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Research: Austro-Hungarian Ancestors
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Austria-Hungary was formed in 1867 when the Austrian Empire and the Kingdom of Hungary agreed to unite under the House of Hapsburg, a powerful family that controlled almost all of Europe at different points in history. The dual monarchy became one of the most influential powers in Eastern Europe in the latter half of the 19th century before being dissolved in 1918 following the end of World War I. Because of this complex history, beginning the genealogy research process may seem an overwhelming task.

Whether you can trace your ancestry back to the Austrian portion, or the Hungarian half, this course will provide you with a solid foundation on which to begin your research. We will discuss, amongst other things: what resources, mainly U.S. and Canadian, can help you begin your research; how geography and border changes impact your research; what Austrian and Hungarian records are available and the historical considerations in their creation; where and how these records can be accessed digitally, on microfilm, via correspondence, or from onsite research; and language resources. We will also review strategies and tips for addressing and overcoming modern-day research challenges and obstacles.

Course Content

Module 1

Starting Your Search
Tracing Austrian & Hungarian Ancestors
• Austria-Hungary Timeline
Who controlled what?
• Austria
• Hungary
Were your ancestors really Austrian or Hungarian?
• Czech (Czechy)
• Hungarian
• Polish
• Rusyn
• Slovak
• Ukrainian
Creating a Research Plan
History & Sources for Immigration/Emigration
• Austrian Immigrants
• Hungarian Immigrants
Emigration Questions to Ask Relatives
Specific Clues to Look for in Records
• Records
Ethnic Genealogical Societies

Module 2
Getting Around the Austrian Half of the Empire
Geography’s Impact on Austrian Genealogy
• Austrian Empire
• Shifting Borders
Tools for Locating Towns & Villages
• Research to Find the Town
• Maps
• Gazetteers

Module 3
Locating Austrian Records
General Guidance
What Types of Records for Austrian Ancestors?
• Church records / Kirchenbücher or Matriken & Parish Transcripts / Kirchenbuchduplikate
• Civil Registration / Zivilstandsregister
• Cemetery Inscriptions / Friedhofsinschriften
• Inquisitions postmortem / Totenerklärungen
• Census Records / Volkszählungen
• Military Records / Militärakten
• Seigniorial records
• Land and tenancy records / Grundbücher und Prästationstabellen
• House books / Hausbücher
• Court and notarial records / Gerichts- und Notariatsakten
• City directories / Adreßbücher
• Guild and apprenticeship records / Zunft- und Lehrlingsbücher
• Burgher rolls / Bürgerbücher
• Genealogical collections / Genealogische Sammlungen und Ortssippenbücher
• Wills and estate records / Testamente und Nachlaßakten
• Guardian and ward records / Vormundschafts- und Waisenakten
• School Records / Schulmatrikel
• Tithing and tax records / Zehnt- und Zinsbücher
• Emigration records /Auswanderungsakten
• Newspapers Published in Austria
• Historical Photographs & Other Social History Resources
Reading the Records
• Translation Resources

Module 4
Getting Around the Hungarian Half of the Empire
Geography’s Impact on Austrian Genealogy
Administrative Divisions & Terminology
Tools for Locating Towns & Villages
• Research to Find the Town
• Maps
• Gazetteers

Module 5
Locating Hungarian Records
General Guidance
Record Types
• Church Registers / Anyakönyvek
• Civil Registration / Állami anyakönyvek
• Cemetery Records
• Census Records / Népszámlálás
• Military Records / Katonasági Atatok
• Other Records
Surmounting Language Barriers
• Languages & Scripts
• Other Languages

Module 6
Modern Day Research Challenges
Identifying the Missing Pieces
Visiting Archives & Other Repositories
• Online Portals
• General Guidelines for Onsite Research in Hungarian Archives
Hungarian Military Archives
• Locating & Obtaining Information
• How to Handle Missing, Destroyed, or Restricted Records
• Tips to Handle Gaps and Conflicts
Strategies for Breaking Down Brick Walls
Case Study
• How to locate records with only a general location
• Case Study Example

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