Austrian Roman Catholic Church Books are the main source for Family History Research in Austria. This post marks the start of a series explaining how to find information you are looking for in Austrian church records:
Part 1: Finding the right Roman Catholic Diocese
Austria is divided into nine Roman-Catholic dioceses by territory. There is also one special military diocese. The area of this dioceses is similar to those of the nine Federal States, but not identical. Particularly the Archdiocese of Vienna covers extensive parts of Lower Austria.
Each diocese has many parishes that in turn were responsible for keeping personal records such as baptismal records, weddings and deaths until 1938.
How do you find online records for dioceses? In the following you will find links to online records:
- Matricula – www.matricula-online.eu
offers records for the Archdiocese of Vienna and of Salzburg as well as the dioceses of St.Pölten (Lower Austria), Linz (Upper Austria), Feldkirch (Vorarlberg) and Gurk-Klagenfurt (Carinthia).
While Viennese, Lower and Upper Austrian and Vorarlberg records are complete, the digitalisation of records of the other dioceses is in progress and new records are constantly being added.
- Styrian records (Dioceses Graz-Seckau) are completely digitalised and are available here:
- The records for Tyrol can be found here:
Update March 2017: Tyrolian church books are partly online at Matricula as well
- The records for the diocese Burgenland are not digitalised. However, as this part of Austria was actually part of Hungary until 1921, records might possibly be found in the Hungarian records for the dioceses Györ/Raab und Szombathely/Steinamanger.
Many records are also available here on Family search (www. familysearch.org)
There is extensive information about Austrian church records online on the Homepage of Familia Austria, a genealogical association. This information is only available in German, though.
I am sure, some readers now have the legitimate question: „How do I know, which diocese is the right one for the village/city that I am looking for?“
I will show you in the next part of my series. But here is a sneak preview: We will use the gazetteer of Genteam (www.genteam.at). The site is free, but you have to register to use it – it is worth it, though, as there is a lot of information available there.
Please come visit my blog again for upcoming sequels:
Part 2: Finding the right Parish
Part 3: Finding the right Church Book
Part 4: Finding the right Entry
Part 5: Information given in Baptismal Records
Part 6: Information given in Marriage Records
Part 7: Information given in Death Records
Part 8: Other Religious confessions