Lower Austria (Niederösterreich), Austria Genealogy
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Guide to Lower Austria (Niederösterreich) State ancestry, family history and genealogy: birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, parish registers, and military records.
- 1 History
- 2 Jurisdictions
- 3 For Austria Research, You Must Know Your Ancestors' Town
- 4 Research to Find the Town
- 5 If You Know the Town, Next Use the GenTeam Gazetteer
- 6 Research Help
- 7 Online Records
- 8 Microfilm Copies of Records at a Family History Center
- 9 Writing for Records
- 10 Reading the Records
- 11 Search Strategy
- 12 Websites
The history of Lower Austria is very similar to the history of Austria. There are many castles located in Lower Austria. Klosterneuburg Abbey, located here, is one of the oldest abbeys in Austria. Before World War II, Lower Austria had the largest number of Jews in Austria. For more information on Lower Austria check the History of Austria.
Lower Austria is divided four regions, known as Viertel (quarters):
- Weinviertel (lit. wine quarter) the lowlands below the Manhartsberg ridge;
- Waldviertel (lit. forest quarter) the Bohemian plateau above the Manhartsberg ridge;
- Mostviertel (lit. must quarter) which lies above the Vienna Woods; and
- Industrieviertel (lit. industrial quarter) which lies below the Vienna Woods.
For Austria Research, You Must Know Your Ancestors' Town
- To begin using the records of Austria, just knowing that your family came from the country will not be enough. Records are kept on the local level, so you will have to know the town they lived in.
- Details about the town will also help:
- the county of that town,
- where the closest Evangelical Lutheran, Catholic, Greek Orthodox, etc. parish church was (depending on their religion),
- where the civil registration office was, and
- if you have only a village name, you will need the name of the larger town it was part of.
Research to Find the Town
If you do not yet know the name of the town of your ancestor's birth, there are well-known strategies for a thorough hunt for it.
- Use Gathering Information to Locate Place of Origin as a guide in exhausting every possible record to find what you need. It was written for Germany, but the same methods apply.
If You Know the Town, Next Use the GenTeam Gazetteer
GenTeam is an online gazetteer that covers the current countries of Austria, Czech Republic, and Slovenia (most of the area belonging to the Austro-Hungarian Empire). It gives former (German) and current names of locations, the name of the parish, the beginning year of the records, and the archive that holds the records. It will also give details on earlier parishes the locality belonged to. It then links to the website of that archive.
For help with genealogy in this region, see also Austria Genealogy.
- 1848-1900 - Austria Evangelical-Lutheran Church Records, 1848-1900, browsable images.
- Digitized parish registers at Matricula
- 1537-1920 - Austria Seigniorial Records, 1537-1920, browsable images.
Microfilm Copies of Records at a Family History Center
If the locality and time period you need are not included in the online records, the next step is to check for them in the microfilm collection of the Family History Library. These microfilms may be ordered for viewing at Family History Centers around the world. To find a microfilm:
- a. Click on "Places within Austria, Niederösterreich"
- b. Select your record type: Church records and civil registration are the most important.
- b. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
- c. Choose the correct record type and time period for your ancestor.
- d. Some combination of these icons will appear at the far right of the microfilm listed for the record. . The magnifying glass indicates that the microfilm is indexed. Clicking on the magnifying glass will take you to the index. Clicking on the camera will take you to an online digital copy of the microfilm.
Writing for Records
See German Letter Writing Guide for help and translations.
Civil registration, the government records of births, marriages, and deaths, began in Austria on 1 January 1939. The office that keeps these records is the Standesamt.
Diocesan Archives, St. Pölten (Catholic, see map.)
Klostergasse 10 / 2nd floor
A-3100 St. Pölten, Austria
Tel .: 0043/2742 / 324-321
Fax: 0043/2742 / 324-325
Diocesan Archives Vienna (Catholic, see map.)
Wollzeile 2 (Archbishop's Palace)
A-1010 Vienna, Austria
Tel .: 0043/1/51 552-3239
Fax: 0043/1/51 552-3240
E-mail: email@example.com www.erzdioezese-wien.at/pages / Inst / 14428073
Archive of the Evangelical Church in Austria (Lutheran)
Evangelical Church in Austria Church
Severin Schreiber-Gasse 3
Dept. of Matriculation, Archives, Library
A-1180 Vienna, Austria
Tel .: +43/1/4791523/519
E-Mail: archiv @ Evang.at
Office of the Lower Austrian Provincial Government (State)
Department of Lower Austria Landesarchiv und NÖ Landesbibliothek
Country house 1, Haus Kulturbezirk 4
3109 St. Pölten, Austria
Tel: 02742 / 9005-12059
Fax: 02742 / 9005-12052
- Digitized parish registers are all at Matricula
- Holding of the Landesarchiv Niederösterreich
- Diocese of St. Poelten parish address list
- Archdiocese of Vienna parish address list
- Evangelical (Lutheran) parish address list
Reading the Records
- It's easier than you think! You do not have to be fluent in French and German to use these records, as there is only a limited vocabulary used in them. By learning a few key phrases, you will be able to read them adequately. Here are some resources for learning to read German records.
- These video webinars will teach you to read German handwriting:
- Also online interactive slideshow lessons are available to help you learn to read these records:
- Reading German Handwritten Records Lesson 1: Kurrent Letters
- Reading German Handwritten Records Lesson 2: Making Words in Kurrent
- Reading German Handwritten Records Lesson 3: Reading Kurrent Documents. In this lesson, you will explore several types of German genealogical records, including birth, baptismal, marriage, and death records.
- German Script Tutorial
This converter will show you how any phrase or name might look in German script:
- Kurrentschrift Converter (enter German genealogical word, click on "convert", view your word in Kurrentschrift (Gothic handwriting)
Records of the Catholic church will usually be written in Latin:
- Search for the relative or ancestor you selected. When you find his birth record, search for the births of his brothers and sisters.
- Next, search for the marriage of his parents. The marriage record will have information that will often help you find the birth records of the parents.
- You can estimate the ages of the parents and determine a birth year to search for their birth records.
- Search the death registers for all known family members.
- Repeat this process for both the father and the mother, starting with their birth records, then their siblings' births, then their parents' marriages, and so on.
- If earlier generations (parents, grandparents, etc.) do not appear in the records, search neighboring parishes.