Romania Church Records

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Church Records

Churches kept records of births and baptisms, marriages, deaths and burials in their congregations. Such records, created and maintained by churches, are called church records (registre parohiale). Church records are an extremely reliable source for studying families and relationships. In Transylvania, church records began in the early 1600s, and in the Banat in the early 1700s. In Wallachia, Moldavia and Bukovina most records began in 1775, and in Bessarabia and Dobruja in 1814. Transcripts of church records were made as early as 1784 in Transylvania, Banat and Bukovina. In Wallachia and Moldavia they began officially in 1831, but in some areas transcripts were kept as early as 1806.

Information Provided:
Births and baptisms--names of child, father, and usually mother; date of christening; name and sometimes place of residence of godparents.
Marriages--names of groom and bride, sometimes names of parents, date of marriage, places of origin or residence.
Deaths and burials--name of deceased, date of death and/or burial, sometimes names of parents or spouse, and occasionally place of origin.

Local parishes maintain their own church registers for approximately the past 100 years. Records prior to that they have been transferred to the district offices in each Judet (county).  The Unitarian Church in Transylvania has established its own archive in the city of Cluj, and digitized its records.  The transcripts (copies) of some church records are may be found in archives in Hungary, Serbia, Poland and Germany.

Some of Romania's church records have been microfilmed and are available through the Family History Library and family history centers. These are mostly records of ethnic Hungarians or ethnic Germans which the Library has acquired at archives in Germany and Hungary. To determine the specific records available, you must search the Family History Library Catalog for the place where the parish was seated.