== What is in This Collection? ==
This collection includes feudal documents from many places throughout Upper and Lower Austria for the years 1537 to 1920. The documents pertain to legal matters, complaints, property, insolvencies, orphans, criminal proceedings, etc
,--everything that was later handled by the court system. This collection will continue to be updated as records are acquired. The original records are located in the Niederösterreichischen Landesarchiv, St. Pölten, and in the Oberösterreichischen Landesarchiv, Linz, Austria .
Local jurisdictional authority in Austria was held by Seigneurs prior to 1848. Seigniorial authority was granted by the Emperor to individuals who reigned as lord over their manor (Herrschaft) within a given village or community. Civil records created within a manor are referred to as Herrschaft or Seigniorial records. The older Herrschaft records of the four Lower Austrian Kreisgerichte (KG) are stored at the Landesarchiv in St. Pölten. In 1848, a modern court system was implemented in Austria, and the Seigneurs were instructed to transfer all records needed to continue administration of justice to the recently established district courts (Bezirksgerichte). This generally included all Herrschaft records back to about 1750-1800. The earlier records, those that had been closed prior to 1750, were transferred to Kreisgerichte. However, a significant quantity of these records remain in private hands or have become a part of the archival collections of other institutions. Seigneurs created these records to record the events in the life of the people in their communities and to help in the administration of their manors. The information in these records is usually reliable but depends upon the reliability of the informant and the recorder of the record.
===Reading These Records===
For help reading these German records see the following guides: