Czech Republic Land Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at
Access the records: Czech Republic, Land Records, 1450-1889 .

Title in the Language of the Records

Tschechische Republik, Landurkunden (German)
Česká republika, Gruntovní knihy a Soupisy poddaných (Czech)

Record Description

This collection will include records from 1450 to 1889.

Czech land books include declarations of land ownership, land transfers, and land inheritances. The Czech name of land records has varied over time; however, the records listed in this collection are named gruntovní knihy. These books initially were kept at the landholder level, then at village level, farm level, and finally by a district administrator and his scribe. Land registers are written mostly in German, with some in Czech. The available records only cover a very few geographical areas and towns. To see a list of the localities included in this collection, and the images, view the list of the images through the "Browse through the images" link in The collection is incomplete and only covers a few towns. Additional images may be added to this collection in the future.

For a list of records by date or locality currently published in this collection, select the Browse link from the collection landing page.

The land books (pozemkové knihy) recorded landholders and land lease titles; they date from about 1600. The oldest land books (pozemkové knihy) listed the location of the property along with the financial obligations of the landholder to the estate owner. Buildings on these lands were often listed by type in land books (cottage, blacksmith’s forge, etc.). Starting in the mid 1600s, some records began differentiating by categories of farmers. Farmers were categorized as follows:

  • Sedlák -- serfs who did not own their land
  • Chalupník -- gardeners who owned their domicile and a small amount of land surrounding it
  • Zahradník -- cottagers who owned somewhat larger tracts of land

Another interesting fact about the land registers is that holders sometimes abandoned farmsteads and moved to another locality. In general, they left to escape high debt, but mostly because of drudgery or oppression. The Thirty Years' War killed many people. Everyone tried to get more land, and the gardener and serf classes decreased. Land registers are in the custody of Regional State Archives.

Citation for This Collection

The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in Historical Record collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher and archive for the original records.

"Czech Republic, Land Records 1450-1850." Images. FamilySearch. : accessed 2013. Citing multiple Statni archiv.

Suggested citation format for a record in this collection.

Record Content

 These land records usually contain the following information:

  • A list of serfs with land rights, including their ages and type of obligations toward the estate owner
  • Residences and often relationship to previous landholder
  • Lists of all the inhabitants of the estate, testaments, debts, orphan matters, mortgages, marriage contracts, inheritance, and other matters
  • Changes in ownership of properties, succession of farmstead holders, prices and payments of property and goods

How to Use the Record

To browse this collection you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒ Select the "Browse" link in the initial search page
⇒ Select the "District, Place"
⇒ Select the "Record type"
⇒ Select the "Volume/Years" which takes you to the images.

Look at the images one by one comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine which one is your ancestor. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to make this determination.

These records can enhance the effective use of church records. They establish residence, ages, and relationships, which are valuable for pedigree links or when other records are not available.

Known Issues with This Collection

Important.png Problems with this collection?
See a list of known issues, workarounds, tips, restrictions, future fixes, news and other helpful information.

For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection, see the attached Wiki article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.

Related Websites

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Related Wiki Articles

Contributions to This Article

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.

Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections

When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.

A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.

Citation Example for a Record Found in This Collection

"Czech Republic, Land Records, 1450-1889," images, FamilySearch(, Bílovice > Orphan register (Sirotčí registra) > V. 227103010-0000017-00005, 1655-1798 > Image 65 of 70 Images, Leta Panie, 1782; citing Czech Republic, Opava Land Records, Regional Archive of Opava, Opava, Czech Republic.