SOA Třebon seems to be the pioneer in online Czech archives. I was extremely pleased to find a new helpful feature – new to me, at least. I am calling it the “index tab.” It turns out that it is also new for some people on the Czech Genealogy Facebook group, too, so here is a really quick, easy tutorial for how to use the index tab feature.
First, navigate to the SOA Třebon site. Here is what it looks like in English.
If you want, you can change the site to Czech or German in the lower right corner there, or the upper right corner on any other page. After a few seconds, the page will change to look like this.
There are lots and lots of cool ways to use this site, including creating a username, logging in, writing notes for other researchers!, and lots more. Blanka Lednicka, author of the blog Czech Genealogy for Beginners has left interesting notes here, for example.
But that is for a different day. Today we are just going to explore the index tab feature available on certain matriky records.
First we will navigate to our matriky of choice. Today we want the parish of Hluboká nad Vltavou. The easiest way is to search for it. Click on the search tab here:
You will need to use this little search screen here. Start by typing the location you are searching for in the text box which says “Search for.”
Parishes that have similar related spellings will appear in a drop down menu below your search text. I clicked on Hluboká.
…but there were 228 hits, including village chronicles. I just wanted matriky today.
Under the “Type” tab I selected “parish registers.” If this were in Czech, it would say “matriky” there.
Remember, you can narrow down your time frame quite easily.
For example, I wanted to only search the 19th century.
I see that my results gave me several different villages named Hluboká. I only wanted Hluboká nad Vltavou. The image of a book lets me know the register is digitized. It is also link which you can click to take you to the individual images of every page. Click it.
This will take you to a screen that looks like this. Basically, a glorified, faster, less arm-achey microfilm reader. This is the scan of the front of the book.
Look at the tabs at the top of the screen. If you see the option for “index”, you are in luck! This book has been indexed! This will simplify your search time incredibly, especially if you struggle to read German Current Script! Click this tab.
Look! Every birth entry in this register has been indexed by surname! Note: For a birth matriky book, the index does not include parents, only the children who were recorded in this book.
You can click on any of the letters of the surname, and then type ctrl-f and type the text you are searching for on the screen (a handy little hotkey which I use every day of my life many, many times).
This time, I was searching for Veselý. However, because I know that V and W was often interchangeable in Czech, especially in the early 19th century before spelling conventions were solidified, I searched under both V and W.
Look, here are a bunch of Weselá and Weselegs. These entries were transcribed exactly as they were written. I guess the clerk meant to write Weselej instead of Weseleg. Remember that Weselá would be a feminine ending, and Weselý would be a male ending, but these are both the same surname. Probably later in the 19th century different families decided to keep Weseleý and others Veselý. Whichever made them veselejši I guess. Har har.
You can click on any of these names and it will take you to the exact page in the book where it is.
Here is Barbora Weselá, born 8 May 1802 to Domynyk Weselý, a potter, and his wife Anna. See, that totally says Weselý.
So what can you do with this information? You can start by saving the permalink in your research notes! Good genealogists always cite their sources. Without sources, your work is fiction. I like fiction a lot. But I don’t think it mixes very well with genealogy.
Down in this corner here you can find the permalink. You can either link to the entire page, or you can link to a zoomed in area on a page, saving time and effort to try to find the entry again. Really cool!
That little chain link thing is, you guessed it, the icon having to do with links. Makes sense.
But you don’t want a link, you want to save the image to your hard drive and keep it forever and ever, maybe upload it to your database, maybe print it on a t-shirt…to do that, you will have to log in as a user.
If you use this archive with any degree of frequency, you really should get a username and explore the cool user features. I don’t have a single known ancestor who lived within a 300 km (that’s 186.411 miles) radius of Třebon and even I have a username.
There are lots more ways to use this most excellent feature which we will continue to explore in the future. Just remember:
Not all the registers are indexed.
Global searches are not yet enabled, except from the back end. More about this later.
Every time something is indexed, transcription errors occur. Literally, every time. That is important for you to understand when you use any index.
That said, it would be really unfortunate to not use such a well-built time-saving tool. About a thousand times a day I wish that the matriky for my parishes of interest were anywhere close to digitized. Sigh.