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
These are the key genealogical facts found in most marriage records:
- 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
These are the key genealogical facts found in most death records:
- 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 Record
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
When you copy information from the record, you should list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find th record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you do 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.
Examples of Source Citations for a Record Found in This Collection
- “Delaware Marriage Records,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org: accessed 4 March 2011), entry for William Anderson and Elizabeth Baynard Henry, married 23 November 1913; citing marriage certificate no. 859; FHL microfilm 2,025,063; Delaware Bureau of Archives and Records Management, Dover.
- “El Salvador Civil Registration,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org: accessed 21 March 2011), entry for Jose Maria Antonio del Carmen, born 9 April 1880; citing La Libertad, San Juan Opico, Nacimientos 1879-1893, image 50; Ministerio Archivo Civil de la Alcaldia Municipal de San Salvador.
Citation for This Collection
The following citation refers to the original source of the data and images published on FamilySearch.org Historical Records. It may include the author, custodian, publisher, and archive for the original records.
Pfarrmatrikeln-Duplikate 1819-1940. Oberösterreichisches Landesarchiv, Linz, Austria.
Information about creating source citations for FamilySearch Historical Collections is listed in the wiki article Help:How to Create Source Citations For FamilySearch Historical Records Collections.