Mark London asked about his relative who was a frequent witness for
divorces and marriages.
It is not uncommon to find in Suwalk Gubernia vital records the names of
individuals who crop up, time and again, as witnesses for marriages.
This does not necessarily indicate that they were the rabbi's
assistant or held any sort of office. Oftentimes, they were older men
who were no longer working and, hence, easily available to serve as
witnesses. Jewish law concerning the qualification of such witnesses,
is that they were not related to the parties involved, were not known
drunkards or gamblers, and were to have an "acceptable" degree of