military notbook #bessarabia

Adrian Koifman

My grandfather Moshko  Koifman did military service in 1907 in Silintinsky's 41st       Infantry Military Regiment.  Supposedly   Khotin district.
How  can  I  find out about this topic?
I  have  the  military  notebook written in Russian.

Yefim Kogan

Hello Adrian,  this is very interesting.


I assume that you find in the military notebook the Silintinsky's 41st Infantry Military Regiment.

It would be good to see a copy of that page with the name of the Regiment.

I know a very good book about this topic:  “Jews in the Russian Army, 1827-1917: Drafted into Modernity”, written by Yohanan Petrovsky-Shtern.  He did a lot of work in the archives of the Soviet Union, Poland, and gives information about sources in his book.  I know that there is a Military Archive in Moscow, which probably collected information.  - reference to Yohanan’s book

In our Bessarabia databases sometimes we have a records about retired military person, but most of the records are from 19 century.


Also it would interesting to know where your grandfather lived before going to the army?


Good luck to you with your research.


Yefim Kogan

Adrian Koifman

Hi Yefim
Thank you for the email. 

i am attaching the military notebook of my grandfather Mosko ( moishe ) Mauricio Koifman.
I don’t 
The notebook says that he chose residence in Bessarabia, Jotin District, Kelemensky commune.
I wait your comments. 


Adrian koifman 

Erika Gottfried

Adrian --

I don't know if you intended to post the scan of your grandfather's "military notebook" for all to see, but I'm very glad that you did.  It's a fascinating document.  I don't know what a "military notebook" is.  Can you--or someone else looking at this thread--tell me what another equivalent or similar term for this document for the military service(s) of another country (especially the U.S.) that might be used to describe this sort of document and what its function was?
Erika Gottfried
Teaneck, New Jersey

P.S.  I notice there's another document in the same scan after the military notebook that seems to be an Argentinian record; did your grandfather immigrate to Argentina after he served in the Russian army?


Adrian Koifman

Hi Erika, thank you for your email.

It´s True, it es fascinating document.

If you see the stamp there you may think that this document was used as a passport. There is an inscrpition on the back cover showing ¨Vapor Honades Zeelandia¨ I think it is the boat that my grandfather came from Europe to Buenos Aires, Argentina.   On page 16 are two stamps that I understand would be customs (1911 and 1912)  written in Russian I think.

Adrian Koifman
Buenos Aires

Erika Gottfried

That's what I'd think about the Argentinian stamped document.  But what was a "military notebook"? What was its purpose and what organization issued it?

Erika Gottfried
Teaneck, New Jersey

Yefim Kogan

Hello Adrian,  WoW! That is an amazing document.  I would be glad to have it on our Bessarabia website if you do not mind, and maybe you can write a story about that relative...

You probably know that he got this military document when he left the military to a reserve.  It also written that when he left he choose Khotin uezd, Kelmenskaya 'volost'".  There is a town Kelmentsy, not far from Khotin, and it is written in Romaian on a map I enclosed as Chelmenti.  Actually there is a page where it says that he was registered in Khotin uezd, Kelmentskay 'volost'' in 1910, November 13.  Also at the very end there are two stamps about training people in reserve from 1911 and 1912
The last two pages are interesting... he used this military document as passport.  At that time Russians to go abroad had to have passports.
Did he emigrated to Argentina in 1913?
What happened in 1935?

By the way did you check our JewishGen Database  - Romania (Bessarabia) where you find a lot of families with that surname and registered in Khotin...  they could live somethere else, but registered in Khotin.  I recomend to go thru all such entries.

All the best,
Yefim Kogan

Yefim Kogan

thanks for the link.  I did not know that information about regiments in Russian Army is now online.  I even looked into other Regiments who participated in the wars and found names of Jews killed or wounded.

All the best,

Erika Gottfried

Would it be accurate to describe this document as a Russian Imperial Military Passport, Yefim?

And to clarify for me: the pages with the Argentinian stamp are not a document separate from the military notebook but are actually part of the notebook itself, Adrian? 
Erika Gottfried
Teaneck, New Jersey


I researched the history of my great-grandfather in World War 1. He served in the 131st Tiraspol regiment. I selected all the Jewish names of this regiment.

Adrian Koifman

Dear Yefin and Erika
With pleasure I could have it on the Bessarabia website. When you can attach the link so I can see it.
Regarding my grandfather's Military notebook (military license),
 Sheet 18 of what I sent you is a translation made by the Russian imperial consulate in Buenos Aires on February 30, 1913. It says 1) that this license book No. 8888 is the bearer Mauricio (Moises) Idel L Koifman soldier. 29Bachelor of the Samogitsky Infantry Regiment 41 3) in the year 1910 November 4) serving the Jotin military junta .. There is another word that I cannot read and number 216/4. 5) seems to say that he started on January 1, 1908 6) he was born on October 22, 1889. 7) bourgeois. 8) of the religions = Israelite 9) Marital single status 10) Can read and write 11) Profession = merchant 12) did not take part in campaigns 13) did not take part in battles with enemies 14) was not wounded. 15) does not have with ........ 16) being with the apprentice service of the trade. 17) The documents were ......... to the representative of the Jotin military junta, file 8679, on November 1, 1910. 18) Upon graduation, he chose the Bessarabia Government, Jotin District, as permanent residence. from Kelemensky.
1910 November 1 - N 8679. The head of regiment. Signed Luvorof (or something similar)
The other document on page 19 is a Certification from the Secretary of Public Relations and Worship of Argentina where it certifies that the previous document is authentic.
I understand that I use this document as a passport and here with the contribution of the Russian consulate in Argentina, this document will be accepted as a passport.
On the other hand I see I look at the map you sent, and I would like if you can help me to find something else. With regard to information on regiment lists, could you attach the link to these lists and also the link to the JewishGen database - Romania (Bessarabia)?


Yes, "Vapor Holandes 'Zeelandia'" means "Dutch steamship 'Zeelandia'". (Six years of high school Spanish finally pays off.)  And the two stamps on page 16 are in Russian.

Yefim Kogan


thank you very much for allowing us to post this document to the JewishGen Bessarabia website.  I appreciate it very much.  One more thing here, if you can also write a brief article about that person, and together with the military papers, that would a great addition to our site.  Tell a bit about his life, when, where was born, education, family.... moved out from Bessarabia...

I think that when he left Russia, he did not have any other documents except this one, and that in fact became his passport, that is why all these stamps, etc.  Does it say on page 19 that this document is going to be excepted as passport?  Also on that page is a date 1935.... what was that year?

The regiment lists has only listed officers, and not soldiers.  I found in one regiment Jews listed as wounded or killed in action, but not in one you are interested in.

As far as JewishGen... please explore the site, it has a lot of great information on Jews in Bessarabia.  The main site is
from that you can find all databases, and especially you need Romania(Bessarabia)... and direct link is
after that you can do all kind of searches, by surname, town, etc.

I am looking forward to get a story for us, and also to see how you searched our database.  one more thing, we also have in JewishGen our Bessarabia website, where you can find additional information on  Jews in Bessarabia... please explore that too:

All the best,
Yefim Kogan

Adrian Koifman

This is how you say. regarding steam Zeelandia Dutch
Can you identify the 2 Russian stamps on page 16?

Adrian Koifman

I have no information about my grandfather Moishe (Moshko) Koifman.
All I have is this military notebook.
This document I think I use as a passport. So the 2 stamps are seen in Russian.
In 1936 my grandfather traded that document in the Russian consulate, I estimate that he did it to try to get the Argentine document (residence)
I don't know anything about his history until I arrived in Argentina, I think I arrived in Buenos Aires in 1911. He married my grandmother Rojl Barinstein and they had 3 children. He was a merchant, he sold underwear in Buenos Aires.
I have nothing else

Eva Lawrence

I also have the military record book of my grandfather. In his case it
was for his service as a private in the French army in the 1890s and was
issued by the French government of the time. . I thought that he only
kept it out of nostalgia, but on further consideration, he would have
needed it to obtain a permit to leave France and settle in Germany to
marry my grandmother. She kept his jubilant telegram saying that at
last he was free!
Presumably Adrian Koifman's grandfather had to show his book to the
Russian embassy to prove that he had emigrated legally and get their
suppor. His book, too would be an official document....

I'm sure that any soldier in any country would have an official record
book of his military service. And if military service was obligatory in
his country, he would have to show that he had fulfilled that
obligation, or be subject to a court trial and a fine or prison should
he be caught by the police. ,
One of my mother's great-uncles was in fact on a police list for
avoiding Prussian military service - though he just din't return from
England to stand trial. My paternal grandfather, I believe paid money
to avoid his military obligations. A third ancestor formally
renounced his German citizenship to relieve himself of the obligation. A
great many emigrants avoided military service in one way or another,
which is why such military record books are so rare.

Eva Lawrence
St Albans, UK
Eva Lawrence
St Albans, UK.

Yefim Kogan

These stamps are for military retraining for military in reserve:
one says 1911 Khotin uezd, Military gathering
second same for 1912