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East Central European Genealogy and
Local History: Sources for Research


This guide has been prepared primarily to assist individuals beginning genealogical research at the Library of Congress concerning families that originated in East Central Europe. The regions covered correspond approximately to territories that once formed the Austro-Hungarian empire, which broke up at the end of World War I. The turbulent history of this region makes precise demarcations impossible; but the guide focuses on areas that are now part of Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, and portions of Romania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Slovenia, and Ukraine. Sources cited here are limited to basic English-language resources that are useful in the early stages of research.

Each of the categories employed below has been chosen merely as a tool for organizing materials. They are inexact and not exhaustive. In part, they simply reflect the availability of appropriate resources. Information concerning additional ethnic groups and regional history may also be found in the expanding genealogical databases available on the Internet. Several "gateway" sites are listed in the final section of this bibliography. The spelling of surnames and multilingual place names of the region are special problems for genealogists. Several sources listed in this guide address that issue. Here again, there are valuable resources on the Internet to help resolve language problems. (See Selected Internet Sites.)

After completing their orientation to basic research, all family historians should check holdings of the Family History Library of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints via the Internet, or contact a regional Family History Center of the Church) before traveling to East Central Europe to examine primary sources or hiring a professional researcher to carry out advanced research. Many records from these countries are available on microfilm or microfiche. Filming is ongoing, and the Family History Library's holdings should be checked periodically for additional materials.

In each citation, the designation "LH&G" following a call number indicates that the title is available as a reference source on the open shelves of the Local History and Genealogy Reading Room of the Library of Congress.

Table of Contents

Genealogical Guides and Handbooks:

Geographic Sources

Non-English Geographic Sources

Emigration and Immigration

Ethnic Communities in America:

General Sources

Selected Internet Sites

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  February 23, 2018
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