Zámrsk Regional Archives, Czechia Church Records

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Back to Czechia PageZámrsk Regional Archives►Zámrsk Regional Archives Church Records

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Finding Your Parish Records in the Archives[edit | edit source]

Tutorial[edit | edit source]

Step-by-Step Instructions for Zámrsk Regional Archive[edit | edit source]

The Zámrsk Regional Archive is a bit different from other Czech archives. Rather than browsing through records in an online record viewer, individual digitized registers may currently be downloaded for free in a ZIP file.

In 2021 the Zámrsk Regional Archive will be transferring to a new system that will allow for a better record viewing experience. The new website is already up, but the new record system is not yet available. The new site can be accessed here.

1. To begin, go to stare.vychodoceskearchivy.cz. To translate the page into English using the Google Chrome browser, right click anywhere on the page and select the option Translate to English.
2. Click on Open a list of matrices from which you can download individual digitized master books (Otevřete si seznam matrik, z něhož lze stahovat jednotlivé digitalizované matriční knihy).
3. A PDF file will open. This PDF file contains a detailed alphabetical inventory of parishes. As of October 2021 (page numbers subject to change). The inventory of Roman Catholic records begins on page 3, the Evangelical (Lutheran) records begin on page 2457, the Czechoslovak Church records begin on page 2537 and the civil registration records begin on page 2566.
4. Within each section, it is organized alphabetically. Each register's description within a parish includes a clickable link. To download a register to your computer click on the link under the register's description in a PDF file.
5. Below is an example of typical entry. The register's description is followed by a clickable link.

sign. 1-1 ____ matrika NOZ ____ 1787-1803 kn1
územní rozsah: Babice
21x35 cm, vazba: poloplátěná, 26 fol., čeština
mikrofilm č. 2376

In the first line, which describes the events in the record: Matrika = register, N=births, O=marriages, Z=deaths.
In the second line, Babice is the parish name.
The next two lines are unnecessary to translate.
So then the last line is the clickable link to the ZIP file for Babice parish registers, birth, marriages, and deaths, 1787-1803.
6. Find the record listing that covers the location, events, and time period you want to search. Click on the blue link. A ZIP file will download to your computer. Open and/or save the file. You can read it on your computer, or print it.

Step-by-Step Instructions for the FamilySearch Historical Records Website[edit | edit source]

To search this collection using the index:

1. Click on this link: Czech Republic Church Books, 1552-1963.
2. Fill in the requested information in the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches.
3. Compare the information about the ancestors in the list to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to find your ancestor.
4. Be aware there may be inaccuracies such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned.

Browsing images:

  • On the Czech Republic Church Books, 1552-1963 page, there is a link to browse the images, found at the bottom of the page: "See pictures in this collection-- Browse 4,668,489 images. However, this method is very complex. You have to know the district, sub-district, town and parish, clicking level by level.'
  • To browse the images in this collection more efficiently, locate the parish in the FamilySearch Catalog. Here you can enter the name of the parish or town and go directly to the records listing. When you find the type of record and time period you wish to study, click on the small camera icon to link to the images.

Reading the Records[edit | edit source]

Reading the records will be easier than you might think! Parish registers use only a few basic terms in any language, such as: father, mother, son, daughter, born, baptized, married, died. Personal and place names don't need to be translated, and dates often look very similar to English. More recent records are in columns, and by translating the column title, one can then easily read the pages. The basic vocabulary can be memorized for easy recognition, and other terms, such as occupations and relationships can be quickly translated, by consulting a genealogical word list.

Czech was not recognized as an official language until 1877 in Bohemia and 1905 in Moravia. Except for modern records of the 1900s, records in the Czech Republic were written mostly in Latin and German. These materials for learning to read German, Latin, and old Gothic script will be helpful in preparing you to read Czech church records.

This converter will show you how any phrase or name might look in German script:

  • Kurrentschrift Converter (enter German genealogical word, click on "convert", view your word in Kurrentschrift (Gothic handwriting)

Building a Family Record with a Search Strategy[edit | edit source]

Many articles on strategy are available on the Wiki, but here is a simple set of steps to guide you

  • Search for the relative or ancestor you selected. When you find his birth/baptism/christening record, then search for the births of his brothers and sisters.
  • Next, search for the marriage of his parents. The marriage record will have information that will often help you find the birth records of the parents, and even the names of their parents.
  • You can estimate the ages of the parents and determine a birth year to search for their birth records.
  • Search the death registers for all known family members.
  • Repeat this process for both the father and the mother, starting with their birth records, then their siblings' births, then their parents' marriages, and so on.
  • If earlier generations (parents, grandparents, etc.) do not appear in the records, search neighboring parishes.

See also: