Czech Republic Land Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page
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Access the records: Czech Republic Land Records, 1450-1850 .
Title in the Language of the Records
Tschechische Republik, Landurkunden 1450-1850
Czech land books include declarations of land ownership, land transfers, and land inheritances. The Czech name of land records has varied over time; however, the records listed in this collection are named gruntovní knihy. These books initially were kept at the landholder level, then at village level, farm level, and finally by a district administrator and his scribe. Land registers are written mostly in German, with some in Czech. The available records only cover a very few geographical areas and towns. To see a list of the localities included in this collection, and the images, view the list of the images through the "browse through the images" link in FamilySearch.org. The collection is incomplete and only covers a few towns. Additional images may be added to this collection in the future.
For a list of records by date or locality currently published in this collection, select the Browse link from the collection landing page.
Citation for This Collection
The citation below 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.
- Czech Republic. Land Records, 1450-1850. Regional Archive of Opava, Opava, Czech Republic.
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.
The key genealogical facts found on most of these land records include:
- A list of serfs with land rights, including their ages and type of obligations toward the estate owner
- Residences and often relationship to previous landholder
- Lists of all the inhabitants of the estate, testaments, debts, orphan matters, mortgages, marriage contracts, inheritance, and other matters
- Changes in ownership of properties, succession of farmstead holders, prices and payments of property and goods
How to Use the Record
These records can enhance the effective use of church records. They establish residence, ages, and relationships, which are valuable for pedigree links or when other records are not available.
The land books [pozemkové knihy] recorded landholders and land lease titles; they date from about 1600. The oldest land books [pozemkové knihy] listed the location of the property along with the financial obligations of the landholder to the estate owner. Buildings on these lands were often listed by type in land books (cottage, blacksmith’s forge etc). Starting in the mid 1600s, some records began differentiating by categories of farmers. These categories were:
- Sedlak -- serfs who did not own their land
- Chalupnik -- gardeners who owned their domicile and a small amount of land surrounding it
- Zharadnik -- cottagers who owned somewhat larger tracts of land
Another interesting fact about the land registers is that holders sometimes abandoned farmsteads and moved to another locality. In general, they left to escape high debt, but mostly because of drudgery or oppression. The Thirty Years' War killed many people. Everyone tried to get more land, and the gardener and serf classes decreased. Land registers are in the custody of Regional State Archives.
Known Issues with This Collection
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Citation Examples for Records Found in a FamilySearch Historical Collection
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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. Example for an Indexed Collection:
“Delaware Marriage Records,” database and digital images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/: accessed 4 March 2011), William Anderson and Elizabeth Baynard Henry, 1890; citing Delaware, State Marriage Records, no. 859, Delaware Bureau of Archives and Records Management, Dover. Example for a Browsed Collection:
“Argentina, Buenos Aires, Catholic Church Records, 1635-1981,” digital images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/: accessed 28 February, 2012), La Plata > San Ponciano > Matrimonios 1884-1886 > image 71 of 389 images, Artemio Avendano and Clemtina Peralta, 1884; citing Parroquia de San Ponciano en la Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Matrimonios. San Ponciano, La Plata.
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