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Finding records of your ancestors in Slovakia (formerly Northern Hungary) early 1700s to 1918
This guide contains easy-to-use instructions that will teach you how to use original records to locate ancestors. These instructions include a step-by-step strategy for finding an ancestor family in the most useful record types for Slovakia in early 1700s to 1918.
Beginning Slovak researchers will also need: Reading Slovak Records and depending upon the language used in the records Reading Hungarian Records or Reading German Records or Latin Genealogical Word List.
If your ancestor lived in Slovakia (formerly northern part of the Kingdom of Hungary) between the early 1700s and 1918, follow the steps in this article to find the records of his or her family. These instructions will show you which records to search, what to look for, and what tools to use. One piece of information will lead to another until you have identified each family member and filled out a family group record.
1. Find your ancestor's birth record in church records.
2. Find the birth records of your ancestor's brothers and sisters in church records.
3. Find the marriage record of your ancestor's parents in church records. This family is now complete.
The steps and tools you need follow.
How to begin - preparation
You should have already gathered as much information as possible from your home and family and filled out family group records and a pedigree chart. You may have checked FamilySearch or other computer files to see if others have researched your Slovak family.
A. From your pedigree chart, choose an ancestor who was born in Slovakia between the early 1700s and 1918. You must know the place of birth and an approximate birth date in order to find your ancestor's family. It is helpful to know the county. You also need to determine the location of the record keeping parish that served your ancestor's community. (See Tips). It is helpful to know your ancestor's religion because the records of different religions were kept separately.
B. Write your ancestor's name in the children's section of a new family group record. Read through the instructions in this guide. Then follow the steps below to find your ancestor's family.
If you don't know your ancestor's birthplace or birth date:
- See Tracing Immigrant Origins. This publication provides many suggestions about sources that may give you a specific place of origin for your ancestor.
- Start with a more recent generation. You will learn how to do research, and you will probably discover something you didn't know about your family.
- Find the records for the family in the example given. This will teach you basic research skills before you search for your own family. This is a good class activity.
If you are not sure of your ancestor's religion:
- Search Roman Catholic records first as this was the dominant religion of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire.
- Then search records of other religions, such as Lutheran, Reformed, Greek Catholic, Jewish and Orthodox.