Austria, Upper Austria Catholic Church Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page
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Access the records: Austria, Oberösterreich Catholic Church Records .
Title in the Language of the Record
Österreich, Oberösterrreich, Katholische Kirchenurkunden
Collection Time Period
Catholic Church records in this collection start with the year 1581 through the present day, but because of privacy laws, these records are available online only through 1905.
Event types were often compiled in separate volumes. For instance, baptisms would be in one volume and marriages in another. In some parishes, however, event types were intermixed and grouped into a volume according to year range. When this is the case, the baptisms, marriages, and burials for one year (e.g. 1785) were grouped together before the baptisms, marriages, and burials for the next year (e.g. 1786), and so on. Entries are usually recorded in chronological order, though some entries may be out of order. Entries before the mid-1700s were often in free text paragraphs; sometimes the priest created columns to record the information. After the mid-1700s, a pre-printed form with column headings in Gothic fraktur typeface became common (though not always used). On these forms, the entries were handwritten in Gothic script; as time progressed, handwriting in these entries began to resemble more the Romanized handwriting that we use today. In Austria, a parish was an ecclesiastical jurisdiction consisting of many villages and hamlets, with one of the villages designated as the main parish town. Austrian church records are typically written in German or Latin. Regional dialect affects the spelling of some German words, for example: “Maÿ” is recorded instead of the German “Mai” for the month of May, and “Aeltern” instead of “Eltern” for the word parents.
These are the key genealogical facts found in most baptismal records:
- Names of the child, parents, and witnesses or godparents
- Date and place of birth
- Date of baptism (sometimes even the time of birth and baptism)
- House number where the event occurred
- Residence and religion of the parents
- Occupation of the father and other males listed
- Whether the child was legitimate or illegitimate
- Names of the bride, groom, their parents (usually the fathers), and witnesses
- Date and place of marriage and marriage proclamations or banns
- Residence of the bride, groom, and their parents
- House number where event occurred (usually groom’s but not always)
- Religion of the bride and the groom
- Occupation of groom and other males listed
- Names of the deceased (sometimes names of deceased’s spouse and/or deceased’s parents were included)
- Date and place of death and burial
- Age, residence, and house number where event occurred
- Cause of death
How to Use the Records
Use these Austrian church records to identify ancestors (individuals, their parents, and their spouses) and make family connections in pedigrees.
Church priests and pastors began keeping records long before the Austrian government. Catholic Church records began as early as the mid to late 1500s; most church records, however, began in the late 1600s. In 1784, the Austrian Empire required that all births, marriages, and deaths be recorded in civil records. Church records were also affected by this civil registration requirement: because the Catholic Church kept records for everyone regardless of religion, the Austrian government implemented a specific format for vital records that the Catholic Church duplicated for the civil record offices. This uniformed record-keeping system, however, did not commence at the same time throughout the empire. These church books cover a majority of the population for Upper Austria, the Northern portion of the country.
Why the Record Was Created
Church records were created to record church sacraments associated with the life events (e.g. baptism after birth, burial after death) of parishioners.
Austrian church books are one of the most reliable and accurate family history sources. Accuracy in the records is, however, dependent upon the accuracy of the informant’s knowledge coupled with the priest recording the information correctly. Ages, birth dates, and birth places recorded in marriage and death entries have a higher probability of being inaccurate.
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Contributions to This Article
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Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections
It is recommended that you cite the sources of information as you search genealogical records. Citing sources will allow you to avoid duplicate searches later and share your sources with other researchers. A citation with specific details about the source document should allow yourself or others to easily find the source document at a later time. You should cite all sources searched, whether new information is found, to avoid duplicating searches without findings.
Suggested Format: A suggested format for citations created to document information found in FamilySearch Record Search is: Collection title, digital images, from FamilySearch Internet (www.familysearch.org: date accessed or downloaded), items of interest.
Items of Interest Include:
- Name of the person mentioned in the document
- File, folder or jacket number
- Record type
- Page number
- Line number
- Date of entry
- Digital identification number
- Film number
You are Invited to Add Source Citations for a Record in This Collection. Please add sample citations to this article following the format guidelines listed above.
Examples of Source Citations for a Record in This Collection
- United States. Bureau of the Census. 12th census, 1900, digital images, From FamilySearch Internet (www.familysearch.org: September 29, 2006), Arizona Territory, Maricopa, Township 1, East Gila, Salt River Base and Meridian; sheet 9B, line 71.
- Mexico, Distrito Federal, Catholic Church Records, 1886-1933, digital images, from FamilySearch Internet (www.familysearch.org: April 22, 2010), Baptism of Adolfo Fernandez Jimenez, 1 Feb. 1910, San Pedro Apóstol, Cuahimalpa, Distrito Federal, Mexico, film number 0227023.
Sources of information for This Collection
Pfarrmatrikeln-Duplikate 1819-1940. Oberösterreichisches Landesarchiv, Linz, Austria.