in Old German Script A comprehensive list of German given names, written in old script, with possible variations.
- Old German Script Transcriber (alte deutsche Handschriften): See your family names in the script of the era. Type your name or other word into the font generator tool. Click on the 8 different fonts. Save the image to your computer and use it as you work with old Germanic records.
- Catholic Vital Records of Galicia/Halychyna
- For detailed description and translation of a Galician Latin birth record, see Genealogy of Halychyna/Eastern Galicia, Baptismal/Birth Record.
- For detailed description and translation of a Galician Latin marriage record, see Genealogy of Halychyna/Eastern Galicia, Marriage Record.
- For detailed description and translation of a Galician Latin death record, see Genealogy of Halychyna/Eastern Galicia, Death Record.
Downloadable Handouts[edit | edit source]
These printable handouts can be used for ready reference when reading German Handwriting.
Vocabulary found on Specific Records:
- Birth Records Vocabulary handout
- Marriage Records Vocabulary handout
- Overview of Marriage Laws and Customs (handout)
- Death Records Vocabulary handout
Dates, Numbers, Abbreviations:
- Days and Months handout
- Numbers Vocabulary handout
- Script Dates and Numbers handout
- Common Abbreviations handout
- Common Symbols handout
- Fraktur Font--Many forms and books are printed in this font.
Feast Dates[edit | edit source]
- Each day of the year had several patron saints and was a feast day to honor those saints. Some vital events are recorded in church records only by the holy day (feast day) on the church calendar. For example, the feast day called “All Saints Day” [Allerheiligentag] is “1 November.” An online feast date calculator may be found at the Albion College website. Simply enter the year and click "Calculate."
Using "Left side-right side" Films[edit | edit source]
A FamilySearch Catalog entry may indicate that a German record was filmed "l.s.-r.s.", meaning "left-side- right side". The researcher must be aware that two sets of records (odd and even pages) must be searched. Sometimes each side of a book is found on a separate microfilm. In that case, it may be helpful to load both films on adjacent readers. If the entries go across both pages in the book, the side that identifies the key individuals (such as child and parents) must be searched first. Often the child and parents are listed on the left side of the page, and the year and birth/baptism date on the right. Thus it is very important to note the sheet numbers on the tag and identify the relevant entry with its position on the page.