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Romania Church Records

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For information about records for non-Christian religions in Romania, go to the Religious Records page.

Introduction[edit | edit source]

Churches kept records of births and baptisms, marriages, and deaths and burials in their congregations. Such records, created and maintained by churches, are called church records (registre parohiale). Church records are an extremely reliable source for identifying vital information for families, although it is sometimes difficult to link generations. Church records are the most important source prior to civil registration.

Coverage[edit | edit source]

Church records in Romania start as early as 1600 and go to the present. Church records in Transylvania began in the early 1600s, and in the Banat in the early 1700s. In Wallachia, Moldavia, and Bukovina most records began in 1775, and in Bessarabia and Dobruja in 1814. Transcripts of church records were made as early as 1784 in Transylvania, Banat, and Bukovina. In Wallachia and Moldavia they began officially in 1831, but in some areas transcripts were kept as early as 1806. 50-70% of the population can be found in these records.

Content[edit | edit source]

  • Births and baptisms – names of child, father, and usually mother; date of christening; name and sometimes place of residence of godparents.
  • Marriages – names of groom and bride, sometimes names of parents, date of marriage, places of origin or residence.
  • Deaths and burials – name of deceased, date of death and/or burial, sometimes names of parents or spouse, and occasionally place of origin.

Accessing the Records[edit | edit source]

Local parishes maintain their own church registers for approximately the past 100 years. Local storage conditions vary. Records prior to that have been transferred to the district offices in each Judetul (county). There are 41 Judetuls in Romania. The Unitarian Church in Transylvania has established its own archive in the city of Cluj and digitized its records. The transcripts (copies) of some church records may be found in archives in Hungary, Serbia, Poland and Germany. Some local archives do research for patrons, but it can be very expensive. Individuals may visit or hire a professional to visit Romania. [1]

Some of Romania's church records (about 12%) have been microfilmed and are available through the Family History Library. Most of these records have been acquired at archives in Germany and Hungary. To determine the specific records available, you must search the FamilySearch Catalog for the place where the parish was seated.

Religions[edit | edit source]

Romanian Orthodox 44.5% 68.4% 86.8% 81.04%
Greek Catholic 30.4% 17.1% 3.2% 0.75%
Roman Catholic 11.3% 5.6% 5.1% 4.33%
Calvinist-Reformed 7.2% 3.2% 2.7% 2.99%
Evangelical-Lutheran 3.1% 1.0% 0.8% 0.1%
Jewish 2.9% 2.3% 0.4% 0.1%
Muslim 1.6% 2.0% 0.2% 0.3%
Unitarian 0.6% 0.4% 0.3% 0.29%
Pentecostal 1.0% 1.8%
Baptist 0.5% 0.56%
Seventh-Day Adventist 0.3% 0.4%

Romanian Orthodox Church[edit | edit source]

The Romanian Orthodox Church had 20.9 million members in 1992. The Church is autocephalous, meaning it is not subject to an external patriarch or archbishop, but has a relationship with the Eastern Orthodox Church. The highest hierarchical authority is the Holy Synod. Since 1925, the Church has been headed by a patriarch. There are six Orthodox Metropolitanates and ten archbishoprics in Romania. As of 2004, there are fifteen theological universities and more than 14,500 churches.[2]

Uniate (Greek Catholic) Church[edit | edit source]

The Uniate (Greek Catholic) Church (which severed its connection with the Vatican in 1698) was suppressed from 1948-1989 when much of its property was turned over to the Orthodox Church. Membership had reached 770,000 by 1992.

Roman Catholic Church[edit | edit source]

The Roman Catholic Church in 1992 numbered 1,229,100 persons, mainly among the Hungarian and German minorities. There are eight dioceses. In 1992 four were vacant. Some Roman Catholic Church records for Lombardy and Venetia have been partially microfilmed and can be examined in the archives of Milano and Venice or at the individual parishes.

Calvinist Church[edit | edit source]

In 1992 there were 650,700 Calvinists, mainly Hungarians. They have bishoprics at Cluj and Oradea.

Lutheran Church[edit | edit source]

In 1992 there were 192,800 Lutherans, mainly Germans. They have a bishopric at Sibiu.

Unitarian Church[edit | edit source]

In 1992 there were 72,300 Unitarians, mainly Hungarians. They have a bishopric at Cluj. These sects share a seminary at Cluj.

Pentecostal Church[edit | edit source]

In 1992 there were 241,000 Pentecostals.

Baptist Church[edit | edit source]

In 1992 there were 120,000 Baptists.

Seventh-Day Adventists[edit | edit source]

In 1992 there were 72,000 Seventh-Day Adventists.[3]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. The Family History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, “Family History Record Profile: Romania,” Word document, private files of the FamilySearch Content Strategy Team, 1989-1997.
  2. Wikipedia contributors, "Romanian Orthodox Church," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,, accessed 6 August 2018.
  3. The Family History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, “Family History Record Profile: Romania,” Word document, private files of the FamilySearch Content Strategy Team, 1989-1997.