Re: Strange entry at All Poland Database #galicia

David Scriven

Dear All,

Mark Halpern wrote:

First, let's talk about civil marriages. The Hasidic movement
spread rapidly throughout Galicia in the 18th century. Hasidic
leaders wielded great power in the community. Roughly 6 of 7
Galician Jews were Hasidim. Marriage was an area of great
contention between the Crown and the Hasidic leadership of the
Jewish community. The Crown designated and paid one Rabbi in
each district to perform marriages. These Rabbi's were usually
more secular than the majority Hasidim of the community. So it
was normal for the Jews to resist the mandate for civil marriage.
Jews were married under a Chupa in a purely religious ceremony,
which was not ever registered with the Crown. Therefore, you will
not find many civil marriages in the JRI-Poland database.
My great-grandfather was Hassidic and the birth records of his
children, all born between 1880 & 1902, show them as 'nieslubna'
- illegitimate. However, there is an added notation that shows
that he engaged in a civil marriage in 1916 and that he
acknowledged each of the children as his.

My question is - why the change? - was there a compelling reason,
e.g. pressure >from the state? - did the attitude of the Hassidic
community change? - or does it relate to our particular family
circumstances - whatever they were?

David Scriven,
Vancouver, Canada

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