FHL Resources |
Holding Updates |
FHL Pilot |
Church Records In Slovakia
This page describes digital image resources available from
the Family History Library web site.
Slovakia Church Records
Beginning in October, 2009, the
Family History Library introduced for the first time to the web the
availability of Slovakia church book images, which previously were only
accessible on microfilm. Church books traditionally hold parishoner
records of baptism, marriage and death. This bold new step allows
many researchers who previously may not have been able
to travel to a Family History Library to view microfilm. This includes
those who live in regions and countries of the world with no nearby access
to a Family History Center. A few simple clicks of the mouse
allow you to view on your desktop records that were previously seen only by
a few. The new facility employs a state of the art image viewer which
can zoom and rotate the image and save copies of the image to your local
Work is initially limited to Presov
regional archive records. New records are being added daily. If you are familiar
with the Ellis Island Site, you will find it to be a similar but superior
Initial Slovakia Availability
The first records published include the
previously-microfilmed church record holdings of the Presov Archive. This is
a boom to genealogy researchers, since the largest portion of immigrants to
the US and Canada came from this region. These records include catalog
entries with both Slovak (present-day) and Magyar "Hungarian" (pre-1918)
village names. The records are organized first by village, then by
religion, and finally by holding.
Czech Church Records
Church records from the Czech Republic began to be posted
to the FHL Pilot system in the year 2009. This is the first time Czech
records have been recorded by the FHL and are being brought online.
Unlike the Slovakia records, there are no microfilm equivalents. For
the Czech records, the image is digitally "photographed" in the archive and
posted directly to the web. Presently records in the Litomerice, Opava
and Trebon Archives are being recorded. These represent the former
provinces of Northern Bohemia, Northern Moravia and Southern Bohemia.
These records are being added to on a daily basis, in some cases
Here is a quick outline on how to access and view the
records. The FHL site is clean, simple and intuitive to operate.
If you have been holding back on the purchase of a large-screen monitor,
this may be the excuse you need.
1. Begin at the
2. Select "Browse our record collections"
3. Select "Europe" from the drop-down, or click on the
4. Scroll to the very bottom
5. Select the country of interest:
“Slovakia, Presov Region
Church Books” - you have two choices – working with the old Magyar
(“Hungarian) names, or with the present-day Slovakia records.
Either one takes you to the same set of records. If you are unsure
of the name, try them both.
Czech Republic - Select the archive or region of
View and Select the Religion
7. View and Select the Village
8. View and select the type of records of interest
(marriages, baptisms, or deaths)
9. An Adobe Flash rendering of the
scanned pages will start.
10. Navigate pages with the “Image” number or left/right
The FHL has embraced the concept of Wikipedia "Wiki", an
online encyclopedia, jointly authored by the FHL and open for editing by the
web community (you and me). Entries exist for:
Note on record date range
I received a "heads up" note from the chief
Slovak/Czech Cataloguer at the FHL about an upcoming FHL directive that may
impact your research. Please read this carefully. You may want to turn up
the heat on your FHL research activity. The summary below is my own, based
on a conversation tonight.
FHL Electronic Slovakia Record Access
Family History Library – Slovak State Archive FHL
Patron Access Policy Update
FHL agreement with the Slovak State Archives is to film only up to 1895. In many cases, the microfilm records extend beyond 1895,
sometimes as late as the 1950s.
September 30, 2009, the FHL Slovakia negotiator has directed the FHL Catalog
team to remove any post-1895 records from the new, electronic image catalog
system “Record Search Pilot”. Because the process is extremely laborious,
the catalog, this will be occurring slowing over the course of the next
You should also note the following:
1) Extant village microfilms which contain post-1895
records will not be removed, the editing effort deemed to be Herculean.
2) All new records that are “filmed” will be stored
electronically only. No new microfilms. (There appear to have been
some exceptions as of May 2010, so treat this as a general rule).
3) The indices (I call them “card-catalogs”) for
electronic records and microfilm/microfiche records will remain separate for
the foreseeable future.
WHAT THIS MEANS TO THE RESEARCHER
a) If the village of your interest contains post-1895
records and are contained in the current online “Pilot” collection, the
post-1895 entries will only be viewable for the next few months.
b) If you are lucky, and your village is already on
microfilm, any post-1895 records, can still be found on microfilm both now
and in the future.
c) Any new village records not previously microfilmed
will be put into the Pilot system only and will not contain records beyond
d) When you are looking for village records, you must
separately consult two indices: The Microfilm/microfiche Index and the Pilot
In summary, post-1895 records, if available, will only be
on microfilm, after the online purge is completed. You have a short
opportunity right now to view post-1895 online.
(only the index is online. View the films in person.)
For more information on using the Pilot Index