Searching for ancestors from Czechoslovakia?

Czechoslovakia in Central Europe began as a sovereign state in 1918, when it declared its independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, until its peaceful dissolution into two separate countries – the Czech Republic and Slovakia – on Jan. 1, 1993. Neighboring states sharing its borders are Austria, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Ukraine.

Prior to the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1990, obtaining genealogical information from this area was nearly impossible without physically visiting the local archives. If you were unable to travel there, you had to hire a professional genealogist to do your research.

With the end of the Cold War era and the introduction of personal computers, the search for ancestors in this area of the world has become more doable for the "do-it-yourselfer," in part because the Church of the Latter Day Saints has been sending their missionaries to the area to film public and church records. Each year, new records are made available to the general public.

If your ancestors hail from this region of Europe and you are interested in exploring your roots, you should attend the next meeting of Cuyahoga West Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society on Wednesday, Nov. 19, at Westlake Porter Public Library, 27333 Center Ridge Road. Dorothy Titera, from the Westlake Family History Center will be the guest speaker. Her presentation is titled “Czech and Slovak Genealogical Research:  Online resources for successfully tracing your ancestors.”  The program begins at 7 p.m. in the Porter Room. Social time, for guests and members, is from 6:30-7 p.m. The public is invited at no cost. 

For questions or additional information, visit or email

Jayne Broestl

Publicity Chair for the Cuyahoga West Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society that meets at Westlake Porter Public Library.

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Volume 6, Issue 23, Posted 9:50 AM, 11.11.2014