Tag Archives: jewish genealogy

The State Archives in Belgium: Getting there

(See also the links at the end of this article)

How to get there:
The State Archives of Belgium are on the following address:

rue de Ruysbroeck 2
1000 Brussels
phone: +32 2 513 76 80

View larger map

It is easy to get there by taxi or public transportation. The national airport of Belgium, which is situated in Zaventem near Brussels, is about 14.4 km (8.95 miles) away and it takes about 16 minutes to drive by car (without traffic).

The museum district “Kunstberg – Mont des Arts”:
The archives are near the Kunstberg which in French is called Mont des Arts (hill of Arts).

That area in fact serves as the Museum District of Brussels which was conceived by King Léopold II. King Léopold II decided to turn the whole district into what today is known as the Mont des Arts. The King dreamed of making Brussels a modern and cultural capital city and Mont des Arts the treasure of his country and witness to the history of Belgium.

A plate memorializing Belgian kings Leopold II for conceiving the Mont des Arts, king Leopold III for implementing it and king Baudouin/Boudewijn I for establishing it. The Mont des Arts was dedicated to the memory of king Albert I

The Mont des Arts is situated in about the same area which was known as the “Jewish Continue reading The State Archives in Belgium: Getting there

The abbreviation “v.” commonly found in Galician records

The following is a post which appeared in the Gesher Galicia SIG digest from August 29, 2011.
In this post, Suzan Wynne discusses the ‘v.’ which is commonly found in Galician records.
(The Gesher Galicia Discussion Group is sponsored by Gesher Galicia and hosted by JewishGen, the Home of Jewish Genealogy. See for more here: http://www.jewishgen.org/galicia)

Subject: abbreviation v is for vel non
From: “Suzan Wynne”
Date: Sun, 28 Aug 2011 20:04:55 -0400
X-Message-Number: 1

The abbreviation “v,” commonly found in Galician records about Jewish events, stands for vel non, a Latin legal term, which means “or not” or “alternatively.” This Latin term was adapted from the Latin that was commonly used for recording Jewish and non-Jewish vital events in Galicia until 1877 when the government authorized the kehillot to be responsible for collecting and maintaining Jewish births, marriages (civil), and deaths.

The abbreviation was used when Continue reading The abbreviation “v.” commonly found in Galician records

Yizkor Book on Ustrzyki Dolne (Istrik) and vicinity – part 1

(Please click here to go to the explanation for this page)
This is part 1 of 2 with a selection of the complete Yizkor Book on Ustrzyki-Dolne. Click here for part 2.
Click here to go directly to the article about family Beer on this page


Yizkor books on Polish towns and cities

One of the families which I do descend from, is Kalech.
Other cities of which I do know already that they lived there is: Ustrzyki, Ulucz and apparently also Tarnobrzeg (Dinow).

There are some sources where you can get to the yizkor books, one such source is the yizkor Books Project on JewishGen (http://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/). That project’s goal as stated on their site is

Our goal is to facilitate access to Yizkor Books and the information contained in them 

Another great source is the online repository of scanned yizkor books on the website of the Dorot Jewish Division at the New york Public Library: http://yizkor.nypl.org.
The goal of the Dorot Jewish Division as stated on their website is:

The Dorot Jewish Division is responsible for administering, developing and promoting the exploitation of one of the world’s great collections of Hebraica and Judaica. Reference and research services are available in a dedicated Jewish studies reading room on the first floor of the Library’s landmark Stephen A. Schwarzman Building. Contact us.

Primary source materials are especially rich in the following areas: Jews in the United States, especially in New York in the age of immigration; Yiddish theater; Jews in the land of Israel, through 1948; Jews in early modern Europe, especially Jewish-Gentile relations; Christian Hebraism; antisemitism; and world Jewish newspapers and periodicals of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

If you are interested in hardcopies of these yizkor books, you can Continue reading Yizkor books on Polish towns and cities

How long does it take to get files from Poland and are these sent at all?!

I’ve recently been asked a couple times to explain how I did manage to receive successfully some files from the Polish archives and how long it took to get these files. Most of the people asking me this question, had some less good experiences. Some of them even never received a response at all from these archives.
My own general observation is that there is barely communication besides the communication relating to ordering the copies. So when I ask them for example if they could translate the file in question, there is almost never a reply (on that question).
Someone last week told me that it could be that if the applicant of the copies lives outside Europe, or if the requests are too complicated, that you may never get a response. I am not sure if it matters whether you are from Europe or not, but the latter possibility is of course something to consider before sending your requests. Therefore you should make sure to keep it as simple as possible. I used for example the order form on this page http://www.jewishgen.org/jri-pl/psa/orderform.htm as my template.
Also make sure not to add any other questions. And if you have any other questions, ask them, but I would separate it and send another mail and may be even consider sending it on different dates.

I put down in a table how long it took to get responses from the archive, where did I send my requests to, etc.

Please share also your experience with the other visitors of this website. You can contact me and I’ll update the table (I hope the table with grow with the time):

file requestedarchive that was contacteddate of request placementdate of first response from archivehow did they contact mewhen were the files receivedcomments
Anything with the name Grunesapsanok@neostrada.pl
Archiwum Państwowe w Rzeszowie Oddział Terenowy w Sanoku
Rynek 10
38-500 Sanok
19 February 201017 March 2010by e-mail/files were sent by post23 March 2010
Tarnobrzeg PSA Citizen List of delayed Births (records in Fond 525 in Kielce Archive Sandomierz Branch)kancelaria@kielce.ap.gov.pl
Archiwum Państwowe w Kielcach
ul. Warszawska 17
25 - 512 Kielce
06 April 201121 April 2011by e-mail27 May 2011
KALECH Mozes Josef, his wife STIEBER Sara and their son STIEBER Kelman in
Brzozow PSA B1885-1907 Marriages (records in Fond 16 in Sanok Archive)
Archiwum Państwowe w Rzeszowie Oddział Terenowy w Sanoku
Rynek 10
38-500 Sanok
10 April 20119 May 2011by e-mail12 May 2011
Birth certificate for Szyja Markus Kalechum@um.tarnobrzeg.plUrząd Stanu Cywilnego w Tarnobrzegu 1 June 20112 June 2011by e-mail and files were sent by registered mail6 July 2011I've sent the first e-mail in Polish / I needed authorization from the son of Szyja Markus Kalech to get the files as the file is less then 100 years old
A few files found on jri-poland.orgsekretariat@agad.gov.pl
Archiwum GŁówne Akt Dawnych (AGAD)
00-263 Warszawa, ul. DŁuga 7
5 June 201114 July 2011by e-mail20 July 2011Received via e-mail with links to dropbox where I could download the files in pdf format.
I've also been explained on why some scans are sometimes not clear that "now we only scans from microfilm, so the effects are not always ideal. There are no possibilities to do a
better scan from the same microfilm."
Files about Izaak/Izek Dorfumt@umt.tarnow.pl
Urzędu Stanu Cywilnego w Tarnowie
ul. Gumniska 30, 33 - 100 Tarnów

Tel. 014 688-90-85, tel./fax 014 688-90-86
First time in English: 4 December 2011

Second time in Polish: 6 December 2011
First time with request to send them request tin Polish: 6 December 2011by e-mail, they refused to correspond in English (they sent me an extract of Article 4 of the Act of 7 October 1999). I replied and sent an e-mail in PolishFirst response from them was on 6 December 2011. They asked me to send them a letter in Polish. I sent another email in Polish on 6 December 2011 and a reminder on Fzbruary 8, 2012. On March 12th, 2012 they finally replied that they do not have the files but that I can get the files at the State Archives (see next line)
Files about the children of the Dorf-Fischelberg coupleI sent an email to sekretariat@archiwum.krakow.pl and received a reply via tarnow@archiwum.krakow.pl
The State Archive in Cracow (Archiwum Państwowe w Krakowie), Tarnów Branch
ul. Chemiczna 16

33-101 Tarnów

Tel./fax +14 633 06 21,

e-mail: tarnow@archiwum.krakow.pl
4 December 20117 December 2011 - I received an e-mail with the payment instructionsby e-mail, in english23 December 2011

Translation of document from Tarnobrzeg Books of Residents

I received the following document on May 27th, 2011 via e-mail from the state archive in Kielce (Archiwum Państwowe w Kielcach).
The document, as written in the mail from the Kielce statearchive, is:

[…]skan dot. Izaka Kalecha z księgi meldunkowej miasta Tarnobrzega

Meaning the following:

[…]a scan with Izak Kalech as reported in the book of the city of Tarnobrzeg

The scan comes from the following collection (Thanks to Mr. Moshe Steinberg [m.steinberg -at- utoronto.ca] for the tip):

Tarnobrzeg PSA Citizen List of delayed Births ,Lwow Wojewodztwa / Rzeszow Province (records in Fond 525 in Kielce Archive Sandomierz Branch)

This is how the contents of the file appear on the website of jri-poland:

KALECHIzak36281SamuelGitla496Ulucz1868Ustrzyki Dolne

Mr. Witold Wrzosinski (a researcher based in Poland whose website is at http://avanim.pl. He who can be contacted via e-mail: w.wrzosinski-at-avanim.pl) explained me more about this document:
click here to read what Mr. Witold Wrzosinski sent mee»
(Please add your comments below or if you prefer, send me a personal mail via this link):

Transcription: Continue reading Translation of document from Tarnobrzeg Books of Residents

Dear Gershon,

this is an entry from “księga meldunkowa”. It is not a census, it’s a “registration book”. Such books were introduced in various cities and towns in Poland in the second half of the XIXth century. Usually there was one for every street, with all houses and apartments listed along with their inhabitants. The house owners had to write down every birth, marriage or death in the house and the information was regularly collected. These books were official documents, kept by city clerks. They are a great source of information, but not much of them survived.

Best regards
Witold Wrzosinski,
Warsaw, Poland

As my question in which year this file was added to the book:


Such books were often kept for years and updated, but here the document does not seem to contain any updates, so it’s a little different kind of registration book. According to the Polish archives databases, there are four surviving sets of documents from Tarnobrzeg that could fit – a census from 1880 (but it is most probably in Russian, so I would exclude it), a census from 1931/32 (but it’s simply a census, not a “registration book”), a “book of migrations” from 1901-1905 (but it is also most probably in Russian) and finally my type, the “book of the Tarnobrzeg disctrict inhabitants” from 1925. Maybe they have planned to keep it updated and gave up or maybe the idea was different from the beginning – I don’t know. Anyway, all the documents are part of the Fond 525 in Kielce Archive Sandomierz Branch.

Best regards,

and finally regarding the 5th column with ‘Gdzie przynależny’:

No, it means literally “belongs to” and I guess this applies to either the place he was born in Ulucz), which belonged to the larger district of Ustrzyki or maybe he was still registered in the Ustrzyki district office while living in Tarnobrzeg. Also, the year 1925 is just a guess – I would give it 75% of probability.

Best regards,

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