Records from 1807-1811 #romania #bessarabia #ukraine

Yefim Kogan

Hello everybody,  Shavua Tov to you all.

You probably tired to hear from me about new discoveries.  But I cannot be silent and I  should share this new finding with all of you.

This time we got an oldest set of records for Bessarabian Jews...  these are records from 1808-1811.
Most records are from Khotin uezd, at that time Russian word "uezd" was not in use yet - the region was not yet under official Russian rule.  It was Moldova principality with ts suzerain, the sultan of the Ottoman Empire. It was Khotin tsinut.  That is an incredible interesting records with a lot of documents written with the records... 
But, here are few problems: 
  1) Jews at that time did not have surnames, actually Jews in Turkey received surnames late 19 century, beginning of 20th century.
  2)  It is not an easy read.   The records are in Russian,  but sometimes notes written in different languages, possible in Old Slavonic script.  I have enclosed an image (#856) with statistics on population in Khotin in 1808... On the right side at the bottom it is written in Russian, and it is stated that there were 1349 Jews in town from total of 2797 people.   The others were 
peasants and others (Russian orthodox) - 1309, and also 99 Armenians.  Imagine we have all records on these 1349 Jews!

Look above from the statistic table.  On the right site, it is still Russian, more or less regular with several letters not part of alphabet anymore, and some words nobody uses,  but on the left side script, which I cannot read at all.
If there is a specialist in Slavic old languages, please come over, and tell us what that language is...  I think it is old Slavonic, but maybe I am wrong.
Here is another page #860, and it seems to me more Greek script.

By the way there are 18 pages with families of Jews, men and women with first names of Jews, and father's name for the head of household in the family  (man).  For many there is also professions and in some cases I see a village near Khotin they live...  

In any case the #3) is to get someone to work on these records...  you got the idea.

Same microfilm might have records from Kiliya. and Bendery,  need to look more.

You might ask, why the records are written in Russian, even the region was not yet under Russian rule?

The answer to this is that Russia occupied a lot of lands in 18 century, like part of Moldova Principality, Walachia Principality (which is now in Romania), and also smaller regions on Balkans, like Serbia, etc.  All the documents are signed by Military generals of Russian Empire.  Only in 1812 with Bucharest agreement Russians left Balkans, Walacha, part of Moldova, and only Bessarabia remained under their rule,

I know from historical papers, that there is a census done for Jews in 1770-80s in Moldova Principality (included all Bessarabia)  by Russian military, occupying that land at that time.

I am looking forward to hear from you...  hope you are existed as I am.

Any volunteers?  specialist in old Slavonic languages?

All the best,
Yefim Kogan


Hi Yefim,

This is indeed very interesting finding! Can you provide with the source of the document (archive) if it is available please?

Thank you!
Semion Sucholutsky

Yefim Kogan

Semion,  I found them at the FamilySearch database.

Are you up to work on some of them?  I am not talking about Old-Slavonic, but just Russian.
Let me know,

Thanks,  Yefim


The language is Romanian written in cyrillic script. Same as in the Catagrafii found at the Iasi National Archives.

Luc Radu
Great Neck, NY

Yefim Kogan

Thank you.  What text are you referensing?

I posted two images with TWO different languages, and one I am almost sure is Old Slavonic language (not Romanian)... Where you see text in Cyrillic?  There is a text in Russian.

All the best,


The darker paragraph on top of a table reads -- "Dupa porunca  prea stralucitului feldmarsal... ci s-au fost dat  ca asupra ...urilor cetatilor si sa puie bir si sa implineasca s-au facut urmare poruncii si birnicii s-au socotot, s-au randuit poruncindu-se dregatorilor...

Obviously something about taxation. But no doubt about language -- Romanian (very archaic)

Luc Radu
Great Neck

Yefim Kogan

Luc,  thank you very much.  That is great.  I knew that in Moldova they used at some point cyrillic, but that language goes back probably 15 century or so.

Did you or anybody else in the group tried to read the 'second' page I sent?

All the best,
Yefim Kogan