Plzeň Regional Archives, Czech Republic Church Records
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Plzeň Regional Archive is in the process of digitizing parish registers and making them available through the digital archive.
Go to: http://www.portafontium.cz/
You may choose either Czech or German by clicking on "Cestina" for Czech or "Deutsch" for German in the upper right corner of the screen. To begin your search for parish registers click on Vyhledávání at the top of the screen or click on "Matriky" on the left side of the screen.
How to search
You will see a search box. Under Obec or Gemeinde type the locality. As you type a selection appears below, you may now select a locality from the list. Click the Hledat or Suchen button to display the list of records available for the locality. Choose the register type and time frame you wish to search. Click on the magnyfying glass symbol in the last column under Obr.data or Bilddaten to browse the images. If you do not see the symbol, the images are not yet available.
- Narození or Geborene-baptisms
Oddaní or Vertrauene-marriages
Zemřelí or Gestorbene-deaths
- If you put your cursor over the number next to the Obce a list of villages included in that register will be displayed.
Church books contain baptism (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.
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
Click here to access the inventory of the parish registers that is now published online.