The constantly growing financial requirements of the Hapsburg state administration, coupled with high military costs during the Napoleonic Wars, brought about the need for increased tax revenue at the beginning of the 19th century. A new land register was created to more equitably distribute the tax burden. A patent from Emperor Franz I, dated 23 December 1817, defined the requirements for the so-called Stabile cadastre (in Austria also known as Franziszeischer Kataster). All fields were to be newly surveyed, described, and categorized according to the quality of the soil. Cadastral maps were drawn up for each village at a standard scale of 1:2880 so that one Viennese inch on the map represented 40 Viennese fathoms on the ground (1 square inch equaled 1 Lower Austrian Jitro [i.e. 1 600 square fathoms]). Larger-scale maps were completed for town centers. The surveying was conducted by groups consisting of both military and civil surveyors.
The new cadastre was to be a complete and permanent list of all taxable real estate. Demarcated fields were called plots and given plot numbers. From the preliminary original map, a copy, called an Indication Sketch, was made. The Indication Sketch was a portable, colored map that was used to record changes as they occurred. The map showed the names of land owners, house numbers, types of agricultural products, and each field's quality. Objects were differentiated by color – fields in ochre, gardens in dark green, water in blue, wooden buildings in yellow, brick buildings in red, etc. In addition to the numbers allotment, the plot protocol – register of all fields, buildings, and their owners – was made out. According to the plot protocol other written parts were created, especially main book of possessions (Bezitzstands-Hauptbuch), which later replaced the land property books.
In addition to the Indication Sketches, the original maps, known as the Imperial imprints (Císařské otisky), were also preserved. They reflect the status at the time when the mapping was done. It is important to know that these maps don't record house numbers, but only plot numbers, marked in black.
The initial phase of mapping in Bohemia commenced in 1826 and continued till 1830. A second phase was completed between 1837 and 1843. In Moravia & Silesia, the first phase was done between 1826 and 1830; a second phase began in 1833 and finished in 1836. In 1869, a revision (Reambulaton) was ordered; the maps and written papers were to be updated with all changes since the original survey.
Map Legend of the Indication Sketch:
Plot numbers of fields are marked in red. Owners and their house numbers are marked in black.
In case of buildings it is vice versa:
Sample from the Indication Sketch
On the left, we see house #36 (red number), standing on building plot #27 (black number). We're able to discern that garden plot #23 (red number) belongs to the house #36 (black number).
Sample from the Imperial imprint
The same building, but without the house number. We only see the building plot #27 (black number) and the field plot #23 (red number), but, from this map, it's not obvious to which house the garden belongs.
Maps of Stabile cadastre (National archive in Prague, German language)
Written parts of Stabile cadastre (National archive in Prague, German language)
|WHY were they created?||To determine property taxes|
|WHEN were they collected?||1826-1869|
|WHO collected the records?||Cartographic committees consisting of military and civil surveyors|
|WHAT information can be found?||Map and exact description of buildings and fields held by ancestors|
|In which ARCHIVES are they held?||National archive for Bohemia, MZA Brno for Moravia|
|In which archive FILES can they be found?||Stabile cadastre|
|LANGUAGE of records||Czech, German|
|What must be KNOWN before getting started?||Name of the town, district, region|
Indikační skica (includes house numbers in red)
Císařský otisk (shows only plot numbers)
Collections of records sorted on the territorial basis
Collection of records from the whole country in one place
In this application both Indication Sketches (Indikační skica) and Imperial imprints (Císařský otisk) are available. It is important to note that only the Indication Sketches (Indikační skica) include house numbers, which are marked in red.