• 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 …

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.

The model of Lviv in Wrocław

Why should all lovers of Lviv come to… Wrocław? To see an unique model of Lviv from the end of 18th Century, still before Austria captured this part of Poland. The model was created between 1936 and 1946 by Janusz Witwicki. After the war Witwicki wished to take his model with him to Warsaw, but the soviet authorities afraid that it will stimulate Polish sentiments. In 1946 he finally received agreement to leave Soviet Ukraine with his masterpiece. Three days before leaving Witwicki was mordered by NKVD. His wife escaped to Poland in its new borders and kept the model well hidden for until the fall of communism.
After painstaking restoration the model is displayed at the Centennial Hall in Wrocław.
Pictures of Rynek and the Golden Rose synagogue attached.
More information (in Polish) on panoramalwowa.pl.

Jewish cemeteries in Ukraine


We are proudly presenting most  complete map ofJewish cemeteries in Ukraine available on the internet. You can use this map to check if the place where your ancestor lived had a Jewish cemetery. If there was no Jewish cemetery in your ancestors’ place, with this map you can easily identify the closest place with Jewish cemetery. Basic information on the cemeteries is available after clicking a pin.  The pin-points does not indicate exact location of the cemetery, but the place in which the cemetery is located.

Some cemeteries may be missing. If you found such, please, let us know.

The map is based on surveys performed by: IAJGS International Jewish Cemetery Project, Lo Tishkah, and our own field research.

Sources for Jewish Genealogy in Ukraine

Israel Genealogy Research Association has just announced my 2nd webinar on Jewish genealogy in Ukraine.

March 13, 2016 – 19:00 IST (Israel): Sources for Jewish Genealogy in Ukraine – Part II, Tomasz Jankowski. Following the webinar Tomasz did for IGRA a couple of years ago we received many requests for an additional opportunity to hear from Tomasz. Prepare your questions! A portion of this webinar will be dedicated to answering questions you pose to Tomasz in advance. Registration is a must and send us your questions by March 6.

Love and Money: the social function of marriage in historical perspective

Tomasz Jankowski’s lecture at National Gallery in Lviv

Vassal Stefanyka str. 3, Lviv

Nov 15, 4.00 PM, EET.


Is marriage really a union between only 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. Marriage, whether Jewish or Christian, was not only the beginning of a new family. During the lecture, the social role of the family in the past will be explored along with its transformation during the last two hundred years, when romantic feelings began to play a dominant role.

Admission free.

The lecture will be held in Ukrainain.

Tour to Bolekhiv & Drohobych

Tomasz paved the way for my trip to eastern Ukraine beginning 6 months ahead. He found family records going back to the mid 19th century and helped decipher the information. His creation of a family tree on MyHeritage.com proved most helpful in understanding the family relationships. He even informed us of relatives in the US that we did not know about! Guiding and interpreting on our van journey to two towns in Galicia will be memorable for the rest of my life. His knowledge of Hebrew and of my family tree resulted in the fortunate serendipity in the Jewish cemetery to know I was standing next to the grave of my great-great grandfather! Lada, his partner, who is a Yiddish expert, assisted in tombstone interpretation.

I heartily recommend this team if you seek your Jewish heritage in this area.

Nina Edelman

Milwaukee, USA

Photos no. 2, 3 & 4 by Bruce Gendelman. Photo no. 1 by Jewish Family Search.

Reading Tony Judt

Vladyslava in Marci Shore's article in New Yorker on Ukrainian perspectives. Brings hope.

Posted by Jewish Family Search on Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Lectures On-Demand! IAJGS 2015

On-Demand 2015A few days ago I’ve received a promotional e-mail from IAJGS 2015 saying that my lectures are featured on the On-demand! program IAJGS 2015. So those who are interested in:
1) Hypotheses on the growth of the Jewish population, and
2) Censuses in 19th-Century central Ukraine as a genealogical source
may still watch them for the next 3 months, unfortunately for a modest fee (I’m not paid!).
“19th Century Censuses in Central Ukraine” was listed as one of 13 most interesting lectures of the IAJGS 2015 along with rabbi Israel Meir Lau’s and Alexander Beider’s lectures among others.

IAJGS 2015 is over

IAJGS 2015 Ramada

Chill out space of the conference…

I thought I’d write something about the IAJGS 2015 conference in Jersulaem, but I think too much time has passed already since the beginning of July. Having a table on the exhibition hall was an excellent idea and great experience. Exhausting as well, after three days of consultation we’ve run out of voice 🙂

Wladyslaw Szlengel’s pre-war records on CD

Activity of Jewish Family Search members is not focused only on genealogy. In our free time we explore and protect other aspects of the Jewish history, e.g. collecting and transferring pre-war shellack records…

On 19th and on 20th of May , the main polish newspaper , Gazeta Wyborcza, will be sold with additional CDs including re-issues of pre-war tangos with lyrics written by a Jewish-Polish poet from Warsaw, Władysław Szlengel. Tomasz from Jewish Family Search worked as sound engineer for the project, transferring and remastering the original shellack records, removing all the unnecessary clicks and noises but at the same time trying to preserve the original vibe of the 1930’s shellack records.

Wladyslaw_Szlengel_CDWładysław Szlengel, born in 1914, was the most recognizable lyricist in Poland in late 1930’s. During the War he stayed in the Warsaw Ghetto, where he wrote several poems describing everyday life during the Holocaust. He and his wife were killed during the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in 1943.

More about Władysław Szlengel on Gazeta Wyborcza (in Polish). The records for the CDs were selected by dr Katarzyna Zimek.

After 20th of May the CDs will be available on Kulturalny Sklep.