Czechia Finding Birth Information

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Czechia Gotoarrow.pngFinding Birth Information

Step 1: What do I know?[edit | edit source]

The first step in finding the birth information is to determine what you already know. Before beginning research, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What is the actual name of an ancestor?
  2. Do I already have a birth date and place? How accurate is that information?
  3. What is the religious affiliation of an ancestor?
  4. Are there any relatives that would have the information?
  5. Are there secondary sources (such as online Family Trees) that would have the information? What have others found?

To begin research for your ancestor in birth records, you need to know at least the name, the village or parish of origin in the Czech Republic, and an approximate date of when he or she lived there.

In most case, the exact place of origin must be known before research in Czech records can begin. For suggestions on finding an immigrant ancestor's birthplace, see the Determining a Place of Origin in the Czech Republic section.

If you do find the ancestor's birth information in your family records, or other easily available sources, make sure to document where you found that information. Also, make sure to determine whether the birth information found is merely family hearsay or if it came from original records.

Step 2: Methods for Finding Birth Records[edit | edit source]

Once you have determined what you know, it is important to understand a few things before beginning to research:

  1. Search for the entire family: It may be tempting to only research your direct line ancestor, but with Czech ancestors, it is very important that you search for the entire family at the same time. For example, there is always the possibility of a family naming their first son Johann, who dies several months later, and then naming the next son Johann again. If you are not careful, you may connect your line with the wrong child.
  2. Use censuses to narrow down a time frame: Although census records before 1900 will not tell you the exact date of a person's birth, they will list an age and are one of the best records to help narrow down when an ancestor was born.

Step 3: What records can I search to find birth information?[edit | edit source]

If you could not find birth information in Step 1, or if you need to verify the information you found, then the next step in the research is understanding what records contain birth information. 

The easiest birth information to find is the birth date. Although it may not be possible to find an exact birth date and place, in some cases, it is possible to find an approximate year or a christening date, and at least a possible parish of birth. The most common records to find birth information in are:

  1. Church Records : Church records are some of the best records for finding a birth date. If there is only one date listed on the church birth record, it is more than likely the christening date. Also, in the marriage and death records, you can find the age of an ancestor listed on the records. It may not be an exact date, but it is a good place to start.
  2. Censuses: Another great source for finding the birth date. The majority of the census records will only give you an age of the individual, which could be off by a couple of years, but will help in narrowing down a time period for the birth.
  3. Civil Registration: Civil registration itself, until the 20th century, only existed in Austrian Silesia. The civil registration records that do exist contain birth, marriage, and death information.