Austria Seigniorial Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Austria


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This article describes a collection of records scheduled to become available at FamilySearch.org.
Austria
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Record Description
Collection years: 1537-1920
Languages: German
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive



Title in the Language of the Record

Österreich, Herrschaftsprotokolle

What is in the Collection?

This collection includes feudal documents from many places throughout Upper and Lower Austria for the years 1537 to 1920. The documents pertain to legal matters, complaints, property, insolvencies, orphans, criminal proceedings, etc,--everything that was later handled by the court system. This collection will continue to be updated as records are acquired. The original records are located in the Niederösterreichischen Landesarchiv, St. Pölten, and in the Oberösterreichischen Landesarchiv, Linz, Austria.

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.

To Browse this Collection

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Austria, Seigniorial Records, 1537-1920.

Collection Content

Sample Images

Marriage contract records may include the following information:

  • Date of marriage contract
  • Names of bride and groom
  • Place of event
  • Fiscal considerations

Wills or estate inventory records may include the following information:

  • 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

Real property records may include the following information:

  • Date of the business transaction
  • Names of the grantors and grantees
  • Place of the property
  • Settlement of the fiscal account

Land registers (Grundbuch) may include the following information:

  • Names of the sequential property owners
  • Place of the property
  • Dates
  • Tax payments and fiscal data

How Do I Search the Collection?

It is helpful to know:

  • Your ancestor's name
  • Residence
  • Age or birth date
  • Names of family members

Fill in the requested information in the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information in the list to what you already know about your ancestor to determine if it is the correct family or person. You may need to compare several persons in the list before you find your ancestor.

To search by image:
⇒Select the "Browse" link in the initial search page
⇒Select the “Country”
⇒Select the “Province”
⇒Select the “Place”
⇒Select the “Seigniory” category
⇒Select the “Record Description” which takes you to the images.

These records are in German. For help reading the records, see the following wiki article:

What Do I Do Next?

Whenever possible, view the original records to verify the information and to find additional information that might not be reported. These pieces of information can lead you to additional records and family members. Remember that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name as your ancestor and that your ancestor may have used nicknames or different names at different times.

I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now?

  • Use the age in the record to find an approximate birth year.
  • Use all the information to help you find other records such as birth, death, church and civil records such as censuses. These can help you find additional family members.
  • Use the father’s occupation to find employment or military records.
  • Use the parents’ places of origin to find former residences and establish a migration pattern for the family.
  • Use the couple’s marriage date and place to find records of their children
  • Use the burial place to help you identify their migration pattern

Use the surname to compile baptism entries for each child and sort them into families based on the names of the parents.

  • Repeat this process with additional family members found to find more generations of the family.

I Can’t Find Who I’m Looking for, What Now?

  • Try viewing the original record to see if there were errors in the transcription of the name, age, residence, etc.
  • If you cannot locate your ancestor in the locality in which you believe they lived, then try searching records of a nearby locality in an area search.
  • Standard spelling of names typically did not exist during the periods our ancestors lived in. Try variations of your ancestor’s name while searching the index or browsing through images. *Remember that sometimes individuals went by nicknames or alternated between using first and middle names. Try searching for these names as well.

Known Issues with This Collection

Important.png Problems with this collection?
See a list of known issues, workarounds, tips, restrictions, future fixes, news and other helpful information.

For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to support@familysearch.org. Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.


How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.


Citing this Collection

Citing your sources makes it easy for others to find and evaluate the records you used. When you copy information from a record, list where you found that information. Here you can find citations already created for the entire collection and for each individual record or image.

Collection Citation:

"Austria, Seigniorial Records, 1537-1920." Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org: accessed 2017. Landesarchiv, Österreich (national archives, Austria).


Image Citation:

The image citation is available by clicking on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen. You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Austria, Seigniorial Records, 1537-1920.