Austrian Littoral (Küstenland), Austro-Hungarian Empire Genealogy

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Austrian Littoral (Küstenland), Austro-Hungarian Empire Genealogy

Guide to the Austrian Littoral (Küstenland) ancestry, family history, and genealogy: birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.

Historical Geography[edit | edit source]

The Austrian Littoral (Küstenland) was established as a crown land (Kronland) of the Austrian Empire in 1849. It consisted of three regions: the Istria peninsula, Gorizia and Gradisca, and the city of Trieste. Throughout history, the region has been frequently contested, with parts of it controlled at various times by the Republic of Venice, Austria-Hungary, Italy, and Yugoslavia among others. The Kingdom of Italy annexed it after World War I according to the Treaty of London and later Treaty of Rapallo. After World War II, it was split between Italy (West), Slovenia (North), and Croatia (South).

Trieste had strategic importance as Austria-Hungary's primary seaport and the coast of the Littoral was a resort destination, the Austrian Riviera. The region was a multi-national one, with Italians, Slovenes, Croats, Germans and Friulians being the main ethnic groups. (Austrian Littoral, Wikipedia)

Map of Historic Austrian Littoral (Küstenland)[edit | edit source]

Austrian Littoral 1897.jpg

For Austria-Hungary Research, You Must Know Your Ancestors' Town[edit | edit source]

  • To begin using the records of the countries formerly in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, just knowing that your family came from the country will not be enough. Records are kept on the local level, so you will have to know the town they lived in.
  • Details about the town will also help:
    • the county of that town,
    • where the closest Evangelical Lutheran, Catholic, Greek Orthodox, etc. parish church was (depending on their religion),
    • where the civil registration office was, and
    • if you have only a village name, you will need the name of the larger town it was part of.

Research to Find the Town[edit | edit source]

If you do not yet know the name of the town of your ancestor's birth, there are well-known strategies for a thorough hunt for it.

If You Know the Town, Next Use the Küstenland Gazetteer[edit | edit source]

This gazetteer lets you determine the location of church parishes for localities in Küstenland. You will then know the name of the church records to find in the Family History Library catalog, or the name of the local church to write to and request information.
1. An alphabetical index at the end of the book makes it easy to find your locality. A typical page of the gazetteer looks like this. Each location, ranging in size from estate, village, town, city is listed on the left, but footnoted on the right.

Kustenland 1.png

2. In the footnote on the right,
symbols indicate whether the location
had a its own church of each
denomination, or the larger parish it was part of.

Kustenland 2.png


3. Translation of symbols: These are the important symbols to find.
The location of the church is inside the parentheses.

  • römisch katholische Pfarre = Roman catholic parish church
  • ev. Kirche Augsburger Confession = Lutheran parish church
  • any other symbol is a chapel, vicarage, etc.--a smaller unit
  • if the symbol sits alone, the church is in the same town--

If the symbol is followed by a name in parentheses,
the people attended church there.

Research Help[edit | edit source]

For help with genealogy in this region, see Italy Genealogy, Slovenia Genealogy, and Croatia Genealogy

Online Records[edit | edit source]

  • 1516-1994 - Croatia, Church Books, 1516-1994. Index. Incomplete. Records of births and baptisms, marriages, deaths and burials peformed by priests in Croatia. Includes vital records of Jews.

Microfilm Copies of Records at a Family History Center[edit | edit source]

If the locality and time period you need are not included in the online records, the next step is to check for them in the microfilm collection of the Family History Library. These microfilms may be ordered for viewing at Family History Centers around the world. To find a microfilm:

a. Click on "Places within Austria, Küstenland"
b. Select your record type: Church records and civil registration are the most important.
c. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
d. Choose the correct record type and time period for your ancestor.
e. Some combination of these icons will appear at the far right of the microfilm listed for the record. FHL icons.png. The magnifying glass indicates that the microfilm is indexed. Clicking on the magnifying glass will take you to the index. Clicking on the camera will take you to an online digital copy of the microfilm.