Saturday, September 17, 2011

Which parish (and archives) to search?

The most important source for everyone who is researching Czech ancestry are the registries (parish books). Every village was a part of a parish since the middle ages and every parish is stored in some archives, so first of all you need to know to which parish (and archives) the village of your ancestors belonged to. 

How to determine it? The best site I've ever found is Mr. Gundacker's It's available in English and the most important part of all is the Gazeteer. You'll have to create an account to access the information on the website, but believe me, it's worth it. When you get the login information and you are signed in, you'll see Gazeteer in the left menu: 

You can search for the location in the main "window" after clicking on Gazeteer in menu. You can put there only a part of the village name so if you are not sure about the spelling, you will see more possibilities in the search results. I've searched for village Chlistovice (thanks, Coodi!) and put there only "chlistovic". Here is the result - you can see former village name, current village name, parish under which the village belonged, and crown land it was in: 

Then I've clicked the Details icon and I got detailed information about the village - since when the registries exist and in which archives they are stored: 

Now I know that I have to take a look into Prague archives (see Czech Archives on Internet for the link), Bykan (correct Czech version is Bykáň) parish to see if my ancestors were from this village called Chlistovice or from the second one the search engine showed me. 

It's also possible to search for the villages directly on the archives websites. Unfortunatelly it's always not that easy as in case of GenTeam. Almost every archives has different system of searching for the village and parish. Anyway those archives which are not available in English, will be described here in future, so the "how to search for the village" part will be included there.


  1. Thank you for starting this blog. My husband's paternal grandfather (Petranek) is from Velim/Kolin, and his paternal grandmother (Mlynar) is from Pecin/Rychnov nad Kneznou. With the excellent assistance of my husband's cousin, we have found thousands of records for the Mlynar line in the Zamrsk Archives. We are in the process of extracting information and compiling our family tree. I look forward to your future posts.

  2. Does this include Wildstein? I am very new to this..........thank you.


  3. Hi Dolores, I suppose Wildstein is Skalná in Czech (see map: ). It is parish Skalná, which belongs under Pilsen archives. Unfortunately this parish is not yet available online.

  4. Hi Blanka,
    I am intriqued by your blog, and also confused...not too sure where I am to search for Josef Kepka from Dirka Mill. Can you give me some suggestions on that? I may not be able to do the searching as is explained in your blog.
    Thank you for all of your research for our Kepka line. I highly recommend anyone that is in need of a genealogist to contact you. Again, thank you so much.

  5. My first Bohemian venture led me to Czech Republic, Děčín, Verneřice, Verneřice, church records where I found the birth/baptism record of my great grandfather. I can’t find the marriage record for his parents Florian Krombholz and Maria Anna Muller. My problem now is finding parish records from nearby parishes but outside of Vernerice (formerly Wernstadt). Also are there confirmation records to be found?

  6. Hi Blanka,
    You are greatly appreciated for all the work you put into helping others find their ancestors!
    I was able to create a GenTeam account. Our family came from the Village of Kostice in Moravia and were Catholic, so I believe the parish records were from Tvrdonice. Am I correct in assuming those records are not online yet (I searched under Roman Catholic Indices and didn't find the Tvrdonice Parish listed)? What would be the best way to continue to search for our Vališ Family roots? Any advice is appreciated!