Bosnia and Herzegovina Census

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Census

Census Records

Introduction

Census records are population enumerations compiled by the government. Censuses can be used to uniquely identify individuals and connect families.

Censuses were conducted in connection with Ottoman population registers until 1878, when Bosnia came under the control of Austro-Hungary. The first modern censuses were conducted under Austro-Hungarian rule in 1895 and 1910. Yugoslavian censuses covering Bosnia began in 1921. Censuses have been taken from 1895 to the present.

Census records most likely list: head of household, social status, names of family members, their ages, family relationships, and residence.

How to Access the Records

The location of census records is unknown, but they are probably in the national archive (if they have been preserved). Yugoslavian census returns are most like to be in Beograd, though there might be a local copy in Sarajevo.[1]

Ottoman Population Registers

Introduction

Ottoman population registers are the registration of births, marriages, and deaths, as well as census reports of males. Early registers quickly identify the male portion of families and later registers do the same for the whole family. Their value is somewhat limited because they are written in Ottoman Turkish, which is archaic and difficult to read. They were taken from 1831 to 1878.

Population registers and census returns were introduced concurrently in 1829-1831. The registers and census returns were kept by officials at the kaza (district) level. Administrative divisions in 1831 were substantially altered in 1864-1871. The reason for population registration was to levy taxes on non-Muslims and to identify Muslims for conscription. Only males were registered.

The registers for Muslims included the name, birth year, birth date of those moving in from elsewhere, height, complexion, eye color, date of death or departure if moved, and other dates with regard to military service. It is assumed the military information is missing for non-Muslims.

How to Access the Records

The location of Ottoman population registers is unknown, but a local copy may exist in the national archive. Some may be in the Ottoman Archives at the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul, Turkey.[1]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 The Family History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, “Family History Record Profile: Bosnia,” Word document, private files of the FamilySearch Content Strategy Team, 1999.