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General FHL update for Slovakia and Czech Republic

Thanks to the Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah

April 12, 2011, Bill Tarkulich

Acta Publica Registration & Usage

Czech Republic

  1. 1.       Archive filming priorities (currently filming in these four archives)

  2. a.       Trebon

  3. b.      Litomerice

  4. c.       Zamrsk

  5. d.      Opava

2.       Digitizing priorities for Czech republic towns/cities:

  1. 1.       Plzeň

  2. 2.       Opava

  3. 3.       Zámrsk

  4. 4.       Třeboň

  5. 5.       Brno

  6. 6.       Litoměřice

  7. 7.       Praha

3.       Catalog Filming Priorities (Applies to all archives with exception listed below).

  • a.        Land Records pozemkové knihy and úrbáře (Land books and Land Registers)

  • b.      Census Records – modern census – across 40-70 district archives (slow, complex process)

  • c.       Church Records

Note: this applies to all archives except Opava, which will have church records filmed first.

Note: During the Battle of the White Mountains (1620) many Protestant records were destroyed.


4.       Archives that plan to publish their own records.  Many of these will have more detailed catalog entries  than the FHL

5.       Archives that do not plan to independently publish to the web:

  • a.       Zamrsk

  • b.      Litomerice

Note:  Users will be hobbled by the deficient FHL cataloging methods. See General Cataloging decision below.

 Instructions for Acta Publica Registration and Search


1.       Church record filming concluded in October, 2010.  The remaining films are ready to be ordered as soon as the cataloging is completed.  No date given, keep checking.

2.       Digitizing the extant microfilm films requires a long wait for permission to post to the web.   Unfortunately the new priorities for digitization have changed such that this project has taken low priority, relative to projects for other countries.  Thus, whatever has been digitized may be all we have for the foreseeable future.  You will shortly be able to find everything via microfilms.


3.       Digitizing priorities for cities/large towns.  Notwithstanding the comment above, a priority order has been set for web release.  Just don’t expect anything real soon.

  • 1.       Prešov (in process)

  • 2.       Košice (in process)

  • 3.       Bratislava

  • 4.       Levoča

  • 5.       Nitra

  • 6.       Banská Bystrica

  • 7.       Bytča

4.       Civil Registration records 1895-1905 are presently being filmed, cataloged and released.  Includes 800,000 pages/images.  (Note: Slovakia privacy laws are 100 years for birth, marriage and death records. .  For Czech Rep.  70 years for marriage, death records, 100 years for births.)  I have more info on subsequent years.  Write me privately for details.

5.       3-5% of all images recorded via IGI on tape have been lost due to storage failures.  Backup is on microfilm, which they have, but this has not been confirmed, nor are there any plans to restore them.


General cataloging decision


1.       For both for Slovakia, Czech Republic  and many other countries the FHL decided not to publish town names for that volume, only the associated parish. 

a.       Example, the associated parish of Ceske Budjejovice, will only contain the years covered for a certain catalog entry, not the village names contained therein.  These villages and type of records (birth, marriage death) will be missing:   celou farnost a Dobrá Voda, Dubičné, Hlincová Hora, Hlinsko, Hrdějovice, Hůry, Jelmo, Jivno, Kaliště u Zalin, Libníč, Suché Vrbné, Třebotovice, Úsilné, Vráto

b.      So it will be necessary when looking at  FHL records to look through hundreds of volumes to find your town and years.  This could be disasterous.  If you kill the locality names, it will mean looking through dozens of books with overlapping years and no clue as to what town might be included on the volume.  The biggest problem will be with very large parishes.

c.       In the case of the Czech republic, Praha, Plzeň, and Brno archives you can revert to the archive’s separately pubilshed web site (see prior section) for the details, as the FHL catalogs will not be complete enough.  Sadly, Czech Republic archives Zamrsk and Litomerice archives are not publishing to the web, so deficient catalog entries will make your search arduous for these two archives.

d.      Not clear if this is retroactive to existing films.

e.       I do not believe the Slovakia Archives has its own web site of films with catalog entries.

2.       All document recording will be done digitally at this point forward.  No more microfilm recording.  However extant films will be maintained for the forseeable future.


 Note 1 - From the drop-down list, choose an archive, and then in the results screen always defaults to Brno.  But I’ve discovered that there is a tab, where if you choose the archive from that tab, it will give you results from the archive you want.

Appendix: Cross -Reference item for Slovakia Parishes

Cirkevne matriky na Slovensku zo 16.-19. storocia (Bratislava, MVSR, 1991). 'Church registers in Slovakia from the 16-19 centuries', a thorough source showing which archive has which church registers. Throughout Czechoslovakia, church registers were gathered into State regional archives in the 1950s. This included those up to about 1895 - the so-called 'dead' registers. This book shows the years covered and the archive in which they are located. It also has a short dictionary of terms used in parish registers and genealogy-Latin, Hungarian, and German to Slovak, and an English summary of the introduction. A terrific reference listing every village and what records exist in the archives for each. It's in Slovak, but easy to use.

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Last Update: 15 November 2020                                                    Copyright © 2003-2021, Bill Tarkulich