Estonia Population Registers (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Estonia

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Estonia, Population Registers, 1918-1944
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Estonia
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Record Description
Record Type: Census
Collection years: 1918-1944
Languages: Estonian
Title in the Language: Eesti Rahvastikuregister
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
National Archives of Estonia


What is in This Collection?

This collection of a variety of records covers the period between 1918 and 1944.

These records made after the Russian Revolution through the end of World War II includes records of taxpayers, citizens, Jews, Germans, and prisoners of war. They include records such as inhabitant records and tax censuses.

The National Archive of Estonia is the center of archival administration in Estonia and a government agency in the domain of the State Chancellery, which includes Estonian Historical Archives, Estonian State Archives, Estonian Film Archives, and 6 regional Archives from: Harju, Lääne, Lääne-Viru, Saare, Tartu and Valga. Records were created at the local level and later archived in the National Archive. 

Each of these records was created for a good reason, most of them to keep a record of the people in that period of time.  

Most of these types of records are used as a secondary source when records for ancestors cannot be found in civil or church records. 

For a list of records by date or locality currently published in this collection, select the Browse link from the collection landing page.

Reading These Records

These records are written in German, Russian and Estonian. For help reading these records see the following:

To Browse This Collection

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Estonia, Population Registers, 1918-1944.

What Can These Records Tell Me?

The information in these records usually include the following:

Population registers

  • Number in consecutive order
  • Registration date: month/day
  • Family name
  • Date of birth
  • Citizenship
  • Marital status
  • Occupation
  • Document that confirms where person lives
  • Reports on the performance of military duties
  • Origination place and date (year/month/day/where from)
  • Residence (village, farm, mansion, town and house)
  • Destination date and place
  • Comments

Tax censuses

  • Number in consecutive order
  • Tax payer (family first and last name)
  • Birth year
  • Residence place
  • Male
  • Female
  • Payment
  • Receipt #
  • Paid: Debt / Tax / Percent deferral / Total
  • Remaining debt
  • Retired
  • Comments

Collection Content

Sample Images

How Do I Search This Collection?

View the Images

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page

  1. Select Place
  2. Select Record type
  3. Select Vol. number/letter, vol. begin-end year 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?

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

  • Use the age in the citizen to find an approximate birth year to begin your search in church or civil records
  • Continue to search the records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives who may have moved, been recruited or lived nearby. This can help you identify other generations of your family. Repeat this process for each new generation you identify
  • Compile the entries for every person who has the same surname; this is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual
  • Carefully evaluate each piece of information given. Save a copy of the image or transcribe the information. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details such as a title, an occupation, or land ownership *Add this new information to your records of each family. You should also look for leads to other records about your ancestors
  • Church Records often were kept years before government records were required and are a good source for finding ancestors before 1900

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

  • Consult the Estonia Record Finder to find other records
  • Switch to a different record collection. Depending on the time period, either Civil Registration records or Church Records may be more useful
  • While searching, it is helpful to know such information as the ancestor’s given name and surname, some identifying information such as residence and age, and family relationships. Remember that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name as an ancestor and that the ancestor may have used nicknames or different names at different times
  • Keep in mind that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name
  • 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. Pay special attention to how the name should have been pronounced and try variations on the pronunciation
  • Remember that sometimes individuals went by nicknames or alternated between using first and middle names
  • Earlier records may not contain as much information as the records created after the late 1800
  • There is also some variation in the information given from one record to another

Record Finder

Consult the Estonia Record Finder Table to find other records

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
"Estonia, Population Registers, 1918-1944." Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : 14 June 2016. National Archives of Estonia, Tallinn.
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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