Yachsin, certificator of family trees ? #general

Alberto Guido Chester

Dear Genners

While reading the novel "Just Revenge" by well known academic Alan M.
Dershowitz I found with surprise the mention of an official tracer of
family trees " who certified the bona fide of the claims made by
families concerning their rabbinical lineage". This profession in
Vilna, Lithuania was called a Yachsin.

I had never heard before of this as a way of tracing Jewish ancestors
as, for instance, that the first page of Siddurs were used to keep
family records.

The word yachsin shows no related results in Google.

Can someone illustrate on the profession of yachsin, where was it
usual, at what time in history it happened and any additional info ?

Thanks in advance.

Note: page 34 in the 2000 paperback edition.

Alberto Guido Chester
Buenos Aires, Argentina

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