Salzburg, Austria Genealogy
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Guide to Salzburg State ancestry, family history and genealogy: birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, parish registers, and military records.
- 1 History
- 2 For Austria Research, You Must Know Your Ancestors' Town
- 3 Research to Find the Town
- 4 If You Know the Town, Next Use the GenTeam Gazetteer
- 5 Research Help
- 6 Online Records
- 7 Microfilm Copies of Records at a Family History Center
- 8 Writing for Records
- 9 Reading the Records
- 10 Search Strategy
Independence from Bavaria was secured in the late 14th century. Salzburg was the seat of the Archbishopric of Salzburg, a prince-bishopric of the Holy Roman Empire. As the reformation movement gained steam, riots broke out among peasants in the areas in and around Salzburg. The city was occupied during the German Peasants' War, and the archbishop had to flee to the safety of the fortress. It was besieged for three months in 1525.
Eventually, tensions ceased, and the city's independence led to an increase in wealth and prosperity, culminating in the late 16th to 18th centuries under the Prince Archbishops Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau, Markus Sittikus, and Paris Lodron.
Mozart was born in Salzburg, capital of the Archbishopric of Salzburg, a former ecclesiastical principality in what is now Austria, then part of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation
On 31 October 1731, the 214th anniversary of the 95 Theses, the Archbishop signed an Edict of Expulsion, the Emigrationspatent, directing all Protestant citizens to recant their non-Catholic beliefs. 21,475 citizens refused to recant their beliefs and were expelled from Salzburg. In 1803, the archbishopric was secularised by Emperor Napoleon; he transferred the territory to Ferdinando III of Tuscany, former Grand Duke of Tuscany, as the Electorate of Salzburg.
In 1805, Salzburg was annexed to the Austrian Empire, along with the Berchtesgaden Provostry. In 1809, the territory of Salzburg was transferred to the Kingdom of Bavaria after Austria's defeat at Wagram. After the Congress of Vienna with the Treaty of Munich in 1816, Salzburg was definitively returned to Austria, but without Rupertigau and Berchtesgaden, which remained with Bavaria. In 1850, Salzburg's status was restored as the capital of the Duchy of Salzburg, a crownland of the Austrian Empire. The city became part of Austria-Hungary in 1866 as the capital of a crownland into the Austrian Empire. The nostalgia of the Romantic Era led to increased tourism.
Following World War I and the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire; Salzburg, as the capital of one of the Austro-Hungarian territories, became part of the new German Austria. In 1918, it represented the residual German-speaking territories of the Austrian heartlands. This was replaced by the First Austrian Republic in 1919, after the Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye. The Anschluss, the occupation and annexation of Austria, including Salzburg, into the Third Reich, took place the 12 March 1938, one day before a scheduled referendum about Austria's independence. German troops moved into the city. Political opponents, Jewish citizens and other minorities were subsequently arrested and deported to concentration camps. The synagogue was destroyed. After Germany invaded the Soviet Union, several POW camps for prisoners from the Soviet Union and other enemy nations were organized in the city.
During the Nazi occupation, a Romani camp was built in Salzburg-Maxglan. It was a work 'education' camp, which provided slave labour to local industry. Allied bombing destroyed 46 percent of the city's buildings, especially those around Salzburg train station. Although the town's bridges and the dome of the cathedral were destroyed, much of its Baroque architecture remained intact. American troops entered Salzburg on 5 May 1945. After World War II, Salzburg became the capital city of the State of Salzburg. On 27 January 2006, the 250th anniversary of the birth of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, all 35 churches of Salzburg rang their bells after 8:00 p.m. to celebrate the occasion.
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.
- Matricula, online church records for Austria
- Austria Evangelical-Lutheran Church Records, 1848-1900
- Civil marriages in Graz and Salzburg between 1870 and 1912, at GenTeam
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, Salzburg"
- 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.
Archive of the Archdiocese of Salzburg (Catholic)
A-5010 Salzburg, Austria
Tel .: 0043/662 / 8047-1500
Fax: 0043/662 / 8047-1509
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
Salzburg State Archives (State)
A-5020 Salzburg, Austria
Tel .: + 43/662 / 8042-4521 or 4527
Fax: + 43/662 / 8042-4661
E-Mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
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.