Austria Seigniorial Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Austria

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Austria Seignorial Records, 1537-1920
CID1929847
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Austria
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Record Description
Collection years: 1537-1920
Languages: German
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
Niederosterreichisches Landesarchiv St. Polten (Austria)



Title in the Language of the Record

Österreich, Herrschaftsprotokolle

What is in This Collection?

This collection includes feudal documents from many places throughout Upper and Lower Austria for the years 1537 to 1920. The documents pertain to legal matters, complaints, property, insolvencies, orphans, criminal proceedings, etc. All these things were later handled by the court system. This collection will continue to be updated as records are acquired. The original records are located in the Niederösterreichischen Landesarchiv, St. Pölten, and in the Oberösterreichischen Landesarchiv, Linz, Austria.

Local jurisdictional authority in Austria was held by Seigneurs (lords) prior to 1848. Seigniorial authority was granted by the Emperor to individuals who reigned as lord over their manor (Herrschaft) within a given village or community. Civil records created within a manor are referred to as Herrschaft or Seigniorial records. The older Herrschaft records of the four Lower Austrian Kreisgerichte (KG) are stored at the Landesarchiv in St. Pölten. In 1848, a modern court system was implemented in Austria, and the Seigneurs were instructed to transfer all records needed to continue administration of justice to the recently established district courts (Bezirksgerichte). This generally included all Herrschaft records back to about 1750-1800. The earlier records, those that had been closed prior to 1750, were transferred to Kreisgerichte. However, a significant quantity of these records remain in private hands or have become a part of the archival collections of other institutions. Seigneurs created these records to record the events in the life of the people in their communities and to help in the administration of their manors. The information in these records is usually reliable but depends upon the reliability of the informant and the recorder of the record.

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, Seigniorial Records, 1537-1920.

What Can These Records Tell Me?

The information in these records usually include the following:

Marriage contract

  • Date of marriage contract
  • Names of bride and groom
  • Place of event
  • Fiscal considerations

Wills or estate inventory

  • Date of death
  • Place of residence
  • Name of the deceased person
  • Names of the surviving spouse, children, and in-laws
  • Ages of all involved
  • Settlement of the fiscal account

Real property

  • Date of the business transaction
  • Names of the grantors and grantees
  • Place of the property
  • Settlement of the fiscal account

Land registers (Grundbuch)

  • Names of the sequential property owners
  • Place of the property
  • Dates
  • Tax payments and fiscal data

Collection Content

Sample Images

How Do I Search This Collection?

It is helpful to know:

  • Your ancestor's name
  • Residence
  • Age or birth date
  • Names of family members

View the Images

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page

  1. Select the Country
  2. Select the Province
  3. Select the Place
  4. Select the Seigniory
  5. Select the Record Description which takes you to 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. Remember that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name as your ancestor and that your ancestor may have used nicknames or different names at different times.

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

  • Use the age in the record to find an approximate birth year
  • Use all the information to help you find other records such as birth, death, church and civil records such as censuses. These can help you find additional family members
  • Use the father’s occupation to find employment or military records
  • Use the parents’ places of origin to find former residences and establish a migration pattern for the family
  • Use the couple’s marriage date and place to find records of their children
  • Use the burial place to help you identify their migration pattern
  • Use the surname to compile baptism entries for each child and sort them into families based on the names of the parents
  • 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

Record Finder

Consult the Austria Record Finder Table to find other records

Known Issues With This Collection

Important.png Problems with this collection?
See a list of known issues, workarounds, tips, restrictions, future fixes, news and other helpful information.

For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to support@familysearch.org. Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.

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 Herrschaftsakten 1537-1920." Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : 14 June 2016. Landesarchiv Österreich (National Archives), Austria.


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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