Re: patrynomic records in JRI-Poland #general

Stanley Diamond

In a message dated Thu, 3 May 2001, "marty" <> writes:

I've just now entered the time period where LDS microfilmed records
are lacking surnames.
I was, first of all, surprised to find that even when surnames were
available, the indices for some years were by 'first name.' snip snip
My question is: How do JRI-Poland records on the JewishGen site
deal with records without surnames? Are they not included?
If they are included, how are they searchable, since surname is the
only search option I see? Does one search by the patrynomic?
Does anyone have recommendations on how to best work with LDS
records (or JRI-Poland records) >from this period?
I haven't seen anything in the FAQ or my research books.
For full background on patronymic surnames in the Jewish vital
records of various areas of Poland and information on how
Jewish Records Indexing - Poland makes this data available,
go to the following JRI-Poland web page.

< >

Here is a brief summary:

The Patronymic Years
Understanding Polish Jewish Records
That Have No Family Names

Until the late 18th century or early 19th century (depending on the
area) -- there were no family names used in Polish-Jewish records.
As a result, it has been impractical to include the indices to such
records in the Jewish Records Indexing-Poland database that is
based on surname searches. Early records of Poland that do not
contain family names are often referred to as "patronymic" records.

Patronymic records

Because the indexes during this period contain few, if any,
Jewish surnames; it is necessary to look at each registration
(the entire record) in full in order to determine possible
relationships. By extracting the given names of the father,
mother and paternal and maternal grandfathers, researchers
may be able -- through deduction - to determine if a
record could possibly be for their family and perhaps even
move their family search back a generation or two.

Patronymic Town Files

To provide the opportunity for more detailed study of the
"patronymic" years, JRI-Poland volunteers are creating individual
town files with FULL extracts >from these records. These are far
more detailed information than is contained in JRI-Poland indices.
Each town file will typically contain those years (i.e. 1808-1825)
where no surnames appear.

Each town file has a contact ("Patronymic File Coordinator")
who will be responsible for maintaining that file and hopefully
collecting information >from their fellow researchers to identify
probable surnames. These "conjectural surnames" so identified
will be noted by square brackets. E.g. "[TOBIASZ]".

Contributing Patronymic Town Files

In addition to the mixed Jewish and Catholic records for the
pre-1825 period, there are hundreds of villages for which there
are no post-1825 Jewish records but for which there are mixed
1808-1825 civil records. Many of these are identified with a
"*" in the LDS Film Inventory on the JRI-Poland web site.
Researchers are encouraged to search for Jewish entries in the
records of all towns in the proximity of the town of prime focus.

Researching Patronymic Town Files

Downloadable Town Files for patronymic records are linked
from the "Contents of the Database" page. These Excel files
are noted by the words "patronymic records" below the town
name. For examples of Patronymic Town Files, see the pull-
down menus for the towns of Jasienica, Wierzbica and Warta.
If there are questions about the town's data or if a researcher
can derive a surname >from the information provided, there is
an e-mail contact for the volunteer who provided the data.

For information about and strategies to research Patronymic
records, see the article "Vital Records in Poland - A Primer" in
"Kielce-Radom SIG Journal", Volume I, Number 2 (Spring 1997),
pages 3-7; a version is available online as a JewishGen InfoFile:
< >.

Much more information about the interpretation and use of these
pre-1826 Napoleaonic vital records can be found in several articles
written by Lauren Davis for the "Kielce-Radom SIG Journal". See
< >, which refers to
two online articles: "The Power of Extracts" and "Don't Let a
Little Extraction Scare You".

Jewish Records Indexing - Poland, Inc. is an independent
non-profit 505(c)3 U.S. tax-exempt organization and is
hosted by JewishGen.

Stanley Diamond
Project Coordinator, Jewish Records Indexing - Poland

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