25 Essential Websites for Austro-
Lisa A. Alzo lists the top sites for tracing your austro-hungarian roots
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It used to be that if you had ancestors who came from any of the countries that once encompassed the massive Austro-Hungarian Empire, you would be hard-pressed to find anything useful online.
Thankfully, the expansion of databases and information on the Internet has opened up the world to genealogists, and those with Austro-Hungarian roots are no exception. While researchers should understand that many of the traditional methods for obtaining information may still need to be pursued, there are a number of very good websites out there to help make the research process a little less daunting.
This article covers 25 essential websites specific to Austro-Hungarian research. For the novices out there, some of these sites may serve as a place to get started. For the more experienced researchers, perhaps a few of the sites listed may be ones you haven’t heard about or visited that can help to get you through those pesky brickwalls.
1. EastEuropeGenWeb Project
The EastEuropeGenWeb Project is an online data repository for queries, family histories and source records, as well as being a resource center to identify other online databases and resources to assist researchers. It is the regional branch of the WorldGenWeb Project. You’ll find this site easy to navigate: Alphabetically by country with the project coordinator name listed. You will want to begin your search by exploring the country websites. Each of the hosted countries maintains a system for submitting queries, so you’ll want to utilize the country-specific query board, if available.
2. Federation of Eastern European Family History Societies (FEEFHS)
This site should be one of the first stops for anyone researching ancestors from Eastern and Central Europe. The FEEFHS website provides an extensive online “map room”, a collection of unique surname databases and other links.
3. Radix — Genealogical Research in Hungary www.bogardi.com/gen/index.shtml
This website is dedicated to genealogy research in Hungary and it aims at helping family historians find out more about their Hungarian ancestry. Key
available resources include: Industry and trade directory of Hungary in 1891, a searchable 1913 gazetteer of Hungary, a listing of most common Hungarian surnames, an online forum and a link to the Hungarian genealogy blog called Radixlog.
Often, people of Eastern European descent will discover they have Jewish roots, and even if you don’t, this website is definitely worth a look! Along with a variety of databases and other useful links, the site includes ShtetlSeeker, which enables you to search for towns in Central and Eastern Europe, using exact spelling or the Daitch-Mokotoff Soundex system.
5. Steve Morse
A collection of online forms used to search certain genealogical databases in “One-Step”. The most notable is “Searching the Ellis Island Database in One Step”, which enables researchers to mine data from the Ellis Island Database. Users can choose “sounds like” search criteria for first and last names, as well as town name and define a number of other more specific parameters. This is especially helpful for locating the often misspelled Eastern European surnames and towns/ villages.
Many immigrants from the Austro-Hungarian Empire departed from Hamburg, Germany. For a long time, the index to these records (1850-1934) has been available on microfilm through the Family History Library. The “Link to Your Roots” database (Hamburg State Archives) allows online searching of the emigration lists (1890-1906). The initial search can be performed for free, but the results show only minimal details (in text format, not digitized images): Surname, First Name, State of Origin, Marital Status, Date of Birth and Destination. For a fee, based on the number of records ordered and payable by credit card, you can see other details, such as the name of the ship and date of arrival.
7. Bremen Passenger Lists
Bremen was another frequent port of departure for immigrants who hailed from countries once part of Austria or Hungary. Unfortunately, with the exception of 2,953 passenger lists for the years 1920-39, all other lists were either lost or destroyed. You can search the database free of charge, and obtain such details as Family Name, First name(s), Sex, Age, Place of Residence, Nationality, Profession and Destination.
8. The Czechoslovak Genealogical Society International (CGSI)
The society serves to promote Czechoslovak genealogical research and interest among people with ancestry in the Czechoslovak region, as it was in 1918, including families of Czech, Bohemian, Moravian, Slovak, German, Hungarian, Jewish, Rusyn and Silesian origin.
9. Polish Genealogical Society of America
Those searching Polish ancestors will want to visit this site for numerous finding aids, databases, record indexes and other information related to Polish genealogy.
10. PolishRoots: The Polish Genealogy Source
A very informative Polish genealogical site for tracing your Polish ancestry. Check out the extensive databases, maps, heraldry, cultural and historical information, Polish forums and much more!
This easy-to-navigate website offers information on Halychyna/ Eastern Galicia, a region that is often misunderstood or ignored in North America. This site should be the starting point for anyone researching their ancestral roots in Western Ukraine/Eastern Galicia. Many of the pages will be useful for Polish researchers of Western Galicia, as well.
12. The Bukovina Society of the Americas
A useful site for anyone searching for their Bukovina roots. There’s a genealogy and contacts page with contact information about Bukovina genealogy researchers along with their list of ancestral names and locations, a families/villages section with information about Bukovina villages, a culture and customs section including articles about cultural traditions practiced by Bukovina people, a Map Room with Bukovina maps and more!
This website provides many links for Slovenian genealogy, including sources of genealogical data, research methods and resources, archives in the FHL and in Slovenia, information on the Slovenian Genealogical Society, a collection of family trees and more.
14. Hungary Lookups
Part of the HungaryGenWeb on RootsWeb.com. Includes lists of reference books, lookups and names of translation volunteers.
15. Behind the Name
Users can find the etymology and history of first names on this website including Hungarian, Polish, Slovene, Czech and Slovak, and other Eastern European names. There are also message boards, interactive polls and a name translator, where you can type a first name into the search box and select a language in which to “translate” the name. For example, type in “John” and select Hungarian to get “János”.
16. Genealogical Research in Austria www.usembassy.at/en/embassy/cons/genealog.htm
A helpful page from the US Embassy in Austria. The American Embassy does not maintain any historical or immigration records, and it cannot undertake genealogical research in Austria. The website does, however, list resources researchers might be able to consult for desired information.
17. The Carpatho-Rusyn Knowledge Base
A useful resource to
consult for anyone of Carpatho-Rusyn ancestry. Visitors may also want to check out The Carpatho-Rusyn Society, www.carpathorusynsociety.org, a non-profit organization dedicated to manifesting Carpatho-Rusyn culture in the United States and supporting Rusyn culture in the homeland in East Central Europe.
18. Church Record Translations
This site is an excellent resource for anyone who needs to translate birth, marriage and death records from Hungarian, Latin or Slovak.
This site consists of 3,500 pages of more than 30,000 Genealogy Links that serve as a good portal site for information from Eastern European countries and the links are indexed geographically (e.g. Albania, Austria, Belarus, etc.
20. Research in Ukraine and Belarus
“The Gateway to Genealogy in Russia”. Provides links to state archives, genealogy resources, heritage and history, and much more!
21. Eastern Slovakia Genealogy
A very informative set of web pages that aid English-speaking researchers of immigrants from Eastern Slovakia and surrounding areas. There is a particularly useful page on Hungarian Census Records, www.iabsi.com/gen/public/CensusMain.htm.
22. Immigrant History Research Center (University of Minnesota) www.ihrc.umn.edu
This is a great online reference site for the American immigrant experience. The Center’s collection is particularly strong in its documentation of eastern, central, and southern European ethnic groups.
23. About.com Genealogy by Country Europe
A site to help guide the research process for European ancestors. Utilize links to free genealogy databases, records and resources for tracing your family tree in Europe. Browse by country or explore genealogy resources encompassing all of Europe (Austria, Germany, Poland, Ukraine, among others).
24. Austrian Genealogy Research Links
Insformative site with numerous links for Austrian genealogy, including an Austrian genealogy forum, Austrian mailing lists, phonebooks, a large surname list, Austrian genealogy queries and much more!
25. Hungary Genealogy Links
Numerous links for anything related to Hungarian genealogy, including: Hungary GenWeb created to help researchers find local resources and reference information, Hungary Message Board to share your Hungarian genealogy with other researchers, Hungarian & Slovak Genealogy, Hungarian Settlers in Canada; 1897 Hungarotips Genealogy List database of Hungarian researchers and their research, Hungarian Jewish Genealogy, Hungarian Cemeteries, Census and Military records and other links.
The above list is really just a taste of the many websites that can assist you with your research. Undoubtedly, additional sites will find their way online in the future, so check the major genealogy blogs, the FEEFHS website and your favorite search engines frequently to find out what’s new.
With so many sites to explore, the Internet can be a gateway to your ancestral homeland.