Tracing your Ancestors in Vienna - Some Guidelines

In order to search for a person the complete name and an additional distinguishing mark is needed (date of birth, address at a given time).

A service of the Municipal and Provincial Archives of Vienna

The pursuit of familiy history demands a step by step approach, beginning with familiy tradition and documents and passing on to main and then to supplementary record sources. The most succesful way to use records is to consult the main sources first, working backwards in time from the most recent information to establish a framework which can be filled in from supplementary sources.

With very vew exceptions private documents are not kept in our Archives. Photographs for passports are not archived.

Records on people in Vienna

The Municipial and Provincial Archives of Vienna only keep records of Viennese inhabitants and not of inhabitants of the other Austrian provinces! If your ancestors stated "Austria" as their nation of origin, they did not necessarily come from within the boundaries of modern Austria. They came from the Habsburg empire, a multi-national, multi-ethnic conglomerate. The records of the former crownlands and parts of the Austrian empire are now in the archives of the modern states.

Online Databases

Alot of information on people in Vienna is already available online.

To avoid misunderstandings, it is necessary to use the European style of day, month and year. Spell out the name of the month and write the year in full. For example, write 10 december 1889 or 10-12-1889, but not 12-10-89.

How to find birth, marriage or death certificates

In Austria there is no central register where you can find persons by name. Civil registration of birth, marriages and deaths was introduced in Austria in 1938. Before this year the registers were kept by the religious communities (parishes), which are still keeping these documents and data in their own archives. Generally you have to know your ancestors religious affiliation and - if your ancestors were of the catholic faith - the parish they came from.

Applications should be sent to:

How to find coroner records

We have an almost complete register of the coroner records in Vienna from 1648 up to (and including) the year 1938. These are in chronological order and only partly indexed. A promising search demands the exact year of death.

How to find probate records

We have probate records for the period between 1783 and, approximately, 1960. To find a probate record, you would need several specifications: name, year of death, last address (only after 1850).

How to find an address

How to find military records

Further steps

Contact for this page:
Municipal and provincial archives of Vienna (Municipal Department 8)
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