Gesher Galicia SIG #Galicia Church Records in Galicia Villages #galicia

Pamela Weisberger <pweisberger@...>

Noam Silberberg writes:

"My great grandmother was born in 1883 in Jasienow Polny, a very
small village near Horodenka. There were probably a few Jewish
families in the village. The LDS have microfilms of the Greek
Catholic Church for that village. Is it possible that the church
records in such a small village (a population of only a few
hundreds) would include the village's Jewish families?"

It can't hurt to look through these church records, but it is
extremely doubtful that you would find any Jewish events among
them. In fact, to date, I know of no one who has ever found Jewish
metrical events recorded in church records. The only exception
would be marriages or births in which a Jew had converted to
Catholicism or another non-Jewish denomination. In that case the
details of the conversion of the Jewish person and the names of
their children (who also might have converted) would be listed.

An example of this is a document called "Judische Familien In
Galizien" (Jewish Families in Galicia), >from researcher Manfred
Daum a specialist in "Galizien German Descendants" -- a group
devoted to family history research of the German descendants >from
the Austrian province of Galicia.

This document is a compilation of Jewish men, women and entire
families, either born in or residing in Galicia, who converted to
Christianity: Greek or Roman Catholic, Lutheran,
Evangelical/Evangelical Reformed. In some cases these conversions
were a results of "mixed marriages" but in others, entire Jewish
families converted. There are many interrelated families. Mr.
Daum's sources were primarily church records >from which he
extracted this information, using parish registers, christening
documents, church marriage and death records, and some
personal family notes. The dates of these events run >from the late
1700s until 1941, and include a few people who were murdered in
the concentration camps. Several years ago Mr. Daum was
generous enough to share this document for the benefit of Jewish
Galician researchers.

But...for births, deaths and marriages involving strictly Jewish
events, those were recorded by Jewish authorities. Rumors have
abounded about Jewish events being recorded among church
records, and inquiries have been made about this possibility with
officials in the Lviv archive, but as stated above, to date no
examples of these have ever been found. On the other hand, it is
true that in (Russian) Polish records -- not Galician Polish records
-- there were Jewish events recorded in Catholic church civil
records >from 1808-1825.

Pamela Weisberger
Research Coordinator, Gesher Galicia

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