North Macedonia Census
|North Macedonia Genealogy Wiki Topics|
|Local Research Resources|
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 1913, when FYROM (Macedonia) was absorbed by Serbia. The first national census was conducted in 1921 when FYROM (Macedonia) was part of Yugoslavia. The location of the census returns is unknown. Census records were taken from 1921 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
Yugoslavian census returns are most likely to be in the Yugoslav National Statistical Office in Beograd, though there might be a local copy in Skopje.
Ottoman Population Registers
Ottoman population registers are the registration of births, marriages, and deaths, as well as census reports of males (expanded to include all family members in later years). 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 1913.
Population registers and census returns were introduced concurrently in 1829-1831. They were amalgamated into a single system of record keeping in 1881-1889. The registers and census returns were kept by officials at the kaza (district) level. Administrative divisions in 1831 were substantially altered in 1864-1871 and remained in effect until the Balkan Wars in 1913.
The reason for population registration before 1881 was to levy taxes on non-Muslims and to identify Muslims for conscription. Only males were registered. After 1881 the census was conducted to establish population figures for a variety of social and political reasons. All individuals were counted in both the census and the population registers after that date.
Before 1881, the registers only listed males. 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 from the registers for non-Muslims. After 1881, the registers listed all family members; sex; birth date; residence; age; religion; craft or occupation; marital status, marriage date; health; military status. The name of the deceased are crossed out with a death date noted.
How to Access the Records
Ottoman population registers are located at the State Archive of Macedonia. Some may be in the Ottoman Archives at the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul, Turkey.
- The Family History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, “Family History Record Profile: Macedonia,” Word document, private files of the FamilySearch Content Strategy Team, 1998.