Russia, Tver Church Books (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Russia, Tver Church Books, 1722-1918 .
This article describes a collection of records at
Tver, Russia
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Location of Tver, Russia
Record Description
Record Type: Church Books
Collection years: 1722-1918
Languages: Russian
Title in the Languages: Россия, Тверские метрические книги
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Tverskoy State Archive

What is in the Collection?

This collection of church records includes births and baptisms, marriages, deaths, and burials performed by priests in the province of Tver (and surrounding provinces) from 1722-1918. These records were originally created at a local level, but were acquired from the state archive in Tver. An index of baptisms will be included.

The Church acted as both a religious and civil agent in recording vital events and church sacraments such as baptism and burial. Peter the Great mandated the keeping of Russian Orthodox books in 1722. The format was standardized in 1724. Printed forms were introduced in 1806. In 1838, a format was introduced that prevailed until the 1930s. The priests made a transcript for the ecclesiastical court (dukhovnaia konsistoriia) having jurisdiction over the parish. This is usually the version that has been preserved. The register covers 70% of the population for early periods, 90% after 1800. These records are written in Russian.

Church registers were created and kept by priests to record the baptisms, marriages, and burials performed for their parishioner 

These were considered an official record and are normally very reliable. Earlier registers may not be equally reliable. In 1825 the Holy Synod, governmental body over the Orthodox Church, ordered bishops to eradicate bribery of priests to falsify the books, suggesting that this problem existed. 

Image Visibility

Whenever possible, FamilySearch makes images available for all users. However, rights to view images on our website are granted by the record custodians. These images can be viewed online by members of the supporting organization(s), at a Family History Center near you, or the Family History Library.

For additional information about image restrictions, please see the Restrictions for Viewing Images in FamilySearch Historical Record Collections page.

Collection Contents

Baptism records may contain the following information:

  • Date and place of baptism
  • Name of principal (usually an infant)
  • Age or date of birth of principal
  • Names of parents and their residence
  • Names of godparents
  • Sometimes names of grandparents
  • Witnesses

Marriage records may contain the following information:

  • Date and place of marriage
  • Name, age and patronymic surname of groom
  • Religion of groom
  • Name, age and patronymic surname of bride
  • Religion of bride
  • Names and signature of witnesses
  • Name of person who performed ceremony

Death/burial records may contain the following information:

  • Name, age and gender of deceased
  • Date and place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Date and place of burial
  • Name of person who performed burial
  • Name of person who administered confession and communion

How Do I Search the Collection?

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Russia Tver Church Books, 1722-1918.

To browse by image:

⇒Select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page
⇒Select the "Province" category
⇒Select the "District" category
⇒Select the "Place/Parish" category
⇒Select the "Year/Vol/Event" which takes you to the images.

Search the collection by image, comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine if the image relates to them. You may need to look at several images and compare the information about the individuals listed in those images to your ancestors to make this determination.

When searching:
As you are searching, it is helpful to know such information as your ancestor's given name and surname, some identifying information such as an estimated event year, the location of the event, and one or more of the parents' names.

Some record sets have images of indexes; these indexes were created at the end of the year. Copy errors could have been made in the index, so you want to find the actual record to verify the information is correct. Using the index is a helpful way to find the actual record. Use the locator information found in the index (such as page, entry, or certificate number) to locate your ancestors in the records.

I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now?

When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors. Add this new information to your records of each family.

  • Use the marriage date and place as the basis for compiling a new family group or for verifying existing information.
  • Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth of each partner to find a couple's birth records and parents' names.
  • Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth to find the family in census records.
  • Use the residence and names of the parents to locate church and land records.
  • Occupations listed can lead you to other types of records such as employment or military records.
  • Use the parents' birth places to find former residences and to establish a migration pattern for the family.
  • The name of the officiator is a clue to their religion or area of residence in the county. However, ministers may have reported marriages performed in other counties.
  • Compile the marriage entries for every person who has the same surname as the bride or groom; this is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual.
  • Continue to search the marriage records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives of the bride and groom who may have married in the same county or nearby. This can help you identify other generations of your family or even the second marriage of a parent. Repeat this process for each new generation you identify.
  • Use the marriage number to identify previous marriages.
  • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.

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

  • Check for variant spellings of the surnames.
  • Search for the marriage record of the marriage partner if known.
  • Check for a different index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume.
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby counties.
  • Switch to a different record collection. Depending on the time period, either Civil Registration records or Church Records may be more useful.
  • While searching, it is helpful to know such information as the ancestor’s given name and surname, some identifying information such as residence and age, and family relationships. Remember that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name as an ancestor and that the ancestor may have used nicknames or different names at different times.
  • Keep in mind that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
  • 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. Pay special attention to how the name should have been pronounced and try variations on the pronunciation.
  • Remember that sometimes individuals went by nicknames or alternated between using first and middle names. Try searching for these names as well.
  • Search the indexes and records of local genealogical societies.
  • Earlier records may not contain as much information as the records created after the late 1800.
  • There is also some variation in the information given from one record to another.

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 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.

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:

"Russia Tver Church Books, 1722-1918." Images. FamilySearch. : accessed 2016. государственных архивов, Тверской (Tverskoy State Archive, Tver).

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 Russia Tver Church Books, 1722-1918.

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