The Research Service in Serbian Archives

The Archives in Serbia contain many different types of records and registries that could prove to be useful when you are conducting a genealogical research. We offer our clients a wide range of research services from single item document retrieval ... to highly specialized research like Scholar, Legal, Estate & Probate Research. For Research Service in Serbian Archives we usually charge on a hourly basis. Standard research rate is 30 Euro per hour.

If you need Research Service in Serbian Archives, we can help with:

  • Look-up for a specific record in Serbian archive
  • Probate research and finding heirs
  • Scholar research in Serbians archives
  • Or Translation and Transcription of documents, letters, records

Please feel free to email us, we will be happy to assist you ....

Genealogy records and resources in Serbia

Online Genealogy Records in Serbia

Unlike in USA or a number of other western countries there is very little reliable online content related to genealogy research in Serbia. Since individual records (name, date of birth, address, property etc.) are considered confidential by Serbian laws you won’t find such things online often, let alone a full, professionally managed databases. Also, online publishing of church records is not a praxis, and there are very little newspapers and/or periodicals that one can find on the internet and use it for research of family history. There is no genuine websites in Serbian dedicated to genealogy research or the ones in English regarding the territory of Serbia. Altogether, unfortunately, beside Facebook and Linkedin profiles you will find next to nothing when browsing internet in search for online genealogy sources.

Serbian Births & Deaths Records

Serbian births and deaths records – in general these were recorded by the municipal authorities in a special books of records. These books are mostly regarding 20th century and are being kept in local archives, while some of the data can be retrieved via active municipality offices.

Marriage & Divorce Records in Serbia

Marriage & Divorce Records – co called “civil or citizen” marriages are the ones made in front of the municipal officials, without religious ceremony. Majority of marriages before WWII were made and registered in the church, while after 1945, and especially during the communist rule in Yugoslavia, almost all marriages were either the citizen ones or both the citizen and church ones (like nowdays, when majority of married couples have two ceremonies – one in the church and other in front of the municipal official).

Cemetery Records in Serbia

Cemeteries in Serbia were, throughout history, generally organized on religious base. In some places, especially after 1945, there are cemeteries with people belonging to different religious communities being buried together. All cemeteries have records of deceased and buried, the owners of a burial places and of current users of burial places – the ones who are paying the maintenance costs. By Serbian law such information are considered private/confidential and are usually not being released to the persons not directly related to either deceased or owner of the burial place. Because of the numerous wars and the destruction that followed during the 20th Century, some of the cemeteries were destroyed or have been heavily damaged. Also, some of the cemeteries were abandoned and gradually they became unusable and unreachable. This is the case with most of German cemeteries in Serbia (especially the ones of Donauschwaben in Vojvodina).

Census Records in Serbia

Census – from time to time a general census of population has been organized by Serbian authorities ever since the 1830’s. Some censuses are detailed, registering all the family members and even some property, others are tax censuses, focused on the house owner/landowner and property. In some parts of country even older censuses have been preserved, the ones conducted by Ottoman and Habsburg authorities. These are, however, very difficult to read and are quite complicated for use.

Church Records in Serbia

In general, church in Serbia (like other parts of Europe) was one of the main archival institutions for centuries. Church records contain different books, the ones registering births and baptisms, marriages, deaths. Some churches and monasteries also have chronicles, the narrative sources made of notes on local history and important events. Every abbot/archimandrite and church warden can allow or ban the use of these records. Sometimes either the originals or copies of these books and documents can also be found in administrative church centers of dioceses.

Court Records in Serbia

Court records are various documents made by Courts of laws over time, including sentences, complaints, orders, bans, guarantees, probates, financial instructions sanctioned by court, testimonies, mortgages, materials from court processes etc. In Serbia these are usually kept in active courts up to 30 years and after that are either transferred to local archives or destroyed. Because of wars and the revolution many court records have been destroyed and are lost forever for researchers and interested parties. In comparison to what is preserved i. e. in USA or UK, only a small percent survived to this day in Serbia and surrounding countries.

Emigration & Immigration Records in Serbia

Emigration & Immigration – During the past a lot of people have emigrated from Serbia to USA, Canada, Australia and Western Europe. Immigration has also been big, especially until the mid-20th Century, from the neighboring countries (former Yugoslav republics, Romania, Bulgaria, and Greece). Although emigration records exist for many decades already, most of the people left without registering, actually the majority of cases before WWII. When a foreign citizen comes to live in Serbia he/she should register with local authorities and make official registration of stay, stating the actual address and contact details. Usually, people would do so, but there are examples of individuals and groups coming to Serbia to stay for some time and then continuing to other countries. These rarely bother to register and many of them were never registered by administrative system of Serbia/Kingdom of SCS/Yugoslavia.

Land & Property Records in Serbia

Land books and cadasters are preserved in Serbia for majority of settlements. Some of them were written in foreign languages, such are Ottoman Turkish, German or Hungarian. Usually, these books are kept in local archives, while the active municipality administration use just the most recent version of cadaster. When it comes to property, some of it is recorded in censuses conducted for purpose of tax determination. Another part is preserved in local archives and mostly it consist from records of companies’ properties.

Military Records in Serbia

Serbian and Yugoslav military were always fairly strict when it comes to keeping records. Every professional soldier and officer has a personal file, preserved in the Military archives in Belgrade. The same institution keeps the detailed records on all military formations and units, actions and positions during the wars, POW’s in enemy camps. Documentation derived from the work of military courts is kept there as well. For some wars and some regions lists of died, wounded or MIA’s are also preserved. Military archives is a unique archival institution in Serbia as it is still part of the Ministry of defense. It is hard to acquire permit to research there, sometimes even for the professional historians and scholars.

Periodicals and Newspapers in Serbia

Periodicals and newspapers – unlike in USA or Western Europe you won’t find a great number of local periodicals or newspapers. Some places and regions had them over the years, however, in many cases, not a single full series (all published issues) are preserved to this day. You can find fragments scattered in different local archives and libraries and they could be interesting for professional researchers and historians, however when doing a genealogy research these will be of little use. Only few most popular newspapers have been digitalized (Politika, Vreme, Pravda – for the period until 1945), but these are national papers printed in Belgrade and often they don’t register the events in small or remote settlements across the country

Probate Records in Serbia

Probate Records – are being kept in the local archives or in the local courts, if the document is less than 30 years old.

WW2 and the Holocaust Records in Serbia

WW2 record and the Holocaust – WWII is probably the most traumatic and tragic period in otherwise very complex Serbian history. Nazi occupation, Holocaust, civil war, genocide, the revolution – it all happened in just 4 years taking almost million lives. Many documents and records were lost or purposely destroy during the war or immediately after. However, a number of archives, including Archives of Serbia, Archives of Yugoslavia, Historical archives of Belgrade, Military archives, Jewish historical museum and some local archives are keeping massive documentation regarding the war. Holocaust victims and history can be researched via internet, since the Holocaust museum, Yad Vashem Holocaust Remembrance Center and other prominent international institutions are also keeping copies of documents and have even published some of the online. Large internet database of WWII in Yugoslavia (mostly books in pdf and some documents) is available at

Jewish Records in Serbia

Jewish Records – ever since the 16th Century we can track the existence of both Sephardic and Ashkenazi Jewish communities in Serbia. Unfortunately, almost 90% of Serbian Jews have been murdered in the Holocaust (1941–1945). Jewish communities in the county, as like as the Jewish historical museum, keep important records on member of community, rabbis, all king of Jewish organizations, cemeteries, emigration to state of Israel, Holocaust and its consequences.

Donauschwaben Records in Serbia

Donauschwaben – Danube Germans, Volksdeutsche – In Vojvodina province (North Serbia) lived, for several centuries, large number of German families. They had colonies in almost all towns (in some they were ethnical majority) and in many villages. Most of these Germans were colonized here in late 17th and first half of 18th Century from Rhineland and other parts of Germany. During the WWII a number of Danube Germans participated in atrocities and war crimes against peoples of Yugoslavia. In 1945 communist authorities relinquished a collective punishment, forcibly exiling entire German population of the country (similar thing happened in entire East Europe). Most of the exiled went to Austria and West Germany, while other, immediately or after some time, moved to USA, Canada, Australia or South American countries. Tracking family history of Donauschwaben is complex and main sources are mostly kept in local archives of Vojvodina and church books of Catholic and Orthodox churches in towns and villages. Also, some kind of first step assistance is offered online, via specialized website committed to preservation of Donauschwaben legacy ( Professional organizations, guilds, unions and syndicates – these institutions can sometimes be very useful when tracing family history. Unfortunately, in most cases, these records are just partially preserved to this very day. Often they are been kept in local archives, while the largest ones are kept in Archives of Serbia and Archives of Yugoslavia. Some guilds and professional organizations that have long continuity of existence and activity have their own private archives which are usually unavailable for researchers.

Guilds, Unions and Syndicates Records in Serbia

Professional organizations, guilds, unions and syndicates – these institutions can sometimes be very useful when tracing family history. Unfortunately, in most cases, these records are just partially preserved to this very day. Often they are been kept in local archives, while the largest ones are kept in Archives of Serbia and Archives of Yugoslavia. Some guilds and professional organizations that have long continuity of existence and activity have their own private archives which are usually unavailable for researchers.