18 Century Census Records for Eastern Europe are available #general


<Subject: Re: Town/City in Lomza Province
<From: Alexander Sharon <a.sharon@shaw.ca>
<Date: Sat, 16 Jul 2005 21:44:08 +0000 (GMT)
<X-Message-Number: 1

<But in 1775 and again in 1796 the new administration reforms have abolished
term 'provinces' and replaced them with the "Uyezds" (districts in English),
which were subdivided into smaller units called volosts, and this system
existed with some modification till 1929, when Guberniyas were replaced with
Oblast's, Okrugs and Rayons.>

This information is mostly correct, but the following statement is no longer

<Thus, even in 18th century Russia existed sedition into 'provinces' it has
no significant relevance to the Jewish Genealogy, since our records do not go
so far, as they have been established only in the 19th century.>

This is no longer true. The Jewish Family History Foundation's Grand Duchy
of Lithuania-Kingdom of Poland Project has been acquiring and
transliterating/translating census records >from the 18th century - and even
census records for some towns going back to 1600 - 1700. Learn about our
project at www.jewishfamilyhistory.org.

As you will see we have completed acquisition of more than 100,000 records
for what later became Lithuania, Belarus, eastern Poland and Northernmost
Ukraine so far. While the quality of records and the amount of information they
provide differs and is generally less than that available in 19th century
records, many Jewish genealogical researchers have been able to trace their
families back >from early 19th century records, where their families had surnames,
to the 1784 census, and earlier, where they did not yet use surnames. Using
these records they have successfully traced their families back to the early
1700s and some even further back. A few years ago we never dreamed that this
would be possible.

Consult the list of districts and alphabetical list of towns to see what is
in our collection so far. This list grows steadily as records are translated
and the many rural taverns and inns where 40% of the Jews lived in the 17th
and 18th centuries, are identified and added to the list. Usually only a
single Jewish family lived in a tavern, on a farm, ran a mill, etc. Later these
small isolated settlements grew into shtetls and sometimes large towns.

The translations (and even the images of the original records) will appear
on the website, and donated to JewishGen and SIGs, beginning in the near
future. We are beginning the process of linking records for shtetl research
groups in the LitvakSIG, Belarus SIG and JRI-Poland to these 18th century

We welcome you participation in our project, particularly if you are able
and interested in transliterating Old Polish names (which are in basic Latin
script characters) and translating Polish text introductory heading and
subheadings, and Hebrew signatures at the end of each kahal census.

David Hoffman
Jewish Family History Foundation

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