Opava Land Archives, Czech Republic Church Records
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Church books from the Opava Land Archives that cover the time period approximately 1650-1900 were digitized and are available on-line.
Go to: http://vademecum.archives.cz
To enter the database click anywhere on the book image. You may choose the Czech, German or English language by clicking on the cs|en|de characters in the upper right corner. You do not need to use diacritics when searching for the locality.
Online lesson Using Online Czech Records: Land Archives in Opava will teach you how to use the Opava archive online record collection.
These records are also being posted gradually on the FamilySearch website. To access the database click here.
Church books contain baptisms (birth), marriage, and burial (death) information and are definitely the best source for identifying one’s relatives in the Czech Republic.
Entries are usually arranged in chronological order and, after 1784, in a columnar format. Sometimes, baptisms, marriages, and burials are kept all for all villages in a parish, for each year. Other times, each village has its own section of baptisms, marriages, and burials, listed chronologically. Some records are in preprinted forms.
Most records include indexes. Czech church records are usually in one of three languages: Czech, German, or Latin.
While the books have been kept to the present, they are only available for research through 1905 because of privacy laws. The church books cover a majority of the population.
To read more about the records description click on the following link:
Baptismal entries usually contain the following:
- names of the child, parents, godparents, and sometimes grandparents
- date and place of birth and baptism
- residence and religion of the parents
- whether the child was legitimate or illegitimate
Marriage entries usually contain the following:
- names of the bride, groom, their parents, witnesses, and sometimes grandparents
- date and place of marriage
- residence and religion of the bride and groom
- age, previous marital status, and occupation of bride and groom
Burial entries usually contain the following:
- names of the deceased and spouse/parents
- date and place of death and burial
- residence and religion of the deceased
- age and cause of death of the deceased
To read more about the records content click on the following link:
How to access the records online
Click on the following link to access digital images of the original parish records created by local priests of each parish:
Follow the instructions on the screen.
Finding aid for the online records
Finding records in this collection for a particular village can be difficult and time consuming. This link leads to a page where researchers can leave notes for finding individual villages: