Source Information Vienna, Austria, Catholic Church Registers, 1600-1960 [database on-line]. Lehi, Utah, USA: Operations, Inc., 2019.
Original data: Archiv der Erzdiözese WienKatholische Kirchenbücher. WienÖsterreich.

About Vienna, Austria, Catholic Church Registers, 1600-1960

About the Vienna, Austria, Catholic Church Registers, 1600-1960

General collection information

This collection contains registers from Catholic parishes in Vienna, Austria, and surrounding communities between 1600 and 1960. The time periods covered by individual record sets vary although the majority of the registers are from the 18th and 19th centuries. The registers contain information about births, baptisms, marriages, deaths, and burials. The earlier church registers are written in Latin and later records were kept in German.

Using this collection

The following information may be found in the registers:

  • Name
  • Residence
  • Age at event
  • Names of parents
  • Date and place of birth
  • Baptism details
  • Bride's maiden name
  • Details about spouse
  • Date and place of wedding
  • Date and place of death and burial
  • Most baptisms occur shortly after birth, but some parishioners may have been baptized as adults if they converted to Catholicism.

    If you don't speak German, knowing a few common words can aid in your search:

  • Getauft is German for "baptized."
  • Geburt is German for "birth."
  • Ehe is German for "marriage."
  • Tod is German for "death."
  • Tochter von is German for "daughter of."
  • Sohn von is German for "son of."
  • Mutter is German for "mother."
  • Vater is German for "father."
  • Ehefrau is German for "wife."
  • Ehemann is German for "husband."
  • Knowing some common Latin phrases will help you to explore these records:

  • Nomen is Latin for "name."
  • Renatus est is Latin for "was baptized" or "reborn."
  • Natus est is Latin for "was born."
  • Conjuncti sunt is Latin for "were married." Copulati sunt or intronizati sunt may also be used.
  • Mortuus est is Latin for "died." Obitus est, defunctus est, or denatus est may also be used.
  • Filia is Latin for "daughter."
  • Filius is Latin for "son."
  • Mater is Latin for "mother."
  • Pater is Latin for "father."
  • Uxor is Latin for "wife."
  • Vir is Latin for "husband."
  • Church registers offer the possibility of tracing milestones in an ancestor's life from birth to death, especially if they attended the same church for a long time. Church documents can also provide insights into the movement of an ancestor who was born in one place and then married or died somewhere else.

    Collection in context

    These registers were created by officials of various Catholic churches in Vienna and its surrounding area. This collection contains images of the registers in their original form, making them high quality primary sources. The original books are housed at the Archive of the Archdiocese of Vienna.

    The Catholic church began recording marriages in 1564 by decree of the Council of Trent. Baptisms and deaths were recorded starting in 1614. The oldest documents in this collection are from the 1600s when Vienna was the capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Vienna was occupied twice by France during the Napoleonic Wars in the early 1800s, and it continued to be the capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire when it was restored in the 1860s. After World War I, the empire was replaced by the Republic of Austria, which was annexed by Nazi Germany in 1938. After World War II, Austria was occupied by various Allied nations until it gained independence in 1955.


    Civitatis Vienna. "History of Vienna." Accessed March 22, 2022.

    Morton, Sunny Jane. "The Genealogist's Guide to Church Records." Family Tree. Accessed March 22, 2022.

    University of Southern California. "Research Guides: Evaluating Primary Sources." Accessed March 22, 2022.