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Finding post-1895 Records in Slovakia


The 1992 Constitution provides for protections for privacy, data protection, and secrecy of communications.   The laws are for the most part harmonized with those of the European Union.  These provisions have serious implications for genealogical and family researchers.

Act no. 154/1994 as ammended details the protection of personal status (birth, marriage and death records).  The law prescribes that the registries are to be handed over to the state archives after 100 years from the last entry in the book of births, the book of marriages and the book of deaths.


Places where you are likely to find 1895+ vital records.  Will vary church-by-church

1. HUNGARY -- In the past, Hungarian parish records were filmed up to an 1895 cutoff, as defined by the Hungarian 90-year privacy law. While no church records after 1895 were allowed to be filmed, civil records are being filmed for the period of 1895-1903. Camera crews are active at Pecs and Budapest on this project.   LINK UPDATE PENDING - ORIGINAL SOURCE INACCESSIBLE.  10/20.

2. State Archives (church records) (copied by the FHL)

Records of Greek Catholic Churches closed in the 1950s (not all)

Records Villages closed or abandoned (civil and church)

Other administrative actions

Inadvertently copied by FHL (church)

3. In the Church

Left behind

GC records in Orthodox churches

4. In most cases, villages have missing sections. Individual circumstances: fire, theft, vandalism, loss


Content Notes: 8 Jul 07


Sender: Vladimir Bohinc < Subject: Re: Re: [S-R] Post-1895 Church Records Recipient: Sent Date: 2004/05/17 10:16:17 Delivered Date: 2004/05/17 10:17:28 Type: Note

Dear Bill,

I know, that you are very familiar with many things. This is why I was a bit surprised over the question "what happened to the records?".

The fact is, that in 50ties, the communists took what they could from the churches. Some churches managed to save some copies, some not. Some churches did not even have complete books, because they vanished in war or fire etc too.

But, this is so individual, that you can not say in general what happened to them.

Sovietization = Orthodixing of the Gc church was going on only in Far East of Slovakia. The rest of the churches operated more or less normally. Priests being imprisoned is a thing one would expect, since Tiso was a priest too.

Many people stopped to go to the church or had their child baptized secretly etc. But the rural population continued to go to church. They had nothing to loose.

Why would an Orthodox church want to preserve records? I am surpised over this question too. Almost every church is keeping records of what they are doing. Mambers of one church are also subject to the Church Law, so everything has to be made in a proper way.

The church needs to keep own records disregarding whether they have a legal power or not, because for example for marriages, they must know, what is the status of the spouses etc.

The priests are busy not only with ministering, but they run a company so to say. Many are involved in businesses and other activities, so they are never idle.

"The records were left behind..." is too strong. I think, that pretty much has been saved and only here and there, something is really missing. Not as a result of a planned destruction, as it was the case with military records.

I also must say, that civil records from 1896 onwards are much better than the church records. They contain much more information. If you are entitled, you have access to such data.

The thought process:

There were so many various actors here, that this would be also too much generalized.

If you want to know, what the communists thought, you must read genuine communist materials, not western comments about the subject.

If you want to know, what pro Tiso priests thought, you can read the book " Zamlcana pravda o Slovensku" and similar books. Lots of new facts from the past.

If you want to know, what priests thought I think, you will have to find a closer friend among them, who will slowly tell you more about that. They might hesitate to say that openly in a book.

While I was in Sastin, I was invited by one of the brothers of the Order there into his room and there we had our political discussions, accompanied with "the best you can find" drop.

Last week there was a Czechoslovak movie on TV, which showed, how the Slovaks (Hlinka Guard etc) were killing brother Slovaks, also women, by shooting them one by one in the neck and throwing them into chalk oven.( the suppression of SNP) The movie went pretty much into detail about that.

Many actors are still alive, so asking about the period after 1938 is a tricky thing.

The other day I called an Orthodox priest in the East for the phone number of the GC parish office. He got angry with me, telling me, that this is all the same and it is Orthodox!? He said, the GC are traitors.

Sure there was a GC office too.




-----Original Message----- From: Vladimir Bohinc [] Sent: Monday, May 17, 2004 3:59 AM To: Subject: Re: [S-R] Post-1895 Church Records

Dear Bill, I would not make this issue too big. There is no straight answer to what is in the churches and what not. If I want to know for a particular case, I call the priest. Civil records were introduced by the end of 1895, so they begin with 1896. They include everybody, disregarding religion. However, a word of caution; since we are coming into modern times ( after 1896), although somebody actually was living in on place, he may have died in another place, for example in a hospital. His death record will be in the civil records of that place and not in the place where he was living. Churches were not closed in general. Some Gc churches were forced under the Russian orthodox authority. Some priests were imprisoned. Some monasteries were closed down. So, practically all churches were still open and working. Only in those communist times, many people left religion and so one can not find their records in church books. I always rely more on civil records. Sastin has excellent books, some from before 1900. I spent several days there, studying them. However, I had a special treatment. It is not to be understood, that this parish office is like a public archive. In general it is also fact, that all priests are very busy and will hardly find time to search through books for you. They can make a certificate, if the date is known, but researching unknown mambers of the family may be too much for some. Town office has no church records. Church records are either in the archive and you have films of them, or are in the parish offices( the newer ones). If there is something missing, it is missing and there is nothing you can do. This is the case of Stara Tura RC, for example. Records in the archive are 1706-1876, and the civil ones begin with 1869. The parish office has books beginning I think with 1920 or so. No big help. Please, understand, that books like Church records are such books, that can not be kept in secrecy. If one person knows about them, shortly everyone will know. So, give up hope, that some hidden books will be found, as the genealogical legends so often suggest. Regards, Vladimir

Sender: Subject: Re: [S-R] Post-1895 Church Records Recipient: Sent Date: 2004/05/16 21:55:50 Delivered Date: 2004/05/16 21:56:14 Importance: Low Type: Note


Good question. This is just one persons experience, but I got a 1904 birth

certificate through the archives. That was 3 years ago when the Slovak Embassy

in DC would send off the information to the right archive. On their web site

they had a form you could print out, fill out, and mail to them. They would

send it to the right archive in Slovakia. They don't seem to provide that

service any more. So I suspect, knowing the town you were interested in, one

would pick the closest town that held archives. Once there, if you sent it to

the wrong archive they will forward it to the right one.

On the other hand, one time I had a form shuffled around to 3 archives. That

is when I was looking for a 1844 marriage record, though. You just have to

be sure you don't fall into their trap. They will send a letter saying they

have the requested information, but not tell you what it is. Then you send them

an international money order for about $20.00 and when they get it they write

back saying that the information you were looking was not found in that

archive. Then they pass it onto another archive, which I eventually got a letter

from. When that happened I wrote back and told them I would be happy to pay

the $20.00 if they had the information, but if they were going to send my form

all over the country, with each archive charging me $20.00, they could forget



Sender: Richard D. Custer < Subject: Re: [S-R] Post-1895 Church Records Recipient: Bill Tarkulich < Sent Date: 2004/05/17 02:39:19 Delivered Date: 2004/05/17 02:41:07 Type: Note

Bill, FYI (and FYEyesOnly):

In 2001 I visited my ancestral parish of Bodruzal, Slovakia (Greek Catholic)

and with Mick Sura's digital camera we "filmed" the metrical records which,

if I recall correctly, go from ~1910 to ~1949. (I'll have to find the CD

again where all those pix are -- right now it's MIA -- here somewhere!) I

don't know where the records from the Orthodox period (1950-1968) are. I'll

inquire again next month when I return there.


p.s. The Roman Catholic church was permitted to operate more or less

normally (well, compared to the GC church which was outright liquidated)

from 1950-1968, so I don't know why any Roman Catholic (or Protestant, for

that matter) records from that period would be in any unusual place. I

assume your inquiry about records being held by the Orthodox Church is

specific to your villages/region, anyhow rather than all of Slovakia, most

of which the Orthodox church had no presence or influence in.

Sender: Vladimir Bohinc < Subject: Re: [Slovak-World] more on names Recipient: Sent Date: 2003/05/18 09:51:31 Delivered Date: 2003/05/18 10:44:17 Type: Note

Dear Ron,

Just for your information;

- MNV is the old, communist name for what is now called Mayor's Office or

Obecny Urad.

Every Obecny Urad has records from 1895 onwards. If the village is too

small, then they are in the next larger place.

- property records will never be microfilmed for another country.



----- Original Message -----

From: "Ron Milliken" <

To: <

Sent: Sunday, May 18, 2003 6:02 AM

Subject: Re: [Slovak-World] more on names

 Actually, it was the regional archives in Presov that found those MNV

 records. I do most of my research myself, using microfilmed church  and

 census records from Slovakia, and other records in America. And I  spent

 two weeks researching in Slovakia. But I asked the archives in  Slovakia

 to try to find information I could not find myself, and they found  those

 MNV records.

  One type of record I found in Slovakia, which I don't believe is

 available on microfilm, is property records. In the village office,

 they had a book that indexed property records. In that office we  found

 the index numbers for my ancestors' property transactions. Then we had

 to go the the district office in a larger town to see the actual

 records. They even made photocopies for us. These were mostly land

 inheritance records. They were reluctant to show us the records until

 we explained that we were not interested in claiming land that may  have

 been inherited by one of my ancestors.


  kmz wrote:

   Ron, The reason I asked is because I have the same situation in my

  husband's family, g-mother (going back to about 1760+) and g-father

  going back to sometime in the early 1820/30's. Both sides

  interchanged the alias name in the church records so my next thought

  was what other records in the villages are available. I have   contacts

  with relatives in Slovakia and if I beg them enough thay may look   for

  me or else I would have to wait until I go back again. Especially in

  the father's side I can understand the need to clarify which person

  they were talking about. They even used "Mlady" in some the names

  such as (Jan Mlady Milan). I did a little survey and counted the   same

  names over four generations coming up with 30 Jans, 25 Michaels etc.

  all in different branches of the family with the same last name. If

  they were mixed up on who was who we certainly are too.



  -------Original Message-------

  From: Ron Milliken <

  Sent: 05/16/03 06:18 PM


  Subject: Re: [Slovak-World] more on names


   These are records of the MNV (local national committee) in the    village

  office in Zbudske Dlhe and the regional office in Koskovce, villages

  north of Humenne. They state that the name Majernik was a nickname   for

  the name Brasko, because there were several Brasko families in the area.

  The official request was to clean up records and remove the name


    I have found many records of my ancestors in which the surname was

  written "Brasko alias Majernik" or "Majernik alias Brasko".   Sometimes

  the word "alias" was abbreviated "as". Some of the children were

  baptized "Brasko" and some "Majernik", in the same family, so the   word

  "alias" was really taken literally, "another name for". Both names

  seemed to be treated equally. For this family, the alias names go   back

  to the mid 1800's. My great-grandmother used the alias name Majernik   on

  her immigration records to the USA in 1900, although she more often   used

  the name Brasko in America. The use of alias names in this region of

  Slovakia seemed to be pervasive. Paul Brasko's first wife was Maria

  Krivjancsin alias Ihnat, and his third wife was Maria Jablonsky   alias

  Gergely. Looking through the records of several villages in the   region,

  I found widespread use of alias names.

    The use of alias names seemed to be limited to my Slovak ancestors   and

  not my Rusyn ancestors. I don't know it this is just a coincidence. 


  kmz wrote:  

  Ron, What official record were you looking at when you saw the



     -------Original Message-------

  From: Ron Milliken <

  Sent: 05/15/03 11:51 PM


  Subject: Re: [Slovak-World] more on names

  I found two official records where my ancestors were requesting a


  to remove the alias or nickname from the old records. The request

  explains that the nickname Majernik was once used because there   were

  many families named Brasko in the village. In one record, the   nickname

  was called "Brasko a prezyvkov Majernik", and in the other record   the

  nickname Majernik was called a "prezyvka (vulga)".



  Vladimir Bohinc wrote:

     Priezvisko is last name

  Priezivka is alias


     ----- Original Message -----

  From: "Ron Milliken" <

  To: <

  Sent: Wednesday, May 14, 2003 5:17 AM

  Subject: Re: [Slovak-World] more on names


  Could you explain the difference between prezvisko and priate meno?

  Is   either the same as an "alias", or "farm" name? I know that   sometimes

  the alias family name eventually, over generations, becomes the

family   name, and the previous family name is dropped from usage.



  William C. Wormuth wrote:

  We refer to the nicknames as prezvisko, rather than priate meno.







  William F Brna wrote:

Hi Bill,

Yes, in 1895 "civil registration" was instituted by the Magyar

government. Then, about 1950, the Czechoslovakia gov't mandated that

all the church records from "1900 and earlier" get into the archives.

We have seen many variations from that. In some cases, only records

earlier than 1889 made it in. In some cases, records as late as 1940

made it in. Technically, we should not have microfilm access to records

from post-1900 due to privacy laws, but it happens. And in some cases,

some records for a period of time are just missing. Just don't depend

on it.

So, 1897, will be a tricky time. Best estimates are a useful tool.

Just be certain to state that's your estimate, then also give a

plausible range of years. They could either be in the offices or the


I was lucky. My cousins went to the village office (they call it a

"registry") and since my cousin's wife works there, copied down

everything she wanted, from (in this case) 1895 to present.

So, I don't know if there is a fee - Vladimir Bohnic will know better.

But certainly it is wise to offer to pay a "fee". I have also learned

to be specific about what you want, lest they forget important things

like maiden names or birth dates. I once had a priest in Scanton do

that to me. It was like deliberate omission. So each time I'd write,

send another donation. Most certainly include IRC (International Reply

Coupons) so they can correspond without paying for postage.

Don't forget when you write, to tell them why you want the info. Many

people think you're after the family farm. Do you need a translator?

I know plenty of people who have written and been sucessful.

Good Luck!


Records post-1895 are not usually in the archives, though sometimes they end up there for administrative reasons. Post 1895 records are in the village offices. You will need to write the office (or find someone to go for you) demonstrate your relationship. They are subject to the privacy laws of Slovakia. You can only copy records of your relatives, that's one reason why they won't let you copy an entire page, unlike the archives.

"Missing records" for our region may be found at the Satoraljaujhely, Hungary archives. Several researchers have found copies there. You'll need someone to visit the archives for you. They probably need to speak a little Magyar too. This is no guarantee, just the only other place we've found records.

Local Greek Catholic churches only have current records (1989+). Since the GK church had been shutdown, all the records were transferred to archives, even if the Orthodox took over their building. Sometimes the local office has the records 1895-1950, but that is a crap shoot. ----

You have a few options for post-1895 records: 1. Write (in Slovak) to the mayor and see if he is willing to do anything. 2. Find family in/near Nove Zamky and ask them to personally visit the village office and see what they can do or know. 3. Hire a researcher to gumshoe in Nove Zamky on your behalf.

Sender: Richard D. Custer < Subject: Re: Re: [S-R] Post-1895 Church Records Recipient: Bill Tarkulich < Sent Date: 2004/05/18 00:20:04 Delivered Date: 2004/05/18 00:20:18 Type: Note

Hi Bill,

I guess by "normally" I didn't mean to imply there wasn't persecution. It's

just that officially, the RCC continued to exist albeit not without

restrictions on its place in society. For example, as far as I know the RCC

was not permitted to operate any schools. (Esp. since the socialist state

school system was a primary means of indoctrination to the principles of

socialism!) And I'm sure much church property was seized. However, the

parish churches were not closed and were permitted to operate, unlike the GC

parish churches, all of which were turned over carte blanche to the Orthodox

Church. I guarantee no RC property, even in eastern Slovakia, was turned

over to the Orthodox Church.




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