Austria Seigniorial Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page
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Title in the Language of the Record
Österreich, Herrschaftsprotokolle 1537-1888
This collection of seigniorial records from Austria includes records such as birth, marriage, death, testaments, and real property covering the years between 1537 and 1888.
This collection includes a variety of feudal land records from numerous jurisdictions throughout Upper and Lower Austria. This collection is being published as images become available. The records are handwritten in German. Most records have been preserved well.
The key genealogical facts found in most marriage contract records include the following:
- Date of marriage contract
- Names of bride and groom
- Place of event
- Fiscal considerations
The key genealogical facts found in most wills or estate inventory records include the following:
- Date of death
- Place of residence
- Name of the deceased person
- Names of the surviving spouse, children, and in-laws
- Ages of all involved
- Settlement of the fiscal account
The key genealogical facts found in most real property records include the following:
- Date of the business transaction
- Names of the grantors and grantees
- Place of the property
- Settlement of the fiscal account
The key genealogical facts found in most land registers include the following:
- Names of the sequential property owners
- Place of the property
- Tax payments and fiscal data
How to Use the Record
Seigniorial records supplement existing church and civil records and provide information in those time periods where church and civil records do not exist. These records are very helpful in establishing family relationships that are difficult to identify; differentiating between individuals and families with similar given and surnames; documenting family locations, arrival and departure dates; and so forth.
Some records have indexes at the end of the volume. Frequently, these indexes are arranged by the given name of the individual and sometimes use the Latin form of the name. Those volumes without indexes need to be searched chronologically for the individuals sought.
Begin your search by finding your ancestors in the index. Use the locator information in the index (such as page, entry, or certificate number) to locate your ancestors in the records. Compare the information in the record to what you already know about your ancestor to determine if this is the correct person. You may need to compare the information of more than one person to make this determination. Be aware that, as with any index, transcription errors may occur.
When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information about other people listed in the record. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors.
- Use the baptism date and place to find the family in census records.
- Use the residence and names of the parents to locate civil and land records.
- The father’s occupation can lead you to other types of records such as employment or military records.
- The parents’ places of origin can tell you former residences and can help to establish a migration pattern for the family.
- A couple’s marriage date and place may help you find records of their children
- The burial place may also help you identify their migration pattern
It is often helpful to extract the information on all children with the same parents. If the surname is unusual, you may want to compile baptism entries for every person of the same surname and sort them into families, based on the names of the parents. Continue to search the baptism records to identify siblings, parents, and other relatives in the same or other generations who were born, married, and died in the same place or nearby.
Keep in mind the following:
- The information in church records is usually reliable but depends upon the reliability of the informant.
- Earlier records may not contain as much information as the records created after the late 1800s.
- There is some variation in the information given from record to record.
Local jurisdictional authority in Austria was held by Seigneurs prior to 1848. Seigniorial authority was granted by the Emperor to individuals who reigned as lord over their manor (Herrschaft) within a given village or community. Civil records created within a manor are referred to as Herrschaft or Seigniorial records. The older Herrschaft records of the four Lower Austrian Kreisgerichte (KG) are stored at the Landesarchiv in St. Pölten. In 1848, a modern court system was implemented in Austria, and the Seigneurs were instructed to transfer all records needed to continue administration of justice to the recently established district courts (Bezirksgerichte). This generally included all Herrschaft records back to about 1750-1800. The earlier records, those that had been closed prior to 1750, were transferred to Kreisgerichte. However, a significant quantity of these records remain in private hands or have become a part of the archival collections of other institutions.
Seigneurs created these records to record the events in the life of the people in their communities and to help in the administration of their manors.
The information in these records is usually reliable but depends upon the reliability of the informant and the recorder of the record.
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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.
Herrschaftsprotokolle. Oberösterreich Landesarchiv, Linz, Austria.
Herrschaftsprotokolle. Niederösterreich Landesarchiv, St. Pölten, Austria
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When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.
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Citation Examples for Records Found in a Collection
The following are examples of records found in different collections. Please help us by replacing these examples with a citation for a record you have 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.
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