Austro-Hungarian Empire Jewish Records
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When Poland was partitioned among its neighbors at the end of the 18th century, the Austrian Empire (later, the Austro-Hungarian Empire) received the heavily Jewish southeastern portion of the country, which it named Galicia. Since internal boundaries did not exist within the Austrian Empire, many impoverished Galician Jews migrated to the capital, Vienna - often with an intermediate stop along the way. By the end of the 19th century, Vienna had become a major center of European Jewry. On the eve of World War II, it had the third largest Jewish population in Europe (after Warsaw and Budapest).
Jewish genealogists with roots in Galicia should look for family branches in Vienna, especially if the family name was relatively uncommon - and many were. This task is made easier by two large collections of records available at the Family History Library, the Jewish birth, marriage and death records up to 1939 and the invaluable collection of residency books (Meldezettel).