Albania Church Records

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Church Records

Introduction

For information about records for non-Christian religions in Albania not discussed in this article, go to the Religious Records page.

Church records were recorded by church clergymen and include baptism, marriage, and burial registers. These parish registers include Roman-Catholic and Greek-Orthodox congregations. Church books are a primary source of birth, marriage, and death information for Christian ancestors from Albania. They identify names of parents, prove relationships, and are very useful for linking generations. It is important to remember that historically only about 30% of the Albania's population was Christian. [1]

Coverage

The earliest church records date from about 1700; many date from the late 1800s. Most churches continued to keep records until the latter 1940s. Many continued until 1950 when ruthless persecution of clergy and religion brought an end to the keeping of these records. A few churches kept records as late as 1967. Only 30% of the population was Christian, so the majority of Albanians will not be found in these records.

Content

  • Baptisms – name of individual, date of birth and baptism, names of parents (including mother's maiden name), names of godparents.
  • Marriages – names of the groom and bride, ages, date and place of marriage; sometimes birthplaces and parents of groom and bride; names and residences of witnesses; other pertinent facts.
  • Deaths and Burials – name of the deceased, date and place of death and burial, age at time of death, marital status, cause of death, name of spouse; for children often also parents’ names.
  • Other Lists – confirmations, nuptials and proclamations, church census, chronologies, masses observed, bestowal of property, leases, church correspondence, visitations, statistics, etc. Some of these additional lists date from as early as 1600.

Accessing the Records

Some Church records may be with local parishes or Dioceses. Responsibility for keeping these records lies with the Central State Archives of Albania in Tiranë which has many of the older church records. These archives are accessible to scholars. Some records may also be in other storage facilities. Additionally, some church records may have been acquired by civil registration offices or kept by the church. Unfortunately there has been considerable loss of church records in Albania.

The Family History Library has microfilmed 30% of Albania's church records, including most of the existing records of the district of Shkodër.

References

  1. The Family History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, “Family History Record Profile: Albania,” Word document, private files of the FamilySearch Content Strategy Team, 1991-1998.