Austria-Czech SIG #Austria-Czech Re: Understanding Familianten Records #austria-czech


Celia Male <celiamale@...>
 

John Freund of Toronto wrote to me [I have his permission to quote]:
"Hello Celia, my understanding is that although the Familianten law was enacted
in the 1700s, the enforcement and the bureacracy delayed the recordings by
generations. The actual records were most likely copied >from more primitive
documentation."

John, you are partially correct - but there were early Jewish records and perhaps
Church records which were fragile. I am sure they were enforced and I doubt that
they were primitive though; things were very sophisticated and detailed in those
early days especially when it related to controlling, counting and taxing the
Jews! Few bureacracies can compete with the Habsburgs for data gathering and
records. There were many censuses of Jews in Bohemia and presumably Moravia. Just
enter "census" into the search box on our Austria-Czech home page and you will
find them: 1719, 1722, 1724, 1783, 1793 etc ...

You can also read "In 1724, the first census of all Jews in the Czech lands was
carried out. Approximately 30,000 Jews inhabited 168 towns and 672 villages in
Bohemia and approximately 20,000 lived in Moravia, while 2,335 Jewish families
(approximately 10,500 Jews) were registered in Prague."

So this 1724 census must have been an excellent foundation for the Familianten
laws which were enacted two years later. The fact that in the 1793 census, the
sons are all listed as: erstgeborener, zweitgeborener etc, shows that this
listing was already very well-established in the 1700s.

My gt-gt-gt grandfather Samuel KOHN born in 1762 in Grossbock [Velka Bukovina,
Konigsgratzer Kreis] is listed as a Familiant; so there must have been books
going far, far back. His father born in 1722, Markus KOHN, House No 46,
Grossbock, Bohemia is designated as a Schutzjude of Count Sporck.

I should also have referred everyone to our excellent Austria-Czech site where
you can read the following:

http://www.jewishgen.org/austriaczech/czechguide.html

"One other result of the Familianten laws was that the government kept very
good records of which families lived in which towns. The list of Familianten
were collected in the Book of Jewish Familianten [also called "Mannschaftsbuecher"
in Moravia]. Records were collected in 1799 and in 1811 and updated until about
1830. Each record comprised the name of county, registration number of the family
in the whole land (based on "copulatio consensus"), the registration number of
family in the county (set up in 1725), name of the father, his wife, his sons
and a few other family details.... "

Hopefully, Julius and/or Daniel of the Jewish Museum, will let us know if some of
the much earlier records on which these 1799 and 1811 books were based still
exist and what form they took? Were the censuses used directly or were they
transcribed into special books, most of which may have got lost or destroyed when
the big Familianten books [1799 and 1811] were written and bound?

Celia Male [UK]

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