Review this list of the most important records for tracing your ancestors in their homeland, with tips on how to find and use them.
Ready to dive into foreign records? The process of tracing overseas ancestors differs from US research: You'll use many of the same types of records, but access and availability vary depending on which republic you're dealing with.
If you're sleuthing for Slovak ancestors, you'll discover the FHL has microfilmed church registers, censuses and other records for hundreds of Slovak localities (do a catalog place search on Slovakia, then click View Related Places for a list). That means you can tap many sources stateside. Czech roots seekers aren't so lucky: The library has far fewer Czech records, primarily because the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which operates the FHL, hasn't reached microfilming agreements with the Czech government.
Of course, historical records of Czechs and Slovaks extend well beyond the FHL's holdings, and we'll outline other ways to get them in the next section. But first, let's take a look at those countries' record-keeping practices, so you know what's available.