Testimonies:

  • Guiding in Radkekhiv (Radziechów)

    It was a pleasant experience to be with you on our trip in Galicia, the homeland of our family. We, all …
  • Bilyi Kamin & Sasiv, Galicia

    Tomasz was an excellent guide for the discover your shtetl tour. We visited two villages near Lviv [Bilyi Kamin & …
  • Tour to Bolekhiv & Drohobych

    Tomasz paved the way for my trip to eastern Ukraine beginning 6 months ahead. He found family records going back …

Vital records of the Jews in Slovakia

Vital registration of the Jews before the World War One may be divided into two bodies: registered prior to 1895 and after 1895. Religious congregations were responsible for registration of birth, marriages and deaths before 1895, so records for each religious group were registered separately. All places in Slovakia were grouped in above 130 Jewish vital registration districts. People living in villages were obliged to register vital events in vital registration district center to which the village belonged (usually the nearest town).

In 1895 the Hungarian State (which Slovakia was a part of) took over the responsibility and thus made vital registration civil. Since that year vital events were registered together, regardless religious divisions.

LDS Church have microfilmed all pre-1895 vital records of the Jews held in the Slovakian archives. Records registered after 1895 are available only in local archives in Slovakia. Due to privacy law only records till about 1905 are freely searchable. Records for most eastern part of Slovakia (former Ung district) are held in Zemplén, Hungary and Uzhhorod, Ukraine.

We are updating our map with a new layer showing Jewish vital registration districts in Slovakia. Only districts with actually existing vital records in archives in Slovakia and Zemplén are shown. In the layer for Jewish vital registration districts in Galicia we show all districts, also those for which all vital records are lost.

Feel free to contact us if you need assistance in genealogical research of the vital records of Jews in Slovakia, as well as Zakarpattia (Podkarpatská Rus, Carpathian Ruthenia, Trans-Carpathia).

Source: Sarmányová-Kalesná Jana, Cirkevné matriky na Slovensku zo 16.-19. storočia (Bratislava: Odbor Archívnictva Ministerstva Vnútra SR, 1991).

The 1897 census of Odessa (research project)

odessaWe are beginning a new, huge project on the 1897 census of Odessa!

Please, contact us if you are interested in joining it. The more participants the lower costs of research per person!


About the census

The 1897 census of was the first modern census enumerated in the Russian Empire and at the same time the last one before the Bolshevik revolution. It registered:
family name, given name, patronymic, sex, relation to householder, age, marital status, social estate, place of birth, place of registration, place of residence, notice of absence, faith, mother language, literacy, occupation, secondary occupation, military status, mental illnesses and disabilities, address.


What exists today

As you know as a rule it was customary to destroy the census lists after contemporary officials computed information they were interested in. Odessa is one of the few exceptional cities for which the original census list from 1897 are still kept. The State Archives of the Odessa Province holds 2752 files with census lists. Judging by the overall number of pages in these files and total number of population in Odessa, I estimate that about 44% of original census lists has survived. In other words existing information covers about 61 thousands of Jews out of 139 thousands living in 1897 in Odessa (assuming that the files were lost spatially randomly). It makes this collection one of the most comprehensive genealogical source for Odessa. The files cover only the city of Odessa, they do not include information on nearby locations.

Accessibility of the files & research

LDS Church have scanned all 2752 files. Due to the limitations imposed on the LDS Church by Ukrainian archives, scans are accessible solely at the Family History Centers with disabled option for downloading the scans. 

In order to accomplish the research we will need to go through all 2752 files page by page (67250 scans, 134500 pages!). The files are arranged by houses and streets. There are no name indexes to the files. After finding family with last name researched, we will: 
– translate to English information on all household members from the census list
– retrieve photograph of the file from the State Archives of the Odessa Province for selected, relevant families.

 

Timing

Accomplishing whole research may take even one year, as it requires going through almost 3000 archival files. Family History Centers in Ukraine are open only for limited number of hours per week. In any case we are going to update you with partial results every 2-3 months.

Guiding in Radkekhiv (Radziechów)

radekhiv

On Jewish street in Radekhiv

It was a pleasant experience to be with you on our trip in Galicia, the homeland of our family. We, all the four cousins, have been impressed very much by your kind and nice personality, as well as from your knowledge on the subject of the Jews in the area. We appreciate very much the effort to find a Citizen from the community for helping to locate the house and the farm that was belonged to our Grandfather.

I must mention also the driver that was a good English speaker, kind, and helpful young man.

We were very lucky to have you as our guide, and intend to recommend you to friends and family members.

Thank You very much
From all of us

Ariela Fundaminsky

Israel

Bilyi Kamin & Sasiv, Galicia

Tomasz was an excellent guide for the discover your shtetl tour. We visited two villages near Lviv [Bilyi Kamin & Sasiv] that my ancestors left in the early 1900s. He had done research on each town so that when we arrived he had identified specific locations to visit. He was also creative and flexible: when a building in a cemetery was locked, he called and found the caretaker who unlocked it; same with a small local museum. He even found an elderly woman to tell us recollections of the past. I highly recommend Tomasz.

Lee Schaloop

New York, USA

Busk_009-copy2

Standing for the good name of archives

inverted_question_markYesterday the State Archives of the Lviv Region received anonymous letter denouncing my person. The unsigned, implicitly anti-semitic letter sent from Kyiv claimed that the archives should beware of my person, because i “work for the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs” and  “slander the good name” of the Ukrainian Archives.

I am not used to discuss with cowards who are ashamed of their own name and thoughts, but I will make an exception.

  1. In 2010/2011 I was awarded a scholarship from Polish Bureau For Academic Recognition And International Exchange to conduct my academic research at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. The scholarship was sponsored by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
    There is huge difference between working for the Israeli MFA and getting scholarship from it. Beside this, I see nothing wrong in working for the Israeli MFA (just as for Ukrainian MFA).
  2. This accusation referred to my earlier post on my visit to the State Archives of the Chernihiv Oblast, which took place in 2013. During this visit I was seriously misinformed and treated disrespectfully by some members of the staff of this archive. I found this situation very confusing, and below of any standards of any state institutions. Simply some of the employees did not represent the state institution in which they work in respectful way. Such situations should not be swept under the carpet. Defining a problem is the first step to cure it. Standing for high standards of services in providing by the archives is standing for their good name.

I must say that my second in the archive in 2015 went perfectly and the staff from the reading room as well as th management was extremely polite and cooperative.

Experts says that anonymous letters are usually written by not very bright people. Indeed, it requires minimal level of intelligence to distinguish scholarship from employment and to understand that honest critics of the archival services contributes after all to its improvement and good name (and not silent acceptance of lack of manners among state officials).

Management of the State Archives of the Lviv Region  found this letter embarrassing for the archives and ensured me that they never consider anonymous letters. Thank you for your professional and respectful approach.

Dear anonymous person, we are eagerly looking forward for next denunciations. If you forget to sign them we will do this favor for you and publish your name. It wasn’t that hard to figure out who are you.

Presentation: Jewish Family in Poland in 19th Century

Seattle, beginning of the 20th C.

Seattle at beginning of 20th C.

IAJGS in Seattle is coming soon. Register now to JRI-Poland luncheon with our presentation!

Sunday,   August 7th:  11:45 a.m.-1:15 p.m. in Willow AB
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
JRI-Poland Luncheon: Jewish Family in Poland in 19th Century. Debunking
Myths with Tomasz Jankowski.

What made a Jewish family Jewish? Was it multigenerational and patriarchal?
Could studying Torah help in arranging a good marriage? How “typical” was
your own family?

This talk will help you to place your own family’s history in a broader
context of social and economic changes in Poland over the last two hundred
years. Special attention will be paid to distinguishing the common
characteristics of the Jewish family in the past.

(This luncheon will be 100 percent kosher, and will cost $44, as a result
of an anonymous donation to help underwrite the cost of the kosher
luncheon. If you are registered for the Conference and have not already
registered for the luncheon, the deadline to do so is July 10.)

Eli Wiesel / Sighetu. In memoriam

We did not plan it. No one could plan it. Yet, a regular trip has turned into a symbolic tour through Transcarpathia. Day after Eli Wiesel passed away we have visited his home town and a place of birth, Sighetu Marmației. A black flag is hanged on his family house. Gates to the Jewish cemetery, usually closed, stood open and inviting.

The rain was over and the grass was gently wet as morning dew.

A legend to cadastral maps of Galicia

19-Century cadastral maps of Galicia are wonderful source for genealogists. They may help finding exact localization of ancestral house, show how big it was and how far it was from the synagogue. The extremely detailed maps—full of tiny lines, signs and abbreviations—are hard to interpret without access to the original map legends. Original map legends were published in German separately from the maps.
This is first translation to English of the map legends of the Austro-Hungarian cadastral maps. Below you can find all symbols from Zeichenmuster für die Katastralmappen published in 1849 (found on GesherGalicia) supplemented with a few symbols from later map legend, probably from early 20th century, which I’ve found in the Przemyśl Archives.

For possible issues with house localization see our earlier post on the maps of Drohobych.

GesherGalicia Map Room, szukajwarchiwach.pl, and the Przemyśl Archives provides scans of cadastral maps of numerous Galician towns. Still, there are thousands of more available only in the archives in Lviv, Przemyśl, Rzeszów, and Krakow, covering almost every town and village in Galicia. Feel free to contact us if you are interested in researching them.

 

 

Soil and field types

Ornamental garden Ornamental garden
Zier gärten
Orchards Orchards
Obst gärten
 vegetable gardens Vegetable fields
Gemüse Gärten
 vineyards Vineyards
Wein Gärten
 hop fields Hop fields
Hopfen Gärten
 saffron field Saffron field
Saffran Bau.
 citrus field Citrus field
Grapp bau.
 tobacco field Tobacco field
Tobak bau.
 dry meadow Dry meadow
Trokene Wiesen
 wet meadow Wet meadow
Naise Wiesen
 meadows with fruit trees Meadows with fruit trees
Wiesen mit Obstbäumen
 pastures Pastures (W.)
Weiden
 community pastures Community pastures (G.W.)
Gemeinde Weiden
 marsh Marsh
Sümpfe
 marsh with reeds Marsh with reeds
Sümpfe mit Rohrwuchs
agricultural land Agricultural land
Äcker
land with high iron content Agricultural land with high iron content (Rott)
Rott oder Trisch Äcker
 lands with fruit trees Land with fruit trees
Äcker mit Obstbäumen
 land with olive trees Land with olive trees
Äcker mit Öhlbäumen
 land with grapevines Land with grapevines
Äcker mit Weinreben
rice fields Rice fields
Reis felder
 brushwood Brushwood
Gestrippe
 english garden English garden
Englische Anlagen.
 chestnut forest Chestnut woods
Kastanien Wälder
 olive woods Olive woods
Oliven wälder
 sand and gravel pits Sand and gravel pits
Sand und Schotter Gruben
 clay pits Clay pits
Lehm gruben
 bog Bog
Torfstiche
 sea salt works Sea salt works
Meer salinen
 quarry Quarry
Steinbrücke
 desolate land, bare rock Desolate land (Oed.)
ÖdenBare rock (K.G.)
Nackte Felsen.
 groves Groves
Remisen
 mixed forest Mixed forest
 coniferous forests Coniferous forests
Nadelholz Wälder
J.M. young forest
JungmaisS.H. pole forest
StangenholzM.H. medium forest
MittelholzH.S. high tree plantation
Hochstämmig schlager
hardwood forests Hardwood forests
Laubholz Wälder
lakes, ponds, rivers, streams Lakes, ponds, rivers, streams
Seen, Teiche, Flüsse, und BächeLagoon
LagunenSluice gate
Ablass SchleussenSand bank
Sandbanke

Symbols

Buildings

 synagogue Synagogue
Synagoge
 church roman-catholic Roman-catholic church (or Greek-catholic)
Röm. kath. u. griech. unierte Kirche
 church greek-catholic Greek-catholic church
Griech. u. unierte Kirche
 church protestant Protestant church
Evangelische Kirche
 public building Public building
Öffentliche gebaude
 stone building Stone building
Steinerne gebaude
 wooden building Wooden building
Wirthschafts [Hölzerne-] Gebaude
stone residential building Stone residential building
Steinerne Wohngebäude
 wooden residential building Wooden residential building
Hölzerne Wohngebäude
 stone outbuilding Stone outbuilding
Steinerne Wirtschaftsgebäude
 wooden outbuiliding Wooden outbuilding
Hölzerne Wirtschaftsgebäude
 post office Post office
Posthaus
 foresters_house Forester’s house
Jägerhaus
 inn Inn
Wirthshaus
 ruins Ruins
Ruine
 stone windmill Stone windmill
Steinerne Windmühle
 wooden windmill Wooden windmill
Hölzerne Windmühle
 watermill Water mill
Mahlmühle
 sawmill Sawmill
Sägemühle
 

Borders

border country County border (of the Empire)
Ländergrenzen
 border state State border (eg. Galicia)
Kreisgrenzen
 bezirk border District (Bezirk, powiat)
Bezirksgrenzen
 border district Community (gemeinde, gmina)
Gemeindegrenzen
 

Roads

 highway with trench Highway with trench
Chaussée mit Graben
 highway without trench Highway without trench
Chaussée ohne Graben
 road with trench District road with trench
Verbindungswege mit Graben
road without trench District road without trench
Verbindungswege ohne Graben
 dirt route Dirt route
Prügelwege
 trail Bridle path
Saumwege
 path Path
Fusswege
 

Water related objects

 stone pile bridge Stone pile bridge
Steinerne Jochbrücke
 wooden pile bridge Wooden pile bridge
Hölzerne Jochbrücke
 wooden bridge with stone piles Wooden bridge with stone piles
Hölzerne Brücke mit steinernen Jochen
 pontoon bridge Pontoon bridge
Schiffbrücke
 stone dam Stone dam
Steindamm
 embankment dam Embankment dam
Erddamm
 dry trench Dry trench
Trockener Graben
 wet trench Wet trench
Nasser Graben
 stone weir Stone weir
Steinerne Wehre
 wooden weir Wooden weir
Hölzerne Wehre
 cistern Cistern
Zisterne
 stone well Stone well
Steinerner Rohrbrunn
 wooden well Wooden well
Hölzerner Rohrbrunn
 logs on river Logs on river
Holzschwemme
 log flume Log flume
Holzriesen
 wooden flotsam screening Wooden flotsam screening
Holzrechen
 water tank Water tank
Wasserhälter
 canal with sluice Canal with sluice
Canále mit Schleussen
 fascine Fascine
Faschinen Bau
 reaction ferry Reaction ferry
Fliegende Brücke
 stone dike Stone dike
Steinerne Uferversicherung
 wooden dike Wooden dike
Hölzerne Uferversicherung
 river direction River direction
Stromstrich
 brick acqueduct Brick aqueduct
Gemauerte Wasserleitung
 wooden acqueduct Wooden aqueduct
Hölzerne Wasserleitung
 anchorage Anchorage
Ankerplatze
 

Cemeteries

 cemetery with wall Cemetery with wall
Beerdigung Plätze mit Mauer
 cemetery with fence Cemetery with fence
Beerdigung Plätze mit Einplankung
 Jewish cemetery Jewish cemetery
Beerdigung Plätze der Israeliten
 

Fences

 hedgerow Hedgerow
Heken
 fence Fence
Zäune
 fence with stone columns Fence with stone columns
Zaun mit steinernen Pfeilern
 wall Wall
Mauer
 

Wayside objects

 column shrine Column shrine
Martersäule
 stone wayside shrine Stone wayside shrine
Steinerne Kapelle
 wooden wayside shrine Wooden wayside shrine
Hölzerne Kapelle
 stone wayside cross Stone wayside cross
Steinernes Kreutz
 wooden wayside cross Wooden wayside cross
Hölzernes Kreutz
 stone distance sign Stone distance sign
Steinerner Milezeiger
 wooden distance sign Wooden distance sign
Hölzerner Milezeiger
 stone signpost Stone signpost
Steinerner Wegweiser
 wooden signpost Wooden signpost
Hölzerner Wegweiser
 border stone Border stone
Grenzsteine
 border sign and cairn Border sign (cairn)
Grenz Zeichen (Hotter)
 gallows Gallows
Hochgericht
 

Other

 trigonometrical_point Trigonometrical point
Trigonometrischer Punkt
 graphical point Graphical point
Graphischer Punkt

Video presentation: Love and Money (in Ukrainian)

On November 15, 2015 at the Borys Voznytskiy Lviv National Art Gallery (vul. Stefanyka 3) a lecture by Tomasz Jankowski “Love and Money: the Social Function of Marriage in Historical Perspective” was held. This was the third event of the “Ketubah. Jewish Family Traditions and Traditional Families” lecture program.

Is marriage really a union between just two people? In the past the choice of a marriage partner was influenced firstly by matchmakers, parents, the financial situation of the family, and only lastly by the feelings the young people had for one another. It was also the case that marriage, whether Jewish or Christian, was not only the beginning of a new family. During the lecture, the social role the family in the past were explored along with its transformation during the last two hundred years, when romantic feelings began to play a dominant role. These were the issues Tomasz Jankowski will touch on during his lecture.

Content of genealogical sources from Imperial Russia

Here is the list of typical content of most common sources for Jewish genealogy in Imperial Russia (including Ukraine, Belarus, Bessarabia, Crimea), excluding the Kingdom of Poland (Congress Poland).

Birth records include:

  •  name of the children born,
  • father’s given name, patronymic and last name
  • mother’s name,
  • sometimes mother’s patronymic,
  • rarely mother’s maiden name,
  • father’s place of origin,
  • father’s social class,
  • place of birth,
  • date of birth,
  • date of circumcision for boys.

Marriage records include:

  • name, patronymic and last name of both spouses,
  • age of the spouses,
  • place of origin  of the groom or groom’s father and bride’s father,
  • place of origin of bride or, if she was a widow, her previous husband’s place of registration,
  • social class of the groom and bride’s father or, if she was a widow, her previous husband’s social class,
  • information on payment related to marriage contract,
  • rabbi’s name.

Death records include:

  • given name, patronymic and last name of the deceased person,
  • rarely name and patronymic of relative of deceased’s person (wife/husband or father)
  • place of origin,
  • social class or, if deceased person was a child/wife, father’s/husband’s social class.
  • reason of death,
  • age at death,
  • place of death.

The 1875 military census lists information on males arranged according to family units (biological family, without servants, families of sons-in-law were registered as separate units, even if they lived in the same household). This information includes:

  • names, patronymics and last names,
  • age,
  • place of living,
  • place of origin/registration,
  • rarely death dates,
  • family relations.

Revision lists from 1834, 1850, 1858 lists information on males and females arranged according to family units (biological family, without servants, families of sons-in-law were registered as separate units, even if they lived in the same household). This information includes:

  • names, patronymics and last names,
  • age,
  • place of registration,
  • family relations,
  • information if the family was registered in the place during the previous revision list,
  • sometimes year of death, departure or arrival of a family member, if the event took place between the current and previous revision list.

The 1897 census lists information on all members of the household (i.e. biological family, servants, lodgers), their:

  • names, patronymics and last names,
  • sex,
  • family relations,
  • marital status,
  • age,
  • social class,
  • place of birth,
  • place of living,
  • place of registration,
  • information on absence,
  • literacy,
  • education,
  • profession
  • secondary profession,
  • military status,
  • mental illness,
  • illegitimacy,
  • address.