Austria, Upper Austria, Catholic Church Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Austria
Upper Austria
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Austria, Upper Austria, Catholic Church Records, 1581-1919
CID1394580
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Upper Austria, Austria
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Flag of the Republic of Austria
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Coat of arms of Upper Austria
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Location of Upper Austria, Austria
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Location of Austria in Europe
Record Description
Record Type: church records
Collection years: 1581-1919
Languages: German
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
Oberösterreichisches Landesarchiv



Title in the Language of the Record

Österreich, Oberösterrreich, Katholische Kirchenurkunden

What is in This Collection?

This Collection includes records from 1581 to 1919.

Event types were often compiled in separate volumes. For instance, baptisms would be in one volume and marriages in another. In some parishes, however, event types were intermixed and grouped into a volume according to year range. When this is the case, the baptisms, marriages, and burials for one year (e.g. 1785) were grouped together before the baptisms, marriages, and burials for the next year (e.g. 1786), and so on. Entries are usually recorded in chronological order, though some entries may be out of order. Entries before the mid-1700s were often in free text paragraphs; sometimes the priest created columns to record the information.

After the mid-1700s, a pre-printed form was used, and the entries were handwritten in Gothic script. As time progressed, handwriting in these entries began to resemble more the Romanized handwriting that we use today. Austrian church records are typically written in German or Latin. Regional dialect affects the spelling of some German words, for example: “Maÿ” is recorded instead of the German “Mai” for the month of May, and “Aeltern” instead of “Eltern” for the word parents.

Church priests and pastors began keeping records long before the Austrian government. Catholic Church records began as early as the mid to late 1500s; most church records, however, began in the late 1600s. In 1784, the Austrian Empire required that all births, marriages, and deaths be recorded in civil records. Church records were also affected by this civil registration requirement: because the Catholic Church kept records for everyone regardless of religion, the Austrian government implemented a specific format for vital records that the Catholic Church duplicated for the civil record offices. This uniformed record-keeping system, however, did not commence at the same time throughout the empire. These church books cover a majority of the population for Upper Austria, the Northern portion of the country.

Catholic Church records in this collection start with the year 1581 through the present day, but because of privacy laws, these records are available online only through 1905.

Church records were created to record church sacraments associated with the life events (e.g. baptism after birth, burial after death) of parishioners.

Austrian church books are one of the most reliable and accurate family history sources. Accuracy in the records is, however, dependent upon the accuracy of the informant’s knowledge coupled with the priest recording the information correctly. Ages, birth dates, and birth places recorded in marriage and death entries have a higher probability of being inaccurate.

Reading These Records

For help reading these German records see the following guides:

To Browse This Collection

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Austria, Upper Austria, Catholic Church Records, 1581-1919.

What Can These Records Tell Me?

The following information may be found in these records:

Baptismal

  • Child's given name
  • Baptism date
  • Location and house number
  • Gender
  • Marital status
  • Parents' names
  • Names and occupations of witnesses

Marriage

  • Date of event
  • Place of event with house number
  • Groom's name, age, marital status and religion
  • Groom's parents' names
  • Bride's name and age
  • Bride's parents' names
  • Names and occupations of witnesses

Death

  • Names of the deceased (sometimes names of deceased’s spouse and/or deceased’s parents were included)
  • Date of event
  • Place of event with house number
  • Name of deceased, gender and age
  • Cause of death
  • Religion

Collection Content

Sample Images

How Do I Search This Collection?

When searching:
It is helpful to know:

  • Your ancestor's name
  • Age and or residence
  • An estimated event year
  • A parent's name

Search the Index

Search by name by visiting the Collection Page.
  1. Fill in the search boxes on the Collection Page with the information you have
  2. Click Search to show possible matches

View the Images

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page

  1. Select Place
  2. Select Event
  3. Select Year range to view the images


How Do I Analyze the Results?

Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images. Keep track of your research in a research log.

What Do I Do Next?

Whenever possible, view the original records to verify the information and to find additional information that might not be reported. These pieces of information can lead you to additional records and family members.

I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?

  • Use the age in the record to find an approximate birth year, which will help you find their other records
  • Use the information to find your ancestors in Censuses. These can help you find additional family members
  • Repeat this process with additional family members found to find more generations of the family

I Can’t Find the Person I’m Looking For, What Now?

  • Consult the Austria Record Finder to find other records
  • Try viewing the original record to see if there were errors in the transcription of the name, age, residence, etc
  • If you cannot locate your ancestor in the locality in which you believe they lived, then try searching records of a nearby locality in an area search
  • Standard spelling of names typically did not exist during the periods our ancestors lived in. Try variations of your ancestor’s name while searching the index or browsing through images
  • Remember that sometimes individuals went by nicknames or alternated between using first and middle names

Research Helps

The following articles will help you in your research for your family in Austria.

Citing This Collection

Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.

Collection Citation
"Österreich, Oberösterreich, Katholische Kirchenbücher, 1581-1919." Database with images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : 15 May 2018. Oberösterreichisches Landesarchiv (Upper Austrian State Archives), Linz.
Record Citation:
When looking at a record, the citation is found below the record.
Image Citation:
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.

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