JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Re: Help locating Galician info in Vienna #general

Celia Male <celiamale@...>

Judith Romney Wegner has confirmed her husband's great success in
finding his Galician roots through Vienna records and ended like
this: <Those interested might try contacting the Meldeamt
Registration Office] of the Wiener Stadt und Landesarchiv [Vienna
City Archives] at post@... >

My immediate reaction is - ***please do not*** unless you are
well-prepared! MA08 [the Wiener Stadt und Landesarchiv, housed in the
Gasometer] is very overworked and will not answer unless you have
specific address and name details preferably with dates - and these
must be after 1900 for a Meldeauskunft [see below].

The subject and methodology for getting the most out of the Vienna
records [for anyone - not only Galicians] effectively involves a
multipronged approach using many record sources in Vienna. It is
often a stepwise procedure, where one thing leads to another and you
get a genealogical jigsaw puzzle to solve. I use:

1. Address/telephone books housed in the archive
2. Two pre-1900 databases [if the family was already there, then you
get a full listing] - housed only in the archive
3. Cemetery/burial data - >from which you can get addresses -
obtainable >from the Israelitische Kultusgemeinde {IKG} and the
cemetery itself. The graves themselves often have vital clues too.
4. If there is a death, you can, in many cases, get the
Todfallsaufnahme [death registration/probate record] and a will -
often with much genealogical data inc. next of kin. NB: You need a
name, address and date of death to get this >from the archive.
5. Holocaust data with deportation addresses and post-war records of
people seeking compensation and relatives >from Doew.
6. Vital records - ie births, deaths and marriages if they occurred.
7. jri-pl for cross-checking - on line
8. Yad vashem data with POTs - on line
9. Asset files at the State archives - these can be very valuable.
10. Other data in the USA etc

If the family has been established in Vienna for a long time and
there are many vital records then the approach is different.
Galicians often arrived with ready-made families.

Once you have an address you can approach MAO8, as suggested by
Judith, but ***not before***. The MA08 will reply in German to you
with the Meldeauskunft ie details of the household registration
documents [Meldezettel] - these often have very important
genealogical data in them. Meldezettel pre-1900 were destroyed by
overzealous officials having a clearout. MA08 will not undertake
genealogical research - ie they will get the probate records [there
is a modest fee] for you and the Meldeauskunft [free] but no more.
Judith's husband may have been lucky some time ago with a
helpful/sympathetic archivist - but this would not happen today!

The Habsburg Empire was always known to be one of the most
bureacratic in the world - with thousands of civil servants and hence
there are oodles of records. I hope you are all now convinced that
what I wrote originally is correct. I did not give details of the
Galician families I investigated as I have not asked each of the
families for their permission. One project is on-going and we have
had quite a lot of success [thanks also to Renee Steinig for her help
with correlating Vienna records with US records] but sadly we have
not found any living descendants yet.

With Galicians, there is no guarantee that you will hit the jackpot,
but I have in many instances. If they just passed through and never
stayed long you may not find a trace. However, an old letter with a
home address and date may make all the difference to your research.
A confirmation with a jri-pl record is the icing on the cake.
Conversely, I know of births and marriages recorded on documents in
Vienna which cannot be found on Jri-pl.

Celia Male [U.K.]

For general advice see:
and specifically Peter Lowe's excellent article on Meldezettel:

The LDS records for Vienna are growing by leaps and bounds and will
soon include all the vital records held at the IKG, Vienna.

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