Estonia Church Books and Synagogue Registers - FamilySearch Historical Records

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Estonia, Church Books and Synagogue Registers, 1835-1940
This article describes a collection of records at
Flag of Estonia.svg.png
Flag of the Republic of Estonia
LOC Estonia in Europe.jpg
Location of Estonia
Record Description
Record Type: Church
Collection years: 1835-1940
Languages: Estonian
Title in the Language: Eesti Kirik Raamatud
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites

What is in This Collection?[edit | edit source]

This collection includes baptism, marriage, and burial/death records for various churches, such as Orthodox, Old Believer, Roman Catholic, and Baptist. The collection includes records from 1835 to 1940.

Estonia’s religious picture is influenced by the Soviet occupation and secularization. Estonia remains a Christian-shaped country, but only 23% of the population are members of Christian Churches. About 11% of the population belongs to the predominantly protestant religion, the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church, and 10% to the Orthodox Church, the second largest faith. Other religious communities (Roman Catholics, Baptists, Jews, Methodists, Muslims, Buddhists and others) are much smaller.

In most churches, the sacramental ordinances of baptisms, marriages, and burials were performed by an authorized ecclesiastical officer. These registers were generally kept in the parish archive, but later these were sent to the churches largest archive for preservation.

For a list of records by religion currently published in this collection, select the Browse link from the collection landing page.

Reading These Records[edit | edit source]

These records are written in German, Russian and Estonian. For help reading these records see the following:

To Browse This Collection[edit | edit source]

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Estonia, Church Books and Synagogue Registers, 1835-1940.

What Can These Records Tell Me?[edit | edit source]

The information in these records usually include the following:

Baptism records

  • Child's name
  • Christening date
  • Sometimes the birth date
  • Parents' names
  • Parents' marital status
  • Parents' residence
  • Father's occupation
  • Sometimes the mother’s age
  • Witnesses and their residences

Marriage records

  • Groom’s name
  • Depending on the time period, the groom’s marital status, residence, and age
  • Bride’s name
  • Depending on the time period, the bride’s marital status, residence, and age
  • Witnesses and their residences


  • Name of the deceased
  • Death date
  • Burial date
  • Residence
  • Occupation
  • Age
  • Marital status and sometimes the spouse’s name
  • Sometimes other biographical notes

Collection Content[edit | edit source]

Sample Images[edit | edit source]

How Do I Search This Collection?[edit | edit source]

To begin your search it is helpful to know the following:

  • Name
  • Date of the event
  • Place of the event
  • Other identifying information such as the names of the parents or the spouse

View the Images[edit | edit source]

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page

  1. Select Religion
  2. Select Parish
  3. Select Event type, year range, (volume) to view the images

How Do I Analyze the Results?[edit | edit source]

Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images. Keep track of your research in a research log.

What Do I Do Next?[edit | edit source]

I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct
  • Use the marriage date and place as the basis for compiling a new family group or for verifying existing information
  • Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth of each partner to find a couple's birth records and parents' names
  • Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth to find the family in populations registers
  • Use the residence and names of the parents to locate land records
  • Use the parents’ birth places to find former residences and to establish a migration pattern for the family
  • Compile the marriage entries for every person who has the same surname as the bride or groom; this is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual
  • Continue to search the marriage records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives of the bride and groom who may have married in the same county or nearby. This can help you identify other generations of your family or even the second marriage of a parent. Repeat this process for each new generation you identify

I Can't Find the Person I'm Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • Consult the Estonia Record Finder to find other records
  • The name of the officiator is a clue to their religion or area of residence in the county. However, ministers may have reported marriages performed in other counties
  • The information in church records is usually reliable, but depends upon the reliability of the informant
  • There is also some variation in the information given from one record to another
  • Check for variant spellings of the surnames
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby localities

Citing This Collection[edit | edit source]

Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.

Collection Citation

"Estonia Church Books and Synagogue Registers, 1835-1940." Images. FamilySearch. : 14 June 2016. National Historical Archive, Tartu.

Image Citation:
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.

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How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?[edit | edit source]

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