About Genealogy Tobolka

Ahnenforschung-Tobolka is a one-person company based in Vienna.

On behalf of my clients, I explore their ancestors, and on request also their families, and transfer old handwritten texts into a font that is legible today.

Founder: Mag. Christian Tobolka
Founding year: 2017

Products and services

  • Ancestor and family research
  • Document the research as a report – in the form of a book for reading and browsing

  • Transcription and translation of the old manuscript entries from »Kurrent« and »Sütterlin« into a readable font today or in German (from latin)

  • Research in the State Archives and the Vienna City and State Archives

  • Research by a historian

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 become 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.

Foundation History

For a long time, genealogy was just a hobby of mine, but it received important impulses from my degree in history at the University of Vienna. I have acquired both historical knowledge as well as important skills – e.g. the reading of the old, historical (hand) writings or the complete documentation by precise references.

My hobby also colored my studies because I specialized in historical demography. This is a subdiscipline of history, which uses the method of family reconstruction and statistics based on it, for statements on fertility, mortality, the marriage behavior of our ancestors and more.

Important experiences also came about through the exploration of my own ancestors, as well as those of a friend. And since I do private family research, there is always something new to discover. This activity is a lot of fun, and so the step to the professional genealogist was only a matter of time.

Schedule of research

It’s important to start with clarifying what customers want to know about their ancestors and family, and what they already know or what documents they have in their possesion – the more the better. As a genealogist, I need a starting point (person) from which I can begin my research. This clarification can take place at a personal meeting (only in Vienna) or by phone, e-mail or chat.

Think in advance what you want to know, gather as much information from your family as possible. Ask your relatives. Important are original documents (birth, marriage and death certificates, photos, letters, etc.).

Unfortunately, such documents have not been preserved in all families. If this is the case, before the actual research can take place (in church books), a detour via the registry office must first be taken. However, the legislature has set up a hurdle, because the data of the deceased are subject to a retention period of up to one hundred years (in Austria). You may have them issued in the form of a certificate, but only for direct ancestors (parents, grandparents, etc.) – with a power of attorney, others may apply for the certificates instead.

Since the registry office (civil status authority) was only established in Austria in 1938/39 (already in Burgenland in 1895), the denominations are responsible for births before 1938. With the catholic church one has to turn to the respective parish.

After this introductory phase, I check whether a baptismal or wedding entry can be found in the church book. With a successful hit the biggest hurdle is cleared and nothing is standing in the way of the actual research anymore.

The duration of the research is difficult to estimate in advance, since nobody knows where it leads to, which (if) information can be found in the sources, which (micro) migration history families have, if there were illegitimate children among the ancestors (many entries miss the information about the fathers).

Equally difficult to answer is the question of how far back it can go – not all church books have survived to this day. Mostly you get back to 1800, with good sources for individual lines also to the time of 1650-1700.

Upon completion of the research, the research report will be sent to a printing company that prints and binds the book, which takes about two days. For small orders, only the printing takes place.

The handover will be either personal or postal.

Help! I can not read grandpa’s letter

Our ancestors wrote in a different script than we did. This is popularly known as Kurrent script or Sütterlin alphabet and has changed over the centuries.

In addition, these were handwritten manuscripts. Some wrote beautifully, others had a claw. The Kurrent script was taught in schools in Austria and Germany until 1941.

Today, many find it difficult to read texts in this old script. Remedy is the transfer (transcription) into a modern script by competent readers.

Do you own old handwritten texts of your ancestors, such as letters, postcards, diaries, documents, etc?

Do you want to know what they had to say?

I happily find it out for you.

Consumer’s Reviews

Herr Tobolka hat die Ahnenforschung von meinem Vater sehr aufschlussreich und gut erledigt. Ich danke ihm dafür.

Franz

“Christian Tobolka helped me for a transcription. His work was done fast, seriously and with great attention about my request. Thank you very much. ”

Timothee

“Herr Mag. Tobolka ging stets freundlich und kompetent auf meine zahlreichen Fragen ein. Im Rahmen der Zusammenarbeit kamen einige Überraschungen aus dem Leben meiner Vorfahren ans Tageslicht. Vielen Dank! Roman”

Roman

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