Styria, Austria Genealogy

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Guide to Styria State ancestry, family history and genealogy: birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, parish registers, and military records.

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In 1180 Styria separated from the Duchy of Carinthia and became a Duchy of its own. In 1192 the Austrian Duke Leopold V. became Duke of Styria. Later Styria formed the central part of Inner Austria. Styria developed culturally and economically in the years between 1809 and 1859 under Archduke John of Austria.
In 1918, after World War I, it was divided into a northern section which now forms the current Austrian state, and a southern one, called Lower Styria. This was inhabited mostly by ethnic Slovenians, and which was annexed to Yugoslavia, and later in Slovenia.

For Austria Research, You Must Know Your Ancestors' Town

  • To begin using the records 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.

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.

This is an example of a typical parish record entry that you will see:

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Research Help

For help with genealogy in this region, see Austria Genealogy.

Online Records

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, Steiermark" (Styria)
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. FHL icons.png. 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

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 Graz-Seckau (Catholic)
Bürgergasse 2
A-8010 Graz, Austria

Phone: 0043/316 / 8041-107
Fax: 0043/316 / 8041-18107

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
Fax: +43/1/4791523/440
E-Mail: archiv @

Styrian Provincial Archives (State)
Haus Karmeliterplatz 3
Graz, Austria

Tel: 0043 / 316-877-3478
Fax: 0043 / 316-877-2954

Local Churches

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.
German Genealogical Word List
German Handwriting
  • 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:

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)

Latin Records

Records of the Catholic church will usually be written in Latin:

Search Strategy

  • 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.

Diozese of Styria

The Archive from the diozese of Styria, exact called Diozese Graz-Seckau, has all Register (burth, marriage and burial) from each parish in his region digitized.

You can access the Register online since 20th of December 2013:

If you want visit the Archive personally you have to arrange an appointment (2 till 3 weeks waiting time) to get one of 6 work stations reserved. If you are not able to read all of the old "Kurrent" writing, the employee will give you reading Support.

From Special interest is also, that you will find there also digitized the books from the Diozese Marburg (Maribor) in Slovenia. The Register from the Diozese Maribor are still not online available.

An overview about the File inventory you find here. The register catalog you can download from here.

Town archive Graz

The town archive takes over, maps and lists the documents that are no longer needed for current business transactions resulting in the municipal offices and from legal, historical, cultural or other reasons must be kept. The construction file building plans of Graz (1825-1993) and the former municipalities of environment (1890-1993) with the plans of almost all Graz houses are kept in the construction file archive.

The town archives preserve the written records of the town magistrates from 1820 to 1849 and the town of Graz from 1850 to today. The town archiv answers questions about the various areas of the Graz cultural, economic, social, and time history. The city archives supports the person and family research through search and presentation of personal documents and distributes the historical year book of the city of Graz.

The town Archive also stores documents from the population Register about 1900.