Church registers or Civil registers represent the basic data collection in book form and archival material in written form. Church registers are legal and personal church documents about individuals in certain religious communities.
There are a few types of Church registers:
- Register of baptisms (births)
- Register of marriages
- Register of deaths
- Register of confirmation
With the progress of burgeous society, Civil registers were implemented for the regulation of civil status (births, marriage and death) after the establishment of the civil marriage independent from the church. These registers also represent legal personal documents.
Church registers were kept in the Catholic Church since the 12th century, however it was not before the 14th century that it was ordered to keep track of the birth date of baptisms, names of the baptized and their godfathers and the names of the married couples and witnesses to their marriage without exception.
Keeping of the registers started in Subotica a year after the Turks had been pushed out of the Hungarian territory in 1687. Order of mandatory registers keeping issued on February 20, 1784 started a more active involvement of the state in the registers keeping besides the church. This extended even further with new Law in 1827 which made mandatory to keep a copy of every register. The duplicates were kept for security reasons in the state archives. They were delivered once a year until 1895 when Civil registers appeared in Backa, Torotolska and Tamiska County.
Church registers on Vojvodina territory date from the end of the 17th century until the end of the 19th century. The content of the registers is different and they are written in Serbian, Hungarian, German and Latin. Latin, Cyrillic, gothic, Hebrew and Greek alphabet were used.
After WWII, a Law from 1946 governed the register keeping and by this Law Civil registers were kept in the entire county. The Church registers were never confiscated from the church, they were taken to be copied and translated.
F. 208, COLLECTION OF DUPLICATES OD CHURCH REGISTERS 1839–1895
The duplicates of the Church registers are kept in The Historical Archives of Subotica since 1952. Church registers collection and Civil registers collection have been in the Archives since 2006 and 2010.
A Law in 1827 made keeping a copy of every church register mandatory (register of baptisms, marriages and deaths). The church notary was obligated to hand over a copy at the end of the year to relevant authority. The duplicates were kept for security reasons in the municipal (town) archives.
The obligation to hand in the copies of the registers extended only to the immediate area of the town in Subotica, outer villages like Aleksandrovo, Bajmok and Cantavir were under the authority of the backobodroska county. In 1827 Subotica had a Roman Catholic district with church St Theresa and Orthodox rectory of the temple Vaznesenje Gospodnje. Later in the Roman Catholic district there were also church St Catherine in Ludas, church St George and St Roka in Senta and Ker. All of these churches kept their registers. The Jewish rabbinate started their registers in 1851. The reformist churches (Protestant 1884, Evangelical Reformed 1885, St. Augustine Evangelical 1887) delivered the copies of their registers to the town magistracy.
The delivery of the duplicates was temporarily stopped in 1853 and continued in 1860. It is continued until 1895 when Civil registers started.
The Duplicates of the Church registers collection in The Historical Archives of Subotica was created by extraction from the Magistracy fond (from 1894), Town district office fond (until 1861) and Town council fond (until 1895). The material was divided by the church district (Subotica and Ludas) and the books are in groups (register of baptisms, marriages and deaths). There are 674 books in the collection. The language of the books is Latin, Hungarian, Serbian and Croatian. The books are placed in boxes and they are neither microfilmed nor digitized.
F. 451, COLLECTION OF CHURCH REGISTERS 1687–1949
The Historical Archives of Subotica keeps Register of baptisms, marriages and deaths and indexes of registers for the period 1687–1949 of the following churches: Roman Catholic district office St Theresa – Subotica; Roman Catholic district office St Roka – Subotica; Roman Catholic district office St George – Subotica; Serbian Orthodox rectory of the temple Vaznesenje Gospodnje – Subotica; Orthodox church St. Dimitrije the martyr – Aleksandrovo; Roman Catholic district office in Aleksandrovo; St. Augustine Evangelical traveling church from Subotica and Sombor; Roman Catholic parish in Kunbaja; Roman Catholic parish in Kacmar; Roman Catholic district office St Anthony – Čantavir; Roman Catholic district office St Catherine – Ludaš; Roman Catholic district office St Peter and Paul – Bajmok. The collection was created in 2006. The indexes of these registeres are digitised and available on The Historical Archives of Subotica web site.
F. 478, COLLECTION OF CIVIL REGISTERS 1895–1915
The Civil registers collection was created in 2010 and contains Civil registers kept in the Registrar’s office for the period October 1895 to 1915. There are register of births, marriages and deaths and indexes of the registers of births and deaths.
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