About the Tallinn, Estonia, Parish Registers, 1834-1911
General collection information
This collection contains parish registers from Tallinn, Estonia between 1834 and 1911. Records included in this collection cover many types of religious life events, and may include records of baptisms, confirmations, marriages, conversions, and burials. Records may be written in Estonian, German, Russian, Hebrew, Polish, or Swedish. Records may also be written using multiple alphabets, including Latin, Cyrilic, or Hebrew. Most of the records in this collection are handwritten in ledgers, but newer or transcribed records may be typed.
Using this collection
Records in the collection may include the following information:
Please note that every record is unique and the information contained within will vary, depending on the event type, religious affiliation, and time period.
Because there are many different types of records in this collection, you may find multiple records for your ancestor. For example, you could find a baptismal record, confirmation record, and a marriage record all for the same person. You may also find your ancestor mentioned in records concerning their spouse or parents.
This collection is multilingual; knowing some common phrases will help you to explore these records. Please see the Ancestry language resource page for more support.
Collection in context
Estonia is a melting pot of cultures and religions. Most residents of Estonia practiced animism and other indigenous beliefs until the 13th century, when Estonia was conquered during the Livonian Crusades and many forcibly became Roman Catholic. During the Protestant Reformation, the Lutheran Church became the dominant religion in Estonia. When the Swedish Empire ceded Estonia to Russia in 1721, many Estonians converted to Eastern Orthodoxy. From 1940-1991, the U.S.S.R occupied Estonia while prohibiting many religious traditions, resulting in modern-day Estonia being widely secular.
Doyle, Ethan. "Historic Churches In Tallinn's Old Town: From Lutheranism to Russian Orthodoxy." Archaeology Travel. Last Modified April 7, 2011. https://archaeology-travel.com/estonia/historic-churches-in-tallinn/.
Estonica. "Religion." Last Modified 2022. http://www.estonica.org/en/Culture/Religion/.
VAU. "Genealogy." Last Modified January 18, 2019. https://www.ra.ee/vau/index.php/en/page/article/index?menuId=16.