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 "Čeština" for Czech or "Deutsch" for German in the upper right corner of the screen. To begin your search for parish registers click on "Matriky" on the left side of the screen.
How to search
There are following search criteria:
- Archiv - leave at default
- Nadpis - leave blank
- Místo - type the locality name
- Text - leave blank
Leave type of register "Typ matriky" at default (-cokoli-) if you want to see all registers. However, if you want to see specific register make an appropriate selection:
- Matrika narozených - Birth register
- Matrika oddaných - Marriage register
- Matrika zemřelých - Death register
- Index narozených - Birth index
- Index oddaných - Marriage index
- Index zemřelých - Death index
- Od roku - beginning year
- Do roku - ending year
Click on "Hledat" or Search button to display the list of registers available for the locality. Choose the register (* for births, oo for marriages and + for deaths). Click on the magnifying glass symbol in the last column under "Obr.data" to browse the images. If you do not see the symbol, the images are not yet available.
Choose "Sčítání lidu" tab for censuses.
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.