- Nov 1, 2010http://www.natarch.hu/english/menu_24.htm#INTRODUCTION
This link goes to a Hungarian website that has an English article on searching church records. Since present day Slovakia was Upper Hungary a lot of the information is useful.
The parish registers are the most reliable and indispensable sources of family history research. It was Pope Pius IV who, as a result of the deliberations of the Council of Trent, ordered the introduction of regular registration in 1563. In Hungary, in the case of the Roman Catholic Church the Council of Nagyszombat ordered the introduction and maintenance of parish registers at the beginning of the Counter-Reformation in 1611, though sparse registrations occurred at some places before that time, too. Regarding Protestant churches, the full powers to keep registers was granted by Emperor Joseph Habsburg II, in 1785. However, at some special localities (loca articularia), registration had begun much earlier. In Hungary, the regular and compulsory registration of Israelite population was introduced as late as the Bach Era (July 1851), but in that case, too, there were places where registration had begun long before that date.
The microfilm collection of the National Archives of Hungary holds the duplicates of parish registers from the localities of the present territory of Hungary, created by the historical churches - the Roman Catholic, Greek Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Calvinist, Lutheran and Israelite, before 1st October 1895. In addition, the National Archives, in small numbers, preserves microfilms of registers of the Baptist, Unitarian and Nazarene small churches. Some copies of registers from the territory of the historical Hungary, existed before the Treaty of Trianon, can also be found in the Archives: mainly from Upper Hungary (from the Csallóköz), Southern Hungary (from Bácska), the Northern Borderland (Burgenland), the Mura region (in Slovenia), the Drávaszög (the southern part of Baranya - today in Croatia), as well as some registers from ethnic Hungarian villages in Bukovina.
Public (state) registration was introduced on 1st October 1895. From that date registers have been preserved at mayoral offices, whereas duplicates have been transferred to the competent territorial (county) archives.
Before starting a research in the registers, researchers need to know the wanted person's or family's place of residence, religion, as well as his place and approximate date of birth/marriage/death.
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