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The Family History Library holds a number of items of use in Viennese research. However, these are wrongly catalogued under the placename Austria, Niederösterreich, Wien: Vienna is surrounded by and was once the provincial capital of Lower Austria (Niederösterreich) but has been both a municipality and federal province since 1922.
Many Viennese records are in German. Assistance in reading German handwriting can be found at: Germany Handwriting.
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.
Family History Center
Archives and Libraries
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.
Vienna Cemeteries (Friedhöfe Wien) has an online database and some information in English.
Census and Population Registers
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.
Whilst the reliability of the data is considered to be generally high, complete accuracy can not be assumed. The editorial regularly complained about the tardiness and poor legibility of letters received. Moreover, the publishers decided that with the rapid expansion of the city, they could no longer aspire to be complete, especially in the personal directory.
Alphabetical sorting order: the Lehmann uses some sorting rules which would not be found today. For example, in some editions the letters "I" and "J" are treated as the same letter; the street name "Kleine Pfarrgasse" is found under the letter "P" and not "K".
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.
- authorities. The content of this section varies over time but includes government offices, infrastructure, educational institutions, health care institutions, associations, newspapers. Some groupings moved into and out of this section according to the times; for example: landlords, banks, doctors and lawyers. There are details of embassies and lists of elected officials.
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.
Turkish (Sephardic) Vienna
A Sephardic community formed in Vienna in the eighteenth century. Since its members were Jews from the Ottoman Empire, it was called the Turkish Jewish Community (Turkische Israelitengemeinde). Birth and marriage records of this Turkish (Sephardic) Vienna community for the years 1845-1938 have been filmed by the Family History Library and now completely indexed by Mathilde Tagger and published online. They include some 15,000 individuals: the newborns, their parents, the midwives, the mohalim [circumcisers] and sometimes a witness; in the marriage register: the grooms, the brides, their fathers and often their grandfathers.
- Turkish Community of Vienna, Austria, 1845-1938, Births Register
- Turkish Community of Vienna, Austria, 1845-1938, Weddings Register
- 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
See main article: Austria Newspapers
The Austrian National Library (Österreichische Nationalbibliothek) hosts ANNO, a virtual newspaper reading room,
You can select a specific newspaper title or choose a date and see all newspapers which published an issue on that date.
Some newspapers in this collection have been prepared for full text search which is in Beta version. Nearly 200,000 newspaper issues with nearly 2 million pages of searchable full text are online from 1704 to 1872. This is more than 97 percent of the newspapers located on ANNO up to 1872.
The full text is based on an OCR (Optical Character Recognition) data read, an automated process; early issues are printed in the Old Gothic font (Fraktur). As a result in a the quality of text recognition varies. Success in locating a name or place might be increased with the use of wildcards.
- 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).
- This page was last modified on 21 October 2013, at 17:11.
- This page has been accessed 2,105 times.
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