Open main menu
Estonia Wiki Topics
Flag of Estonia.svg.png
Beginning Research
Record Types
Estonia Background
Local Research Resources


In 1926, the registering of births, marriages, and deaths was passed over to the civil service. Clerics could also perform the registrar's duty if they observed the requirements of the state.[1] Before 1926, birth, marriage, and death information can be found in church records.

Civil registers

Civil registration records uniquely identify individuals and connect them to their parents.


Birth, marriage, and death records have the exact date of the event, including time of day for births; names of principal and parents; occupation and religious preference of parents; name of informant for births and names of witnesses for marriages; place of residence for parents of newly born, of the groom and bride for marriages, and of the deceased for deaths; age at death, cause of death, and place of burial in death records.[2]

Accessing Records

You may be able to locate indexes of civil records using the Estonian Cultural Index (EILI).

Civil registration records are usually located in the civil registration offices at the local governments of the counties (maakonnakeskuste omavalitsuste). Refer to the list below to locate contact information for the county government that your ancestor lived in:

In some cases, civil registration documents may be obtained from the Archives of the Department of Population Operations of the Ministry of the Interior. A state fee of 10 euros must be paid before the document is issued.

Civil registration records may also be available at the Tallinn City Archives.

For more information about civil registration records, refer to the Genealogical Research article at VAU.

Supplementary Records

Other record types can be used to confirm or supply missing information on birth, marriage, and death registration. Such records include: vaccination registers, wills, property inventories, marriage licenses, adoptions, records to certify the only breadwinner of the family (the only breadwinner was released from military service), and writ of attachment of the property that remains with the children.[3]


  1. Must, Aadu. "The Sources of Estonian Family History." In Eestlaste perekonnaloo allikad. Estonia: Kleio, 2000.
  2. The Family History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, “Family History Record Profile: Estonia,” Word document, private files of the FamilySearch Content Strategy Team, 1994-2002.
  3. Must, Aadu. "The Sources of Estonian Family History." In Eestlaste perekonnaloo allikad. Estonia: Kleio, 2000.