I have indexed several pre 1826 towns.
I used the following indicators for extracting the Jews.
The names of the child, groom, bride, or deceased.
The Hebrew signatures.
The word for Jew "starozykonny" that appears before the names.
The names of the parents and witnesses.
There are several pitfalls:
1) Not all the surnames that appear Jewish are Jewish. Many are used by
both Jewish and Christian.
2) Not all the private names that appear Jewish are Jewish. Some of the
names like Jozef are used by both Jews and Christians.
3) Not all the names that appear Christian are not Jewish. Occasionally
some names like Pawel were used by the Jews.
4) Not all the records have Hebrew signatures.
5) Ocassionally, the word for Jew (starozakonny) is left out.
One has to use a combination of all of these indicators. Usually, after I
extracted the easiest to recognize I go back, and always find a few more that I
This has been my method:
I check for all possible Jewish names if there is an index. Then I go
through all those records and eliminate those that are not Jewish.
Irregardless if there is an index or not, I always go through all the
records, one by one and look for Hebrew signatures and for the word
starozokonny. For those that are uncertain, I look at all the other names,
like mother and witnesses. Between all these indicators, you can extract
all the Jews.
New York City