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JRI-Poland Member Newsletter: For the Record

In this issue

  • For the Record: JRI-Poland Awarded the Gold Seal from GuideStar

  • From our Partners: JewishGen’s Passover Companion Highlights Polish & Ukrainian Towns

  • Spotlight on: Newly Available Record Images on the Lublin (and Zamość) Digital Archives Website

  • Getting Help with Your Research from JRI-Poland Volunteers

For the Record: JRI-Poland awarded the Gold Seal from GuideStar

Just in time for the Pesach Edition of our newsletter, I am proud to announce that JRI-Poland has achieved a new high rating from GuideStar, a leading charity rating service that bases its ratings on a non-profit’s information transparency. Thanks to the dedication of JRI-Poland’s Finance team, led by treasurer Gary Pokrassa and finance coordinator (Ms) Siddy Rosenberg, we have received the Gold Seal of Transparency for 2021. Thank you everyone for your hard work to make JRI-Poland a prominent charitable organization!

Stanley Diamond, Executive Director

April 1, 2021

From our partners: JewishGen’s Passover Companion highlights Polish & Ukrainian towns

JRI-Poland and JewishGen are completely separate organizations. And in the spirit of cooperation, JRI-Poland is delighted to wish JewishGen a heartfelt “Mazel Tov” upon the public release of the JewishGen Passover Companion 2021/5781. The JewishGen Passover Companion contains excerpts from approximately one dozen towns now located in Belarus, Poland and Ukraine. The articles include descriptions of 19th and 20th century Jewish life at this season and are warm, witty and touching. Some of the towns included in this year’s edition are: Kielce, Dębica, Leżajsk, Ulanów, and Oświęcim (Auschwitz-Birkenau) and Bolekhiv, Ukraine.

Spotlight on: Newly available record images on the Lublin (and Zamość) digital archives website

The Lublin branch of the Polish State Archives is more than 100 years old and its documentation for the City of Lublin and the Lublin (Lubelskie) Region date from the 14th century. According to their website, about 20% of users of their collections are genealogists. Because of changing borders and realms, 700 years of Lublin records are scattered across the archives of several countries in addition to Poland - Belarus, Lithuania, Ukraine and Russia – and the amazing Lublin Archives, guided by long-time Director Piotr Dymmel, PhD, works to track and reacquire them digitally and make them available at no charge to the public on “Lubelskie Archivum Cyfrowe” - their Digital Archives website. Visit: LAC.Lublin.pl and use Google Chrome to translate if needed. Typical of external additions are the Belarussian collection (in Minsk) including 18th century land records from the towns of Horodło and Grabowiec. An explanation of this collection can be found under the “Polonica” tab on the LAC website.

1892 Cholera Epidemic in Lublin

The Digital Archives website also includes many interesting photos, city plans, and articles that may be of interest to the Jewish genealogist, such as this one on the 1892 Cholera epidemic in the Lublin area

Read the article

In November 2020, due to the restricted in-person archival access imposed by the COVID pandemic, the Lublin Archives began adding scans of Vital Records to their local Lublin Digital Archives website. Their Zamość sub-branch has created a similar site with scans which can be found at: http://zamosc.ap.gov.pl/.

Scans are generally of the early 20th century birth, marriage and/or death registers that are not yet available on the National Digital Archives (NDA) website. The Lublin Archives states that the posting of these scans is temporary and will be maintained only until they have been shifted to the NDA’s website.

The JRI-Poland professional team in Poland are already at work indexing/extracting these new publicly available record scans. Some of the most exciting collections include the records for the City of Lublin and City of Zamość. We hope to upload indices of these records to our website database soon. Lublin records include Marriages through 1939 and Deaths through 1935. For the City of Zamość, they include Births from 1871-1885 and Marriages from 1865-1870. And very interestingly, scans of three sets of Books of Residents for the town of Tomaszów Lubelski are now online.

Since March 22, 2021, the reading rooms of the Lublin archives have been closed to the public again. This underscores the incredible gift the archives gives us by making these scans available online. JRI-Poland is committed to providing you with a Finding Aid and Direct Link to these and other documents as fast as we can. Please do not inundate our town leaders and research area coordinators with questions about this source as they will not have more information than we publicly post.

Scans of Lublin & Zamość Records Now Online

Lublin has added Jewish vital records scans for Frampol and Józefów (Biłgorajski). We think of these towns as being in the Zamość area but the new scans for these towns are not listed on the Zamość Archives website. Since these registers are physically in Lublin, their scans appear on the Lublin Digital website instead.

Other Zamość additions for Jewish researchers include the Tomaszów Lubelski Books of Residents.The Zamość Archives collection also has scans for Jewish vital records on their website with a link from the Lublin website as well. These towns are: Hrubieszow, Szczebrzeszyn, Turobin, and City of Zamość. Here is a list of the towns (by Fond Number) included in the Lublin Archives new scans inventory at the time we went to press:

  • 1598 Ryki

  • 1610 Baranów

  • 1611 Bełżyce

  • 1612 Biała Podlaska

  • 1614 Biskupice

  • 1615 Bobrowniki & Irena

  • 1616 Bychawa

  • 1721 Chełm

  • 1722 Chodel

  • 1724 Dubienka

  • 1726 Frampol

  • 1727 Głusk

  • 1737 Józefów (Biłgorajski)

  • 1738 Kamionka

  • 1739 Kazimierz Dolny

  • 1740 Kock

  • 1741 Koden

  • 1743 Konstantynów

  • 1744 Końskowola

  • 1748 Kraśnik

  • 1753 City of Lublin

  • 1762 Międzyrzec Podlaski

  • 1763 Opole Lubelskie

  • 1768 Radzyń Podlaski

Getting help with your research from JRI-Poland Volunteers

JRI-Poland volunteers (board members, research area coordinators and town leaders) get great satisfaction from helping our researchers and supporters… but we are often inundated with requests! Some of us receive as many as 25 or more genealogy-related inquiries each week. And we all try to be helpful with advice about research steps. Circumstances permitting, our volunteers will go into detail with instructions about search results, and under some conditions, even send an image of an actual document as a favor.

Each email we receive can take 15 minutes to an hour (or even two hours!) to fully answer and most require a follow-up email asking the requestor for clarification before the original question(s) can be answered. Time lag between emails, other requests waiting for responses, and daily life adds more time to “refresh one’s memory” about a case to construct a complete or correct answer.

All this underlines the importance of sending your email request to the right person to obtain the best answer in the shortest amount of time. Please download this handy tip-sheet for improving your record requests.

Start your search

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