Researching Your Austrian Ancestors

Prior to 1918 Austria was part of the once vast Austrian-Hungarian empire. The Austria of today is much smaller than that of the 19th century. If your ancestor came from Austria, the first question is "Where is Austria as it was when?" One important clue may be found in the 1910 census, if your family was in this country at that time. One question on the census asks the language spoken and that can give some clues as to the local jurisdiction. Your first goal should be to pin down that place name of origin. Once you find records, they may be in any one of a number of languages. Civil Registration in current day Austria did not begin until 1939, although there are some exceptions.

1914 Map of the Austro-Hungarian Empire


Books, articles, CD's, Tapes etc.
On the Web.

Austria Sacra (details church recrods available throughout the present day country; one volume covers protestant churches ) It may be difficult to locate a complete set in the United States. Once you narrow down the diocese you need, a librarian can help you locate libraries that own that particular volume.

Senekovic. Handy Guide to Austrian Genealogical Records. 1979 --covers present day Austria (out of print ) (find in a library)

"Austria" in The Library pp. 553-559 (out of print, but available in the CD Ancestry Reference Library)

CD Rom Map Collection for Austria Hungary (review)

Historical Atlas of Central Europe

Audio tapes from talks at genealogy conferences and seminars with Austria in the title.

Professional Researchers who will research in Austria:
* Roger Minert (resume)

There isn't a Research Outline for Austria at --let's hope they remedy that soon! They suggest you use the German Letter Writing Guide .

When searching the IGI online you can limit your search to the region Continental Europe countryAustria, but if you are researching for people living there in pre 1918 boundaries, you may also have to search these countries:

  • Czechoslovakia (for individuals in the former crownlands of Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia)
  • Poland (for individuals in the Western Galicia)
  • USSR (for individuals in Eastern Galicia and the northern part of Bukovina)
  • Yugoslavia (for individuals from the Crownlands of Carniola and Dalmatia, and the annexed areas of Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Italy (for individuals from Trieste, part of Syria and the southern half fo Tyrol)
  • Hungary (for individuals from Slovakia, Ruthenia and Transylvania).
  • Romania, Hungary or Yugoslavia for individuals from the present area of Banat
  • Yugoslavia or Hungary for individuals from Croatia, Slavonia and Fiume.
  • ... and some pre-1918 Austrian areas that are now in other countries do appear in the Austrian IGI.

Check the Family History Catalog to see what is available for Austria. Click the "See Related Places" button, upper right to view the geographic subdivisions used for Austria. The catalog will contain entries for pre-and post-1918 boundaries. The filming of parish registers, so imporant to European researchers, has lagged behind for Austria because of difficulties getting permission to film them.

Click the flag to see what is available at the World GenWeb for Austria This site covers the current provinces, but scroll on the front page down links to appropriate pages for former provinces.

View Austria maps in the University of Texas Library's Perry Castaneda map collection.

The Jewish Gen ShtetlSeeker allows you to search for Central and East Europe towns by name, then find proximate towns.

Austrian National Archives (in English) -- but I couldn't find any page that gave information about genealogical research

Austrian State Archives offers English pages.

The site for the Budapest City Archives has some pages in English. To find them, type in the words important holdings in the Keresés: box in the upper right. At present there are 19 results.

Catholic Church in Austria -- to locate current and historical Dioceses; includes addresses and web links.
Another helpful site is Local Catholic Church Family History and Genealogy: Austria. --it's a long page; keep scrolling.

German Genealogy: Austria

Introduction to Austrian Military Records.

Read and post messages at the Austria message boards.... be sure to open the povinces folder.

U.S. Embassy: Genealogical Research in Austria

Institute for Historical Family Research (in English) Look especially for these pages.

The website for the Southern Waldviertel Family History Project offers several helpful pages.

Beginner's Guide to Austrian Jewish Genealogy

Tracing Your Ancestors in Vienna

Genealogical Research in Lower Austria

Austro-Hungarian Empire 1814-1918

From Heritage Quest Magazine:

The Federation of Eastern European Genealogy Societies says that there is no Austrian genealogy society in North America and offer an Austro-Hungarian cross index to current societies from current jurisdictions.

Index to Austrian / Hungarian History and Royalty

Austro-Hungarian Genealogy (mostly Hungarian)

German Genealogy: Habsburg Empire provides links to information on the area as it was from 1814-1918.

Cyndi's List: Austria Austria Genealogy Links

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This page last updated Thursday, November 1, 2007 12:44 PM