Slovakia Place Names
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This article will guide you in using the correct form of a Slovakian place name to make it possible to locate Slovakian birth, marriage, and death records efficiently for family history. This article will teach you how to use four important tools to gather details about the town where your ancestors lived in Slovakia:
- Genealogy Slovakia Gazetteer
- Wikipedia list of municipalities and towns in Slovakia.
- MATRIČNÝ ÚRAD - Slov-Lex
- 1 Finding Your Ancestors' Town in Slovakia: Your Place Name in the United States
- 2 Your Town Name in Hungarian, Ukrainian, Czech, and Slovakian
- 3 The District (County) and Region for Your Town
- 4 Your Place Name in Slovakia Church and Synagogue Records, FamilySearch Historical Records
- 5 Your Place Name in the FamilySearch Catalog
- 6 Your Place Name and Archives: Use the Region for the Town
- 7 Your Place Name and Civil Registration Offices
- 8 Your Place Name in Google Maps
- 9 More Complex Cases
Finding Your Ancestors' Town in Slovakia: Your Place Name in the United States
- Genealogical records are organized by geographical locality. Civil registration (government birth, marriage, and death records) and church records (christenings/baptisms, marriages, and burials) were kept at the local level. To search these records, you must know the town where your ancestors lived.
- If you do not know your ancestors' town, follow the advice in the Wiki article, Slovakia Finding Town of Origin to search a variety of records that might provide that information.
Your Town Name in Hungarian, Ukrainian, Czech, and Slovakian
- Until 1918, Slovakia belonged to Hungary, with a small part in Carpathian Ruthenia. Carpathian Ruthenia was part of the Ukraine during this time.
- After World War I, Slovakia and the regions of Bohemia, Moravia, Czech Silesia and Carpathian Ruthenia formed Czechoslovakia (1918-1939.)
- A separate (First) Slovak Republic (1939–1945) existed during World War II, under Nazi Germany.
- At the end of World War II, Czechoslovakia was re-established as an independent country.
- Slovakia became an independent state on 1 January 1993 after the peaceful dissolution of Czechoslovakia. Source: Wikipedia: Slovakia
Your immigrant ancestors may report in United States records that they were from Austria, Hungary, Russia, Ukraine, Ruthenia, Slovakia, or Czechoslovakia.
Also, there was a Hungarian version of the name when it belonged to Hungary and a modern Slovakian name. The town name you find in United States records might be the historical Hungarian version of the name or the modern Slovakian version.
Follow These Steps to Find All Versions of the Town Name
- Consult Genealogy Slovakia Gazetteer to find all the names for your town over the years.
- In the list of all villages, all known variations of the name are given in one master index. Look up the reported name of the your town.
- When you find your town in that index, the link will take you to a page for the town. Under "Old Names", there will be a history of all the name changes of that town.
Towns and Villages
The reported residence of your ancestors might be a small village within a town--like our suburbs. Records would appear in catalogs under the larger town's name. In Genealogy Slovakia Gazetteer , any small village entry will tell you the larger town in belongs to:
Finding the Name of the Town Where Your Ancestors Worshipped
But, in order to find church records, you might even use a different town's name! The town where your ancestor lived might not have had a local church for every religion. For example, if the town only had a Catholic church, your Lutheran ancestors may have attended the Lutheran church in a neighboring town. You will need to look for the records under this neighboring town's name.
Follow These Steps to Find Where Each Religion Worshipped
- In the left sidebar of the town's page in Genealogy Slovakia Gazetteer, you will find notes on where that village would have attended church for each denomination.
- If the denomination is given in capital letters, such as "LUTH", then the town had its own local church for that religion.
- Be sure to look at the top section of the left sidebar on "Top Sightseeings", where it will list the local churches and the year they were built. Sometimes this is the only indication of churches in that town.
- Towns along the border may have attended a church in Hungary to find the religion of their choice.
Example of an Entry From the Genealogy Slovakia Gazetteer
The District (County) and Region for Your Town
For most record systems, you will also need to know the District (County) or Region for your town.
Follow These Steps to Find the District (County) and Region of the Town
1. In Genealogy Slovakia Gazetteer, the district ( county) is listed in a violet bar at the top of the entry page. This will work for towns and smaller villages. Example:
2. Find the town in Wikipedia list of municipalities and towns in Slovakia. This will tell you both the District (County) or Region. (This will work for towns, not villages. For villages, look under the related larger town.) Example:
Your Place Name in Slovakia Church and Synagogue Records, FamilySearch Historical Records
The Slovakia Church and Synagogue Books, 1592-1935 collection is a comprehensive, and yet still incomplete, filming of the Slovakian records of all religions which have been gathered in the various government archives. It is partially indexed, but much more is available only as browsable images. Indexing the records is an on-going project. There are definitely some tricks to locating your records.
Finding Indexed Records: Use the Slovakian Name
The Slovakia Church and Synagogue Books Coverage Table will show which parishes are included in the index for this record collection, and the time periods that have been indexed. The Coverage Table is alphabetized by "Slovakian County".
- Scroll down to the correct county. The entries will be in the format: (County, Town). For example, the town Oborín is in the county of Michalovce. It will be found in the coverage table, alphabetically as "Michalovce, Oborín".
- If your church records are indexed, go to the Slovakia Church and Synagogue Books search engine in order to find your ancestors in the index.
Finding Browsable Records: Use the Slovakian Name
These are digitized images of the pages of the church records. You will have to search them page by page to find your family. Use Slovakia Church Records Reading Aids to help translate them. To find the images for your town parish for any religion:
- Click on Slovakia Church and Synagogue Books, 1592-1935.
- Click on the red link at the bottom of the page "Browse through 1,624,867 images".
- Click on the religion you wish to search. If you do not know the religion, work your way through each available religion until you find the records you need. Start with Roman Catholic and Evangelical (Lutheran) records.
- Under that religion, click on the county you need.
- Click on your town, if available.
- A list of baptism, marriage, and burial records with their respective available time periods will appear. Click on a record, and the images will now appear.
- "Krsty" means baptisms
- "Manželstvá" means marriages
- "Úmrtia" means deaths
- "Birmovaní" means confirmations
Your Place Name in the FamilySearch Catalog
As more records are acquired, they might show up directly in the FamilySearch Catalog, sooner, or even instead of, in the Slovakia Church and Synagogue books collection. So you will want to be able to navigate that, too.
Follow These Steps to Use the Slovakian County and Town
to Find Church Records in the FamilySearch Catalog
- In the FamilySearch Catalog Search engine (Click here), in the "Place" field, enter "Slovakia" and the name of your county (district).
- Click on "Places within Slovakia (county)". This will bring up a list of towns.
- Click on the town you need, A list of record groups will appear for the town. Click on the "Church Records" topic.
- In the film notes on the left, choose the correct event and time period for your ancestor.
- Some combination of these icons will appear at the far right of the listing: . The magnifying glass indicates that the records are indexed (but possibly only partially). Clicking on the magnifying glass will take you to the index. Clicking on the camera will take you to an online, digital, browsable copy of the records.
- The microfilm icon appearing alone means the record is not digitized or indexed. It can be studied at the FamilySearch Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. You could also hire a professional researcher. Finally, check back frequently to see if it has been digitized.
Your Place Name and Archives: Use the Region for the Town
Archives are kept on the Regional level. Contact information for each regional archive will be found in the Wiki article for each Region. In most cases, the archives will have more recent records that are not available online. You will want to order those from the archives.
Follow These Steps to Find the Region and the Archive Records Available
1. Find the town in Wikipedia list of municipalities and towns in Slovakia. (This will work for towns, not villages. For villages, look under the related larger town.) Right at the beginning of the article, you will find the name of the Region you need. Example:
2. Scroll down to "Genealogocal resources" to find a listing of records kept in the archives and the name of the archives. Example:
3. Go to the Wiki article for each Region for instructions on ordering records from the archives.
Your Place Name and Civil Registration Offices
For records in the 1900's, particularly after 1935-ish, the records frequently are still in the local civil registration office. You will want to write to a civil registrar to request records. A civil registration office can cover more than one town. So you will now have to find the civil registration office serving your town or village. This particular list is prepared for locating the office for the purpose of recording a marriage, but the same office records births and deaths.
Follow These Steps to Find the Civil Registration Office for Your Town
- Study MATRIČNÝ ÚRAD - Slov-Lex, a directory of municipality civil registrars.
- The list does not have a search capability built in. Use your computer's "Find" function to navigate the list.
- The list shows which municipal office covers smaller villages. Example:
Registration Office Town -------------------------------- Towns and Villages Served by That Office
Your Place Name in Google Maps
- Take a look at your town in Google Maps. When you hit a dead end in the records you are using, the next step is to search in neighboring towns. Often, people did not move far away, and you will pick up the family again in a nearby town. Google Maps. can help you see what the neighboring towns are.
- The Genealogy Slovakia Gazetteer also provides a clickable list of neighboring villages and towns. Example:
More Complex Cases
The methods given here are using the simplest and most available (online) reference tools. There are more comprehensive gazetteers available--but they are written in Hungarian and/or are not available online. If you are unable to identify your village/town using these resources, ask the community for further help. There are volunteers there who have access to reference aids in the FamilySearch Main Library in Salt Lake City. They may be able to locate the information you need.