WITNESSES - Clarifications #poland


Dear friends and fellow researchers

It seems that I did not explain myself correctly in my original posting.
Here go some clarifications:

= My posting did NOT refer to Galicia so Austrian law and regulations have
nothing to do with this exchange. The discussion is about Congress Poland,
i.e. Russian law. In most Galician records that *I myself* have seen (except
for a couple of towns) relatives or friends indeed appear as witnesses. This
is not surprising in view of the fact that at least until 1876, official
registration was kept by the local Jewish community.

= Jewish law regarding witnesses DOES NOT apply to secular registration. It
applies to Jewish registrations. I don't know how much there was in common
between the Pinkassim (Jewish registration) kept by the Kahal and the lists
handed over to the government.

Back to Congress Poland:

= I have never come across a birth record in which AT LEAST ONE of the
witnesses was not a representative of the synagogue. I don't know if this
was a legal requisite of the Polish authorities under Russian law, or if
this was in the best interest of the heads of the Jewish community. If
someone has a learned answer, I would like to be enlightened.

= Since I do not know the answer to this query, I offered my assumptions as
such. They are assumptions and they are mine. You should not take them as
facts. They are based on background material that I studied in college about
the history of Polish Jews, but they are not facts. You may take them or
leave them.

Lancy Spalter
Kfar Tavor, Israel.

Join {main@groups.jewishgen.org to automatically receive all group messages.