Russia, Tver Church Books (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.
Access the records: Russia, Tver Church Books, 1722-1918 .
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Title in the Language of the Records

Россия, Тверские метрические книги

Image Visibility

Whenever possible, FamilySearch makes images available for all users. However, ultimate rights to view images on our website are granted by the record custodians. The Russia Tver Church Books collection is available to members of the supporting organization, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The images can be viewed at a Family History Library near you.

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. 

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

Collection Content

Baptismal records usually 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 usually 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 usually 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?

This section provides information on how to search the collection, links to language guides, tips to aid your search, what to do with information once found, and what to do if no record is found.

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.

Search the Collection

To browse by image:
To search the collection, you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒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.

For Help Reading These Records

These records are in Russian. For help reading the records, see the following wiki articles:

What Do I Do Next?

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.

Tips to Keep in Mind

  • The information in marriage records is usually reliable, but depends upon the reliability of the informant.
  • Earlier records may not contain as much information as the records created after the late 1900.
  • There is also some variation in the information given from one marriage record to another record.

What If I Can't Find Who I'm Looking For?

  • 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.

Other Searches

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Don't overlook FHL Place Russia, Tver′ items or FHL Keyword Russia, Tver′ items in the FamilySearch Library Catalog. For other libraries (local and national) or to gain access to items of interest, see Russia 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 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. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2016. CitingТверской государственный архив, Тверь [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.