Austria, Croatia, Czech & Slovak, Hungary, Poland, Switzerland

Note: A concise definition of what states are in central vs. eastern Europe was unavailable. On this page, the areas are combined.

Note: With Central and Eastern European countries, you may have problems tracking down surnames. The Polish, Czech, and Slovak languages have letters that are not in the English alphabet. When searching these names, try multiple variants or research the development of surnames in those countries.



Czech & Slovak Research


Hungarians commonly put their family names before their given names. A woman often won’t appear in records by her own name, but by adding the suffix -né

  • Hungaricana
  • Hungary Exchange
    • Contains the Hungarian Marriage Project, an index of marriages in over 70 parishes in Europe and the United States
    • Visit the Surnames Database to connect with others researching the same surnames.


Poland is particularly difficult to research because of its its multiple border changes.

Partitions in 1772, 1793 and 1795 saw Poland carved up and its land distributed to Russia, Prussia and Austria.

Historically, powiaty (counties) were the basic geographic divisions. In 1975 the government also introduced wojewodztwa (provinces). In 1999 its 49 provinces were consolidated into 16.

Note: Polish children were often named after a saint whose feast day was near the child’s birth or baptismal date.


Records are generaly kept at the individual municipality “canton” level rather than at a national level. Family Search has a Wiki for Switzeland Archives and Libraries which has contact information about the different cantons.

The registers of Protestant and Roman Catholic Churches often date to the 1500’s. Church records include baptismal records, confirmation records, marriage records, and burial records.

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