Description of Records and Collections of the Moravian Provincial Archives in Brno.

A Records of the Estates (Stands) and of Autonomous Offices in Moravia from the years 1310 - 1928

The Estates diploma, Estates manuscripts and the Public Land Records of the Moravian Province (tabulae terrae Moraviae) since the year 1348 are the most precious parts of the Archives. Important documents of the Estates were made in the Market Books, the records of the Provincial Diet were entered in the Memorial Books and the judicial statements were inscribed in the Books of Summons. The Public Land Records are thus a very valuable source for analyzing the political and economical history of Moravia and the genealogy since the middle ages.

A1 The Estates Charters

The Manuscripts and Charters, confirming the main provincial privileges. (1310 - 1847)

The most of above mentioned manuscripts were issued in Codex diplomaticus et epistolaris Moraviae (1836 - 1903, total XV volumes)

A2 The Revers (Promise of Loyalty towards the Habsbourg House) of the Moravian Nobility from 1629 - 1783.

A3 The Estate (Stands) Public Records

The Market Books for the regions of Brno and Olomouc , from the years 1348 - 1642

The Market Books for the whole Moravia 1642 - 1850

The Memorial Books of the Administration of the Landtafel

The Main Books of free citizens (1797 - 1844)

A7 The Tax Returns from 1528 - 1623

The tax system in the 16th century was based on the taxation of the property, that was later modified into taxation per capita, resp. per armored horse (Giltpferd). Only the summaries for all Moravia have been preserved until nowadays.

More important and more interesting material is from the years 1583 - 1623. The base for taxation in this period was the number of serfs on a dominion completed by the sale taxes, resp. taxes based on the production of crop, and other agricultural products. The towns were taxed in accordance with the number of chimneys.

From these returns one may follow the number and mostly even the lists of inhabitants, of Jews and the complete social and economical situation on a particular dominion - estate.

A8 The Material of the Provincial Registration Office

From this very rich register I draw your attention especially to following inventories:

A12 The Nobility Papers (1419 - 1851)

One of the most important collections for the genealogy of the Noble families residing in Moravia. All the collection consists of 91 parchment documents and 91 big boxes with various manuscripts ( wedding contracts, wills, nobilitation, granting of coat-of-arms, royal donations, judicial proceedings, various confirmations etc.)

B. The Records of Moravian State political authorities

The records were created between 1324 - 1951. A researcher can find here a multitude of documents of all the highest regional political authorities of the Tribunal, Delegations, Governor's Office, Highest Administration Office, Provincial Authorities, Police Headquarters etc.

From among the records I would like to mention especially the documents of the Spilberg Prison in Brno, which in the 19th century was a prison for Italian, Hungarian, Polish, German and Czech patriots, struggling against the Habsbourg state.

B1. Highest Administration Office (Tribunal - Gubernium - Office of Royal Hauptmann - Governor´s Office 1636 - 1785)

For the genealogy purposes there are for instance files referring to:

B4 The Prison of Spielberg

B6 Napoleonic Wars (1800 - 1815)

B12 The Schools Files (1749 - 1907)

The most important material are the School Rolls of 1787 and 1807. For each individual dominion-estate they contain 1. the seat of school, parish, 2. the list of the villages of the school circle, 3. name of the priest, 4. name of the school supervisor, 5. name of the school-master, stating his age, service age, and summary of his abilities, qualification and manners, 6. same data for the junior teacher, 7. the number of school children, filed according to villages, sex and religion, 7. The schoolmaster´s income.

Other material that could be of importance for a genealogy researcher are the lists of Moravian teacher from 1770 - 1872.

B13 The Highest Administration Office (1785 - 1918) - The Governor´s Office for Moravia and Silesia (-1850), Moravian Place-Holdery (Statthalterei 1850 -1918)

This is a very extensive collection of the papers of highest importance for the political administration of Moravia in the past two centuries. I can give only a glimpse to its files which may help in genealogical research in Moravia:

State and Civil Personnel Files, Police Files, French Emigrants in Moravia (1793-1807), Hungarian State Prisoners in Spielberg, Moravian Huntsmen Regiments, Emigration Files and Passports, Riots and Uprising of Serfs and Workers, Politically unreliable persons, the Serfdom's matters, Teachers and professors at higher schools, Description of all state dominions-estates, Personal files of the clergy, Abolition of convents during the Joseph´s II reign.

B21 The Royal Towns Administration (1753- 1792)

The most of files are of economical nature - Accounts, Assets and Liabilities of the towns, town´s breweries, mills etc.

B22 Provincial School Council (1878 - 1935)

Teachers´ exams, the educational administration, Pesonal Files of schoolmasters and teachers, School supervisors, Statistics

B23 - B27 are the inventories of various regional administrations (1781 - 1945)

B31 the individual census records in Moravia (1857 - 1921)

B34 the Archives of German Technical University in Brno (1849 - 1945)

They contain among others also the registers of students and professors.

C Documents of Court Authorities covering the period 1470 - 1945.

The genealogy researcher will perhaps value the archive funds of the Supreme Court with the documents about inheritance- and court matters of numerous Austrian and Moravia Nobility. Of the top importance is the collection of Land Records - Land Books for the Brno region in period 1484 - 1884.

C2 The Inheritance matters of Moravian Nobility (1636 - 1783)

They are filed by individual dominions. The books contain the summary of all movable and immovable properties of the noble families.

C5 and C 6 The Provincial Supreme and Appellation Court (1783 - 1897)

C13 the Mining Books (1785 - 1905)

They were similar to Land Books, resp. registers, but here the mining claims and court decisions were written.

C17 the Land Registers/Books (1484 - 1884)

The Land registers are public books, where the legal relations of all immovable properties, their sales, various payments, taxes, debts and other burdens were incorporated. They all referred to the rustical (serf) properties on individual estates, towns or villages. The dominical (the landlords´ ) possession and its changes were written in Stands Public Land Registers - the Landtafel - see A3

The Land Registers had various names - Grund Books, Town Books, Orphan Books, Burgrecht Books. They were administered by the dominion's officers.

There, where the vital registers are not preserved, the Land Registers may replace them in order to follow the family relations of individual serf families - the weddings, death, children, relatives, etc.


The list is not complete and for a specific information one must ask the Archives directly.

Since 1850 the Land registers were administered by district courts. A newly established Public Land Registers are kept in respective District court's inventories, that are stored either in Moravian Provincial Archives in Brno, in Provincial Archives in Opava (for North Moravia and Silesia) or in District Archives throughout Moravia.

D. The Finance and Tax Matters

This department contain all the Moravian Cadastral Surveys from the 17th to 20th century, alongside with the documents from different financial authorities and a rich collection of maps and plans. The importance of Cadastral Surveys for the study of economic, social, demography development of the Moravian towns and villages need not be emphasized. They have big importance for genealogical purposes, because of a complete listing of nearly all serf population in the respective years.

D1 - D13 The Cadastral Surveys

The first complete Tax Survey in Moravia was made between 1655 - 1657. It was called the Lansky rejstrik - Lahnregister, later known as the First Lahn visitatio. In Bohemia the same tax survey was called Berni rolle - the Tax Roll. Between 1669 - 1679 a revision of the original survey because of inaccuracy and omissions had to be done. This revision is called the Second Lahn visitatio. This Lahnregister is the source of first importance for any genealogist, homeland historians, social and demography scholars.

Any village and subject towns contain the list of all homesteads - farms, houses, cottages, the names of inhabitants, the appearance of trades and crafts, the quality of fields and their distribution.

The basic tax unit was a Lahn. This term had a broader sense than a piece of land. As far as the diversification of rural population is concerned cf. my contribution here.

During the reign of Maria Theresia a new Cadastral Survey was made, because the older one had not corresponded with the social and economical development of the country from 1679. Between 1749 - 1753 so called Theresianer Cadastre was adopted.

The third Cadastral survey was done during the reign of her son, the emperor Joseph II (Josephiner Cadastre - 1787 - 1789) and the taxable land was broaden to landlords´ possession. After his death the Teresianer Cadastre came again into being.

The last Cadastral survey was so called Stabil Cadastre, accepted between 1817 - 1851. The information on each landholder is completed by the evaluation of the whole village and by a series of cadastral maps in the measure 1:2880.

There is a separate article on individual cadastres in Moravia.

D22 The collection of maps and plans

This is a collection of nearly 3000 various maps and plans:

The examples of the oldest Moravian maps you may find on

E. The Church Archives

This inventory contains the Archives of all 75 Moravian convents and their dominions from the years 1045 - 1950. The richest archives are those of the Benedictines of Rajhrad, of the Augustians of Stare Brno, of the Jesuits of Olomouc, of the Cistercians at Velehrad and of the Premonstratensiens at Klasterni Hradisko (Znojmo) and Louka.

The Parish Vital Registers dating from the years 1579 - (1900) cover the whole Brno Region from Jihlava in the West to Zlin and Valasske Kloubouky in the East. The vital registers had the most significant importance for the genealogical surveys.

E1 - E66, E68 - E76 The Convents´Archives

E67 the Vital Registers

There is a general article on the Vital registers in the Bohemian Lands at

To complete the information about the oldest registers in Moravia, here is the list of them prior to year 1612:

1571 - Razova

1579 - Dolni Vestonice

1583 - Ryzoviste

1587 - Moravska Trebova

1587 - Brno, St. Jacob

1590 - Razova

1599 - Jihlava, St. Jacob

1599 - Olomouc St. Maurice

1599 - Svitavy

1602 - Vendoli

1602 - Vyskov

1607 - Unicov

1607 - Brno, Zabrdovice

1607 - Krtiny

1608 - Kucerov

1608 - Zdar n.S.

1609 - Ivancice

1610 - Odry

1610 - Bruzovice

1610 - Usov

1611 - Stary Jicin

1612 - Rajhrad

F This department covers the Archives of particular Feudal Estates - Dominions.

The most important are the Archives of the Estates of Slavkov (Austerlitz), Vizovice, Hodonin, Ruda n.M., Uhersky Brod, Vsetin, Bludov etc. They contain masuscripts, privileges, correspondence of the feudal lords, sometimes various books, land registers, contracts, administration of the estate´s ventures, registers of the serfs, accounting books etc.

G The various collections, literary inheritance, family archives, industrial archives etc.

This part contains several documentary and filing collections, among them the famous collection of the first Moravian archivist Antonin Bocek the collections of Cerroni, of the Historic Society, of the Provincial Museum, ethnographic collection of F. Bartos and a collection of the top importance for Moravian and Silesian genealogy, the collection of famous genealogist Josef Pilnacek.