About Me

Hello, my name is Christian Tobolka, I live in Vienna and studied history at the university with a focus on historical demography and archival studies.

Through my studies I became interested in genealogy. The actual reason for this may seem banal: in the courses at the university it was emphasized again and again, historical research takes place in the archive. But as a student you get only in contact with archives if a special course is offered.

It bothered me immeasurably.

But I knew that my grandparents and great-grandparents had kept all family documents, and so I gained my first experience with archival documents. Today, these form the basis of the family archive. But they also saved me the way to the registry office, and when the first parish records were put online and I found my first relative, I was infected with the fever genealogy.

I also used my time at the university to learn the basics of genealogy and family research. In addition to the priorities mentioned at the beginning, this also includes learning to read old handwriting (paleography of the modern era). And I did an inventory in the house, court and state archives.

I also owe my thesis to my interest in genealogy and family research: a historical demographic micro study. It is based on around 7,000 matriculation entries, which I transcribed and then reconstructed the families (of an entire village from 1681-1849).

The blog on this page contains texts, podcast episodes and videos on genealogy and family research. So if you want to do your own research, I recommend the relevant articles.

I am sorry that the blog is in german only.

Benefits of Genealogy

Many justify their desire to learn more about their ancestors, with the search for their own identity.

  • What does my name mean?
  • Where do my ancestors come from?
  • How did they live?
  • Do I have unknown relatives?
  • Or even famous ones?
  • How far back can a line of ancestors be traced?
  • Why am I here and not there?

Often family stories are the starting point. But are they true? Was not there the uncle who emigrated to America? Did he get rich?

Why did the great-grandfather move here? Who did he leave behind?

Or the love of the great-grandmother, which is told only behind closed doors. Was there a child?

Why was dad adopted? Who were his birth parents?

How was it possible for great-great-grandfather to visit college, even though his father was just a tavern keeper?

Whatever the reasons, the results surprise, even if they are sobering sometimes. But usually questions can be answered as above.

However, genealogy is more than the mere ranking of names and dates. It brings history to life, makes you smile, sometimes even upset.

Values and claims

As a historian, I am committed to good scientific practice. I research in historical sources rather than creating fictional lineages and document (cite) them. In addition, I rely on findings of historical science.

Another important point is data protection. Since it is important to me, I handle the data of others with due care. I neither sell them nor do I pass them on – at most the bookbinder could see something.

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