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Home > Databases > Local heritage books > Ratzersdorf

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Local heritage book Ratzersdorf

('Recse' in Hungarian, 'Racistorf' in Slovakian)

The parish of Ratzersdorf, founded in 1328 and today the neighborhood of Raca in Bratislava (the capital of Slovakia), lies in one of the many formerly German-speaking areas of what was then Austria-Hungary, county of Pressburg.

With the document "Permission to separate from the evangelical parish of Pressburg', signed on 1 May 1834 by church supervisor Jónás Kettner, the parish of Ratzersdorf began the keeping of its own parish registers.

It is thanks to the last pastor of Ratzersdorf, Eduard Drgala, that these churchbooks of the evangelical (Lutheran) parish AB (=Confession of Augsburg), covering 1834 to 1945, made it to Germany during the expulsions (of Germans from Czechoslovakia and elsewhere immediately after WWII). For the many years the books were in his custody, he willingly gave information to all engaged in family history research as well as to those needing to prove their heritage to government agencies. When he no longer felt able to do this, on account of his age, he gave the books to another former resident of Ratzersdorf, who then had the responsibility for them until this person, in turn, passed them on to the Archive of the State Church of Württemberg, in Stuttgart, following an agreement between the Evangelical Church and the Union of Carpathian Germans.

The Carpathian Post, in its September 2001 issue, reports on how the churchbooks were saved from destruction, as follows:
"Retired pastor Eduard Drgala, the last living pastor of the 'German Evangelical Church A.B. in Slovakia,' told me how these churchbooks managed to be located. Pastor Dr. Nika approached him in Austria concerning churchbooks from Slovakia that were reportedly seen at the railway station in Kremsmünster, south of Linz on the Donau. Together they drove there and in fact found a row of chests that had been broken into and looted (at some point during their shipment out of Slovakia). The only thing that the plunderers had left alone, not knowing what to do with them, were a number of churchbooks. After obtaining the agreement of the American soldiers on guard duty, the two of them were able to transport the records to safety."

Before the records were turned over to the Archive, a complete indexing was undertaken. On the basis of further investigations of my own (in the churchbooks of Pressburg and places further north such as Grünau, Bösing, Limbach and St. Georgen, which likewise had strong evangelical parishes) it was possible to follow some ancestral lines clear back to the beginning of the 18th century. In addition, families which had moved away from Ratzersdorf were then found in neighboring parishes, and the data was supplemented accordingly. In this connection I had the help of Vladimir Bohinc from Neustadt on the Waag, whom I've come to value as a well-versed professional genealogist. I certainly can recommend him highly and his homepage is www.konekta.sk. Correspondence can be in German or English or, of course, in Slovakian.

I wish everyone much success researching in the online heritage book for Ratzersdorf parish, and hope for a good number of additions to this information.

Norbert Gschweng, May 2006

Notes on the indexing of these records:
  • Last names are always spelled in the way they were written into the baptismal register at the time of birth. If the baptism was not documented, spellings are as found in the earliest record pertaining to the individual (e.g. marriage, burial). If there is no documentation, names have been spelled as is customary today.
  • First names are generally as they would be in German, including for those years when the churchbooks were written in Hungarian.
  • The original records begin with the following entries:
    • Baptisms, 6 March 1834
    • Marriages, 7 April 1834
    • Burials, 19 May 1834
  • To assist in an accurate indexing, the Ortsfamilienbuch (local family history book) kept by Pastor Schulze during his pastorate and in his handwriting, was checked to prevent errors. This book can still be found in Bratislava-Raca.
  • Upon request, information on baptismal sponsors or witnesses to a marriage is available.
  • A reference number was determined for baptism and marriage records, consisting of the year and Lfd number. These can serve as finding aids to records in the original churchbooks.
  • When available, the address of the family was notated.
  • The religion was notated only if it differed from the usual Lutheran confession of faith.
  • The occupations of individuals were also copied into the index.

Translated by Christopher Wolter


:: More links
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Pfeil Array in the Genealogical Place Register GOV
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For further information concerning these data and, if you have additions, corrections or questions, please contact:
Norbert Gschweng