European research difficulties after war damage

+3 votes
Here’s a gap in my genealogy learning...

Given the massive damage across Europe due to WWII, how hard is it for folks researching ancestry in Europe due to the loss of primary sources? Were precautionary measures taken to protect old documents like parish records and other such genealogical records? How difficult is it to make connections to ancestry when there is a loss of records?

I would think this would be less difficult for Euroaristo research than for others. I only tagged three countries, but I’m sure many others could be included.
in The Tree House by Pip Sheppard G2G Astronaut (2.5m points)

4 Answers

+3 votes
Don't know about the rest of Europe, but a large number of West Country records were lost when the archives in Exeter were hit by a bomb.
by Living Hampson G2G6 Pilot (105k points)
+5 votes
In the Czech Archives there are church records that are from the early 1600s.

I continued to be amazed by what still exists.
by George Fulton G2G6 Pilot (509k points)
+6 votes
From my experience working with Americans, you could compare it to the damage to records which happened in the civil war and war of independence, or probably it was less. There are many local archives around Europe, and much of the damage was on a local level, meaning specific collections or bits of collections were damaged or lost. But for English speakers one of the biggest conflict-related losses of archives might be the Irish one during their revolution. I can't by the way think of any archive I've come across which was stolen deliberately during a war in any major way, but there were I think cases which ended up in private hands (often American), and effectively got lost to research that way.
by Andrew Lancaster G2G6 Pilot (116k points)
+1 vote
The lack of recording (or possible loss of records) in parts of England during the commonwealth period/english civil war is a problem.
by Gillian Causier G2G6 Pilot (263k points)

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