Czech Republic Land Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Czech Republic

FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.
Access the records: Czech Republic, Land Records, 1450-1889 .
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Czech Republic on the globe-png

Title in the Language of the Records

Tschechische Republik, Landurkunden (German)
Česká republika, Gruntovní knihy a Soupisy poddaných (Czech)

What is in the Collection?

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Czech Republic, Land Records, 1450-1889.

This collection will include records from 1450 to 1889. These records are in Czech and in German.

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.

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. Farmers were categorized as follows:

  • Sedlák -- serfs who did not own their land
  • Chalupník -- gardeners who owned their domicile and a small amount of land surrounding it
  • Zahradník -- 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 left many people dead. Many tried to get more land, and the gardener and serf classes decreased. Land registers are in the custody of Regional State Archives.

Collection Content

Sample Images

Land records usually contain the following information:

  • 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 Do I Search the Collection?

To browse this collection, you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒ Select the "Browse" link in the initial search page
⇒ Select the "District, Place"
⇒ Select the "Record type"
⇒ Select the "Volume/Years" which takes you to the images.

Search the collection by image, comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine which one is your ancestor. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to make this determination.

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.

For Help Reading These Records

These records are in German and Czech. For help reading the records, see the following wiki articles:

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Don't overlook FHL Place Czech Republic items or FHL Keyword Czech Republic items in the FamilySearch Library Catalog. For other libraries (local and national) or to gain access to items of interest, see Czech Republic Archives and Libraries.

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 Wiki 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.

Related Websites

Related Wiki Articles

How You Can Contribute

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 FamilySearch Historical Collections

Citations for individual image records are available for this collection. Browse through images in this collection and click on the "Show Citation" box: Czech Republic, Land Records, 1450-1889

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.


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:

"Czech Republic, Land Records 1450-1889." Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2016. Citing multiple Statni archiv [state archives].


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 Czech Republic, Land Records, 1450-1889.