Vienna, Austria Genealogy
The Celtic settlement of Vindomina situated on the River Danube became an important Roman town, Vindobona, fortified from early in the first century of the modern era. When the Romans withdrew in the 5th century, it fell to a series of eastern European invaders. The Habsburg dynasty began its connection to Vienna in 1276 when they transferred the power base there. The city was called Wenia and Wienis before taking its present German name of Wien. It was the capital of the Holy Roman Empire (1558–1806), of the Austrian Empire (1806–67), of the Austro-Hungarian Empire (1867–1918) (called Bécs in Hungarian), and of the Republic of Austria since 1918. Joint Western-Russian forces occupied the city from 1945 to 1955. Vienna is the world's third-largest German-speaking city after Berlin and Hamburg.
The Municipal and Provincial Archives of Vienna has published Tracing your Ancestors in Vienna - Some Guidelines with an overview of its records, links to other sites to further your research and a series of short "how to find" various categories of records.
Family History Center
Vienna Cemeteries (Friedhöfe Wien) has an online database and some information in English.
A population register is a system of record keeping used especially in northwestern Europe whereby household heads report changes in status of members of their household.
The Lehmann directories were produced irregularly from 1859 to 1870 then annually until 1942 with the exception of a single edition for 1921-1922. Work began on updating an edition in the August or September preceding the year of publication which occurred at the beginning of the calendar year. So, for example, the upheavals of 1938 are reflected in the 1939 edition. Starting in 1893, the Lehmann was divided into two volumes.
Generally speaking, the directory has five parts of genealogical interest although the order and naming of the parts change over the course of publication:
- names of residents in alphabetical order. Only household heads who own or rent a dwelling; does not include sub-tenants or servants so many working class families and individuals will not be found. An entry will typically give the surname, given name, occupation rank or status, Vienna district, street name and number.
- street register. In the early years, the naming and numbering of streets was neither stable nor consistent and this is reflected in the Lehmanns. It can be even more confusing to find that housenumbering was not continuous. The 1859 first edition divides Vienna into three parts: the inner city, the 34 Vorstädte (inner suburbs outside the old city wall but within the Linienwall) and the 36 Vororte (outer suburbs). Over editions one can see the effects of reforms in the naming of streets and the numbering of houses (for example, from 1862-1864), urban expansion (in 1874 the creation of Favoriten as the 10th district, the first outside the city limits, then set by the Gürtel ring road; the decision in 1890 to integrate the Vororte into the city proper; in 1904 the creation of the 21st district from villages on the left bank of the Danube) and the changes following the great political upheavals (1918, 1934, 1938). Post war developments mean that it can be difficult to map old Vienna addresses using modern mapping tools such as Google Maps.
- For the editions of 1925, 1926, 1932-36 and 1938-42 the street directory is expanded into a home listing which adds to the alphabetical listing of Vienna streets by listing the dwellings in that section with the details of the householder.
The Lehmanns have been digitised and made available online by the Vienna Library: Lehmann Online in German.
Jewish Community of ViennaThe Israelitische Kultusgemeinde Wien (IKG) (Jewish Community of Vienna) is the body that represents Vienna’s Orthodox Jewish community.
- Rootsweb AUT-VIENNA A bilingual English-German mailing list for anyone with a genealogical, cultural or historical interest in the City of Vienna (Wien in German).
- Vienna Province Rootsweb Message Board
- Vienna Death database (1703-1844)
- Marriage Index for Vienna (1542-1850/1860)
Notes and References
- "Vienna" in John Everett-Heath (ed.), The Concise Dictionary of World Place-Names (2nd ed., Oxford University Press, published to Oxford Reference Online, 2010-2012, eISBN: 9780199580897).