Saturday, September 24, 2011

The newest registries in archives, part I

This post is focused on the youngest registries which are available in the archives. The timespan of these registries can be set from 1840 to 1910, in some cases 1930. Parish records contain the largest amount of information during this period and the structure of the records is quite strictly set.

As it is always better to show examples, I have extracted some records from the SRA Třeboň and MZA Brno website to show you how the records look like. As I have chosen records from the end of 19th century, I have decided not to transcribe and translate them (all are in Czech). I'll use them later to show you the structure of information about parents in the records. And if you want, you can try to read and translate it for yourself as an exarcise.

Birth records
There is birth record from Babice nad Svitavou parish taken as an example. It's birth and christening of Julie Havlíčková from Řicmanice from 1898, one of the villages under Babice parish administration. 

Roman-catholic parish Babice nad Svitavou, birth registry 1888-1899, page 48 (MZA Brno) 

This record is very new and therefor quite easy to read. It's in Czech, the column content is described at the top of the column both in Czech and German. The information which had to be contained in the registry was strictly set. As you can see, the registry has following columns:
  • date of birth and christening, name of the priest
  • place of birth (house number)
  • name of child, midwife, notes
  • information about sex, status (legitimate/illegitimate)
  • father, his parents, his religion (thin column)
  • mother, her parents, her religion (thin column)
  • godfather and godmother
Sometimes the religion was included as the first of the thin columns after the name of child containing info about sex and status. There are also notes about parents' dates of birth - this is quite often in case of registry from the turn of 19th and 20th century, but very rare in previous registries.

Marriage records
Again, the information which has to be included is strictly set. Here is marriage record from Radkov parish (MZA Brno) from 1896:

Roman-catholic parish Radkov, marriage registry 1784-1908, village Strachoňovice, page 52 (MZA Brno)

The information included in marriage records from 2nd half of 19th century and 1st half of 20th century is: 
  • date of marriage, priest who married the couple
  • residence of groom
  • groom, information about his parents
  • (thin colums) his religion, age, status (single/widowed)
  • residence of bride
  • bride, information about her parents
  • (thin columns) her religion, age, status
  • witnesses of the marriage
  • notes about documents etc. at the bottom of the record
 The structure is quite clear. There were just two "types" of religion - catholic and non-catholic. Age was stated in years, sometimes there were also months mentioned, very rarely also date of birth. 

Death records
The columns of birth and marriage registries have quite often the same sorting in different parishes. The situation is a bit different in case of death registries. However the information included in them have to be the same all over Bohemia and Moravia. Here is one example from Paračov parish (SRA Třeboň) from 1896: 

Roman-catholic parish Paračov, death registry 1861-1929, village Radějovice, page 16 (SRA Třeboň)

There is quite many information included in this record. Here are the columns: 
  • order of the record in that year
  • date of death and burial
  • which priest buried the deceased
  • name of the deceased and information about him
  • residence of the deceased
  • (thin columns) religion, sex, status (single, married, widowed)
  • age (years, months, days)
  • cemeter where is the deceased buried
  • cause of death
  • priest who provided the deceased with the last unction (and when)
Well, quite a lot of info. We know on which cemetery the deceased was buried so if we are interested we can go and try to take a look for his grave. :o)


  1. Hi Dr. Bill, thanks for warm welcome! I think I'll share the ancestor stories time to time just because I can't stop myself to do so. ;)

  2. So far on the Brno Archives site, I have found only what I think are Death Indexes which do not provide as much info as the Birth and Marriage records that I've looked at. I hope to soon find complete Death entry records such as you describe above. Thanks.