Austria-Czech SIG #Austria-Czech Using Czech Vital Records #austria-czech

Thomas F. Weiss

Fellow Genners,

I have found the Czech vital records recently put on line very
informative and have been busily downloading records. Since there have
been a number of explanations on how to use these records and there
continue to be questions on how to do so. I thought I would put
together my experience on using these records with the hope that this
will be helpful to others. I acknowledge that much of this material has
been posted previously by others.

1. Accessing the vital records

Enter the following in your browser
Click on Inventar [Inventory]
Click on the circled plus sign just to the left of UREDNY
KNIHY (matriky a indexy) [OFFICIAL BOOK (registers and indexes)]
That will take you to an alphabetical list of towns.
Using the arrows at the bottom of the page, navigate to your town of
To see the records in your town of interest, click on the circled + sign
to the left of the town name. That yields a list of ledger books that
contain the vital records.
N stands for birth records
O stands for marriage records
Z stands for death records
There are one or two icons just below the description of the ledger book
Clicking on the small icons that look like computer monitors takes you
to images of the records. If this icon is missing, I presume that the
records have not yet been posted.
Clicking on the icon that looks like a little book reveals a list of =
towns that I presume are the ones for which vital records are included =
in that ledger.

2. Inspecting, printing, and saving a vital record

When you click on the small icon that looks like computer monitors, the
ledger book selected appears in a separate window in a program called
Zoomify. Just below the image are a set of Zoomify controls that let
you zoom and pan through the image. I have not used these much. There
are easier ways to zoom and pan.

The Czech text below the Zoomify controls says (according to Google
Translate) "Click on the Print icon to generate a PDF viewing
reproductions. To print multiple reproductions write their numbers
separated by spaces (1,3,4,5) or range (1-18). A maximum of 20
reproductions can be generated into a single PDF file. Control via
keyboard: Shift or "A" - approaches, CTRL or "Z" - delays, arrows - move
image ESCAPE - a return to original size. For shortcuts to work, you
need to click into the browser." I have ignored this method since the
resulting images are of poor resolution.

Below the text there are arrows that let you navigate through the book.
Below that are numbered thumb nail images of the ledger book. You can
examine a particular page of the book either by using the arrows or by
clicking on the relevant thumb nail image.

Now how do you get a high resolution image? Zoomify does not allow you
to download the original high-resolution scanned image. However by
magnifying the page image maximally, you will obtain a high resolution
image on the screen. There are two steps to this. First enlarge the
browser window to its maximum extent until it fills the monitor screen.
Second, use the Zoomify controls to magnify the image maximally within
the browser window. The best you can do is to have the image fill your
monitor screen. You can magnify the image by simply clicking on the
image (or using the Zoomify controls). You can pan around the image by
clicking and draging to center the part of the page in which you are
interested. Then use a screen capture program to obtain an image that
can be printed or saved to a file.

3. Printing and saving a full page of the ledger

However, when you enlarge the image maximally to get the highest
resolution, only a part of the page will appear on the screen. The
fraction of the page that appears on the screen will depend on the size
of your monitor. If you want to make a copy of the whole page, you will
need to take multiple overlapping screen captures of each page. Then
use a graphic program that can merge images. Then as a final step you
should enhance the contrast of the image and sharpen it. When you do
all this, you will have a quite legible copy of the whole page.

4. Indexes, image number and page number

Some of the larger cities have ledger books that contain an index at the
beginning. This is very helpful. Thus, far I have worked exclusively
with the birth records of the town of Hriskov for the period 1788-1842.
Since I am looking for my Fischer ancestors, I looked at the index page
under F. This starts at image 5 and extends to image 7. The index
contains the names of the newborns in chronological order and gives the
page number, the item number, and the year. It is important to
recognize that the page numbers are not the same as the image numbers.
In fact, each image is of two pages in the ledger. The page number
corresponds to the part of the ledger containing the birth records,
i.e., these page numbers start after the index. Each page contains the
page number as the Folio Number. The item numbers are indicated on the
relevant page, often in red.

5. Particulars of what I do.

I use an iMac computer (with a 2560 by 1440 resolution monitor) and a
Safari browser. I obtain screen captures using Preview. I merge,
contrast enhance, and sharpen images with Photoshop.

Thomas Fischer Weiss
Newton, MA

FRENKEL (Buchach, Vienna); BUCHHALTER (Skalat); ENGEL (Vienna); FISCHER
(Hriskov, Schlan, Prague); FRAENKEL, FRUCHTER (Rozhnyatov, Vienna); KATZ
(Schlan); KLEPETAR (Jistebnice); MEISELS (Nadworna, Vienna); OLLOP
(Vienna); ORLIK (Pohor, Jistebnice, Benesov, Tabor); QUADRATSTEIN
(Vienna, Saarbrucken); VODICKA (Dobronitz, Jistebnice, Benesov, Tabor)

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