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North Macedonia Beginning Research

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Parish registers, 1800s-present. Virtually all of the Christian population is Macedonian Orthodox. Based on the pattern in Serbia, the parish registers probably exist for the period 1800-present, and they are located in churches and in the various archives.

Civil registration. Ottoman population registers (see below) functioned in the role of civil registration until 1913 when FYROM (Macedonia)became part of Serbia. There was no modern civil registration until the communist takeover in 1946. Civil registration offices function under the Ministry of Internal Affairs and are separate from the state archive system.

Censuses. Censuses were conducted in connection with Ottoman population registers (see below) until 1913 when FYROM (Macedonia)was absorbed by Serbia. The first national census was conducted in 1921 when FYROM (Macedonia)was part of Yugoslavia. The location of the census returns is unknown.

Ottoman population registers. Population registers and census returns were introduced concurrently in 1829-1831. They were amalgamated into a single system of record keeping in 1881-1889. The registers and census returns were kept by officials at the kaza (district) level. The reason for population registration before 1881 was to levy taxes on non-Muslims and to identify Muslims for conscription. Only males were registered. After 1881 all individuals were counted in both the census and the population registers after that date. The registers listed all family members; sex; birth date; residence; age; religion; craft or occupation; marital status, marriage date; health; military status. Some registers may be located in state and provincial archives, while most are probably at the Ottoman Archives in Istanbul, Turkey.

To identify the jurisdictions and localities in FYROM (Macedonia)refer to: Imenik mesta u Jugoslaviji (Place names in Yugoslavia). Beograd: Novinska Ustanova Službeni List SFRJ, 1973. (949.7 E5u; film 874,462 item 2).

The Archive of FYROM (Macedonia)was established in 1951. Click here to visit their website. An earthquake destroyed the facility in 1963. In 1969 a new building was completed. There are nine regional archives located in Bitola, Kumanovo, Ohrid, Prilep, Skopje, Strumica, Tetovo, Titov Veles, and Stip. Because of the late date at which the various archives were formed, there is a strong possibility that important genealogical sources have not been gathered into the archival system.