Polish Population Registers - Books of Residents being indexed by JRI-Poland #general

Stanley Diamond

In his message of January 11th, Fred Hoffman wrote:

"Population registers," also called "Books of residents."
In Polish, these registers are usually called _ksiegi ludnosci stalej_,

Whatever the name, they are extremely valuable sources, because they
were used to register permanent residents of a given district, and the
information in them was updated regularly. Details on deaths, military
service, and relocation were typically recorded, often with specific
details that can prove vital in tracking various changes in a family's
history. Traveling papers of various kinds were drawn up by local
authorities on the basis of these books, which the authorities then
At the 2005 International Conference on Jewish Genealogy in Las Vegas,
an important announcement was made concerning JRI-Poland's indexing
of Books of Residents and Census Records. Unlike civil records, these
sources include family groups on a house-by-house basis, and typically
provide names of individuals, father's and mother's names, mother's
maiden name, date and place of birth, occupation, former residence
and army draft information. Since a percentage of Jewish births were
not registered, Books of Residents and Census Records are sometimes
the only source of information on certain individuals.

For several years JRI-Poland, in cooperation with the Polish State
Archives, has been indexing these sources (in a number of PSA branches
around Poland). As the indexing of civil records for most towns in Poland
has been rapidly advancing, a decision was made to expand the indexing
of Books of Residents / Census records to all branches of the PSA with
such record sources.

As a result, an annex to the JRI-Poland/PSA agreement was signed in
early 2005 that formalizes this expansion of JRI-Poland activity to include
not only Books of Residents / Census records, but also other types of
records with genealogical content.

Although these records are generally listed in the PSA "ELA" online
database (www.archiwa.gov.pl/?CIDA=43), the information is in Polish
nd not all descriptions are uniform. Therefore, JRI-Poland has been
working with directors of PSA branches to establish inventories of the
most logical books to be indexed. As information on a town source is
received, researchers for that town will be advised of the availability of
such records. If researchers have documented the existence of such
registers for their towns, the next step they should take is to contact
the JRI-Poland Archive Coordinator for the branch of the Polish State
Archives that covers their town.

Similar to vital records, as the indexing is funded, this data will be eligible
to be added to the JRI-Poland online database. Since more detailed
information is recorded in the Books of Residents & Census indexing
projects files and the indices are being created while referencing the
actual volumes at the branch archives, the costs associated with this
data entry are relatively higher than vital records indexing. This indexing
is being done by the State Archives' staff archivists (working in off-
hours directly for and hired by JRI-Poland).

As a result, it generally will be necessary to have an advance indications
of interest before work on specific towns can be started.

A number of town Books of Residents have already been indexed and
I am pleased to announce that indexing of the City of Radom Books of
Residents project is now underway at the Radom Archives.

More than 5000 entries have already been received and it is estimated
that there will be up to 40,000 entries when the work is completed by

Jewish Records Indexing - Poland, Inc. is an independent U.S.
non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.

Stanley Diamond
Executive Director, Jewish Records Indexing - Poland

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