Application of Familiant Laws in early 19th century Moravia - #austria-czech

Jeremy Schuman

I have a question about the application of the Familiant Laws, which I’m hoping someone might be able to help me with.

For several years now, I have been working on the family tree for the MASSARSIK / Mazarzik / Mašařik family of Bučovice, Moravia. My primary sources of information are the Jewish BMD records available through the Badatelna website and also the 19th century census records recently made available via the Moravian Provincial Archive (MZA) website.

There were four Massarsik men living in Bučovice in the 19th century who had Familiant certificates (Markus Massarsik, Jakob Massarsik, Moises Massarsik and Joachim Massarsik). As expected, all the Massarsik births registered in Bučovice while the Familiant Laws were still active either had one of these four men listed as the father, or the father was listed as “unknown”. However, in the Bučovice death records, there are two puzzling entries:

1) On 20 May 1805, the death of Jakob Mazarzik, aged 16 months, is recorded. He is described as the son of Johan Mazarzik (“aus Hungaren” I think it says).

2) On 16 Sept 1826, the death of Markus Massarzik, aged 1 month 5 days, is recorded. He is described as the son of Abraham Massarzik, and the death occurred in the nearby village of Kunkowitz.

Neither of these two infants appears in the Bučovice birth registers.

I was wondering whether any other researchers have come across records like this in the past. Is it possible that the death of a child born to a non-Familiant was sometimes registered under his father’s surname? Or is it more likely that the two fathers (Johan and Abraham ) were Familiants in another town? Johan died in Bučovice in 1840, so he appears to have been a Bučovice resident. Also, Abraham’s wife Fanni appears in the 1865 Bučovice death records, so I assume Abraham was a Bučovice resident too. And yet neither Johan nor Abraham was a Bučovice Familiant.

I would be very interested to hear people’s thoughts on this.

Many thanks,

Jeremy Schuman,
Buckinghamshire, England

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