Source of our records ALAN--PLEASE CHECK YOUR MAIL! #bessarabia
Majority of our ancestors' Bessarabia records are kept in National Archive of Republic of
Moldova in Kishinev. In 2018 JewishGen conference in Warsaw I did a presentation about
that Archive, and here are most of it:
Unfortunately it is not easy to get records >from that place, I shared my experience about it
at the conference. Not to go in any details, I should tell that to get a set of records >from
them, and it took me 1.5 years, and it was not easy.
But we know that FamilySearch (LDS) digitized a huge number of Archival documents, and
among them a lot of documents in National Archive of Republic of Moldova in Kishinev.
That helped us to translate and put online almost 400,000! records for our ancestors in
Bessarabia, mostly Vital Records (Birth, Marriages and Death) and Revision Lists (Census).
You also may know that when you find a records in JewishGen, you have a link to a copy of
original record >from FamilySearch, or in some cases to the whole microfilm.
We used to get microfilms for translation >from FamilySearch, but that changed several years
ago, and now we are waiting that the policy will change again and we start getting more
microfilms >from FamilySearch.
FamilySearch has their own huge database and if you go to https://www.familysearch.org
and need to register, it is free. if you go into a Search and hit Moldova you can see two large sections:
Moldova Church Books, 1811-1936 - 3,386,730 images and
Moldova Pols Tax Census (Revision Lists) and Census Lists (1796-1917) - 395,954 images
If you go to the first section and go to Kishinev, you will find in the second column - Kishinev,
Jewish Community (unfortunately it is written all in Russian). You can translate Jewish into Russian
at the Google Translation and find that section. You will get into all kinds of Vital records: Births,
Marriages, Divorces, Deaths. I would say that we Translated this section, and all records are available
at JewishGen. Actually, you can easily translate the web page into English... and find Chisinau,
Jewish Community, etc. Also in the same section you can find few other Jewish Communities.
The second section is where we found Revision Lists, and this is where I found not long time ago first
records for Jewish families >from 1895 All Russia Census! For now we have only 2 families >from that
very important collection.
Unfortunately the catalog at FamilySearch is hard to navigate, and because we stopped receiving
microfilms we turned more and more into FamilySearch collection to find sets of records we did
not get yet. For example the 1910 Family lists for Middle class is spread on 3 microfilms. One we
received a while ago, but two others did not, and our translator had to download image by image to
get them translated. Image to download 600-800 images one by one. I still hope that in a near
future FamilySearch will continue provide us with microfilms. In order to get all records translated
we need to get ALL microfilms, because there are might be a small set of records for Jewish families
(2-3 images) or individual inside a 1000 images for a microfilm.
I think that cooperation between JewishGen and FamilySearch will help a lot FamilySearch too. We
can provide them with better Catalog for their records.
Here are several finds I did couple of days ago:
- a set of 11 images, Metrical books on birth of sons of Kishinev Middle Class born in village
Stetskany, Orgeev uezd. Interesting, right?
I found two Jewish families Shlioma son of Shimon KILIYSKIY with wife Sura and daughter Estra
and also Itsko son of Shimon KILIYSKIY with wife Khayka.
As we know Jews lived in shteitlekh, in some cases almost all shteitle were with Jewish people,
but Jews also lived and worked in villages. Only in Khotin uezd we found at some of the Revisions
of the uezd that Jews lived in about 700 (!) place, only in that uezd. This is the first time I found a
document >from a village with Jewish records among residence.
- there are many sets of service records for government/public officials, and they are usually not
Jewish, but I checked all of them and found ONE for a Jewish person - Naum son of Alter KITROSER.
He was a founding member of Soroki Credit Society. The document provides his detailed education
records, and also his service, all about his family, etc. After that I looked up this name at our database:
Jews involved in Public life and KITROSER was there as Soroki City Counsil.
- found a list of Jews >from Beltsy who run away to other countries in 1850s, and a large Recruit List of
Jews from, Beltsy, Soroki, Rashkov, Ataki, Khotin, colonies
All these sets eventually be translated and appear in our Bessarabia collection at JewishGen.
I would like to ask if someone with good Russian would like to participate in cataloging and translating
records, please let me know personally.
All the best,
JewishGen Bessarabia SIG Leader and Coordinator