Update on Galician records available from JRI-Poland / Przemysl Identification Project completed #galicia

Gesher Galicia SIG

I am writing to clarify Stanley Diamond's message relating to the
Przemysl Identification Project. We would like to assure our members
who worked so hard on the Przemysl Identification Project for so long
(including some Gesher Galicia members who also happen to be Town
Leaders or Board members of JRI-Poland) that their work was valuable
and unique and that, among other findings, there is much indeed new
information that has been uncovered, which will be of great benefit to

In announcing the results of our 18-month long project we stated that
about a third of the index books whose towns we identified contained
"new information" in some sort of way. New information, though, could
occur in one of two ways, which is something that already is mentioned
in our notice about the project on our website, and which I discuss in
more detail in an article in the June 2021 issue of the "Galitzianer",
due out next week.

Almost half of the books from the ID Project with some sort of new
information are new in the sense that the original vital record
registers (of births, deaths or marriages) have been lost - for good.
There are no other extracts or indexes available of them. The
information in these index books whether from eastern or western
Galicia is new - period. Examples of such completely new information
in the index books we identified are:
- three birth index books from Drohobycz covering the period 1870-1874.
- Jaworow marriage index book 1859-1876
- Nadworna marriage index book 1877-1907
- Nowy Sacz birth index book 1893
- Skalat birth index book 1877-1858
- Skole death index book 1873
- Tarnopol death index book 1893.

Two towns, Dobrotwor and Lutowiska, for which no vital records at all
were previously known to exist, each have two index books for the town
that were identified in the Przemysl ID Project.

The other type of new information arises when an index book contains
records for which the corresponding original full register exists but
is not yet available. This applies largely to birth records, where the
original register is still kept at the Civil Registration Office (USC)
in Warsaw (for eastern Galician towns), or in a USC in southeastern
Poland (for western Galician towns). In such cases, the original birth
register - if indeed it exists - will be publicly released eventually,
though this may not be for another 20 or more years.

Mr Diamond's message has puzzled some of our members, who have already
written to us in some confusion over it. We are explaining Mr
Diamond's message to them as follows. JRI-Poland holds extracts of
some of these birth registers - from western Galician towns and less
than 100 years old - that are currently held in a USC in southeastern
Poland. JRI-Poland obtained these extracts from particular USCs
through JRI-Poland’s Genetic Research Project. People can inquire to
JRI-Poland about these scans of records from USC offices, and obtain
spreadsheets showing the records from a specific register for a given
surname - if such a surname exists in the register. This useful
process has existed for many years and does not apply to records held
at the USC in Warsaw, which holds books from eastern Galicia.

The other part of Mr Diamond's message refers to full books of vital
records from eastern Galicia that are publicly accessible. Although he
doesn't give the source, these are presumably books held at AGAD in
Fond 300, whose scans are freely viewable on the AGAD website and the
Polish State Archives' website, and with links to them from the Gesher
Galicia website.

It is good to know, therefore, that so many more books from AGAD Fond
300 have been indexed. It would be helpful for all researchers if
their indexes could be added to the JRI-Poland website. It is not
clear, though, why their indexing has to be publicized just now in
connection with the quite unrelated Przemysl Identification Project.
Gesher Galicia also regularly indexes many full vital records from
both eastern and western Galicia, and as soon as a book is indexed the
full results are uploaded to the All Galicia Database for all
researchers freely to view.

Tony Kahane
Research Coordinator, Gesher Galicia
Przemysl ID Project: https://www.geshergalicia.org/projects/przemysl-id/

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