Best Sources to Find for Your Czech or Slovak Ancestor’s Place of Origin

By Allison Dolan

Between 1850 and 1914, around 400,000 Czechs and 620,000 Slovaks flocked to America’s shores. Finding your immigrant ancestor’s place of origin can be hard no matter where he or she is from, but changing Eastern European borders and unfamiliar alphabets add to the challenge of tracing Czech and Slovak ancestry.

Start with these sources for clues to the birthplaces of your Czech and Slovak ancestors:

  • Passport applications
  • Church records of baptisms, marriages and funerals
  • Alien registration records (AR-2), which non-naturalized citizens had to complete between 1940 and 1944
  • Home sources, such as letters (be sure to check the envelopes) and family Bibles
  • Newspaper obituaries, including foreign-language papers
  • Local histories

Want to learn more about your Czech and Slovak roots? In our How to Research Your Czech and Slovak Ancestry webinar on Tuesday, Dec. 15, Lisa Alzo (author of the Family Tree Polish, Czech and Slovak Genealogy Guide) will show you

  • how to begin your Czech and Slovak genealogy research
  • what records are available and how to access them
  • how to overcome the language barrier and understand naming patterns

As always, everyone who registers will recieve a PDF of the presentation slides and unlimited access to a recording of the webinar. Find more details about our How to Research Your Czech and Slovak Ancestry webinar and register at Family Tree Shop.